Though most early societies were nomadic, primitive humans soon discovered that cultivating plants led to a ready supply of garden-gnome meat. Hunt for wonders among the flowers with todays Groupon: for $25, you get a one-year Garden Family membership to the Olbrich Botanical Gardens (a $55 value). Family memberships include two adults, along with all their minor children and grandchildren.
The Olbrich Botanical Gardens delights the senses with 16 acres of chlorophyll-rich beauty, including the tropical Bolz Conservatory, which brims with life year-round. The garden's expansive grounds host countless botanical wonders for indoor and outdoor viewing, and a two-story Rose Garden tower overlooking Lake Monona. Members claim a host of benefits, including free admission to the Bolz Conservatory and special events such as Olbrich's Blooming Butterflies and Olbrich's Holiday Express. Spend July amid brightly hued butterfly wings, and younglings can learn where babies come from by watching the orange julia emerge from their chrysalises. In December, model trains from across the state pull into a landscape of evergreens and sparkling lights, taking ocular orbs on a winding journey through villages of festive birdhouses and poinsettias.
Membership also includes 20% off many classes, where aspiring gardeners learn the basics of garden design and how to achieve green thumbs without consuming disturbing quantities of green eggs and ham. Olbrich's Growing Gifts Shop bestows savings of 10% on all merchandise and 20% during special members-only sales or events, and more than 230 gardens nationwide furnish members with discounted or free admission. Members also claim a one-year subscription to Better Homes and Gardens, access to Schumacher Horticultural Library, and early shopping at Olbrich's Plant Sale with the Pros, where members emerge with a free gift and freshly purchased potting soil bolstering a Broadway-hit-singing Venus flytrap.
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