2006 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 12

Week 12 (6/15/2006)


“Why did the elephant paint his toenails red?  So he could hide in the strawberry patch.”


Is your life so busy that You want to hide?  America’s Best Flowers can help.  Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll through our greenhouses or the more structured environment of a workshop, we are here to provide you with opportunities to get away and refresh yourself.


This week we enjoyed creating shoe planters for Dad for Father’s Day.  If you missed this fun activity, we have two more interesting workshops coming up.  Please plan to join us for these free educational presentations.


Native Plant Workshop by Joe and Diane Powelka

On Thursday, June 15th at 6PM, Joe Powelka, National President of Wild Ones Natural Landscapes, will discuss prairie and woodland plants.   Learn how to restore native plants and natural landscapes to your property.


Herb Workshop by Pat Greathead

On Saturday, June 24th 10AM, Pat will discuss herbs and show how to make herbal tea utilizing some of her favorites.  She’ll give pointers on how to design a garden with herbs and present the “Herb of the Year”, Rose Geranium, with its many uses.


Watch this newsletter for information on our upcoming Water Plant Container Workshop.  This will be an exciting opportunity to learn from a water plant expert. 


“What do you call a bunch of little strawberries in their cars?   A traffic JAM”


 In continuation of our celebration of June as Perennial Gardening Month, America’s Best Flowers is featuring Gaillardia ‘Goblin’ as the Perennial of the Week. Gaillardia ‘Goblin’, more commonly known as Blanket Flower is ever-blooming. From early summer on very showy, banded yellow flowers blanket this plant. The ends of the petals have a fringed, ruffled appearance.  ‘Goblin’ is a nice addition to your sunny garden.  ‘Goblin’ creates a beautiful contrast when planted next to Salvia ‘Maynight’.


“Why were the little strawberries upset?  Because they were in a JAM!”


If you also find yourself in a jam because Father’s Day is this weekend and you haven’t bought your dad a gift yet, America’s Best can help.  Hardy shrub roses make terrific gifts which will keep on giving for years to come. In central Wisconsin the first full flush of rose bloom is consistently on Father’s Day weekend.  So buy Dad a rose, help him plant it and create a wonderful memory.


“What did my Dad say when he drank the strawberry shake I bought him for Father’s Day?   That was ‘Berry’ nice!!!!!!!


Did You Know?—America’s Best Flowers began 29 years ago as ‘Berry Hill Farms’, a pick-your-own strawberry farm in Marshall, Wisconsin.  Starting with three acres of berries, Ed and Carol Knapton, along with their daughter, Jenny, began the long journey to becoming one of the largest growing greenhouses in Dane County


“What do you call a suitcase full of strawberries?  JAM-packed.”


Tip of the Week – Redecorate Your Patio the easy way.


With summer right around the corner, America’s Best Flowers can help bring new, exciting color to your outdoor living areas.   Slipping a new pot over your existing containers brings instant beauty.  A new shipment of pottery has added more choices to our excellent selection.  We have all the latest colors, so come out today and pick your favorites.  If you prefer to replant directly into your new containers, we can help with that too.  For a small repotting charge we will give your plants the facelift they need to bring pizazz to your patio.


 “What do strawberries wear to bed?   Their JAMmies!”


Garden Resolutions


“I will have fresh cut flowers on the table at all times!”


What a delightful idea!!  The key to making this happen is to plan ahead to be sure to have a wide variety of flowers to cut from.  There are many annuals that do well when cut, including; cannas, celosia, cosmos, dahlia, dianthus, geranium, heliotrope, lisianthus, salvia (especially Victoria Blue), snapdragons and the Queen of Cut Flowers – Zinnias. It is not too late to plant any of the annuals listed here.  While some of these may be difficult to find this late in the year, America’s Best can provide you with enough plants to give you nice bouquets.  In order to be better prepared next year, keep this list to help you with planting your spring flowers.


It is never too late to plant perennials.  America’s Best maintains an excellent selection all summer long.  To have a wonderful assortment to create bouquets from, it’s important to plant many different varieties.  To access a list of perennials that perform exceptionally well in bouquets, click on the website below.



“What do you get when you put strawberries in your socks?  Toe JAM”


Question Corner


“My neighbor told me that if I shear off the dead blooms on my spireas they will keep blooming.  Is this true?” Yes it is.  As soon as those late spring/early summer bloomers are finished, shear back to the regular foliage of the plant.  This will stimulate the shrub to produce new growth which will flower again.  Sometimes you can get three flushes of flowers from them.


“I am already getting leaf spots on my tomato leaves.  What can I do?

