2006 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 28

Week 28 (10/5/2006)




T – Triumph Tulips in beautiful colors

    H – Heirloom Bulb Varieties dating from 1572, 1665, 1884, and 1892

       I – Iris in a rainbow of colors

         N – Narcissus – a must for every garden

            K – Kaufmanniana Tulips for very early bloom


S – Specialty Bulbs of many types and sizes

   P – Peony Tulips with six-inch blossoms

      R – Ruffled and Fringed Tulips for exotic bloom

         I – Ice Follies Daffodils – dependable yellow on white

            N – NEW!!– Yellow Crocus – unique color

               G – Greigii Tulips produce early long-lasting bloom


America’s Best Flowers has all this and much more.  Don’t let another year go by without planting bulbs for fantastic spring color!!  We can help you choose varieties that will give you bloom from early spring right up to summer.  See Week 27 Newsletter for planting shortcuts.


“A smile is contagious: be a carrier.”


You won’t be able to stop smiling while you browse through our mums.  Big and beautiful only begins to describe them!  I’ve been growing mums for years and these are truly some of the finest I’ve seen, and so big!!  Available in many shades of red, gold, yellow, and purple, they will add vibrant fall color to your landscaping.  Be sure to pick up a few to brighten your front entry. Oh, and did I happen to mention that they are really big!!!


“If flowers don’t talk back, are they mums?”


Build Your Own Scarecrow


You won’t be mum about where your scarecrow came from when your neighbors ‘Oh!’ and ‘Ah!!’ about how great it is.  America’s Best has the perfect setting for you to bring the whole family and enjoy creating one-of-a-kind scarecrows. Don’t miss out! This is a wonderful opportunity to personalize your fall decorating.  So far this year, we have helped over a hundred families build unique scarecrows, and everyone has had a wonderful time. Due to excellent turnout, we are extending the workshop through Sunday, October 15.  We will have staff on hand from 10 – 4 each day to help you.  We provide a kit, available for a small fee, which includes the wooden frame, straw, burlap, head, face and twine.  Clothing for your scarecrows can be brought with you, or purchased from us at garage sale prices.  Apple cider and treats are available on weekends.  Pumpkin painting is also available.


“When day breaks, who fixes it?”




How to Winterize Roses – Quick Class by our own Sharon Stickford.  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 food or monetary donation. Pets are welcome. These donations go to the Second Harvest Food Pantry.




“When night falls, who picks it up?”


Our SCARECROWS IN THE GARDEN CONTEST  produced two delightful entries. ‘Scarecrow Student in School Dress Code,’ which was submitted by Three Angels Christian School and ‘Scarecrowhood of the Traveling Pants,’ submitted by Miss Troia’s third grade class from St. Dennis School, adorn our front display inside our main greenhouse.  It’s time for you to come on in and vote for your favorite scarecrow Entries will be on display through October 21.   Voting is done with canned goods which will be donated to the Atwood Community Food Pantry, so be sure to bring plenty.  Both classes worked very hard and are so excited about winning a pizza party, compliments of America’s Best Flowers.  Their schools have received a $50 gift certificate for school beautification from America’s Best Flowers for their participation.


“Just where did Webster look up the definitions when he wrote the dictionary?”


Question Corner

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


“Can you tell me what’s happening to my fall sedum?  It has split down the middle and is flopping over.”


The tall sedums, like Autumn Joy, can get top heavy once they are in full bloom.  For this year, we suggest you tie some twine around your plants to hold them together.  In the future, you can pinch the growing tips in June.  This will slightly decrease the finished height of your plants, as well as encourage side branching, resulting in more blossoms.  The drawback to this is that even though you will have more blossoms, none of them will be quite as large as when the plants are not pinched.  Another way to prevent this splitting, is to use a peony cage around your plants.  These should be put into place by the first of June.


“Is it too late to plant trees and shrubs?”


