2006 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 29

Week 29 (10/12/2006)


LAST CHANCE to Build Your Own Scarecrow!!!!!!


America’s Best Flowers 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.  We have helped over two hundred people create unique scarecrows. Due to an excellent turnout, we have extended the workshop through this 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.   


“Only in America…do we use answering machines to screen calls and then have call waiting so we won’t miss a call from someone we didn’t want to talk to in the first place…”


Perennial – Rule of Thumb


This week I have had many phone calls regarding the right time to transplant and divide perennials.  The basic rule of thumb is, “If it blooms in the spring, transplant in the fall; if it blooms in the summer or fall, transplant in the spring.”  While exceptions exist for all rules, you are generally safe following this one.  If you have questions about specific plants, feel free to call us – 222-2269.


“Only in America…do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions…”


Another Rule of Thumb


“If you don’t plant bulbs in the fall, you won’t have blooms in the spring!”  This rule has NO exceptions.  America’s Best Flowers can help!! We have an excellent selection of spring-blooming bulbs available: including tulips of all sizes and colors, bright stately daffodils, fragrant allium, and early crocus in a rainbow of colors.   Stop out today and let us help you choose bulbs to give you bloom all spring!


“Only in America…do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and leave useless junk in the garage.”




How to Winterize Roses – Great News!  Roses are Perennials!  A workshop full of information designed for you to learn how to protect your roses against harsh Wisconsin winters.  Free workshop will cover several types of winterization methods including blueprints for a structure to cover the entire bed.  Class by our own Sharon Stickford.  Saturday, October 21st at 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.  Use your choice of greens, dogwood, floral picks, eucalyptus, cat tails, dried hydrangeas, berries and more, to create a dramatic statement.


Holiday Open House Saturday, November 18th and Sunday, November 19th.  Get a free photo with Santa from Noon-2 PM with a food or monetary donation to the Second Harvest Food Pantry. Pets are welcome.




Create a Holiday Centerpiece – Saturday, December 16 at 10 AM.  Registration required.  Watch future newsletters for details.




“Only in America…do banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters.”




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 from America’s Best Flowers.  Their schools have received a $50 gift certificate for school beautification from America’s Best Flowers for their participation.


“Only in America…do they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille lettering!”


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.


“Which bulbs do I have to dig up before frost?”


When we talk about bulbs, we refer to spring bulbs and fall bulbs.  Spring bulbs refer to those which are planted in the spring for summer bloom.  They include dahlias, begonias, cannas, callas, gladiolas, caladium, and elephant ears.  These bulbs are frost-sensitive and need to be dug and placed in frost-free storage for the winter.  Many people choose to look at these bulbs as annuals, and leave them in the ground. 


Fall bulbs are the ones we plant in the fall for bloom the next spring.   These include tulips, daffodils, crocus, alliums, hyacinth, and iris.  These bulbs are hardy and can be left in the ground year round.  When planting  these bulbs, it is very important to fertilize them with Bulb Booster or bone meal, because it may be years before you dig and divide them. 


“When do I cut off my mums?”


There are a number of schools of thought regarding the proper care of mums.  First, please keep in mind that mums are, at best, a tender perennial, in this area.  They are generally hardy into the warmer regions of Zone 5.  Wisconsin has very few areas that fall into this category.  There certainly are mums in gardens that have survived year after year of our cold winters.  If you know someone with these mums, beg for a start next spring.  These truly hardy mums often have a longer bloom period, but much smaller blossoms.  The Fall Mums that are available everywhere this time of year probably are not this type.  These mums have been bred to give you that wonderful splash of autumn color to brighten your landscape.  These big, beautiful plants fill the gap between the summer annuals and winter snows.


If you want to try overwintering your mums, plant them as soon as possible in a protected area (perhaps the south or east side of your house). Be sure to plant them deeply.  Mums best chance for survival will be if their crowns are protected from the cold.  Some people cut them off 4-6 inches above the soil after frost has turned the blossoms brown.  If you do this, you can either lay the tops across your plants, for additional winter protection, and mulch over and around them, or discard the tops in your compost pile and mulch well around and over the plants.  Other people leave the tops standing and mulch well around them.  Whichever way you try, wait to mulch until the soil is frozen to help prevent soil heaving and to discourage fungal growth.  It is also very important to keep your mums well watered until the soil freezes, which usually occurs around Thanksgiving.


“I saw my neighbor sprinkling Preen around the edges of his lawn.  Isn’t it too late for that?”


No, Preen is an effective pre-emergent herbicide which works very well in the fall to prevent germination of winter annuals, such as chickweed, henbit and purslane.  The use of Preen on a regular basis throughout the entire growing season will help reduce the population of weed seeds in your gardens.  Please refer to Newsletter Week 8 for further information on controlling weeds.


 “Only in America – are there handicap parking places in front of a skating rink…”




The bridge over the interstate at Cottage Grove Road is still under construction.    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.


“Only in America – can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance!”


Bonnie’s Kitchen


Cod with Tomato and Artichoke Sauce

                                                                             Serves 4

4 cod filets (6 oz. each)

2 T olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

3 large cloves chopped garlic

1 14 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

1 ½ t dried oregano

1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, (reserve juice)

salt and pepper


Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic.  Saute until onion is almost tender, about 3 minutes.  Add artichokes and oregano.  Saute for about another 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and reserved juice and bring to a boil.  Season fish with salt and pepper.  Place fish atop vegetables in skillet.  Cover skillet and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer until fish is just opaque in center, about 5 minutes.  Transfer fish to platter; keep warm.


Increase heat under pan and boil mixture in skillet until liquid thickens to sauce consistency, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve fish with sauce over the top.


“Only in America…do people order double cheeseburgers, a large fry, and a Diet Coke…!!’”

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