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]]
Moe Houde learned the art of carpentry from after-school sessions in his father’s woodshop. The modest napkin holders and model wooden boats he built sparked a passion that years later blossomed into Houde Home Construction. Along with his wife, Connie, Moe operates a business that specializes in custom renovations and new-home construction, and he encourages customers to participate in all phases of the building process. Connie manages the books, Moe works one-on-one with clients, and their dogs, Coco, Kirby, Caesare, and Zola, safely guard all building permits and bark out OSHA code.
Scott and Michele Littlefield have been keeping Portland and Saco's driveways, roadways, and commercial lots free of cracks and wear since 1995. Scott manages every project, lending a hand as his team of trained technicians applies coal tar or asphalt sealant and rubber crack filling to mend damaged pavement and chipped teacups. When they're not outfitting driveways with sleek, black finishes, technicians further help their clients keep up appearances by plowing snow, removing tree stumps from lawns, and painting parking-lot stripes.
Southern Maine Storage’s 223 units line up in single-file lines to impress residential and commercial customers with their varying degrees of square-footage. The fully paved, overgrown safes stretch up to 10'x30' to accommodate overstock merchandise, boxed belongings, and haunted sofa cushions. An outdoor parking area provides refuge for cars, boats, and campers during the off-season, and an electronic security system staves off would-be thieves with its high fences and moat of alligators. After signing up for at least one month of storage, customers receive a 24-hour personal access code that allows them to check on their wares anytime throughout the week. Southern Maine Storage’s store also carries locks and complimentary hand trucks and pallets to alleviate the anxieties of moving.
Since its founding in 1996, the team at Phil Smith Painting has expanded its services from paint jobs to a swathe of home-improvement projects. Each project begins with a free consultation, where the handyman determines the scope of the requested work and the number of '80s-movie montages it will take to complete. The multitalented team can tackle such projects as pressure washing, driveway sealing, deck and fence installation, and attic and basement cleanouts.
Whether they prefer to work with glass, canvas, or ceramic, budding artists can tap into their creativity inside Pottery Isle. The studio's ceramic-painting sessions enable patrons to select a piece—such as a dish or a statue—and customize it with their own color and design scheme. BYOB painting classes inside Canvas Cafe lead students step-by-step through the painting creation process, and summer programs for kids show young ones how to draw and paint on mediums other than kitchen walls or Dad's face while he sleeps.
Pottery Isle also hosts glass-fusing classes that turn molten glass into artwork, as well as field trips and teen events. Plus, it provides pottery-to-go packages, which supply artists with take-home pottery pieces, paint, and brushes, allowing them to create something when they have downtime on vacation or during a board meeting.