The Bruce Company, which received gold awards for its flora from Madison Magazine’s Best of Madison readers’ poll in 2009 and 2010, grows a huge variety of plants, trees, and shrubs on about 600 acres of nursery fields. These fields are tended affectionately with conservation practices such as crop rotation, Sudan grass composting, and finger aeration. Greenify your backyard with a large selection of outside plants—blooming shrubs start at $25, for example. Or, brighten your living room with assorted inside plants, from bonsai and cacti to cyclamen and mini-cyclone ($15 and up). Gardening supplies are also available; customers can partition their yards into child-friendly and unfriendly segments with 25 feet of garden hose ($23), deceive sky animals into posing for photos with a birdhouse ($15 and up) or feeder ($30 and up), or surprise a roommate by adding a cubic yard of mulch to his or her closet (around $32/cubic yard). If you’re uncertain about the proper leafiness to add to your life, The Bruce Company's able staff of helpful horticulturalists is on-site to offer suggestions.
For more than four decades, Weed Man's licensed and trained lawn-beautifying experts have tended to local lawns with custom blends of fertilizer, environmentally sound pest-control solutions, and knowledge gleaned from both living and working in the community. Created exclusively for Weed Man, the slow-release granular fertilizer nurtures lawns over a period of several weeks, and seeding and aeration promote continued green growth. Advice that aims to assist with local lawn problems helps to inform patrons online, illuminating seasonal troubles, gardening trends, and the astrological signs of various plants.
Hinchley's Dairy Farm's bounty of more than 260 dairy cattle, barnyard mammals, and a variety of harvestable goods are sprawled across more than 2,300 acres of pristine farmland. Embark on the one- to three-hour countryside sabbatical starting at the dairy barn, where guests can observe the milking equipment being used and milk a cow. Afterward, visitors mosey to the barnyard to pet and feed the chickens, goats, sheep, rabbits, and vagrant squirrels dressed as ducks. Weather permitting, tour-goers meander through the farm fields on a hayride pulled by a vintage tractor while hearing about the crops and daily farm life. Hinchley's Dairy Farm's guests can also pack a lunch to enjoy at one of the picnic tables embellished with festive cow spots.
Founded in 1929 with the hope of promoting the palatable prowess of the pheasant, MacFarlane Pheasants remains in familial hands while doling out fresh, high-quality meats alongside condiments, sides, cookbooks, and other gifts. Avian eats revolve around the illustrious pheasant, with choices including boneless breasts ($19.95/package), strips ($19.95/package), sausage, and a hickory-smoked bird ($26.95/package). Game meats round out the shop’s protein-centric chops and include cuts of everything from alligator, elk, and ostrich to venison, bison, and bigfoot. Dress carnivorous slices with a selection of savory sauces, including the cranberry chutney ($6.25/10 oz.), or dazzle dinner guests with meat-enhancing sides, such as hot olives ($8.99/16 oz.) and wild rice ($6.95/8.75 oz.).
More than a century after it blossomed into a circus headquarters and hosted dozens of acts, including P.T. Barnum's legendary Greatest Show on Earth, the town of Delavan proudly exhibits its distinctive past. Big-top tributes can be seen at Tower Park, where statues of circus animals such as a giraffe and an elephant savor their amnesty from mini-golf courses. Delavan's early days live on through Greek Revival architecture that dates back to the mid-1800s, including the Allyn Mansion and the Israel Stowell Temperance House, originally an alcohol-free safe haven that eventually served as a government meeting center.Delavan's quaint downtown district, lined with old-fashioned lampposts and brick-paved walkways, boasts an assortment of antique stores and small cafés. Throughout the rest of the town, well-manicured parks and 13 miles of forested shoreline along Delavan Lake create a scenic backdrop for horseback rides, hiking, water recreation, and composing haikus on the ground with leaves.