Mahoney's Garden Center beckons green-thumbs and novices alike to its sprawling facilities, which burst with a plethora of plants, blooms, and gardening accoutrements. Although merchandise varies by store, shoppers may score finds such as a knock-out rose shrub ($29.98), zinnia perennials ($4.98) or an 8-inch hanging ivy ($16.98), complete with a Rhodes Scholar application. The 6-inch hibiscus ($12.98) lends its vibrantly hued blooms to front porches or a modest giant's windowsill. Perch deserving bouquets in the 12-inch embossed teal ceramic planter ($44.99) or display 10- and 11-inch hanging baskets ($12.50) that double as hideaways for spare doghouse keys. Customers can also narrow their searches for outdoor patio furniture at the Winchester and Falmouth locations.
Frozen Yogurt Innovations' gourmet frozen yogurts—certified by the Live Active Frozen Yogurt Association and OU Kosher—delight tongues in rotating low-fat and fat-free flavors. Customers can churn out helpings of blueberry tart, birthday cake, or sea salt caramel pretzel, which are loaded with probiotics, calcium, and bacterial cultures that can improve digestive health and build strong immune systems. At the toppings bar, guests hide frozen peaks in heaps of fresh fruits and candies, making sure to keep them free from hungry miniature hikers. For a boost of hydration, patrons can down a variety of naturally flavored agua-based beverages—free of both sugar and artificial sweeteners—such as coconut water.
Lemon Tree Goods stylishly outfits trendsetting townspeople and was named Natick’s No. 1 consignment shop according to the 2011 Readers Choice Award. Today’s Groupon can be used over multiple visits, letting pulchritudinous patrons grab a Danilea Corte silk blouse ($68) in the spring and then a Flying Tomato coat ($45) just before the Fourth of July blizzards hit. A Boden dress ($48) nearly guarantees compliments, and a Tahari suit ($75) can elegantly dress women on diplomatic missions to meet subterranean mole people. Lemon Tree stocks name-brand items, such as Anthropologie jackets and J. Crew corduroys, both of which are available for $40 or less. Plus, Lemon Tree carries a variety of jewelry and gifts, which can accessorize fashion-forward citizens or their life-size wax facsimiles.
Garden in the Woods is a 45-acre botanical garden, devoted to the conservation and promotion of native New England plants. Kid-friendly with scavenger hunts. Adult-friendly with guided walking tours Tues-Fri at 10am, Sat-Sun at 2pm.
Peter Isaacson grew up in the fabric business––literally. As a little boy, he often traded swinging on the monkey bars for playing amid the bolts of fabric and heaps of buttons that filled his grandmother's store. Now, as purveyor of his own textile emporium, he channels generations of fabric and notion know-how to oversee a showroom stocked with more than 10,000 high-quality bolts of quilting cottons, batiks, and flannels. Yards upon yards of real linen, imported wools, faux furs, suede cloths, and genuine leather hides entice everyone from costume designers to historical reenactors, and local fashion designers flock toward colorful swaths of soft velvet and 100% silk that's smoother than a dolphin pickpocketing its trainer. Knitters, meanwhile, find artisan yarns from Malabrigo, Noro, Berroco, Auracania, and Plymouth waiting to become sweaters and scarves, and all shoppers find inspiration from a bevy of sewing notions, trims, and pattern books.
A person would have little use for a wall calendar if they lived beneath the colorful canopy of hanging plants of Fran's Flowers. That’s because the selections of foliage, flowers, and produce changes as the seasons do. In fall, shelves brim with crisp apples from local orchards, winter brings poinsettias and balsam wreaths, and annuals arrive in Spring from local growers. Petals from the prismatic mélange of plants fill the outdoor gardening store with a vibrant spectrum of colors.
The seasonal blooms don't happen by themselves, though. Owner Fran and his family have gardening in their blood. Fran started the business with his father more than a quarter of a century ago when flowers only came in three shades of grey. His passion hasn't waned since. Along with his family, Fran happily chats with customers to help them pick out flowers or explain how to properly plant them in gardens. This attention to customer service, along with the immense handpicked selection of plants, earned the business the distinction as “a diamond in the rough” by Chronicle in 2009.
Odessa Shoe Repair's skilled cobblers restore broken heels, worn-away soles, and other footwear maladies with quick turnaround times. Although shoe repair is their specialty, the jacks-of-all-trades don’t stop there. If a handbag is broken, they'll fix it. If a zipper needs replacing, they'll swap it out. If shoes need color, they'll dye them. If a key needs to be duplicated, they'll hop in a time machine and convince a scientist to clone it.
If nothing needs to be fixed or altered, customers can peruse Odessa’s shelves for name-brand shoes from high-quality brands such as Nine West, Birkenstock, and Clarks, as well as accessories such as shoetrees, shoe polishes, and laces. Customers can drop their pumps off at the store’s three locations, and Odessa also offers free pickup and delivery services.