It's official: The hot weather no longer just feels like summer, it actually is summer. And summer shopping's in full swing at Outside Envy in Uptown Westerville, where glass gazing balls, wind chimes and garden stakes that blow in the breeze fill the tropical space.

It's official: The hot weather no longer just feels like summer, it actually is summer.

And summer shopping's in full swing at Outside Envy in Uptown Westerville, where glass gazing balls, wind chimes and garden stakes that blow in the breeze fill the tropical space.

Owner Kriss Rogers doesn't dabble much in the nitty-gritty of pots and fertilizer, although functional pieces like bright-colored watering cans and pretty cast-iron plant markers are tucked in here and there. She does, however, share her gardening experience - a hobby since before she opened the store - with anyone who asks.

Her merchandise is mostly limited to the unique - things that aren't available elsewhere in the area and preferably aren't made abroad. In fact, plenty is made in Ohio.

Sam Gorsuch handpaints seasonal images into the panes of old windows. Jim Jennings makes birdhouses that look like pottery and toad houses that are extremely popular. Also popular are hand-rolled floral candles made in Grove City from locally sourced beeswax.

Other original finds include a glass pest catcher decorated with flowers, designed to attract wasps and yellow jackets but not bees. A pitcher plant grows open-ended pods that act like a Venus flytrap. And a wine bottle candle that burns oil and sits atop a twisted stake is like an updated tiki torch.

Signs around the store display helpful hints about what items are known for or how they work.

"We're just trying to be very different and unique and totally not boring," said Rogers, who opened Outside Envy two years ago.

The store has a tropical feel, aided by 10 or so water fountains, large and small, trickling away along the store's far side. A large (plastic) palm tree sits atop the main table, and Jamaican drumbeats fill the air.

A smaller room to the back holds beachy tabletop decorations and a corner full of Ohio State flags and stepping stones.

Rogers recently debuted a Westerville-themed stepping stone and matching sun catcher, which she designed with the help of a local artist and had produced for the store.

In cooler weather, garden accessories take a backseat to whimsical home decorations like blown-glass pumpkins and thematic Christmas decorations - this year's winter decor will revolve around snowflakes, Rogers said.