Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
Chris Beutz founded Green Horizons in 1988 to combine professional landscaping techniques with a growing knowledge of natural ecological cycles that restore spring vibrancy to yards shocked by winter months. In spring and fall, Beutz and his team clear away seasonal debris, lower the ears of lawns, and trim any remaining patches of scruff. Summer services, such as weekly shrubbery trimming and lemonade sprinkling, keep lawns looking good enough for a garden party. Services save homeowners valuable weekend time to attend their children's sporting events or the NBA Spelling Bee.
The Green Guardian nourishes landscapes with an approach that shuns harsh chemicals in favor of effective, all-natural fertilizers, herbicides, and pest-control solutions made from edible ingredients. A proprietary line of products includes vegan herbicides that fertilize lawns as they kill broadleaf and certain grassy weeds, and granular fertilizers that nourish turf with feed-grade corn, soil conditioners, and naturally-occurring microbial stimulants. Pest-control products use odorless garlic to repel mosquitoes, billbugs, grubs, geese, and displaced vampire squid, all without leaving behind an unpleasant smell.
In addition to lawn-care packages and à la carte treatments, The Green Guardian is also registered with DuPont to remove and replace trees killed by the chemical herbicide Imprelis.
Long rumored to be the home of eerie happenings, a lonely stretch along Highway 61 has begun to attract even more sinister attention with the arrival of The Haunting Experience on Highway 61. Drawing from the site’s fabled past—including tales of cannibalism and mysterious disappearances—three haunted houses illicit goose bumps by way of deranged clowns, men with chainsaws, and ghosts plagued by unfinished business and half-completed doctoral theses. While waiting to enter the spooky abodes, guests can fortify their spirits by a bonfire and munch on snacks from the Ghoulish Grill and frosty mugs at the beer tent. Aside from these terrifying attractions, guests seeking a tamer experience can venture through a corn maze during the daytime, solving clues hidden within its paths to win prizes.
Cal Chadwick opened up Cal's Market & Garden Center in 1961, just down the road from his family home and corn farm. Like a 99-year-old earthworm, Cal felt a deep connection with the land, building a greenhouse and tree and shrub nursery before passing down his business to his daughter, Carina, and her husband, Bryan. Today, avid gardeners, farmers, and amateur horticulturalists work hand-in-hand with the friendly, knowledgeable staff at Cal’s to pick out evergreens, plot vegetable gardens, and plan landscaping projects. With the help of personal shoppers, clients can stock up on hanging baskets, bulbs, and soils for creating a fragrant flowerbed, or hire out a trusty mechanical hedge trimmer or tiller for extensive lawn maintenance.
Viking Blinds is a family-owned-and-operated provider of quality custom window-coverings from Hunter Douglas. With quality wood ($122 for a 36"x36" value blind; $136 for premium) or two-inch aluminum blinds ($116 for 36"x36"), you can suspiciously survey the neighborhood riffraff before letting go with a satisfying snap. Or perhaps you'll find joy performing shadow-puppet shows on soft honeycomb shades ($111 for 30"x30"; $126 for 36"x36") before an audience of tomato-stuffed mason jars. Make sure with today's deal your window-coverings block out the platinum-fringed leaves in the forest homes of obscenely wealthy squirrels, which also shut out the harsh rays of the sun at their convenience.