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Discover Wisconsin: Eight local businesses to help jump-start your spring fever
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With snow melting and spring on the horizon, it's hard not to start thinking about all those fun activities it brings with it. Back to those car rides with the windows down and the breeze through your hair, buds sprouting and the smell of green grass filling the air. That feeling of a fresh start with the growth of all things new. Throughout Wisconsin we are privileged to be able to experience four seasons and see the land transform into beautiful new beginnings right before our very eyes. Here are eight local businesses that will be sure to help you achieve the perfect entrance into spring!

1. Boerner Botanical Gardens, Milwaukee

Located in Milwaukee, Boerner Botanical Gardens is the perfect place to spring into the feelings of sun shining and new life emerging right before you. Take a walk through the formal and trial gardens to see all the plants that are local to the Wisconsin area. There are so many different gardens to explore, including the rose, herb, lily and peony gardens. Stop in at the Nell's Garden Cafe to grab some refreshers. It will be sure to put a spring in your step.

2. Watch Us Grow, Sturgeon Bay

With the growing season quickly approaching, it's time to start getting out those gardening supplies to help transform your winter yard to a flower blooming show stopper. At Watch Us Grow in Sturgeon Bay, the fertilizer is second to none. Watch Us Grow is a must to making your yard beautiful for spring.

3. HSU Growing Supply, Wausau

When it comes to environmental consciousness, HSU Growing Supplies is the leader in Wisconsin. The business provides sustainable and organic growing supplies that will be just what you need to get ready for spring gardening fever. It not only has the supplies you need but also industry-leading compost and soil blends. With over 20 years of experience, its products are nothing short of perfection.

4. Northern Sunset Perennials, Germantown

Transform your yard into a destination spot with Northern Sunset Perennials, located in Germantown. With over 85 years of experience in the horticultural industry, they are experts on all things plants. They also have specialized in perennials since 1970, and each of their 1,300-plus varieties of plants are nursery-grown right here in Wisconsin. These outstanding plants will be sure to impress.

5. Art in Wood, Oconomowoc

"Just because a tree appears dead, has fallen over, or been damaged, doesn't mean its life is over. I'll find something that it can become so that it can live another hundred years - maybe more." - John William Lindsay

Lindsay is the owner and craftsman at Art in Wood in Oconomowoc, where he creates his custom masterpieces. His love and passion for wood-making is unique to his art and gives great value to each and every creation. If you're looking for that stand-out piece to add to your yard this spring, make sure to check out Art in Wood.

6. Cobra Head LLC, Cambridge

With the season of planting upon us, what better tool to get than the Cobra Head? It will become your new best friend. These tools are easy to use and made in good ole Wisconsin. They are very versatile and have three different handle length options depending on your height. Each Cobra Head can be used as your weeder and cultivator for even your toughest soil. Get yourself the tool that is every garden's best friend.

7. Martin Services LLC, McFarland

With warm weather well on its way, the grass will grow, so you're going to have to mow. Martin Services is a local and high-quality lawn mower service that provides its customers with affordable cost, reliable quality and accountable service. With everyone soon starting their outdoor projects, Martin Services can provide you with the right machinery for the job. And an added bonus: With every Mower Service Package, you get a complementary Famous Mowerman Marty's Smoked Sea Salt, sure to keep you coming back for more.

8. Patriot Products Inc., Pewaukee

With the sun shining and the temperatures rising, it's about that time to get out that fun and impressive lawn gear. Located in Pewaukee, Patriot Products Inc. sells award-winning electric wood chippers, lawn vacuums and many other yard tools. They deliver on affordable and quality products that will last the test of time and impress any neighbor.

These eight great local businesses will provide just what you need to take care of that spring fever. Each one offers something special to help you transform your yard this growing season.

- Maddi George is a crew member of the nation's longest-running tourism TV show, "Discover Wisconsin." The column is published Tuesday on the Life page in the Times.