Sprawled across 40 acres of coastal foothills flanked by majestic redwood trees, Yerba Buena Nursery’s prismatic fields brim with more than 600 species of flora native to California. Plants such as ferns, perennials, shrubs, and grasses dapple both the alfresco landscape and multiple greenhouses sprinkled throughout the grounds. Elsewhere on the lush acreage, mature plant specimens and natural wildlife line the paths crisscrossing a 2.5-acre demonstration garden, and an idyllic farmhouse dating back to 1905 shelters visitors for classes, events, and traditional tea services. The resident staff of gardening enthusiasts curates a seasonal stash of greenery for sale and can help to enhance patrons’ own yards or ant farms with astute, on-location garden consultations.
After spending years as a salesman for top mattress lines, Steve Shore needed a new mattress himself. Rather than opt for a steep employee discount on one of the mattresses he sold, the enterprising Mr. Shore collected various natural materials and had them assembled into a mattress that met his exacting specifications: a comfy sleep cushion made with no potentially toxic components. The result was such an improvement over the big-name mattresses he sold that Mr. Shore and his son eventually decided to produce a line of organic mattresses based on the prototype, on which Mr. Shore slept soundly for more than a decade.
Now, the Shore men sell their mattresses under the Eco-Cloud name in The Natural Mattress Store. Made from high-quality steel coils topped with natural latex, Eco-Cloud mattresses resist accumulating allergens and nightmare blueprints and retain their shape and support for years. Organic wool and cotton covers help keep sleepers cool and snug in bed by deflecting body heat and wicking away moisture. Each Eco-Cloud mattress comes with a 12-year, nonprorated warranty. In addition to the Eco-Cloud line, The Natural Mattress Store carries more than 20 organic mattresses, as well as eco-friendly, solid wood bedroom furniture from Pacific Rim Woodworking, Bedworks of Maine, and Vermont Furniture Designs.
A prismatic array of glaze bottles and sparkling glass pieces form kaleidoscopic patterns for guests to splash across create-your-own pottery and fused-glass masterpieces. Visitors select from stencils, stamps, and samples or select still frames from their dreams to decorate ceramic mugs, figurines, and fused-glass dishes. Staff members set up and clean workspaces, as well as package kits for home pottery-painting parties. This means artists can focus solely on siphoning their imagination into their project. The studio regularly hosts parties and meetings, to which guests are welcome to bring snacks, wine, or milk shakes made of ground-up poems.
Effectively capturing significant moments on film is a specialized art form, which can go unrecognized if not displayed well. To help their clients showcase their treasured memories in sophisticated arrangements, Photograph & Frame’s staff developed a system they call “modular picture framing.” This system cuts on cost, using a premade selection of framing goods. Clients can mix and match standardized museum-quality mats and frames, which are all-wood and locally made, to create design-magazine-worthy photo wallscapes. The staff also preserves photos with custom-framing options, cutting mats and forming frames to fit especially large family photos and snapshots that spill into the fifth dimension.
They’ve also curated a selection of photographs from local artists and archives to help patrons decorate their homes in sweeping seascapes and bustling city streets. To ensure the photos’ quality and level of detail, most of the images are developed in a darkroom on Fuji Crystal Archive papers.
With spring spreading like a bag of spilled gravy, now is the ideal time to throw open the windows and get home-care projects underway. Pick up a Stanley six-piece screwdriver set for $6.99, a VPT rip hammer for $8.49, and a whole bunch of screws, anchors, and bolts (prices vary), and you'll be ready to finally mount every buffalo nickel and steel penny in your coin collection. Illuminate the newfound décor with a 12-pack of Ace light bulbs ($21.48), the better to see by as you make use of a Purdy four-piece premium paint-tray kit ($19.99). If you need to match paint to a favorite coverlet or choose a hue that complements a pleather recliner, each store offers a paint-matching service free of charge. Get keys made for $1.99 a pop, or clean a barnacle-encrusted carpet with the help of a carpet-cleaning machine ($30 a day to rent).
A family business since 1873, Patrick & Co. can match mindful office workers with hard-to-find and eco-friendly items. Tree coddlers can choose a Kraft 1-inch binder, whose covers are fashioned from dye-free recycled material ($3.83). Cubicle conquerors can cocoon their phones in invisible tape to muffle any obnoxious Citizen Kane-inspired ring tones ($13.95/dozen), and brave accountants can fashion impenetrable armor from yellow Post-it notes before taking on the dreaded office copier ($16.74/dozen pads). To support typing-taxed joints, an Innovera mousepad's gel pad conforms to the shape of your wrist ($19.99).