Goods & Services - Staff Picks
Published: July 18, 2012
Best place for green thumbs
1909 Slavia Road, Oviedo, 407-365-6163, lukasnursery.com
As a newbie gardener, you need to know one thing above all else: how not to kill your plants. Which is why we love the sprawling Lukas Nursery in Oviedo. The place is staffed with a welcoming and helpful group of Florida-certified horticultural professionals who'll help you get to know your root rot from your dry rot, and the plant selection is adeptly sorted by variety, height and tolerance to sun exposure. But the best part about this nursery is its Butterfly Encounter, a year-round butterfly conservatory where you can not only watch swarms of pretty, colorful insects flock to the nectar-rich flowers but also feed them from your fingertips.
Best way to preserve floral arrangements
724 Brookhaven Drive
If you've been married, you know: Brides spend an asinine amount of money on wedding floral arrangements. If you've dished out all that cash for something that's just going to wilt and die anyway, it makes sense to try to get some kind of long-term keepsake out of it, right? It just so happens that Keepsake Floral, a nationally renowned company featured in pubs like Martha Stewart Weddings, calls Orlando home. The company's custom floral-preservation packages range from $100 for something simple to upward of $800 for more elaborate packages. Shadow boxes, glass displays, framed mementos – you name it, they offer it. Keepsake Floral's 10-14 week processing time might seem lengthy, but we're talking about memories here. Plus, your only other option is to let your floral investment go to waste, right? Trust us, it's worth it.
Best nostalgic voodoo
Treasures and Artifacts
1263 S. U.S. Highway 17-92
Deep in the heart of one of 17-92's many strip malls lies a film lover's must-see: A Hollywood memorabilia and antiques shop – a "uniqueatorium," in fact – where old McDonald's tie-in toys rest in peace beside a 1969 Dark Shadows board game with a boy's gameplay notes still inside. The best part: Ask nicely and the owner might show you his Marwencol-esque, self-assembled and painted G.I. Joe action figures, reimagined to suit his own dream world.