You are describing bacterial leaf spot.  This problem is worse in wet years, so it’s not surprising with the wet May we had that you are already seeing it.  To control this disease, pick off the infected leaves and throw them away (in the garbage, not your compost pile).  Mulching under the tomatoes with 2-3 inches of clean hay or straw will keep the disease from splashing from the soil onto the leaves.  Added benefits of the mulch include water retention, soil improvement and clean tomatoes.  Keep picking off leaves as they appear.


“I’ve heard that there is a daylily that blooms all summer.  Do you know which one it is?”  The wonderful daylily you are asking about is ‘Stella D’Oro’.  This medium size plant will rebloom several times throughout the season, if the spent stalks are clipped off.  Stella D’Oro is a golden yellow and beautiful along any of the blue salvias, white daisies and spiderwort.  A somewhat vigorous grower, you will be able to divide your clump in a few years to create new areas of bloom in your garden, or to share with friends.


If you have gardening questions you would like addressed in this newsletter, please e-mail them to ed@americasbestflowers.com

Please put “Question for Newsletter” in the subject line.  Otherwise it may not

reach my desk.


“What is the difference between a strawberry and a tyrannosaurus  A strawberry is red!”


Strawberry Trivia


Madam Tallien, a prominent figure at the court of the Emperor Napoleon, was famous for bathing in the juice of fresh strawberries.  She used 22 pounds per bath.  Needless to say, she did not bathe daily.


Mansikkala, Finland is known as “The Place of the Strawberry”. Many huge strawberry farms are located there, where strawberries ripen virtually 24 hours a day during the days of the midnight sun.


To symbolize perfection and righteousness, medieval stone masons carved strawberry designs on altars and around the tops of pillars in churches and cathedrals.


There is a museum in Belgium just for strawberries.


Ninety-four percent of U. S. households consume strawberries. With the average American consuming 3.4 pounds of fresh plus 1.8 pounds of frozen strawberries each year.


Over fifty percent of 7-9 year olds picked strawberries as their favorite fruit.


“How do you make a strawberry shake?   Put it in the freezer.


Bonnie’s Kitchen


I LOVE this one!  It’s super lo-cal, lo-sodium, lo-carb and is SOOOOO!!! good you won’t believe it.  Let me know what you think!


Swordfish with Strawberry Salsa

Prep: 20 min. Marinate: 15 min Grill 15 min.


1/3 c balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 lb swordfish steaks, 1"-1 1/2" thick

Strawberry Salsa (below)


Place vinegar in shallow nonmetal dish. Add fish, turning to coat with vinegar. Cover dish and refrigerate, turning once, at least 15 minutes, but no longer than 1 hour. Prepare Salsa.


Heat coals or gas grill. Drain fish; discard vinegar.  Cover and grill fish 4" from medium heat 10- 12 minutes, turning once, until fish flakes easily with fork. Remove fish to platter. Immediately top each steak with salsa.  Makes 6 servings.


Strawberry Salsa

1/3 c chopped strawberries

1T dried cranberries

1 T red wine vinegar

2 t chopped chopped cilantro

1/4 t freshly grated lime peel

1 green onion, finely chopped (1T)

Mix all ingredients.


 “What did one strawberry say to the other?  If you weren’t so fresh last night, we wouldn’t be in this JAM together!”


Strawberry History


It is thought that the name “strawberry” came from the practice of growers spreading a layer of straw around the plants when the berries begin to form.  An alternate theory is that it came from the sellers who spread berries on pieces of straw to carry them to market. 


The 600 strawberry varieties found today all came from five or six original wild species. The small wild, fragrant forest strawberry of Europe was available to the Romans as early as the Middle Ages.  Europeans discovered another type of wild strawberries when their ships landed in Virginia in 1588. Eventually these were crossed with a large white strawberry from Chile in the early 1800’s, and after much hybridization resulted in the big fruit we know today.  Strawberries are very unique because they are the only fruit with seeds on the outside.  Strawberry plants make great groundcover in flower beds, or as an edging to the vegetable garden.


With approximately 26,000 acres planted, California produces over 80% of the nation’s strawberry crop.

Carol and Ed Knapton, owners of Americas's Best Flowers You’ll Love Your Garden … It’s Our Promise! May the Holy Spirit Guide You! God Bless
Edward Knapton says Keep on Smiling!
Sec – Treasurer Berry Hill Farms, Inc.
DBA Americas Best Flowers Garden Center
4311 Vilas Hope Road
Cottage Grove, WI 53527
608-222-2269 Fax 608-222-1234 Cell 608-698-5627