"Gardens are a lot like people,” Marilyn Simmons told Now Magazines. “As they grow and mature, they come into their own.” Marilyn and her daughter Donelle, owners of Garden Inspirations, have their own unique plot. “A Radio Flyer wagon is home to an assortment of flowers and trailing potato vines and an herb garden is flourishing in a nonfunctioning barbecue grill.”
At their farm, the two work to show pupils how to plant their own beds with pesticide-free veggies, which blossom into sources of personal pride. The full schedule of classes includes introductory courses on overcoming the gamut of challenges that aspiring gardeners face, such as inhospitable soil, lack of time, and accidentally planting their car keys. Knowledgeable about diverse garden types—including rooftop, field, and aquaponic—the instructors impart their wisdom on the best kind of garden for each grower’s individual needs, as well as which vegetable varieties grow most readily in North Texas and how to plant them. When not brewing compost tea or working beneath trellises tangled in emerald wisps, the crew does a radio show which talks about how to obtain baskets of naturally grown peaches, cucumbers, and squash.
After honing a house improvisation style, Dallas Comedy House began teaching burgeoning comics to deliver fast-paced, spontaneous humor that slays audiences with on-the-fly performances. The packed schedule features Roadside Couch shows, during which performers springboard from an audience-generated topic to craft a barrage of scenes as spontaneously funny as a Vegas drive-through wedding of two clowns. Late Night Improv (Fridays and Saturdays at 10:30 p.m.) brings two teams together to showcase their comedic chemistry by playing off associations, images, and goofy premises. Established comedy teams Roadside Couch and Victory Point unite at 9 p.m. every Friday and Saturday, respectively, to deliver off-the cuff comedy while fans brandish giant foam fingers in support. Though not included with this Groupon, Dallas Comedy House stocks a full bar that starts serving 30 minutes before shows and offers table service during performances.
The GSO is Garland's only fully-professional arts organization. Founded in 1978, the GSO features a roster of musicians from 17 different countries. The 2010-11 Season is "A Symphony for All Seasons," featuring pieces from Vivaldi, Strauss, Mozart and others.
Like the pumpjack from whence it gets its name, The Nodding Donkey Texas Sports Saloon exudes an air of industry and the feel of Texas. Corrugated metal siding lines awnings that shield garage-style glass doors and a red-brick patio as aromas of barbecue brisket and tex-mex tacos vie for dominance with the sound of the game. The game will win out—sixteen flat-screen TVs, including three that measure 83 inches across, display as many games as they can muster, creating a roaring backdrop for tailgate parties and feasts of classic Texas comfort food. Weekend brunch continues the Lone Star theme with reinventions of classic morning dishes such as brisket breakfast tacos and salsa-infused scrambled eggs.
Atmosphere is an essential part of fine dining. Crowds frequent five-star restaurants not only for their food, but also for the mood created by their décor. That's why in-home chef service Cooks For Your Kitchen brings a posh atmosphere to their patrons' homes in addition to their cooking utensils and groceries. Linens, china, silverware, and stemware decorate tabletops, where candles flicker and fresh flowers waft fragrances that please loved ones or pet bumblebees. Four-course dinners revolve around entrees such as chicken lemonata or lobster in creamy champagne sauce, and finish with rich desserts such as crème brûlée or tiramisu. All aspects of each meal are made fresh on the spot and can be altered to accommodate vegetarian diets or food allergies. Alternatively, chefs can entertain groups with a dinner party, cooking lessons, and movie nights, where chefs show up to homes with a DVD and movie-night snacks, such as flatbread pizzas and root-beer floats.
At noon every day, a new flock of butterflies is released into the butterfly house at Texas Discovery Gardens, opening their colorful wings for the first time among the lush vegetation. Counted among their number are elegant species such as the monarch and the blue morpho, while an outdoor nursery attracts native butterflies with nectar-rich plants and attractive butterfly buffets. This is just one of the ten themed areas on the 7.5-acre estate, which brims with vibrant collections of plants collected from around the world and is maintained using sustainable, organic methods. The newly renovated Tribute Garden invites visitors to relax in the shade next to a bubbling fountain, and the Master Gardeners' Garden demonstrates landscaping practices that are both attractive and environmentally friendly.
The organization also offers education and outreach programs for children to teach them about life cycles and natural landscapes, as well as increase their understanding and appreciation for nature. Visitors can also attend festivals including the Butterflies and Bugs Family Festival on August 3, as well as special programing such as Sunrise Pilates and guided nature walks.