In 1952, after years of experience in the nursery industry, Urban Reckamp planted the first seeds of his own horticultural business, Harvard Nursery. Twenty years later, the next generation of Reckamps, Tim and Pam, took over, letting the nursery's success grow through word of mouth, an established reputation in the community, and a stockpile of magic beans. Bringing a bachelor's in horticulture and an education background in design, the third generation, Kevin and Nina Reckamp, sprouted their roots as the new management of the nursery in 2010.
Today, with 60 years of experience under its belt, the nursery offers visitors a plethora of greenery. Its retail garden center blooms with locally grown verdant saplings and effulgent perennials guaranteed to appease the pickiest of garden gnomes. In addition to onsite dealings, its experienced crew can also travel to nearby locations to perform landscape design, enhancement, and maintenance.
Founded in 1991 by an enterprising high-school freshman, Apex Landscaping dispatches more than 60 personable personnel to groom clients’ lawns and gardens. With today’s deal, choose between seven varieties of annual flowers to decorate your garden this summer—sprinkle gardens with dainty impatiens, light up a field with some fiery marigolds, or plant sharp snapdragon spikes below windowsills to deter pie thieves. A landscape technician will help homeowners decide where to place plants, then an army of installers will dimple gardens with holes to house 108 root systems. Upon request, they can also sprinkle new arrivals with organic fertilizer or sing them chlorophyll-themed lullabies to soothe the transition into their new homes.
As their name implies, Greenwise specializes in 100% eco-friendly landscaping services. Their maintenance packages for residential or commercial lawns use sustainable, renewable alternative products to keep Mother Nature from giving them a stern lecture. Propane- or electric-driven mowers trim grass with low amounts of emissions and their grass seed is fused with beneficial fungi that nourish turf without the need for added chemicals. Additionally, their fertilizers use nutrient-rich compost comprised of molasses and yeast, and weeds and harmful insects are eliminated with nontoxic, all-natural products.
Greenwise’s devotion to lowering carbon footprints extends to their landscaping design as well. They plant organic gardens that blossom with fresh fruits and vegetables to add aesthetic beauty to yards and cut down on trips to the grocer. They are also proponents of working with native flora, which make for a more sustainable garden and attract native birds and butterflies to yards to entertain bored lawn ornaments.
Green thumbs gain inspiration from garden furnishings and decorative wrought-iron pieces stockpiled inside Ingrid’s Secret Garden. Mini roses, indoor bulb arrangements, and topiaries bloom as shoppers peruse eco-friendly gardening accessories and organic products including pottery and planters, gardening tools, and organic teas and spices. A selection of ornate birdhouses sport curved balconies, miniature french doors, and other decorative flourishes to welcome chirping birds and garden fairies discussing which mythical crew member of the Dawn Treader is the cutest. Once customers have inspected the indoor inventory, they can follow the path behind the family-owned shop and discover a Tudor-style greenhouse packed with hanging baskets, annuals, and other vibrant plants.
All Community Events gathers together athletes of all stripes to set off on brisk, well-organized outdoor runs. In the one-mile Run the Pier jaunt, sprinters can goggle at the skyscrapers surrounding Navy Pier, dash beneath its towering ferris wheel, and reach underneath the pier to grab fistfuls of the cotton candy keeping it afloat before finishing through its welcoming arch. The World's Largest Corn Maze Run/Walk weaves through five kilometers of paths that wind through a dense cornfield, while a pair of Turkey Trots let exercise-hounds burn off calories in advance of the day's traditional feast. Though its exact date will be pinned down as the event draws closer, the Chi Town Half Marathon pits runners against 13.1 miles of verdant north-side terrain. The challenging but beginner-friendly race's March date places it well before most of the year's other major races, and provides a compelling reason to step outside during the dark, werewolf-riddled chill of winter.
When not busy tending future landscape champs culled from their lush greenhouse plants, Floral Acres' florists furnish stunning floral arrangements. Make a lasting ocular impression with the Delightfully Daisy bouquet, as lavender competes with daisy spray chrysanthemums for face time from the see-through confines of a clear, glass bubble bowl ($29.99+). A vase of white and yellow daisies ushers in upcoming solstices bedecked with a cheery yellow ribbon ($29.99). Floral Acres supplies the flowered greenery for myriad occasions, commemorating milestones ranging from a sister’s new baby to a brother’s new Burger Time high score with specially designed displays.