Celebrate the Earth, Trees, Flowers and Bees!

Newsletter 10 – Thursday, April 21, 2016

Current Hours

Cottage Grove

Mon-Fri 9-7
Sat & Sun 9-5

Cottage Grove Hours Starting Monday, April 25

Mon-Fri 9-8
Sat 9-6, Sun 9-5


Mon-Sat 8:30-5:30
 Sun 9-4

Edgerton Hours Starting Monday, April 25

Mon-Sat 8:30-6:00
 Sun 9-4

Join Us For A Fun Weekend At Our Greenhouse!

Our first Container Garden Workshop of the year is this Saturday and Sunday, April 23-24.  The workshop starts each day at 10 and is ongoing throughout the day till 4.  Come in anytime between those hours.  After you have shopped for your plants, flowers, and containers pick your spot in our designated workshop area and let the fun begin!

It’s a hands-on experience, so be sure to bring your garden gloves.  If you forget them, don’t worry, we have a wide variety of reasonably priced gardening gloves to choose from.  Our knowledgeable and friendly associates will be happy to assist you while you do the planting and will help with any and all plant or design questions.

We do ask that if you are bringing in containers from home, please EMPTY all soil from them before bringing them to our greenhouse.  To participate in our container workshops and receive FREE POTTING SOIL AND ASSISTANCE, a minimum plant purchase of $10.00 is required per container the day of the container workshop.

Why are recycle bins optimistic?
Because they’re full of cans.

Lighten Your Load

If you are bringing in large containers please bring in packing peanuts, chunks of Styrofoam or Styrofoam egg cartons to help fill the bottom of your container.  We do not carry packing peanuts at our greenhouse. In addition to providing great drainage, it makes the container a whole lot lighter for you to transport back home and also, easier to rearrange in your garden if you want to change your outside decor.

Three mischievous boys went to the zoo one day on a school outing. They decided to visit the elephant enclosure but within an hour, they were picked up by a police officer for causing a commotion. The officer hauled them off to security for questioning and the teacher in charge told them to give the police their names and say what they were doing at the elephant house.

The first boy said: "My name is Gary, and I was just throwing peanuts into the elephant enclosure."

The second said: "My name is Kevin, and all I was doing was throwing peanuts into the elephant enclosure."

The third boy was a bit shaken up by the ordeal and said: "My name is Peter but my friends call me Peanuts."

Do you know?

To have a successful container garden there is some information that you’ll need to know beforehand.  Such as, where are your containers going to be located; in the sun, in the shade or a little of both?  Different plants and flowers have different needs.  Do you want to just water them and watch them grow or are you okay with periodically removing the dead blooms?  It is this kind of information that will allow us to help you choose the right plants and flowers for your situation.  Our container garden designers will be here to answer any and all of your questions.

Why are there so many Smiths in the phone book?
They all have phones.

Earth Day Celebrations

Saturday, April 23rd 10-2

A tshirt with three handprints made to look like a tree
Let your creativity run wild!
Click for Larger Image

Hey, kids, have fun with our Educational Coordinator Deb Stevens on Saturday!  She’ll show you how to paint a T-shirt with your hands, yes, with your hands.  No paint brushes allowed!    Bring in your own T-shirt or buy one of ours for $4.00.  Deb will show you how to magically grow bean seeds without soil.  And, we’re saving the best for last, kids.  You can make seed balls which is a Native American tradition, using terra cotta clay and compost!  You’ll make seed balls with Marigold seeds.  (Pssst, don’t worry, parents, the clay and compost will be in a plastic Ziploc bag.  The kids will not be touching it.)

Why did the woman go outdoors with her purse open?
Because she expected some change in the weather.

Arbor Day Celebration

Saturday & Sunday, April 23-24

Spruce tree saplings
These grow up to look like this, and someday like this

In honor of Arbor Day we are giving a free Black Hills Spruce seedling with each purchase while supply lasts.  Limit one per family.

Bee a Pollination Promoter

April 27th 6:30-7:30pm

Are you concerned about the survival of bees? Helping bees is easier than you think, and you can make a significant impact to bees in your area with just the right plants!

We have the perfect opportunity for you to learn the A-Bee-C’s on how to help the honeybee succeed by becoming a pollination promoter. Jeanne Hansen, from the Dane County Bees Association, will be sharing information about ways to make your yard more bee-friendly in this adult-level class.

Jeanne is an experienced beekeeper who is very knowledgeable about what bees need from their environment. In addition to the basics, you will learn the importance of diversity and she’ll share extensive lists of good nectar and/or pollen sources, so you can easily pick which plants to add to your yard!

After this class, you’ll feel good knowing that just by growing the right plants you can easily become a bee ally. Plus you’ll be able to enjoy the plants too!

Why did the bee get married?
Because he found his honey


These are just a few of the perennials that have taken up temporary residence at our greenhouse; hostas, garden phlox, coreopsis, climbing roses, shrub roses, bleedinghearts, hellebores, crabapples, dwarf lilac trees, peonies and more!

