At Jo-Ann's Gardens, rainbows don’t just spring from clouds. They can be grown from the ground up, with help from raindrops, sunbeams, and earthworms’ sweet, tender lullabies. Some rainbows are made of flowers such as geraniums and petunias, which bloom from hanging baskets and patio pots. Others pepper the tree nursery, where evergreens mingle with budding hydrangea and sugar maples that blush red come fall. Proven Winners annuals add pop to garden beds in the spring and summer, and perennials weather harsh winters to bloom year after year. The garden center also peddles plant-tending tools, landscaping staples, and garden decorations, which range from stone statues to three hues of mulch. In addition to cultivating seedlings in seven greenhouses, attentive staffers arrange cut blooms at the floral shop and install sod, ponds, and irrigation systems through a landscaping service. :m]]
Quick, quick, slow. Quick, quick, slow. It seems that every dance lesson starts the same way. Students are told, "These are the steps," "Move to the beat," and "Never breakdance on wet cement." But unwilling to settle for the minimum, Seacoast Ballroom helps dancers see beyond getting their feet to move in the right direction. Its founder, Frederick Dunn, strives to inject dancers with grace and musical expression to help them feel dance for what it is?an art form. Its classes range in difficulty from beginner to competition level, and cover a variety of ballroom styles. Solo dancers or couples can strut through a tango, shimmy their hips in salsa, or effuse elegance through the Viennese waltz.
Wolfe's Neck Farm's 626 acres are dotted with campsites?some with ocean views, others in forested inland spots, and still others nestled next to electricity and water hookups. For a more upscale stay, visitors can hole up in the oceanside cottages, complete with galley kitchens. However, camping is only the beginning of an adventure on the 50-year-old campgrounds. Hiking trails criss-cross the terrain and the waterfront provides ample opportunities for fishing, kayaking or seeing what a hug from a fish feels like. The property also offers bike rentals or family farm tours and is located just five miles from the LLBean flagship store.
NaturaLawn of America devotes itself to caring for both lawns and the environment, eschewing harmful chemicals in favor of eco-conscious solutions. Natural, organic-based, and biodegradable products are administered to create healthy outdoor spaces that repel intrusive pests, such as fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and aging golf-course greens searching for a place to retire. Technicians determine the individual needs of each lawn to develop custom treatment plans, taking soil tests before enhancing lawns with zero-phosphorus fertilizers, seeding and aeration treatments, or regimens that focus on balancing nitrogen, potassium, and sulfur. The pest-control professionals also fight off invasive species, applying milky-spore grub control—which uses a naturally occurring bacteria—to evict Japanese beetles and European chafers. The lawn liaisons deter Lyme disease–carrying creatures with Tick Ranger and send moles on their way with biodegradable repellents or inside jobs to infiltrate the neighbor’s vegetable garden.
Wolf Hill Home and Garden Center's retail roots stretch back to 1978, when the family-owned operation blossomed from seed to store in Gloucester. Since those first years, the center has expanded to a second location in Ipswich and continues to beautify terraces and terrains around the Boston area with high-quality plants, flowers, and decorative accents. Organic and synthetic products weave their vibrant vines around both stores, including natural and silk arrangements, which can be designed elegantly for formal occasions or outfitted with sweatpants for casual get-togethers. In addition to its thriving supply of landscaping products, Wolf Hill Home and Garden Center adjusts its inventory according to the seasons, such as patio furniture during spring months and firewood, fireplace accessories, and holiday decorations during winter months.
When the Connors established their farm in 1904, they did so on land that already had 300 years worth of farming invested in its soil. At the time, the Connors ran a truck farm–meaning, rather than stuffing parsnips and carrots into mailing envelopes, they trucked all their crops to Boston to be sold. In the mid-1950s, the family adjusted to the changing times, and began selling sweet corn from a roadside stand right on the property. The new plan proved successful: visitors have flocked to the farm en masse ever since.
Today, with the help of its 140 acres of fertile land, Connors Farm continues to fill bellies with the freshest vegetables and fruits available. No, really: the family only sells corn on the day it is picked. In addition to cultivating a long list of crops–the farm produces tomatoes, strawberries, squash, and pumpkins, among others–the family maintains an equally lengthy index of family attractions. That includes an annual cornfield in fall, as well as a peach festival with music, hayrides, and face painting.