Sown since 1919, Johnson's Orchards' 200 fertile acres buttress the Blue Ridge Mountains foothills and checker the landscape with thousands of apple trees. Patrons hand-select 10 pounds of nearly 200 varieties of apples, ensuring the fruits suit specific standards for weight, hue and doctor-repelling abilities. After stocking up on apples, visitors are welcome to meander the foot trails cutting through the orchard, while tots encouragingly pat the heads of amiable farm animals. Visitors can also tipple cold cider straight from the press and weigh down restless hot air balloons with jellies, relishes, and 25 different fruit wines from the on-site winery. A picnic pavilion affords idyllic views and a space to dive into vitamin-packed feasts.
Armed with an arsenal of equipment and years of experience, Petersen Home Services’ expert fixer uppers keep area domiciles in good shape. Insisting that no job is too small, Petersen Home Services’ crew descends upon homes to perform handyman services that range from repairing damaged flooring to winterizing windows, as well as power washing exteriors to clear grime and eavesdropping neighbors out of nooks and crannies.
Since 1998, landscape specialists Glenn and Donna Claeys of The Garden Outlet have shared their horticultural expertise with customers who want to bring the outdoors indoors while also beautifying their property. The duo operates throughout the year, tending to flowering annual and perennial plants, trees, shrubs, and vines, while also offering seasonal items such as Christmas trees and Halloween pumpkins, the latter of which must be plucked before they hatch into Thanksgiving turkeys. Though The Garden Outlet staff supplies customers with landscape materials and tools, they also professionally install plants, walkways, and patios. In addition, the gardening designers create elaborate arrangements for weddings and other formal events.
Lawn Doctor's roots lead back to the mid 1960s, when friends Bob Magda and Tony Giordano took on the endeavor of reviving uncared-for lawns in their hometown of Matawan, New Jersey. Their local business has since blossomed into a national franchise with more than 500 locations across the United States, each adhering to the mission of enhancing lawns' allure with time-tested techniques, dedicated customer service, and dabs of foundation makeup.Before Lawn Doctor's assiduous staffers unleash expertise on swards, they arrive at the client's home for a complimentary consultation to gauge each lawn's specific needs. Grass gurus can thicken turf with their patented Turf Tamer power seeder and foster healthy growth for grass, trees, and shrubs with fertilizer. Uninvited lawn assailants—such as crickets, ants, and grazing neighbors—shudder at the sight of Lawn Doctor's pest-control experts. The company also helps to preserve Mother Nature's receding hairline with organic lawn treatments and natural, eco-friendly products.
A native of Augusta County who knows its wildlife and terrain, Dwight Wood recreates a simpler time—a time when cowboys rode horses up the mountain trails, ate steaks seared by the campfire, and jumped into a hot tub before going to bed. Granted, that last part is only available if you stay overnight at the bunkhouse, but the Wood family's horseback-riding trips are otherwise historically authentic.
Riders meet at 9 a.m. on the ranch, where they're paired up with a trusty and well-trained steed before trotting out into the wilderness of George Washington National Forest. Dwight guides the trip over water, up slight inclines, and past breathtaking views of mountain country, leading the pack to some of the highest points in the region without the help of cliff-side escalators. He also keeps each trip small in order to better answer questions and provide a personalized experience for each rider. Guests can saddle up for a half-day, full-day, or overnight excursion, and look forward to a cowboy-style supper on longer trips.
Jonathan Rigsbee, founder of GrowinGreen, keeps lawns looking lush while treating Mother Earth with respect. His crew utilizes environmentally friendly yard-care methods that lean less on chemicals and more on holistic, soil-based solutions. Staffers avoid pollution by abstaining from treatments right before a rainfall, and they never leave fertilizers where they might wash into someone's drinking water or whale-shark aquarium. GrowinGreen's team also knows that some problems can be treated without professional help, and it offers customers an online database of havoc-wreaking weeds, plant diseases, and insects. This list, complete with photographs, can help homeowners diagnose various greenery ailments, such as brown-patch-covered lawns caused by what the staff refers to as "humongous fungus" or by feeding the grass orange juice.