2006 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 25

Week 25 (9/14/2006)


“A grandmother was telling her little granddaughter what her own childhood was like:  ‘We had a swing made from a tire; it hung from a tree in our front yard.  We rode our pony.  We picked wild raspberries in the woods. And in the winter we skated outside on the pond.’  The little girl was wide-eyed, taking this in.  At last she said,’ I sure wish I’d gotten to know you sooner!”


DOLLAR DAYS ARE HERE!!  Now is the time you can use all those orange America’s Best Dollars we’ve been giving you all year.  Through Sunday, September 17th, you can redeem them 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. 


Overheard in the hallway at a local nursing home, “I’m getting so old that all my friends in heaven will think I didn’t make it.”




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.


“He who laughs last, thinks slowest.’”




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.  Call for details.


“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 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 your 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.




“How long a minute is depends on which side of the bathroom door you’re on.”


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 it time to bring my tropical plants back indoors?”


If you’ve been growing your tropical plants outdoors all summer, it is time to get them ready to go back inside the house for the winter.  Begin this process in mid-September, so the plants will be ready to go indoors before the weather gets too cold.  And always keep an eye open for early frosts.  If night time temperatures are forecast below 45 degrees, be ready to slide your plants inside the garage for the night.


The basic steps in preparing your plants are: 

·        Move your sun loving plants into the shade for a week or so.  This gets them used to lower light conditions similar to what you have in your home.

·        Submerge the entire pot in a bucket or tub of lukewarm water for several hours.  If there are any insects, or other creatures in the soil, they will either drown or float to the top of the water.  This is also a great way to soak the soil.  Just be sure to allow plenty of time to drain before bringing in into your home.

·        Just before bringing them in, hose them down with a strong stream of water.  This helps to blow off any insects that may be living on your plants.  Then spray them down well with insecticidal soap, making sure to spray tops and bottoms of the leaves, stems, and trunks. This step can be done while the pot is soaking in the tub of water.  Allow to dry outside before bringing in.

·        Move your plants indoors to a well-lit area.  Keep away from heat sources and drafts.  Place a saucer under the pot.  For most plants, you won’t need to water until the top inch of the soil has dried.  Never let your plants sit with water in their saucers.

·        You should expect most varieties of tropical plants to lose some leaves after their move. 

·        Cut back on the amount of fertilizer you give.  Generally, I say use half strength (one-half the amount suggested on the container) in fall, and reduce to plain water for November, December, and January.  When the days start to lengthen in mid-February begin your feeding with half strength until mid-April when you once again can increase to full strength.


“This year my junipers have developed berries.  I have kids and pets and was wondering if those berries were poisonous?”


Well, let’s just say it’s probably best if the kids and pets don’t eat them. The juniper berries have actually been used for many things for centuries, including aromatherapy, soaps, food flavoring and for flavoring gin.  But keep in mind that the berries are actually a diuretic; and eating the berries will cause severe increases in urination, diarrhea, and intestinal pain. 


Like with many things in the garden, it’s best to show your kids what they are, and explain that eating them could make them have a really bad tummy ache. Encourage them to look, but not eat. 


“I want to plant some groundcover, but was told by a neighbor that it’s too late.  Is that true?”


Not at all.  There is still plenty of time for groundcovers to become well established this fall.  Just be sure to plant them before the end of September.  America’s Best Flowers has a great selection of both sun and shade groundcovers.  Use your ABF Dollars and $ave on this wonderful investment for your property.


“A taxpayer received a strongly worded ‘second notice’ that his taxes were overdue.  Hastening to the collector’s office, he paid his bill, saying apologetically that he had overlooked the first notice.

‘Oh,’ confided the collector with a smile, ‘we don’t send out first notices.  We have found that the second notices are more effective!’”


Bonnie’s Kitchen


Greek Potato Salad


2½ lb thin-skinned white potatoes, scrubbed and cut in ¾” pieces.


½ c each, light mayo and plain lowfat yogurt

2T lemon juice

1T each, freshly grated lemon peel, minced garlic and chopped fresh oregano


1 pint halved cherry or grape tomatoes

1 medium cucumber, cut in half rounds

1 c crumbled feta cheese

1c thinly sliced red onion


Cook potatoes in water to cover 15-20 minutes until just fork tender.


Whisk dressing ingredients plus 11/2 t salt and 1/2t freshly ground pepper until well blended.


Drain potatoes; place in a large bowl and while hot, add half the dressing and toss to coat. Refrigerate, covered to chill


Just before serving, add vegetables and remaining dressing.  Mix gently with a rubber spatula; top with crumbled feta.

8 generous servings


“There was the person who sent twenty different puns to his friends, with the hope that at least ten of the puns would make them laugh —–

No pun in ten did.”

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