According to Ed, our owner, it’s the perfect time to plant most trees and shrubs.  All deciduous plants, those which lose their leaves each year, can safely be planted until the ground freezes.  Evergreens, planted after September 15, need a little extra attention.  While thorough watering at the time of planting, two days later, and then on a weekly schedule until the ground freezes, is important for all fall-planted plants; it is especially important for evergreens.  Additionally, they do need a 4-6 inch layer of mulch applied after the ground freezes.  The timing of this application is important.  Its purpose is to keep the frozen soil at a constant temperature, to prevent heaving of the soil.  Heaving happens when fluctuating temperatures cause the soil to freeze and thaw repetitively.  Heaving causes air pockets to develop in the top few inches of the soil.  Air pockets expose the roots to extremely dry and cold air, causing freezer burn.  Mulch applied too early will actually prevent the gradual freezing of the soil and worsen this process.   America’s Best Flowers encourages the use of pine straw for mulching evergreens.  It’s easy to use and helps lower the ph of the soil, which makes it a good choice for all evergreens, including azaleas and rhododendrons.


“Should I be pruning my roses this fall?”


Generally we say no.  By waiting until spring, it will be much easier to determine which canes are alive, strong, and ready to grow.  America’s Best Flowers is hosting a workshop on wintering roses Saturday, October 21 at 10 AM.  Sharon Stickford, our resident rose expert, will lead this quick class, and answer any question you have about roses.


 “Everyone who got where they are – had to begin where they were.” Richard L Evans




The bridge over the interstate at Cottage Grove Road is now scheduled for completion sometime in December.  Reaching America’s Best Flowers can be 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 to come, we promise the trip will be worth your time.  America’s Best is filled with ideas to help you decorate for fall.  From Happy Hanging Ghosts and Skeleton to straw bales, corn shocks and pumpkins, we can help you create a fun fall atmosphere.  Our selection of fall pottery will give your plants a fresh seasonal look.  Stop out today to check it out.


“I just got lost in thought.  It was unfamiliar territory!”


Bonnie’s Kitchen


It’s pumpkin time!!!! I’m a “pumpkaholic” and my sister Robin, gave me a great cookbook called “Pumpkin, A Super Food for All 12 Months of the Year” by DeeDee Stovel.  These 2 recipes are from that cookbook.


Meatloaf with Pumpkin Glaze

                                                                        Serves 8

1 slice whole wheat bread

2T low-fat milk

1/2 c finely chopped onion

¾ c canned pumpkin

¼ c chopped fresh parsley

1 egg

1T dried oregano

1t salt

freshly ground black pepper

2 lbs. meatloaf mix, (ground beef, pork, and veal)

2T dark brown sugar


Heat oven to 375’

Tear the bread into small pieces and place in a large bowl with the milk. Let it sit for 1 to 2 minutes, until the bread absorbs the milk.

Add the onion, ½ c of the pumpkin, the parsley, egg, oregano, salt, and pepper to taste, and whisk everything together.

Add the meat, stir with a wooden spoon, then mix thoroughly with your hands.  Pat the mixture into a loaf shape and place in a shallow 2qt. casserole dish.

Whisk the remaining ¼ c pumpkin with the brown sugar and spread on top.

Bake for 1 hour.  Let the loaf sit in pan for 10 minutes before slicing.


Great leftovers for delicious sandwiches!


I haven’t yet tried substituting ground turkey for the meatloaf mix.  If anyone does, let me know the results!

Pumpkin Cornbread

                                                            Makes 1 loaf

1 1/3 c unbleached all-purpose flour

1 c ground cornmeal

1 c sugar

2 t baking powder

1 t cinnamon

½ t baking soda

¼ t salt

2 eggs

1 c canned unsweetened pumpkin

4 T unsalted butter, melted

½ c nonfat milk

¾ c walnuts, coarsely chopped

1 T honey, mixed with 1 T melted butter (optional to brush on baked loaf)


Heat oven to 350’. Grease a 9X5 loaf pan with oil.

Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl, until thoroughly mixed.

Whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, butter, and milk in a smaller bowl.  Quickly mix this into the flour mixture until just combined.  Gently stir in the walnuts

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown and slightly separated from the edge of the pan, and a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove from the pan and brush with the glaze, if using.  Cool completely before slicing with a serrated knife.



“Our five-year old grandson couldn’t wait to tell his grandfather about the movie we had watched on television, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  The scenes with the submarine and giant octopus had kept him wide-eyed.


In the middle of the telling, my husband interrupted, ‘Mark! What caused the submarine to sink?’ 


With a look of incredulity Mark replied, ‘Grampa, it was the 20,000 leaks!!’”

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