Ahner's Garden and Gifts shelters more than 100 different varieties of tropical houseplants in a Dutch-made retail greenhouse. After passing through the greenhouse's gravel detectors and emptying their pockets of stones, blossom boosters can shop for horticultural accents in climate-controlled comfort all year round. Floral fans especially fawn over Ahner's nearly 25 different types of orchids. Premium orchids in 6 in. pots start at $29.50 and can be found in such exotic varietals as the Wilsonara and the Brassia, known as the "spider orchid" because of its double life as an orchid and photographer for The Daily Bugle. If your planters are currently being used to store your collection of precious antique cobwebs, Ahner's botany builders will happily fill them with custom flower arrangements. Prices are based on planter type and size.
Since 1978, the friendly cleaners at Fish Window Cleaning have shined the windows and flushed the gutters of more than 100,000 residential and commercial clients nationwide, earning one of the Franchise Business Review’s 2011 Franchisee Satisfaction Awards. Expert window and gutter washers materialize at clients’ homes, businesses, or recreational submarines to spruce up besmirched panes or leaf-riddled rain spouts. Dirt abolishers scrub eager glass inside and out before wiping down windowsills (a $4/pane average cost), and rout out drainage-system debris ($125/gutter), leaving gutters as unobstructed as a swimming pool during adult swim in the winter. To keep rooms gleaming under the sparkling light of chandeliers, speck scrubbers rid ceilings' most prized fixtures of dust, grime, and shadow residue ($60).
Rise early and storm the doors at the 8 a.m. opening to peruse the designer offerings of Laurie Solet, the chic underthings of Jule, the posh footwear of Wish Shoes, and more—all at discounts upwards of 50%. The event is cash only, so arrive fully prepared to fork over a fistful of dollars for Tory Burch "Amy" Resin shoes ($275 before sale), or long-sleeve striped shirts from Mister Guy ($98.50 pre-discount). The Cash & Carry Boutique Warehouse Sale sells designer clothes for women, men, and kids, so bring along any friends or fam who've made the fashion faux pas of wearing the same burlap sack two days in a row.
Begun in 1985 as a strictly volunteer-based project of the St. Louis Mennonite Fellowship, Plowsharing Crafts grew over the years into a thriving nonprofit with two locations and an expansive inventory of eclectic wares from around the globe. The staff is committed to selling fair-trade art and handcrafts in order to provide much needed income and nurture the businesses of artisans, 70% of whom are women, from more than 45 developing countries around the world. The selection of items ranges from housewares to jewelry and beyond, many of which are made with sustainable and recycled materials or from food grown with sustainable methods.
Founded in 1871 and family owned, Forshaw boasts a long history of pairing customers with high-quality furniture, grills, and fireplaces in a 22,000-square-foot showroom. Prevent a patio or deck from capriciously floating away by placing it under an all-weather, 18-inch resin end table rendered elegant by a mosaic pattern ($200). Outdoor furniture, such as aluminum sling dining sets from Lyon Shaw ($699+) and Hanamint ($1,199+), can cushion backyard dining and shield belligerents during water-balloon battles, and the lightweight elegance of all-weather wicker furniture sets ($1,300+) contrasts the imperturbable sturdiness of Woodard wrought-iron dining sets ($1,090+). Forshaw enables favored summer pastimes by purveying gas barbecue grills ($389+) for sending juicy burgers sizzling, and the store promotes wintery traditions by selling wood-burning fireplace sets ($1,000+ before installation) for roasting entire portraits of old fireplaces.