Though English gardens are known for clean lines and French gardens are known for a wild and natural aesthetic, American gardens stand apart by featuring celebrity shrub sculptures. Appreciate the beauty of Cyrus-family topiaries with today's Groupon: for $25, you get a one-year family membership to the Des Moines Botanical Center (a $50 value). This Groupon expires April 26, 2011.
Membership includes free admission for two adults and children younger than 18, and it comes with the following benefits:
- Admission to the botanical center
- Admission to more than 200 gardens and arboretums in the U.S.
- Newsletter and calendars of events
- A 10% discount at the Garden Gate gift shop
- A 10% discount on purchases at Earl May Nursery and Garden Center (some exclusions apply)
- Reduced fees on classes, lectures, and workshops
- Invitations to special events, sales, and parties
Floral fanatics can feast their eyes on the Des Moines Botanical Center's collection of more than 1,750 species of plants spanning 14 acres along the east bank of the Des Moines River.
Step inside its transparent dome, which encloses a variety of tropical plants, as well as a bundle of bonsais, orchids, and some lucky fish, frogs and turtles, all basking in the warm, tranquil relief from chilly sweater weather.
Budding botanists can grab scavenger-hunt pamphlets and discovery backpacks filled with activity guides and fascinating fun facts about the dome. Visitors in groups of 10 or more can make reservations two weeks in advance to get a guided tour, and self-guided tours allow free-form frolicking through the seasonal floral exhibits, herb garden, and riverfront beds—no reservation required.
Lectures and workshops cover a variety of subjects, from bee keeping to container gardening, and the center's frequent events include art exhibits, special dinners, and musical entertainment.
Stop by the gift shop on your way out to peruse one-of-a-kind items consigned by local artists to decorate home gardens, such as handcrafted bird feeders, or give young ones educational, nature-inspired toy books that look so real they'll think they are seeing the world through 3-D glasses.