The sun has risen over Ridgefield Farm & Orchard for more than a century, dusting its orchard's apple trees, its winding cornfield maze, and its acres of pumpkins with warm, nurturing rays. Generations have flocked there from across the country, snipping fresh buds from flower gardens during the summer months or scampering though the pumpkin patch come fall. The advent of autumn also marks the beginning of the farm?s apple-picking season, when dwarf orchard trees grow heavy with juicy gala, empire, and 13 other varieties. After the annual pumpkin-picking and Halloween celebrations have passed, the grounds offer up an abundance of firs and spruces to be used as Christmas trees or stacked up and tied together into one giant Christmas tree. Throughout the year, the onsite country store peddles seasonal produce and housemade jams to boast the bounty of the farm's fields and to keep visitors fueled.
For more than four decades, Weed Man's licensed and trained lawn-beautifying experts have tended to local lawns with custom blends of fertilizer, environmentally sound pest-control solutions, and knowledge gleaned from both living and working in the community. Created exclusively for Weed Man, the technicians' slow-release granular fertilizer nurtures lawns over a period of several weeks, and seeding and aeration promote continued green growth. Advice that aims to assist with local lawn problems helps inform patrons online, illuminating seasonal troubles, gardening trends, and the astrological signs of various plants.
Hemmed into the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains outside Bluemont, Virginia, family-run Great Country Farms spans 200 acres and is still growing. Here, the Zurschmeide family welcomes visitors to dip their toes into farm living on land that churns out produce including blackberries, peaches, pumpkins, and potatoes.
A multitude of attractions sprawl across the farm's grounds, from mazes to hayrides to a barnyard full of friendly cows, chickens, and pigs waiting for a handful of tasty feed or a blank check they can use to upgrade to the penthouse pen. Each season presents a variety of pick-your-own-produce opportunities as well as a full calendar of events at the farm, including Mother’s Day celebrations in the spring, barbecues in the summer, and a Cider Festival in the fall. When not hosting its own events, the farm opens its facilities to special gatherings such as weddings and birthdays.
The talented landscapers from Rock Water Farm bring visions for outdoor living space to reality through projects that range from mowing and mulching to installation of patios and pools. On an initial fact-finding visit, a member of the team tours the grounds with the homeowner, asking pointed questions about the property, making notes of topography, and jotting down any landscaping-related items lodged in the client’s dreamcatcher. With these considerations in mind, he’ll draw up a budget and put together detailed plans with full-color drawings before returning to subject them to the client’s scrutiny. If everything looks up to snuff, the team moves forward with installation, operating in an efficient manner with close oversight and frequent drop-ins from founder and owner Todd Thomasson. Todd’s bona fides include a degree in landscape and turf management from the College of Agriculture at Virginia Tech.
Each of Merrifield Garden Center’s three locations overflows with thousands of plants throughout the year, encompassing such variety that a reporter for CNN’s Eatocracy claimed “I might as well endorse my paychecks straight to them…because I always want to grow what they've got.” Knowledgeable garden experts, 25 of whom have been with Merrifield for 25 years or more, guide customers through row upon row of flowers, trees, shrubs, and other plants, or help them sort through an extensive selection of bulbs and seeds. Visitors may also bump into the founders themselves, or their children and other family members, 38 of whom still work at the thriving business that started 40 years ago. Merrifield doesn’t just proliferate plants, however; amenities such as cafes in Gainesville and Merrifield and a dog park in Gainesville make each garden center into a leisure destination as well. Three of its garden gurus run an hourlong TV show that's been going for more than two decades, and other staff publish gardening advice on the website and Facebook. The staff also work to protect the environment with a variety of eco-friendly initiatives. Besides stocking native plants and water-saving devices for their customers, they also compost more than 20,000 tons of soil and 25,000 cubic yards of brush left over from their comprehensive landscaping services every year. The Gainesville location also gathers old concrete, metal appliances, and rusted Optimus Primes for recycling free of charge.
From the first tap of a hammer to the final stroke of a paintbrush, Herndon Painting Service's capable handymen upgrade homes. Whether they're painting a new nursery, installing a hardwood floor, or building a bookshelf to house the completed works of CliffsNotes, the eco-conscious staff uses mostly organic products as well as durable materials. They prioritize craftsmanship and safety throughout each project, taking care to clean up any remnants or debris prior to departure.