Gerald and Elisabeth Blake established Blake Farms in 1946 with the help of their 13 children. In the 60-plus years and several generations since, Blake's has spread their operation to three locations across the metro Detroit area. More than 500 acres of orchard and farmland compose the family business, and during certain seasons, that land allows average citizens a chance to give their robotic fruit harvesters a rest and come pick their own apples, strawberries, peaches, and pumpkins. Blake's becomes especially busy with the arrival of autumn, when it hosts an annual fall festival, and Christmastime, when its U-Cut tree program lets families team up to chop down their own tannenbaum.
The experienced bloomsmiths at Delux Floral Boutique bundle fresh and charming posies into vivid, artful bouquets. One dozen long-stemmed red roses, adorned with ribbon, swaddle themselves in paper or a box to ensure safe delivery of cargo as precious as a dozen Fabergé smurfs. Two dozen long-stemmed roses peek out of a complimentary vase in the Cupid's Arrow arrangement and make a perfect Sweetest Day gift, along with a flourish of seasonal blossoms, such as hydrangeas, celosia, or mums. Delivery is extra, starting at $10, depending on area.
The earthy architects of Great Lakes Landscape Design have dreamed up, installed, and maintained arboreal havens for more than 20 years. The team of landscape experts, masons, and horticultural specialists designs flourishing gardens with custom hardscapes. such as natural stone pathways or quilted patios. Their outdoor kitchens facilitate summer barbecues with grills, cabinets, and sinks, and outdoor fireplaces thaw toes on crisp autumn evenings and keep feral snowmen at bay on cold winter nights. In addition to lavishing lawns with ponds and wooden fences, the Great Lakes professionals also maintain them with deft garden-maintenance services.
The experienced instructors at Haverhill Farms forge respectful bonds between humans and horses while cultivating basic riding skills. Situated on 35 acres of windswept meadows and serene forests, Haverhill Farms welcomes riders of all skill levels for year-round use of its facilities. Two large outdoor and two indoor rings set the stage for professional instruction, which ranges from beginning horsemanship lessons to advanced jumping and dressage. The indoor rings feature heated observation rooms, giving onlookers a great vantage point from which to observe teachers demonstrating how to control the steed's stride and speed. Students also learn proper horse care, as well as how to use tongue clicks to signal sightings of undercover donkeys in search of work.
When Branden Donley was in college, he set out with his push mower to earn some cash tidying lawns around the neighborhood. His friend Sam Johnson began pitching in, and though the two were just 18 and 19 years old, their success soon made them realize they could turn their small operation into a full-time business.
That was more than 20 years ago. Branden still runs the business, but today, he shares his love of creating beautiful yards with a staff of more than 40 people. The crew is dedicated to manicuring lawns with services that range from mowing grass and pulling weeds to complete landscaping overhauls. Rather than find a compatible bear to hibernate with during winter months, the crew turns its focus from greenery to snow removal, using its fleet of snowplow trucks to clear commercial parking lots, roads, and paths.