2006 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 22

Week 22 (8/24/2006)





A Buzzard in a pen that is 6 feet by 8 feet and is entirely open at the top, in spite of its ability to fly, will be an absolute prisoner. The reason is that a Buzzard always begins a flight from the ground with a run of 10 to 12 feet.  Without space to run, as is its habit, it will not even attempt to fly, but will remain a prisoner for life in a small jail with no top.



The ordinary Bat that flies around at night, a remarkably nimble creature in the air, can not take off from a level place.  If it is placed on the floor or flat ground, all it can do is shuffle about helplessly and, no doubt painfully, until it reaches some slight elevation from which it can throw itself into the air.  Then, at once, it takes off like a flash.



A Bumble Bee, if dropped into an open tumbler, will be there until it dies, unless it is taken out.  It never sees the means of escape at the top, but persists in trying to find some way out through the sides near the bottom.  It will seek a way where none exists, until it completely destroys itself.



In many ways, we are like the Buzzard, the Bat, and the Bumble Bee.  We struggle about with all our problems and frustrations, never realizing that all we have to do is look up.”    Veronica Wierman, Once Upon a Family Independent Consultant



The Mission Statement of America’s Best Flowers states, “The purpose of our business is to supply beauty (the best plant varieties) with God’s help for our customers while operating as a Christian business.”  During the day-to-day operation of our business, we try to stay focused on this goal.  While the growing and selling of plants and related items cannot be compared to rocket science or brain surgery, we do believe the beauty plants add to our world really does make it a better place for everyone to live in.  And no one, when gazing at the incredible purples of the fragrant heliotrope, or the palest pink of the shrub rose, can deny God’s hand in creating this beauty.


Like the buzzard, who runs around in vain; the bat, who shuffles helplessly; and the bee, who literally buzzes itself to death; we can live our lives zipping about in an endless search for escape. Or we can, with God’s help, look up and stay focused on the beauty that exists in our world.


 “What do you call two banana peels?  A pair of slippers.”




ABF DOLLAR DAYS Saturday, September 9th through Sunday, September 17th.  This is your chance to cash in the orange dollars you’ve been saving all year.  During that time, you can pay for up to 50% of your purchase with ABF dollars.  It’s a wonderful opportunity to buy trees, shrubs, perennials, bulbs and houseplants for half price.  This is our best attended event of the year, so plan to shop early for the best selection.


DIVIDE AND SWAP How to divide your Daylilies – Saturday, September 9th at 10AM.Workshop by our own, Bev Wilson, Master Gardener. Bring in an overgrown clump of daylilies and Bev will show you how to divide them, then you can trade with others to get more varieties for your garden!


MAKE A SCARECROW WORKSHOP Two weekends September 23rd and 24th and September 30th and October 1st.  Last year we introduced this workshop as a spur-of-the moment fall activity.  Even with only two weeks preparation and notice, it was a great success.  For a small fee, we provide the basic structure of the scarecrow; frame, straw, burlap and face.  You bring your own clothes, or purchase from our selection, at garage sale prices.  It’s such great fun!!!  Your scarecrow(s) will provide unique decoration for your front entry for the entire fall.  So mark your calendar and watch the newsletter for more details.


“SCARECROWS IN THE GARDEN CONTEST” for elementary schools. Entries will be on display from September 21 – October 22.  Our customers will vote for their choice of winner with a canned food donation, which will go to the Atwood Community Food Pantry. The winning entry will receive a gift certificate from America’s Best Flowers for beautification of their school.  Watch for more details.


How to Winterize Roses – Quick Class by our own, Sharon Stickford.  Sunday, September 17th 1PM and Saturday, October 21st 10AM.


Holiday Open House Saturday, November 18th and Sunday, November 19th.  Get a free picture with Santa with a donation to the Second Harvest Food Pantry.




“How do you catch a monkey?  Act like a banana!” 


Perennial of the Week


‘Fall is for planting’ is perhaps a little overused expression, but there is no better way to say that now is the time to plant perennials.   It is so much easier to remember where you need what color now than after a long winter. Perennials have plenty of time to become established before the ground freezes, if they are planted by mid-September.  To help you expand your perennial garden, America’s Best Flowers is featuring all of our landscape-size (approximately 3 gallon) containers of perennials as our Perennial of the Week.  We have Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, Gallardia ‘Goblin’, Veronica ‘Sunny Border Blue’, Shasta Daisy ‘Alaska’, Echinacea ‘Magnus’, and Rudbeckia ‘Goldstrum’ available in this larger size pot.  When planted in your garden, they will make an instant statement. 


 “What do snakes do after a fight?  They hiss and make up!”


Question Corner


“Three years ago I plant 3 bulbs in my whiskey barrel, Now it’s bursting with Asiatic Lilies. Can I divide it?”


Yes.  When lilies are happy with their growing conditions, they multiply very well.  It sounds like you have them in an ideal spot.   Although we generally leave Asiatic and Oriental lilies alone if they are happy, it sounds like it’s time to divide your clump.  In Wisconsin, the time to divide lilies is September.  America’s Best Flowers will be hosting a Divide and Swap Workshop on September 16 at 10:00 AM for lilies.  We will show how it’s done and help you do your own if you bring in a clump.  At the end of the workshop, attendees will have a chance to swap bulbs with each other. 


“What’s all this talk about fall containers? How are they different?”


Autumn is a new season, and with it comes the opportunity to redecorate. There are many plants that come into their own during the cool fall temperatures.  When we plant fall containers, we incorporate these frost tolerate plants in vibrant autumn colors to create a truly gorgeous pots.  If your pots are ready for a facelift, bring them in and let us help you give them a new look.  We have skilled floral designers on staff with great ideas.


“The tops of my tomatoes aren’t ripening.  Do you know why?”


High temperatures and extremely sunny days will cause irregular coloring of tomatoes.  The cooler days we are experiencing should solve the problem.  When you serve the tomatoes, just cut off the top and enjoy the rest.


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 do potatoes make good detectives?  Because they keep their eyes peeled!”


Bonnie’s Kitchen


This is one of those really quick recipes for those nights when you are just TOO TIRED to put much effort into your meal, but don’t want to eat a PBJ!


Easy Southwest Chicken Fajitas

1 (1 lb) package frozen bell pepper and onion stir-fry, partially thawed

1 T olive oil

½ t seasoned salt and ground pepper

4 (8”-10”) flour tortillas

1 (9 oz.) package frozen southwestern-flavored cooked chicken breast strips, thawed

½ cup purchased guacamole

Salsa, if desired


Heat grill. Spray grill basket (or grill wok) with nonstick cooking spray.  In medium bowl, combine stir-fry, oil and seasoned salt and pepper; toss to coat.  Place in basket.  Wrap tortillas securely in heavy duty foil.


When grill is heated, place grill basket on grill over medium heat.  Cook bell pepper mixture about 5 minutes, shaking basket occasionally.


Place packet of tortillas next to grill basket on grill. Add thawed chicken strips to pepper mixture; cook an additional 5-8 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly heated and vegetables are crisp-tender, shaking basket occasionally to mix.


Spread warm tortillas with guacamole.  Top each with about ¾ cup chicken mixture; roll up. Serve with Salsa.


“What do you call a dinosaur in an accident?  A Tyrannosaurus wreck!”


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