With a verdant variety of shrubs, trees, roses, and vines, the friendly plantologists will help you wade through the veritable ocean of foliage. Beginning green-thumbers can take advantage of a jumbo planting kit, including ample plant food, vitamin B1, and planting compost—everything a person needs to lure an unsuspecting plant into captivity ($15.97 for the regular kit; $29.97 for the jumbo kit). Advanced yard-enhancements abound in the form of trees and shrubs, such as a selection of 5-gallon citrus trees, good for accenting a living space and forming a focal point for the worship of the Lemon Pledge gods ($34.99). Armstrong can also help organic gardeners reach full-flavored nirvana with a bevy of 3-inch plant varieties ($2.99; selections vary by season and location).
Total and complete landscape design, from concept through working drawings. Over 22 years of helping clients to realize their goals, from condominiums to large estates. All styles and themes, with the attention to detail that sets your home apart. Good design is an investment, not an extra cost.
Over the past decade or so, the professional landscapers from Knight Services have been refining their lawn-mowing mastery, perfecting the methods required to artfully sculpt overgrown grasses into neat and orderly lawns. The team tends to both the frontyard and backyard, with services dedicated to landscape design, lighting, and tree maintenance. The crew also deftly does away with annoyances such as rodents, insects, weeds, and the various other invaders that so easily steal nutrients and kisses from otherwise healthy grass.
Some people are fated to travel down a particular career path. With a surname that literally means "flowers," horticulturalist Ruben Flores may be one of those people. The Laguna Nursery owner and award-winning landscape designer fills the nursery with exotic plants, multicolor blooms, and flavorful herbs. He also gathers architectural artifacts and sculptures from local artists to inspire gardeners to augment their green spaces with artistic accents that don't involve hiring models to stand still above new blooms.
A full-service tree-care company, Arbor Artistry spoils saplings with attentive and professional coddling. Regular tree trimmings promote growth, remove dead wood, and keep branches from grabbing nearby power lines. After trimmings, crowns grow lush and full, boosting backyard shade and the squirrel real-estate market. One hour is usually long enough to trim one large tree, but you can also put the value of today’s Groupon toward an all-day job to remove hazardous trees ($1,200) or take advantage of a variety of other tree services.
By the 1960s, the ranch at 6987 West Lilac Road had been abandoned. It wasn't down for the count, however—just waiting for Clarence and Mary Jean Chown to come along. The Chowns took the property and turned it into a summer camp—Rawhide Ranch—where kids could learn to ride horses and get a true taste of country life.
Rawhide Ranch's grounds could have come right out of the Wild West or the Crazy East during that one weekend of lawless rebellion. In between nights spent sleeping in a covered wagon, campers drive horse buggies around the ranch and show off their riding skills inside the Gene Autry Horse Show Arena. Counselors teach campers how to care for the horses (and other animals) at EZ Stock Farms.
The ranch also has a swimming pool, water slide, climbing wall, and areas for archery and riflery where kids are taught by certified instructors in a safe and friendly environment. Nights often end with singalongs around the campfire, while every Friday culminates in a wild west barbecue and horse show where campers display their new skills for their families.