2006 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 17

Week 17 (7/20/2006)


“Oh What a Night,

Mid July in 2006,

Many yards will need a quick fix,

So we all forget about the Night!”


America’s Best Flowers is ready to help you make repairs after last night’s thunderstorm.  The quickest fix is to start with our incredibly beautiful jumbo pots of annuals. These will instantly brighten your outdoor living spaces. Our late planting of vivid nicotiana, bright red and blue salvias, brilliant yellow and gold marigolds, striped gazanias, bold zinnias, as well as petunias in a rainbow of colors, including the gorgeous double purple Priscilla, are ready to go.


For those of you who lost trees or shrubs, our nursery department at America’s Best Flowers can help.  Stop out and let our qualified staff help you choose replacements.  To brighten your landscape, Buddleia, butterfly bush, are in full bloom.  These gorgeous shrubs attract hundreds of butterflies with their white, pink, and purple blossoms.  Our Rose of Sharon  bushes are breathtaking.  This full sun shrub will bring color to any yard.


Our perennial benches are full of wonderful plants. The fabulous oranges of the ‘Sunset’ and ‘Sunrise’ Coneflowers are a ‘must have’.  ‘Goldstrum’ Rudbeckia is in full bloom.  See Perennial of the Week for more information on this dependable plant. Our Asiatic Lilies, a staple for every perennial garden, are just coming into bloom.  Lilies are available in white, all shades of yellows, oranges and pinks, and 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.


“It was so hot…the cows are giving evaporated milk!”




America’s Best Flowers’ “Create a Fall Container” workshop, which will be Thursday, August 17 from 5-8 PM and Saturday & Sunday, August 19 & 20 from 10-3 PM, will provide a wonderful opportunity for you to learn how to use the dazzling colors of fall to bring fresh beauty to your deck and patio. 


In addition to these 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, president of The Madison Hosta Society. Future classes will feature ornamental grasses, blooming fall gardens and winterizing roses.  Watch your newsletter for more information.  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. 


“It was so hot…farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying hard boiled eggs.”


Perennial of the Week


We realize the extreme heat of the last few days has made gardening difficult. Because of this several customers have asked us to extend the time they could buy Rudbeckia Goldstrum and Hirta at the Perennial of the Week price.  America’s Best Flowers will be glad to honor your request by repeating Rudbeckia as 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.


“It was so hot…the potatoes cooked underground.  All you had to do to have lunch was dig one up and add butter.”


Tip of the Week  Winning Entry


In response to my Garden Resolution last week about creating a map of my garden, Sylvia from Sun Prairie submitted this tip. 


“I take digital pictures of my garden, lighten them up on the computer, and then print them out in black and white.  I write on them where I planted or would like to plant tulips, phlox, hostas, etc.  I have found this to be a simple way to map my garden!”


When we e-mailed Sylvia to tell her she won, her response was, “Thank you! I have NEVER won anything in my life! … You made my day!” 


Let us make YOUR day next week!


$$Win $10 Gift Certificate to ABF$$ – See Details Below


America’s Best Flowers will continue to recognize a winning “Gardening Tip of the Week” with a $10 gift card each week.  We received several tips over the last week and hope to get even more in the future.  All entries will remain in the running, so it is not necessary to resubmit your entry. To enter, submit your gardening tip to ed@americasbestflowers.com

Please put “Attn: Bonnie – Gardening Tip” in the subject line, and submit by 5:00 PM each Tuesday. 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 newsletterThe winner will receive a $10 gift card from America’s Best. Your tips can help everyone enjoy gardening more.


“It was so hot…all the corn on the stalks started popping and flying through the air.”


Garden Resolutions


 “I will stop planting sun-lovers in the shade.”


Never, ever again will I plant full-sun plants in my shady yard with the hope that maybe THIS one will bloom.  My latest attempt is the delphiniums I planted this spring.  I did put them in my sunniest bed.  It’s just that ‘sunniest’ is such a relative thing when you are surrounded by a dozen oak trees.  The result is puny plants with weak bloom stalks and a seriously disappointed gardener. 


So perhaps a review is in order.  By definition full sun refers to a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight, preferably during the middle of the day.  Partial sun is described as four to six hours of direct sun.  Partial shade is two to four hours of sun. This can be split, such as one or two hours both in the morning and again in the late afternoon.  But if you don’t get at least two hours of sun a day, you have full shade. 


When shopping for plants, be sure to read the label carefully regarding light requirements.  The best care in the world will never make up for lack of sun.  America’s Best Flowers has a well-trained staff ready to help you choose the right plants for your setting. 


“What do you call a man who spent all summer at the beach?  A tangent.”


Question Corner


“What is happening to my fuchsia?  It was such a beautiful plant, but over the last two weeks has dropped most of its blossoms and the leaves are turning yellow.”

Your fuchsia is reacting to the hot weather.  They are among the plants, which also includes lobelia and pansies, which perform best when daytime temperatures stay below 80 and the nights are cool.  You can cut your fuchsia back at least half, keep it in a shady location and water as needed.  Remember, once you cut half the leaves off, it won’t require as much water as you’ve been giving it.  You should notice new growth all along the stems within a couple of weeks.  This new growth will re-bloom once the weather cools off this fall.


“What’s the matter with my plants?  When I came home from work today the leaves of my coneflowers and hibiscus were really, really droopy.  I water every morning and have the bed mulched.  When I checked the soil it felt moist.  Are my plants sick?”


Probably not.  You have described heat stress perfectly.  Plants can react to intense heat in very dramatic ways.  One of the most noticeable is caused by leaves losing water faster than it can be replaced, resulting in wilting.  Water evaporates through microscopic pores in the leaves called stomates.  This evaporation is called transpiration.  It can be compared to perspiration in humans.  Plants control transpiration by opening and closing their stomates.  Generally stomates are closed at night.  Because this process is also related to the transfer of nutrients throughout the plant, they open in the morning. The stomates will close again if the leaf runs out of water, resulting in wilting of the plants.  When the temperatures are excessively high, the plant cannot take up enough water to prevent this from happening, even if there is adequate moisture around the roots.


Generally, well-established plants will recover as the evening cools off.

The only thing you can do to help your plants is to continue to make sure they are well watered and to provide some temporary shade when the sun is extremely hot.  This would be especially helpful for new plantings. 


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.


“Why don’t bananas like to sunbathe?  They have a tendency to peel”


Bonnie’s Kitchen


This is SO refreshing on a hot summer day!


Pomegranate Sorbet                                         


2 bottles (15.2 oz each) pomegranate juice (about 4 cups)

½ cup sugar

1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized or candied ginger

1 T grated orange zest


Stir ingredients in an 8” square aluminum or stainless steel baking pan until sugar dissolves. (Or add ingredients to an ice cream maker; freeze as manufacturer directs)


Cover pan and place in freezer.  Freeze at least 6 hours until sorbet is firm.  Break in chunks, put in food processor and pulse until smooth.  Pack into a 1qt. container and freeze until ready to serve.


To Serve: Garnish scoops with thin strips of candied ginger and fine shreds of orange zest, if desired. Serves 8


Taken from the June 20th issue of Woman’s Day Magazine



“Oh What a Day!

One hundred people invited Saturday

To fix my yard You showed me the way

Thanks ABF, you made my day!”

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