|South Coast Botanic Garden in Torrance/Palos Verdes|
How often are you asked this question: if someone has everything he or she needs, what kind of gift should I get him or her? Well, if this person is an avid gardener, then a membership that allows the person to visit any of the 300 gardens in the United States is the answer. Known as the American Horticultural Society Reciprocal Admissions Program, your membership becomes the passport to a large number of participating gardens in the United States. You also can receive a discount to the gift shop and special events.
We joined the Japanese Garden in Van Nuys, CA for $60. Since there is no minimum distance requirement from your home (like science center reciprocity), you can visit your local botanical gardens as often as you like. Within a month, we also visited Descanso Garden and South Coast Botanic Garden. While we were on vacation to Monterey, CA, we headed up to Santa Cruz and visited the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, which has one of the largest collections of flowers from Australia and New Zealand. See the blooming flowers that we took in March 2013.
So when there is no festivals or errands to do, we head to botanical garden in our area. My advice is joining the cheapest one in your neighborhood, or the one with the best gift shop. We also find that the state garden gift shops are a great place to find gifts at a great price (gifts that normal retailers charge three times as much). Here is a link to the reciprocity list: