2006 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 24

Week 24 (9/7/2006)


“I have a friend who’s a billionaire.  He invented Cliff notes.  When I asked him how he got such a great idea, he said, ‘Well first I….I just….to make a long story short….” From Steven Wright’s website


Starting this Saturday, September 9, at 9 am, we begin our DOLLAR DAYS.  This is the time when you can use all those orange America’s Best Dollars we’ve been giving you all year.  From September 9th through the 17th, they can be redeemed for up to one half of your total purchase.


Use your ABF dollars to invest in the future by buying trees, shrubs and perennials.  Pottery, tools and bulbs are also great ideas that you will have for years to come.  ABF dollars can be used to buy anything we have in stock.  Dollar Days is our best attended event of the year, so hurry in for the best selection.   Don’t miss your chance to buy for up to 50% off the total sale. 


“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living.  The world owes you nothing.  It was here first.”  Mark Twain




The bridge over the interstate at Cottage Grove Road is scheduled for completion by the end of November.  While this will be great for our Christmas Season, it’s not convenient for fall.  Getting here from there, is just as easy as it always has been, as long as you know where to turn. The following are 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 up about two miles on the left.


Whichever way you choose, we promise the trip will be worth your time.  America’s Best is filled with ideas to help you Decorate for Fall.  Our Mums are bursting into bloom just in time to brighten your planting areas and pots.  Pansies in shades of yellow, blue, orange, burgundy and white are ready to fill your outdoor living areas with their sunny faces.  Our new shipment of Ornamental Cabbage & Kale is beautiful, offering the promise of color well into early winter.  And don’t forget our great selection of fall and Halloween decorations for both inside and out.


“The old man laughed loud and joyously, shook up the details of his anatomy from head to foot, and ended by saying, ‘Such a laugh was money in a man’s pocket, because it cut down the doctor’s bills like anything.’”

Mark Twain




DIVIDE AND SWAP your Daylilies this Saturday at 10 AM – This is the second in a series of hands-on workshops, by our own, Bev Wilson, Master Gardener. When regularly divided, daylilies have more blooms and stay healthier.  One commonly accepted method of division is to sink a spade into the center of the plant and cut it, but there is a better way, especially for the prized hybrid varieties.  Bring in a clump of daylilies, and Bev will show you how; then you can trade with others to get more varieties for your garden!   Supplies you will need include a butcher knife, scissors, sharpie markers, and a 5-gallon bucket, if you have an empty one.  We will meet in the perennial department, weather permitting.  If it’s raining, we will use one of our empty greenhouses. 


MAKE A SCARECROW WORKSHOP September 23 – October 1.  On going 10 AM to 4 PM Rain or Shine.  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.  Call for 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 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. If you school would like to participate, call 222-2269 and ask for Bonnie.


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 photo with Santa with a donation to the Second Harvest Food Pantry.




“What would men be without women?   Scarce, sir…mighty scarce.”

Mark Twain


Funny Bone Any One???


Have you heard a good joke lately?  We had a good response this past week from our readers.  I will be using several of the submissions in future issues, but I still need ‘one-liners’.  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 publish all that we feel are appropriate for our customers. 


“Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience:  this is the ideal life.” Mark Twain


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.


“Is there anything I can do to keep squirrels from digging up my freshly planted bulbs?  I don’t mind sharing a little, but last year they got them all.”


Over the years there have been several methods suggested for keeping your bulbs safe from four-legged creatures.  Some are complicated – like burying a piece of chicken wire several times larger than the clump of bulbs about two inches below the surface of the soil.  Still others’ success is questionable, like planting moth balls right along with the bulbs. However, there are a few things that should give you some degree of success.  First, be sure you plant your bulbs deep enough.  Even the smallest bulbs can be planted 4 – 5 inches deep.  Most rodents give up before they dig that far.  The bigger bulbs, like daffodils and tulips, should be 6 – 8 inches deep.  If you have a chronic problem, you might try sticking with daffodils and alliums.  The odor of these bulbs is believed to be somewhat offensive to most creatures.  And last, but perhaps the most hopeful, try sprinkling several handfuls of Milorganite on top of and around the planting area.  This is a granular product made from processed sewage sludge.  It’s odor seems to be effective in keeping unwanted critters away.


“Speaking of bulbs, we have many customers asking if it is time to plant bulbs.”


In Wisconsin, the best time to plant fall bulbs is mid-to-late September.

Before that time the soil is too warm.  When bulbs are exposed to warm temperatures, changes within the bulb can result in loss of blossom in the spring.  If you have already purchased bulbs, they will be fine in a cool spot in the basement.  Shopping now, while the selection is good, allows you time to think about color schemes and bloom schedules before you actually have to get the bulbs in the ground.  America’s Best has expanded the varieties we carry this year.  Double, trumpet and butterfly daffodils; fringed, lily-flowering, and peony tulips; and bearded and reblooming iris fill our bulb bay.  With names like ‘Blueberry Ripple,’ ‘Sweet Love’ and ‘Flaming Parrot,’ they promise to create a riot of color next spring.


“My neighbor and I are having a disagreement about how much fertilizer I should be using on my roses.  I say every other week and he says one a month.  Who’s right?”


Neither.  With the days growing shorter, it is important to stop feeding roses, as well as trees, shrubs, evergreens and perennials, to allow them time to slow their growth and ‘harden off’ in preparation for the winter.  This process is not unlike the ‘hardening off’ we do with our annuals in the spring.  Basically we are encouraging the cells of the plant to toughen up so they can survive the cold and winds of our northern winters.  Fertilizer encourages new growth, which is much ‘softer.’  The only exception to this is that you should continue to use ‘starter fertilizer’ when planting new trees and shrubs.  This is actually a root stimulator which encourages the plant to grow bigger, deeper and better roots.  It is especially important to use this product in the fall, because the plant needs to become well established before the ground freezes.


“Be careful about reading health books.  You may die of a misprint

Mark Twain


Bonnie’s Kitchen


I have not yet tried this recipe—it’s the first time I’ve ever submitted a recipe that I myself haven’t used, but IT’S FOOTBALL SEASON and time for our beloved Pack to begin the season. So, when I found this from “The Wisconsin Gardener”, I just HAD to share it with you (the recipe calls for crackers—I’ll use tortilla chips). As soon as the weather gets cooler, I have a GREAT Packer “Green and Gold” cheesy broccoli soup to share with you!  GO PACK!




Recipe from Margaret Anderson, River Falls


2 yellow tomatoes (Margaret uses Manyel)

2 green-when-ripe tomatoes (Margaret uses Dorothy’s Green)

1 or 2 green bell peppers

1 or 2 yellow bell peppers

1 small, hot, green pepper

1 small, yellow onion or 5-6 green onions

1 T vinegar

1 T oil


Peel the tomatoes.  Seed the peppers. Chop the onion, and finely chop the hot pepper.  Cut the tomatoes and bell peppers into small chunks.  Mix everything together.  Chill and serve with crackers.


Serves 8



And here’s an easy one to make for the kids this back-to-school week! They can help.


Peanut Butter Granola Balls


2 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons peanut butter
2 cups granola
2 to 4 tablespoons milk, or as needed


In a large bowl, mix together the honey and peanut butter. Using a spatula, stir in the granola. Add enough milk to just moisten–you want it to stick together. Form into balls. Chill until ready to serve.


“A little boy came home from his first day at kindergarten and said to his mother, “What’s the use of going to school?  I can’t read, I can’t write and the teacher won’t let me talk.”

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