Home & Garden in Vashon

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Smoke and fierce heat rise from a battalion of Weber gas grills and Big Green Egg smokers as barbecue docents line up in front of them, ready to wrangle rafts of raw meat into expertly grilled, smoked, and sauced feasts. In classes that range from three to seven hours, Bay Area BBQ and Grilling School's instructors impart their knowledge of sauces and marinades. They also teach students how to brine, smoke, and grill ingredients such as ribs, turkeys, chickens, peppers, pork, and veggies, all of which are provided. The four dudes in charge have been leading classes since 1998. Head honcho Stu McMullen draws upon myriad cooking classes and international travels to develop exciting recipes, while "sauce king" Eric Viken introduces sauces that can enchant palates and save accidentally overcooked meats. The barbecue experts hold classes on site or in private backyards, enabling the family cat to finally learn to do something productive with its hunting gifts.

742 Industry Dr
Tukwila,
WA
US

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.

345 Tukwila Pkwy
Tukwila,
WA
US

The founder of Moe's Home Collection, Moe Samieian, began his enterprise with a Vancouver rug store in 1985, eventually getting into the furniture business and steadily increasing his number of storefronts. Today, Moe's four locations boast a big selection of custom chairs, sofas, and desks, conversation-starting artwork and wall decorations, and rare cabinetware and Chinese antiques. Like a royal estate or lucky cow, the company has passed from father to son, with Moe Jr. sourcing exotic furniture pieces from as far away as Jakarta and Beijing, and consulting with homeowners to create one-of-a-kind Italian leather sofas or made-to-order contemporary pieces.

720 Andover Park E
Tukwila,
WA
US

Mattress Depot USA unites a team of bedding experts to help customers end restless nights with a mattress that meets their individual sleep specifications. The sleep store's plenitude of private-label and national brands include Sealy, Restonic, and Lady Americana. Memory-foam mattresses, like sociable elephants, never forget a human form, cradling silhouettes in a firm, spongy embrace. Customers have up to 120 days to evaluate their mattress for its comfort capacity, and can consult with one of the shop's sleep consultants prior to purchase, reducing the likelihood of an imperfect fit.

16901 Southcenter Pkwy
Tukwila,
WA
US

Although most chefs have their own unique style of peeling, dicing, and julienning veggies, they all have one thing in common: they each require precise, sharp knives. At Excalibur Cutlery and Gifts, the staff ensures that tools remain as close to their factory condition as possible. During sharpening services, a water-cooled belt system and buffing wheels restore a piercing blade while removing a minimal amount of steel. They can sharpen kitchen, pocket, and hunting knives, as well as dull scissors and razors.

The shop also stocks premium models of nearly every edge they sharpen. The cutlery department stocks German-made Wusthof and Henckels, Swiss-made Forschner, and Oregon-grown Kershaw knives. Ideal for camping trips, pocket knives come in both blade and multitool varieties. More genteel wares include manicure sets and old-fashioned shaving kits. Excalibur also boasts a collection of swords for the collector or CEO whose business suit needs extra panache.

211 Southcenter Mall
Tukwila,
WA
US

In March 1964, Dr. Milton Walker began his tour of England with one mission: to send cuttings from public and private British gardens back to his native America. Though he was enchanted by several flowers, he knew that none of these cuttings could be imported directly to the United States. So he had them sent through Canada. Over the next several years, staff from the University of British Columbia filtered through these samples, sending one of each plant on to the United States—and to their permanent home—at the Rhododendron Species Foundation. Today, this non-profit organization conserves 700 of the more-than 1,000 species of rhododendrons found around the world and the two species found inside the earth's molten core.

More than 10 botanical gardens house these brilliant seasonal blooms and their natural companionate flora. Guided and self-guided tours usher visitors down pathways where colorful plantings abound in gardens dedicated to alpine flowers, azaleas, a magnolia grove, and a tranquil pond filled with predatory cattails. In addition to flowers, these gardens also host seasonal events such as special plant sales and staff lectures, as well as classes on topics ranging from plant photography to gardening.

2525 S 336th St
Federal Way,
WA
US