2006 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 16

Week 16 (7/13/2006)


“What did the arithmetic book say to the geometry book?   Boy do we have our problems!


America’s Best Flowers has a problem too.  Beginning next Monday, July 17, Cottage Grove Road will be closed at the bridge over Interstate 90/94.  The good news is that when it opens again it will be wider with sidewalks.  The bad news is that it won’t open until November or December.  If you normally travel Cottage Grove Road, the easiest way to reach us during this time will be via Sprecher Road.  If you are south of Cottage Grove Road, take Buckeye Road to Sprecher and go north.  If you are north of Cottage Grove Road, take Milwaukee Street to Sprecher and head south.  Sprecher intersects Cottage Grove Road just one mile west of Vilas Hope Road.  These detours should only add a few minutes to your travels.


We hope you find these minutes well spent when you come out and see the beautiful displays that fill our aisles in the big greenhouse.  If you’ve never been to the ‘farm’, expect to be surprised.  Our size, two acres of greenhouses, and the sea of colorful plants flowing from them always amazes everyone.  We have incredibly beautiful jumbo pots of annuals that will instantly brighten your outdoor living spaces. Our late planting of vivid nicotiana, brilliant yellow and gold marigolds, striped gazanias, bold zinnias, and petunias in a rainbow of colors, including the gorgeous double purple Priscilla, are ready to go.


The perennial and shrub department at America’s Best Flowers is alive with the brilliant reds of the Double Knockout Roses and the fabulous oranges of the ‘Sunset’ and ‘Sunrise’ Coneflowers.  Our Asiatic Lilies are just coming into bloom.  A staple for every perennial garden, lilies are available in colors ranging from white, through all shades of yellows, oranges and pinks, to the darkest red. These truly hardy plants bring a dimension to your border garden that no other plant can offer.  Come see us today to get the best selection.


Teacher: “I’d like you to be very quiet today, boys and girls.  I’ve got a dreadful headache.” 

Student: “Why don’t you do what my Mom does when she has a headache?”

Teacher: “What’s that?”

Student: “She sends us out to play!”




America’s Best Flowers invites you to ‘come play’ with us.  We have planting tables always available for your use.  So spend a little time ‘playing’ in the soil and let us clean up the mess.  Our exciting “Create an Autumn Container” workshop, which will be Thursday, August 17 from 5-8 PM; Saturday, August 19 from 10-3 PM; and Sunday, August 20 from 11-3 PM, will provide another opportunity for you to ‘play.’  Learn how to use the dazzling colors of fall utilizing hardy plants such as mums and ornamental grasses along with a variety of perennials to bring beauty to your deck and patio. 


In addition to our workshops, we will be continuing our series of “Quick Classes.” Saturday, August 12, at 10:00 AM we will have a hosta class by Ed Schulz, the president of The Madison Hosta Society. These Quick Classes give lots of information in a short time.  Other classes will feature ornamental grasses, blooming fall gardens and winterizing roses.  As with most of our programs, there will be no charge to attend these classes. 


“Make a Scarecrow” Days are coming in September.  This year we have expanded them to include two weekends as well as a few weekday evenings.  Watch future newsletters for further details. 


“Why didn’t the two worms go into Noah’s Ark in an apple?   Because everyone had to go in pairs.”


Perennial of the Week


The hot days of summer trigger the start of the bloom season for this week’s Perennial of the Week.  Rudbeckia will brighten your sunny beds from July until September with daisy-like yellow flowers.  Rudbeckia grows best in rich, moist soil in full to part sun.  This reliable plant is a great addition to the border garden.  It makes a great cut flower, lasting several days in the vase, and attracts many different birds and butterflies.  America’s Best Flowers has both the native “Hirta” and the hybrid “Goldstrum” for you to choose from.


“Why did the cat join the Red Cross?  Because she wanted to be a first-aid kit.”


Tip of the Week :  Enter the Contest!!! – See Details Below


America’s Best Flowers would like to recognize a winning “Gardening Tip of the Week” with a $10 gift card.  We announced this last week, but for whatever reason(s), did not receive any entries.  So again we ask that you submit your best gardening tip to ed@americasbestflowers.com

Please put “Attn: Bonnie – Gardening Tip” in the subject line.  We really encourage you to enter – based on last week’s results, your odds of winning are good.


