2006 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 23

Week 23 (8/31/2006)


“A secretary, an assistant, and their boss are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp.  They rub it and a genie appears to grant them each one wish.


The secretary says, ‘I want to be in the Bahamas, driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.’  Poof! She’s gone.


‘I want to be in Hawaii, relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of pina coladas and the love of my life,’ says the assistant.  And poof! Just like that, he’s gone.


‘You’re next,’ the genie says to the boss.  He says, ‘I want those two back in the office right after lunch.’ Andy Lewis, Warner Bros Animation as told in Reader’s Digest



Thinking about what we might wish for, if there really was such a thing as a ‘wish-granting genie,’ certainly gives new insight to our priorities.  Money, time off, cars, boats, jewelry, beauty and health are some of the obvious choices.  At America’s Best Flowers our wish this fall might very well be that the Cottage Grove Road Bridge over I90/I39 be magically completed.  And Poof! Just like that, we could once again get here the way we used to.


But since it’s doubtful this will happen, we want to remind you of the alternative routes you can use to easily reach us.  If you are coming from north of Cottage Grove Road, you can go east on Milwaukee Street to Sprecher Rd. Go south (right) on Sprecher to Cottage Grove Rd. and turn left, go about one mile to Vilas Hope Road.  We are on the right, about a quarter mile from the corner.


If you are starting out south of Cottage Grove Road, you can go out Buckeye Road to Sprecher Rd. Turn north (left) on Sprecher, go to Cottage Grove Road, and turn right, go about one mile to Vilas Hope Road.  We are on the right, about a quarter mile from the corner.


Another alternate route for those coming from the south or west, is to take the Beltline (Hwy 12/18) east to County AB (which is about one mile past I90).  Turn North (left), stay on AB until it intersects with Vilas Hope Road.  You will go up a hill, past a cemetery, through a four-way stop, and around a bend. Turn north (right) on Vilas Hope Road.  We are about two miles up on the left.


Whichever way you choose, we promise the trip will be worth your time.  America’s Best has just received our fall shipment of pansies.  The plants are fabulous.  Blooms of yellow, blue, orange, burgundy and white are available in flats, pots and mixed planters.


Our gorgeous mums are ready to fill your patios, porches and beds with stunning fall color.  We grow over 6000 of them in deep pots, which results in strong root systems on plants that will flourish under a variety of home growing conditions.  Remember to ask for a “Mum Care” information sheet at our checkout counter.


“Did you hear about the poor fortune-teller?  He’s not making much of a prophet.”**




ABF DOLLAR DAYS Saturday, September 9th through Sunday, September 17th.  This is your chance to use the orange dollars you’ve been saving all year.  During Dollar Days, 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 – The second in a series of hands-on workshops– Saturday, September 9th at 10AM. 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 September 23 – October 1.  Last year we introduced this fun fall workshop. Due to the great response, we have extended the workshop to run for nine full days.  For a small fee, we provide the basic structure of the scarecrow; frame, straw, burlap and face.  Bring your own clothes, or purchase from our selection, at garage sale prices.  It’s great fun for the entire family!!  We will be serving apple cider and treats both weekends.  Your scarecrow(s) will provide a unique fall decoration for your front entry or yard. 


“SCARECROWS IN THE GARDEN CONTEST” for elementary schools. Entries will be on display from September 21 – October 1.  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 class will receive a Pizza Party, and each participating school will receive a $50 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 and Joan Schultz, Madison Rose expert.  Sunday, September 17th 1PM and Saturday, October 21st 10AM.


Create a Holiday Porch Pot – Saturdays, November 11 & 18 from 10 – 3 and Sundays, November 12 & 19 from 1 – 4.  Design unique Holiday Porch Pots to decorate entryways, decks, and porches.


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.




“Why did the elephant hate to play cards in the jungle?  Because there were too many cheetahs!”**


Funny Bone Any One???


