2006 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 15

Week 15 (7/5/2006)


“You don’t stop laughing because you grow old; you grow old because you stop laughing.”


Last Thursday’s Water Gardening Workshop should have been called Water Gardening 101.  Jan Vergeer, of the Langeveld Company, took us through the basics of water gardening from the selection of the proper container to how to choose the right plants.  Jan’s informal approach encouraged lots of questions.  All who attended left with enough information to get started in the exciting field of water gardening.  One interesting fact Jan shared with us is that placing a floating water plant in your birdbath will decrease the growth of algae.  We are currently in the process of trying this, and will be excited to hear your feedback.


Don’t miss the next exciting opportunity America’s Best has for you!!


The container workshops held in May were such a success, we are repeating them for summer containers.  Our Summer Container Workshops will be held Thursday evening, July 6 from 5 – 8 pm and Saturday, July 8 from 10 am – 3 pm.  Come anytime between these hours and America’s Best Flowers’ staff will be available to help you plant beautiful summer containers with heat-loving annuals.  You can purchase containers from our exciting collection or bring your own.  We will provide the soil at no charge.  Join us and see what fun it is to create your very own planters when you have a greenhouse full of plants to choose from.


There is no fee to attend the above workshops.  If you have questions regarding them, please call 222-2269.


We are currently in the process of planning workshops for fall.  Typically, these will be held on Thursday evenings and/or weekends.  “Create a Fall Container” and “Design a Porch Pot” promise to be ones you won’t want to miss.  We will be holding a series of FREE “Quick Classes” on hostas, ornamental grasses, blooming fall gardens and winterizing roses.  Last year’s “Make a Scarecrow” days were so well received that we are extending them this year to include two weekends as well as a few weekday evenings.  Watch future newsletters for further details. 


If you have suggestions for workshop ideas, please call or send an e-mail.  Please put ‘Workshop Ideas for Bonnie’ in the subject line. 


“The mind is a bit like a garden.  If it isn’t fed and cultivated, weeds will take it over.”  E. G. Hall


Perennial of the Week Continues


In celebration of June as Perennial Gardening Month, America’s Best Flowers featured a perennial for each week in June.  Week 1 we started with ‘May Night’ Salvia, Week 2 was Gaillardia ‘Goblin’, Week 3 was ‘Alaska’ Shasta Daisy  and last week we featured Echinacea ‘Magnus’ (purple coneflower)   We have had such a positive response to this promotion, we have decided to continue it throughout the season.  This week we would like to introduce you to Catmint, ‘Walker’s Low’.  This cousin of Catnip is a great addition to the sunny garden.  A much smaller and polite plant than catnip, Catmint’s aromatic gray-green foliage is at home either in the border garden or the herb garden.  Whorled spikes of dark lavender flowers bloom from June through August, and attract flocks of butterflies.  Catmint has a flowering height of 12” and will spread to 18”.  Grow in average well-drained soil in full to part sun.


“What did the fly say when it flew into a window?  If I had more guts, I’d do that again.”


Tip of the Week :




Do you enjoy gardening?  Do you have lots of good garden tips or tricks that you share with your family and neighbors? 


We know the value each customer brings to our store every time they enter our door.  We learn a lot from our customers and, hopefully, we are able to offer them a worthwhile gardening experience, give plant suggestions, and answer questions when needed.


To draw on the talent of our customers, we would like to recognize someone every week by publishing a chosen gardening tip or trick.  All we ask you to do is turn in your favorite gardening tip or trick by 5:00 PM each Tuesday. Please submit only one suggestion per week and explain in detail how your tip or trick works.  We will choose a weekly winner and publish their tip in our newsletter.  The winner will receive a $10 gift card from America’s Best for their participation.


Send or Email your gardening tips to ed@americasbestflowers.com:  in the subject line, please type: Gardening Tips.  Please be sure to include your address and phone number so we can contact you.


 “What’s the difference between roast beef and pea soup?   Anyone can roast beef!”


Garden Resolutions


I will compliment fellow gardeners’ efforts every chance I get!! 


Night before last, as I was peddling around the neighborhood on my bike, I saw a beautiful garden.  From the short glance I had, I could tell a lot of time and effort was spent planning, shopping, planting and maintaining this bed.  No one was outside, so I buzzed on by, but I will return.  I will rave about the beautiful color scheme and the excellent choice of plant material.

I will marvel at how much time it must have taken to come up with the plan and put it in place.  And I will ask advice and request permission to take a picture and use the color ideas myself. 


“The cardiologist’s diet:  If it tastes good, spit it out.”


Question Corner


“I used to deadhead my ‘Knockout’ roses, but was told I didn’t have to.  My first flush of flowers has ended and the spent blooms look rough.  What should I do?  Technically, ‘Knockouts’ are self-cleaning, but if you want to and have time, feel free to snip those old blooms off.  Because Knockout blossoms come up very close together, be careful to clip just below the old flower head.  It definitely will make your plants look better.  But either way you go, ‘Knockouts’ will flower all season long


“I have toadstools growing out of my mulch!  I dig them up and they’re back the next morning.  What’s the best way to get rid of them?”  Quit digging – mushrooms are a natural part of the decomposing process of organic matter.  As your mulch breaks down, there’s a good chance mushrooms may appear every now and then.  Periods of excess moisture and humidity make perfect conditions for them to grow.  There are no sprays or chemical controls that can be used safely for the prevention or removal of mushrooms.  Fluffing the mulch so it can dry a bit may help.  Mushrooms grow freely in shredded hardwood mulches.  A better choice is cypress mulch.  We rarely see mushrooms growing in it.  You could try top dressing your mulched beds with an inch or two of cypress.  America’s Best Flowers carries premium grade cypress mulch.


“My husband says I can’t plant annuals in a tulip bed.  I thought you could because the bulbs are planted deeper than the annuals.  Who’s right?”  Planting annuals over the top of bulbs is a long-practiced technique.  The trick is to plant the annuals between the bulbs and to choose varieties of annuals that don’t require a lot of water because bulbs don’t do well if the soil around them is continually wet.  Good choices are zinnias, salvia and marigolds – these make a great combination. America’s Best has fresh jumbo pots of these plants which will quickly turn a dreary bed into a beauty.  One last thing, go easy on the fertilizer – excess nitrogen during bulb dormancy can contribute to rot


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.


“How do crazy people get through the forest?  They take the psycho path.”


Bonnie’s Kitchen


Fresh Fruit Pizza


1 (18 oz.) roll refrigerated sugar cookies

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup fresh peach slices, thinly sliced

1 cup fresh strawberries, quartered

1 cup fresh blueberries


1.      Heat oven to 350.  Slice cookie dough as directed on package.  Arrange slices in bottom of ungreased 15x10x1 inch baking pan or 14 inch pizza pan.  Press dough evenly in pan.

2.      Bake 11 to 16 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool completely.

3.      In small bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla; beat until fluffy.  Spread mixture over cooled cookie crust.  Arrange fruit over cream cheese.

4.      Spoon or brush warm marmalade over fruit.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.  Cut into squares or wedges. Store in refrigerator.


“If you don’t know where you’re going, when you get there, you will be lost.” Yogi Berra

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