We have knowledgeable associates ready to answer your questions and will help you select the right one for your property.  We are getting more in each week, so come in and check out our fresh stock.

A magician was driving down the road…
then he turned into a drive way…

New Products

Cock-a-doodle-doo! These faux-feathered-friends are just for you!

We have handsome roosters and elegant pheasants that will make your visitors look twice with admiration. They’re perfect for a warm greeting at the front door, or you can place them in the garden where finding them is half the fun!

The great thing is they’ll look nice wherever they go and you don’t need to worry about feeding them or getting an early wake up call!

Why don’t aliens eat clowns?
Because they taste funny

Yard Clean-Up Tips!

Wow, this beautiful weather is making it hard not to be outside! Similar to insects, we get energy from warm temperatures and sun, so while the bees are getting busy collecting nectar, we’re happily getting our hands dirty. Now is the time for yard clean-up, so here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • If you haven’t done so already, prune back dead branches from any perennials that are not Spring bloomers. That being said, it’s too late to prune back oak trees until they go dormant again, to avoid an infection of oak wilt.
  • Blow out or rake up last year’s dead and fallen foliage from around the base of perennials in case they harbor disease or pests.
  • Freshen up mulched areas by spreading it out evenly and adding mulch to areas that could use a boost to keep moisture in and weeds out. We carry Cypress Bark, Hardwood, Pine Bark, Pine Bark nuggets, Red, Gold, and Cocoa Bean mulch.
  • Keep in mind that while ambient temperatures are warm right now, the soil hasn’t warmed up yet. This means it’s still too cool for some perennials to show signs of growth, such as perennial hibiscus. Give some perennials time before you call a time-of-death and dig them up. They may just surprise you!

What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t work?
A stick.

Are you too busy for a workshop?

For those of you who would like to have a beautiful container garden, but due to your busy schedule can’t participate in a workshop, we can help.  Our designers have created a wonderful variety of pre-made containers so you can just pick the one you like and grab and go!

Has your email address changed?

If you are a Loyalty Customer and have submitted your email address to us you will receive our newsletter by noon, every Thursday.

If your email address changes please let us know by calling 608-222-2269, sending an email to abfbev@yahoo.com or just letting us know the next time you are at the greenhouse.

Upcoming Events

Sat, Apr 23

Earth Day Celebration

10am-2pm – Free children’s activities. Bring a white T-shirt to paint, make seed balls, plant flower seeds and more.

Sat, Apr 23 – Sun, Apr 24

Arbor Day Celebration

Receive a Free Black Hills Spruce with purchase, while supplies last. Limit 1 per family.

Sat, Apr 23 – Sun, Apr 24

Container Garden Make & Take

10am-4pm – FREE soil, slow release fertilizer and assistance with a minimum $10 plant purchase per container. You create a beautiful container garden in our greenhouse and we’ll clean up the mess. Bring in your own EMPTY pots or buy some of ours.

Wed, Apr 27

Bee a Pollination Promoter

6:30-7:30 In this adult level class you will learn the A-Bee-C’s on how to help the honey bee succeed.

Fri, Apr 29 – Sun, May 1

St. Vincent de Paul’s ‘Pick-A-Pack’ Event

Come out and donate a $1.99 pack of tomatoes or Lady Bell peppers for their gardens. The veggies will be used for their Community Food Pantry. For every 4 pack sold, America’s Best Flowers will donate $.50 towards the SVDP gardens.

Sat, Apr 30 – Sun, May 1

Container Garden Make & Take

10am-4pm FREE soil, slow release fertilizer and assistance with a minimum $10 plant purchase per container. You create a beautiful container garden in our greenhouse and we’ll clean up the mess. Bring in your own EMPTY pots or buy some of ours.

Why did the pineapple stop in the middle of the road?
Because he ran out of juice

Our Kitchen

By Lauren

The last few recipes I shared were healthy and incorporated nutritious veggies for a complete meal. This week, I’m ditching that theme and sharing this super easy, classic recipe for a sweet treat!

Now I almost NEVER make desserts… I try to limit my time in the kitchen, so when I do make something I focus on recipes that make several servings of all-in-one meals. But this recipe is so simple and easy that I almost enjoyed making it as much as I enjoyed eating it! Almost….. well….. maybe not, because I REALLY enjoyed eating it.

I found that topping it with whipped topping completed this dessert, but I imagine some strawberries would be a great addition as well!

Pineapple Angel Food Cake

  • 1 – 16 oz. package angel food cake mix
  • 1 – 20 oz. can crushed pineapple with juice
  • 1 – 12 oz. container frozen whipped topping, thawed

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 inch pan with vegetable oil spray*. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pineapple (with juice). Mix until well blended.

Pour batter into prepared 9×13 inch pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.

Serve with whipped topping.

*For those who are familiar with making angel food cake, most recipes don’t want you to use vegetable oil spray, but it’s necessary in this recipe so try to resist the urge to skip it!