Have you heard a good joke lately?   I’m running out.  Just yesterday a fellow employee told me that some of them haven’t been very funny lately.  So this week I borrowed from the September, 2006 issue of Readers Digest.  But I believe that with your help we can do better.  If you are a quick-witted person who can remember jokes, and would like to share them with our readers, please e-mail them to ed@americasbestflowers.com To insure they reach my desk, please put ‘Jokes for Bev’ in the subject line. We will gladly, and with much appreciation, publish all that we feel are appropriate for our customers. 


“What did the brain say during its retirement speech?   Thanks for the memories!”**


Perennial of the Week


Now is the time to plant perennials.  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 several varieties available in this larger size pot.  Our Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ is especially beautiful right now.  The plants are easily 24” across and just ready to color up for fall.  If you have a sunny dry spot, there is no better choice.  When planted in your garden, they will make an instant statement. 


“What do you call jewelry lost on the golf course?  A diamond in the rough!”**


Question Corner

If you have gardening questions you would like answered in this newsletter, please e-mail them to ed@americasbestflowers.com  To insure it reaches me, please put “Question for Newsletter” in the subject line.


“My mums have ants on them.  What should I do?”


Don’t worry about the ants, but look closer for possible aphids. You will find these tiny insects on the new growth, buds and blossoms at the ends of the stems.  They can be a variety of colors, ranging from white to green to tan to black.  Ants feed on aphids, and it’s the aphids that can do some damage.  If you find them, blow them off with a strong stream of water, or spray, if needed, with Insecticidal soap. 


“What’s the best way to harvest my potatoes?  They still have some foliage.”


Underground, potatoes will continue to develop as long as there is foliage on top.  If you want potatoes now, dig what you need, but leave the rest in the ground.  They’ll continue to grow, and it’s actually a good place to store them!  Remember when you dig potatoes, start well back from the stems so you don’t damage your crop.


“What kind of grass seed should I plant?  My lawn is mostly sunny with just a few young trees providing a little shade.”


We recommend Madison Parks Lawn Seed Mixture.  The mixture has been specially formulated for this area.  A grass mixture is made up of different types of compatible grasses which grow well together, and complement each other.  It is generally better to have a mix in your lawn, rather than just one type of seed.  Fall is the perfect time to seed those areas that have suffered from heat or heavy foot traffic.  Rough up the soil a bit with a heavy garden rack, seed generously, water well and lightly cover with a little straw or marsh hay.  If you do this right before a period of predicted rain, your watering requirements will be less.  Otherwise, keep the soil moist, sprinkling twice a day, until germination occurs, usually within 5 – 10 days. 



“What kind of fish performs brain operations?  A neuro-sturgeon!”**


Bonnie’s Kitchen


A nice summer pie, somewhat like a Peach Melba!


Peach Raspberry Pie


5 c sliced and peeled freestone peaches

1 c fresh raspberries

¾ c sugar

3 T quick cooking tapioca

2 T melted butter

pinch of mace


pastry for double crust


Toss fruit, sugar, tapioca, butter and mace in mixing bowl, until fruit is well coated.  Line 9” pie pan with piecrust.  Fill with fruit mixture. Top with piecrust and ease over filling.  Trim and crimp edges. Cut venting slices in top of crust. Bake 25 minutes at 400.  Reduce heat to 325 and bake 25 minutes longer.

Let cool at least 1 hour before cutting.


Never Fail Pie Crust


3 c all purpose flour

1 t salt

1 ½ c shortening

1 egg

1 T vinegar

5 T ice water


Combine flour and salt in large bowl and cut in shortening until mixture resembles fine crumbs.  Beat egg, vinegar and ice water together in glass measuring cup.  Pour over flour mixture and stir with fork until blended. Divide into 4 balls.  Roll out on a floured surface.

Note: To store leftover pie crust, wrap unused balls of pastry in plastic wrap. Keep in fridge until needed (up to 2 weeks).  May be frozen for 2 months.  For best results, defrost pastry balls over night in the refrigerator.


 “Why is it that we keep going back to the refrigerator hoping that something new to eat will have materialized?”**


**Borrowed from September, 2006 Readers Digest.

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