Chris Olsen is a busy man. He stars in his own syndicated KTHV Channel 11 segment, “Today’s Home,” writes for Arkansas Gardener magazine, and is an active member in several not-for-profit organizations. Olsen, an Oxford University graduate with more than 25 years of experience in landscape architecture, opened Botanica Gardens in 2003. He works as the garden store’s master designer, a career that allows him to stay active in the community and share his wealth of plant-centric knowledge with the public. Visitors to his store can discover a plethora of gardening supplies including plants and shrubs, fountains and water features, and statuary. His experienced staff also flaunts their skills in landscape design, lawn maintenance, flower arranging, and inducing rain with the hokey pokey.
Instead of exercising at the gym, Jeff Cochran stays fit by competing in races—the vertical kind. The certified arborist and his crew clamber up trees in their leisure time, thereby sharpening their safety skills and prepping their physiques for when they're on the job. Their work sends them to neighborhood lawns for trimming, planting, and tree-removal services, though the botany enthusiasts use the third option only as a last resort.
The staffers both diagnose and treat potentially hazardous branches, pruning away obstructions and detaching diseased boughs. They remain on call 24 hours a day to deal with emergency appointments following storms. Many of their treatments are also preventive: they take measures to conserve trees that stand on active construction sites and erect reliable lightning-protection systems. In the interest of healthy growth, Jeff and company fertilizes and aerates the soil to nourish roots, with regular inspections to ensure that each plant's heart rate is a plucky six beats per year. Every visit is followed by a thorough yard cleanup that clears away debris, sawdust, wood chips, and ruts.
A family-owned and state-licensed company, Top Notch Turf and its skilled technicians tend to lawns and shrubs with preventive and maintenance services. Weeds struggle to sprout after pre-emergent treatments, whereas postemergent treatments rid lawns of those that have already arrived. But weeds aren't the only unwanted organisms to fall victim to the technicians' sprays—they also treat shrubs to evict insects and stop disease and can drive away unwanted pests, such as fleas, ticks, and spiders, as well as tick fleas, spider ticks, and flea spiders. Regardless of the service, the team rushes to clients in its custom pickup truck, painted to look like it's covered in grass.
What began as primarily a retail store and growing facility over 35 years ago has developed into a full service garden center, complete with landscape design/build services, irrigation installation and repair, lawn and landscape maintenance,and gift shop.
Family-owned and operated Frances Flower Shop sells flowers and gifts for all occasions from its cozy and non-presidential white house. Its large inventory of fresh flowers and plants can be arranged to suit most any gift-giving need—thank a friend for years of loyalty and good times, or just make your parole officer smile. The Belafonte-bounty of the Calypso ($45.95) boasts blooms in tropical pinks, oranges, blues, and yellows, while fast-to-act floral fanatics can opt for the high-flying Halloween horticulture of the Bat's Incredible ($34.95). Specialized bouquets honoring anniversaries, births, and birthdays are available, as is a wide array of gourmet fruit and gift baskets, greeting cards, and candle.
A regular contributor to NBC's The Today Show, a TV host, and author of the bestselling Garden Home book series, P. Allen Smith cultivates innovative solutions for enhancing home greenery and nurturing leafy pets. Smith’s expertise stems from a childhood spent on his family’s farm and a lifetime of horticultural study. Through a variety of media, he is able to instill design techniques in viewers, readers, and telepathic communicators to help gardens flourish. Situated on a 500-acre garden retreat, P. Allen’s 1904 Arkansas River Valley garden home provides a colorful and interactive set for his programs, as well as a landmark for droves of sightseeing honeybees.