All you have to do is turn in your favorite gardening tip or trick by 5:00 PM each Tuesday. Please explain in detail how your tip or trick works. Be sure to include your address and phone number so we can contact you. 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.


“Sign on the school bulletin board:  Guitar for sale, cheap, no strings attached.”


Garden Resolutions


 “I will make a map of my garden.”


Once upon a time I actually did this.  I started with graph paper.  Sketched in the house, garage, sidewalk and drive, and then filled in the names of all my plants.  This was in a former, much more organized time than I now live.  But I have fond memories of taking that map out in January and ‘seeing’ all the beautiful flowers of previous years.


 I’ve promised myself on several occasions that I will be that organized again.  This spring was one of them.  I have a bed that I want to plant tulips in this fall.  I distinctly remember thinking that I needed red and pink ones to complement the existing bleeding heart, dwarf iris and daffodils.  I’m also sure I need some white narcissus in there, too – somewhere.  But alas, my memory is failing me.  So instead of a planned color scheme, next spring will be a surprise. 


A tremendous benefit of having your map on paper is the drawing of it forces you to take a really good look at what you have planted and where.  It will probably take several sketches before you have a drawing you will be proud of.  And in the process, a few plants may find new homes and a few more may be added to fill holes.  But the finished products, the map and the flower beds, will please you.


America’s Best Flowers can help.  We have graph paper available that is designed especially for landscapes.  Just ask in the perennial area at the Vilas Hope location.  We also have a great selection of beautiful annuals and perennials for you to use to fill in the empty spots.


The best news about this project is that most of it can happen out of the heat.  Once you make a preliminary sketch, you can spend as much time as you want sitting at the dining room table, with a tall glass of ice-cold lemonade, perfecting it. 


“When doing exams Dick knows all the answers.  It’s the questions that get him confused.”


Question Corner


“A foul smelling fluid is running down the side of our oak.  What is this and is my tree in danger?  This oozing of sap from your tree is called “Fluxing”.  This is caused by a bacterial disease inside the tree causing “slime flux” or “wet wood”.  The flux actually begins to ferment and build up pressure.  This pressure looks for a place to escape, which is usually a crack in the branch unions, a pruning wound, or another injured area.  There is nothing you can do about the disease and it doesn’t kill the tree. 


“Can I still plant trees and shrubs at this time of year or do I have to wait for fall?”  In our area, it’s okay to plant anytime.  Just keep in mind that with hot and sunny conditions it will be necessary to watch the water very closely.  While the ‘one-inch-per-week’ is a rule of thumb in the spring,

plantings done in the heat of the summer will require more.  We suggest that you check the soil at least twice a week by feeling the soil an inch below the top of the soil with your finger.  If it doesn’t feel moist, water thoroughly. We always suggest two to three inches of mulch for trees and shrubs throughout the summer to conserve moisture.


“I saw some tall white flowers blooming in several yards.  They had a wonderful fragrance.  The large blooms were made up of hundreds of small blossoms.  What are they?”  This sounds like you are talking about phlox.  This sun-loving perennial comes into its glory during the long hot days of summer.  Phlox adds a fresh burst of color to the garden.  Lavish flower clusters attract butterflies and hummingbirds.  The white of ‘David’ phlox can bring light into your landscape.  This mildew resistant variety is extremely fragrant and makes a superb cut flower.  Also available in a wide range of pinks, Phlox is a great choice for all sunny gardens.


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 did the snake say when he was offered a piece of cheese for dinner?  ‘Thank you, I’ll just have a slither.’”


Bonnie’s Kitchen




Cuban marinades often combine citrus and rum.


1/4 c taco sauce

1 T brown sugar

1 T strong black coffee

1 T DARK rum

1 T frozen orange juice concentrate

4 3/4"- 1" thick boneless pork loin chops


Combine all ingredients except chops; mix well.  Place pork chops in nonmetal dish or in a re-sealable plastic bag. Pour sauce over chops; turn to coat.  Cover or seal bag.  Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.


Heat gas grill. When ready, reserve marinade and put chops on grill over medium heat.  Cook 11-14 minutes, turning once and brushing with reserved marinade.

4 servings

I like to serve this with black beans and rice and melon.


“An American tourist was visiting a quaint country village, and got talking to an old man in the local pub.  ‘And have you lived here all your life, sir?’ asked the American.  ‘Not yet, m’dear,’ said the villager wisely.’”

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