2006 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 18

Week 18 (7/27/2006)


“A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken!” James Dent


Every year we wait while the snow falls; we wait while the wind howls; we wait through the gray days of early spring, and the damp, rainy days that follow.  We celebrate Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, graduations and weddings, and all the while – we wait – for that ‘perfect’ day…when the sun, accompanied by a cacophony of nature’s music, rises early in a crystal clear sky…when the breeze, whispering gently through the tree tops, stirs the fragrance of the blossoms filling our yards…when the long days, filling our souls with the wonder of life, stretch their way to a glorious sunset…when the truth of summer, and its actual presence among us, rewards us for ‘the wait’.


“Words that soak into your ears are whispered, not yelled.”




Now is the time to incorporate mums, asters, ornamental grasses, millet and flowering kale and cabbage to transform your current containers to make an autumn statement for your entryway and patio. America’s Best Flowers’ “Create a Fall Container” workshop will be Thursday, August 17 from 5-8 PM and Saturday & Sunday, August 19 & 20 from 10-3 PM. This ongoing, hands-on activity 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.  Our events and workshops are rain or shine.


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. 


Mark your calendar!!! “Make a Scarecrow” Days will be September 23 and 24 as well as September 30 and October 1.  There will also be a couple of weekday evenings during the week of September 25 – September 29.  Watch future newsletters for further details. 


“What do you call someone who wants to lose weight but doesn’t have any willpower?  A wishful shrinker!”


Perennial of the Week


Lilies are our featured perennial this week.  A wonderful addition to any garden that has a minimum of four hours of sun, lilies will provide beautiful color and fragrance during July and August.  Lilies grow in average, well-drained soil and make great cut flowers.  Hummingbirds are attracted to lilies of all types. 


The Asiatic Lilies at America’s Best Flowers 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.


“I was at the bookstore and asked the clerk where the self-help section was.  She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.”


Tip of the Week – Winning Entry


Karen, a serious gardening friend of ours, has won a $10 Gift Certificate from America’s Best for sharing the following with us. 


At the end of a day of gardening, treat your fingers to a special “Hot Oil Bath”.  Take a microwavable container large enough for your hand to fit in.  Pour a couple inches of olive oil in it.  Heat in the microwave until the oil is warm.  Sit down, relax with your favorite gardening magazine, and soak the fingers of each hand for several minutes (like at the manicurist).  Dry thoroughly with a paper towel, gently massaging around and under your nails. This oil treatment will soften your cuticles, prevent cracks in your fingertips and help reduce the staining on your nails. 


You can put the lid on your container and store it in the refrigerator until the next time you garden.  The oil will harden.  Just warm in the microwave again.  It will be a bit of an experiment to determine how long you want to warm it. 


Do you have a good idea????  Please submit.  We are looking forward to sending you a gift certificate too.


$$Win $10 Gift Certificate to ABF$$ – 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. All entries will remain in the running, so it is not necessary to resubmit your entry each week. 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.


“What do you get when you cross a worm with a young goat?   A dirty kid!”


Garden Resolutions


 “I will take better care of my garden-stressed hands.”


Karen’s gardening tip this week has really encouraged me to try harder to take care of my hands.  While broken and stained fingernails are completely acceptable at all special events held at America’s Best Flowers, they tend to make me hide my hands in other social situations. 


To follow-up on this resolution, I will need a few easily obtained items.  First of all, gardeners need gloves.  This may sound too simple to even mention, but keep in mind that gloves come in almost as many styles and sizes as there are gardeners.  America’s Best carries an excellent selection of gloves.  West County makes work gloves, especially for gardeners, in a rainbow of colors – blue, green, yellow, purple and orange; as well as rose gloves to protect your arms when working with your roses.  Gloves from Town & Country and the Handmaster Greenhouse Collection give you many more gloves to choose from.   Different jobs are easier with different gloves.  Treat yourself, and your hands, to several different types so you will be ready no matter what your garden throws at you.


Having the right tool for the job is another basic hand saver.  America’s Best has wonderful tools for every possible gardening chore.  Radius Ergonomic hand tools are designed to make any task easier.  Lightweight and bright green, these tools are easy to use and easier to find when you lay them down among your plants.  Oxo produces a line of hand tools of exceptional quality. And there is nothing like a Potting Scoop or Soil Scoop to make quick work of digging.  Finally, pick up a Culti-Weeder to make weeding quick as well as easy on your fingers.


“Do the people in Australia call the rest of the world ‘up over’?”


Question Corner


“My hanging petunia basket got really beaten up by the wind.  Is there anything I can do to save it?”


Yes, petunias are as forgiving as they are beautiful.  If you take your garden scissors and cut the petunias just above the damage, the plant will re-grow beautifully.  When you are doing this, take the opportunity to shape the basket and deadhead any spent blossoms.  When you deadhead petunias make sure to cut below the forming seedpods.  After you have it all cleaned up, give it a good shot of fertilized water and set it back in the sun.  You should see new growth within a week or two.  The blooms will soon follow.


“Today I saw the coolest thing in the garden!  It looked like a cross between a hummingbird and a moth.  What is it?”


The moth you saw is known as a ‘sphinx’ moth, a ‘hawk’ moth or a ‘hummingbird’ moth.  While it hovers and flits like a hummingbird, the wings are those of a moth.  These moths begin their lives as hornworms.  There are a couple dozen varieties of these caterpillars.  Although all feed on leaves of various plants, most cause little damage to garden plants.  Tomato and tobacco hornworms, are the exceptions, being true garden pests.  Most of these moths fly at night and are rarely seen.  Some, however, will fly during cloudy afternoons and at dusk when they feed at flowers in a manner similar to a hummingbird.


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 wouldn’t they let the butterfly into the dance?   Because it was a moth ball.”


Bonnie’s Kitchen


If you’re looking for something to “jazz up” your BBQ, this is a great addition to your menu in addition to using some of that zucchini from your garden.


TexMex Sweet Potato Salad


2 ½ lb sweet potatoes, peeled, cut in ¾” pieces


1/3c oil

1/4c red wine vinegar

1T cumin

1 ½ t minced garlic

1 ½ t salt and ½ t pepper


2c diced zucchini

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 ½ c corn, if frozen, thaw

2/3 c sliced scallions

1/3 c cilantro


6 slices crisp bacon, crumbled


Cook potatoes in water to cover-about 15 minutes, until just fork tender.

Whisk dressing ingredients until well blended.

Drain potatoes, place in large bowl and while hot, add ½ the dressing.  Toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate.


Just before serving add vegetables and remaining dressing.  Mix gently with rubber spatula and top with bacon.


Serves 8


“Are you writing a thank-you letter to Grandpa like I told you to?”

“Yes,  Mom.”

“Your handwriting seems very large.”

“Well, Grandpa’s very deaf, so I’m writing very loud!”

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