Owner Phil Glaser and his staff of grass whisperers have been nurturing lawns for more than 10 years. Yard experts aerate homeowners' slices of the outdoors to stimulate new root growth, creating durable root systems able to withstand the heat of summer, the cold of winter, and the chill of spilled ice water. Alternatively, the grass gurus can nourish lawns by spreading seeds. The tiny morsels of flora food help transform sparse plots into luscious and verdant grasslands rivaled only by a biodome stocked with chia pets.
Snug in your bed, you awake with a jolt to a mysterious thump. Tossing aside the covers, you tip-toe out of your bedroom to investigate the sound. You hear another thump, and your heart races—it's coming from the attic. As soon as you pull down the stairs to climb up, a bat swoops down with a screech. But this is no horror movie—this is a pest-control problem.
Owner Aaron Steen knows just how to get those spooky critters out of homes safely and efficiently. He and his team of experts inspect the property for gaps, install eviction valves that allows bats to escape (but not reenter), and provide cleaning and sanitization of the indoor space as needed. They even offer a three-year guarantee where they will return to treat the structure whenever necessary.
A well-rounded company, Smart Pest Solutions can handle more than just bats. With their deep knowledge of local pests and free consultations, they can develop a customized treatment plan to handle everything from spiders and ants to hornets, cockroaches, and even raccoons.
Sticks sprung from humble origins when, in 1992, Sarah Grant began carving ornaments and candlesticks from birch, poplar, and driftwood in a small studio in Des Moines. As her work began to attract national interest and demand for it grew, Sarah enlisted the aid of other local artists and expanded her inventory to include handcrafted heirloom-quality furniture, whimsical sculptures, and intricate keepsakes.
Today, the artists’ work is showcased in more than 100 galleries across the country. Their installation projects have even decorated the walls of Blank Children’s Hospital, the Animal Rescue League of Central Iowa, and the student center at Iowa State University.
Sticks artists can often be spotted by the shores of local rivers, gathering driftwood for their work. They assemble the wood into custom-designed tables, beds, and armoires within their spacious, light-filled studio before painting them with colorful, whimsical designs, from smiling suns and moons to lush landscapes. The versatile artists even take their tools and paintbrushes to homes, businesses, and underground mad-scientist labs to craft custom art installations and interiors.
Ted's Garden Center, in operation for almost three decades and housed in a new facility since 2007, harmonizes a symphony of verdure and home-garden supplies. The center's 88 acres house annuals ($3.99+), perennials ($9.99+/gallon), unpredictables to populate flower patches, and ornamental grass to spruce up drab carpets of regular grass. Customers can collect trees ($59.99+) for a burgeoning cubicle forest, whereas pottery ($8.99+) and garden art ($19.99+) pass for colorful petrified foliage.
Operated by a family with more than 80 years of experience in furniture retail, Artis Home Gallerie outfits homes with opulent chairs and tables from upscale brands such as Stickley and Harden. Elegant interiors find the ideal appointments with leather or stylishly patterned sofas ($3,000–$3,600), and bodies weary from holding floors in place find comfort in chairs with intricate Morris upholstery and tiger-print styles ($1,900–$2,500). Knowledgeable designers squire visitors around geometric coffee tables bearing colorful glass vases and fluid sculptures, and a fanciful wine-barrel lamp ($625) illuminates abstract paintings and landscapes. Meanwhile, dining room tables admire their silky dark-wood reflection in mirrors framed by metallic curlicues.
At Matthias Arabians, seasoned horse trainers Leon, Lon, and Kim Matthias teach visitors the art of steed steering in a scenic setting. In one-hour riding lessons, students of varying equine aptitude can take the reins of safe learning mounts, absorbing instructors' wisdom until their horses glide over terrain as smoothly as refurbished hovercrafts. Topics covered may range from horse-care fundamentals to proper discipline or mastering a stately trot, but all are presented with expertise and a sense of humor.