2006 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 31

Week 31 (10/26/2006)


“It’s the last of October,

        when the Goblins run wild.

                It’s a time when ALL

                        like to have fun as a child!”


With the recent colder temperatures, there is no question that fall is here.  The brilliant colors of late mums and asters continue to brighten the landscape.  America’s Best Flowers has great ideas to brighten your home.  Even though real pumpkins have been in short supply this year, we have great ceramic alternatives.  Buy once, at our special seasonal prices, and have for years to come.  Use our bumpy gourds and pumpkins to create colorful displays inside or out.  Terra cotta pumpkin planters turn any of our tropical foliage into instant fall décor.  Come in today and let us help you decorate for fall.


Absolute proof that fall is here – it’s time to turn your clocks back Saturday night. 


 “Who won the skeleton beauty contest? ….. No body.”




A drum roll please…….


Mrs. Troias’ third grade class at St. Dennis Elementary School was the winner of our “Scarecrow in the Garden” contest.  Their entry was entitled, “Scarecrow-hood of the Traveling Pants.”  They had a pizza party Wednesday, October 25, complete with soda and ice cream.


Three Angels Christian Day School received honorable mention.  Our employees chipped in and will be providing pizza to them, too!


Our thanks to everyone who ‘voted’ with their canned good donations for the Atwood Avenue Food Pantry.


“How do you mend a broken Jack-O-Lantern? ….. with a pumpkin patch.”


UPCOMING EVENTS at America’s Best Flowers


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, cattails, dried hydrangeas, berries and more, to create a dramatic statement.  Bring a friend!!


Holiday Open House – Saturday, November 18th and Sunday, November 19th from 9 – 6.  Our Winter Wonderland. containing over 6,000 ABF-grown Poinsettias, Christmas trees, hand-decorated wreaths, boughs, roping, Holiday Porch Pots, Amaryllis, Christmas Cactus and more, will fill you with the ‘Spirit of Christmas’.  Free family photos with Santa from Noon-2 PM with a food or monetary donation to the Second Harvest Food Pantry. Pets are welcome.  Complimentary cookies and hot beverages.


Create a Holiday Centerpiece – Saturday, December 16 at 10 AM.    Create an elegant holiday centerpiece using fresh greens, candles, berries, and more, for your home.  We’ll provide assistance and all materials.  Registration required. $35 fee includes the cost of the centerpiece. Call 222-2269 for additional information.


“What’s the first thing ghosts do when they get in the car? ….. bookle their seat belts.”




If you haven’t planted as many spring-flowering bulbs as you will wish you had next spring, there’s still time!  America’s Best Flowers still has a good assortment of tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths, as well as specialty bulbs.  In previous newsletters, I have talked about planting bulbs to create spring bouquets in your garden, see Newsletter Week 27.  If you live in an apartment, a condo, don’t have enough space to plant in the ground, or are just looking for something different for the spring, there is another way to enjoy spring bulbs – in a pot!


Start with a wide frost-proof container which is at least 12 to 14 inches deep and has good drainage holes in the bottom.  Place a layer of soil-less potting mix in the bottom so that the first layer of bulbs will be about 10-12 inches below the top of the pot.   Stir in a handful of bulb food and then arrange a layer of daffodils bulbs (from 9 to 15 depending on the size of your container) on the soil.  There should be an inch or two of space between each bulb.  Cover with 2-3 inches of soil, another handful of bulb food and a layer of tulips.  Add an inch or two more soil, bulb food and a few hyacinth bulbs.  Finally, add another layer of soil, bulb food, and an assortment of small specialty bulbs.   Cover these with two inches of soil (by now you should be within an inch or two of the top of the pot). 


Place your container in a cold spot outside, away from the sun, and water well.  Your bulbs need to be cold for the winter, so leave outside until daytime temperatures are consistently cold.  Then you can either move the frozen pot into an unheated garage or shed, or simply leave outside and cover well with leaves and mulch.  Whichever way you choose, remember that your bulbs will need to have water available to them throughout the winter.


Come next spring, move your spring garden where it can be seen, and watch as each layer of bulbs will flower at different times, providing you with a complete spring garden in a pot.


These pots also make wonderful gifts!!  Everyone knows someone whose life would be brightened next spring with a pot of beautiful spring flowers.  Make someone’s day!!  Pot up several containers and deliver them just as they are coming into bloom next spring. 


“Why didn’t the skeleton want to go to school? …. Because his heart wasn’t in it.”




With less than two months until Christmas, it’s time to start thinking about what you will be giving those special people on your list.  America’s Best Flowers invites you to shop early to reduce your holiday stress later.  We have an interesting selection of gifts for any gardener.  From the practical, a quality pair of leather gloves, to the delightful, one of our newly arrived authentic brass sundials, we can help you find the perfect gift.  If you prefer to give gift certificates, America’s Best Flowers’ gift certificates can be purchased in any amount and never expire or lose value.  Come on out today and get a jump on the season.  You’ll be glad you did!!!


“What kind of mistakes do spooks make? …..Booboos!”


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.


“Is now a good time to cut back my azaleas and rhododendrons?”


Azaleas and rhododendrons bloom on last year’s growth.  If you look carefully, you will see tiny buds beginning to form.  The best time to cut them back is right after they bloom.  If you prune in the fall, you will be reducing the blooms next year. 


“I remember hearing something about a pruning rule, do you know one?”


You might be referring to the 3D Rule.  This time of year we generally recommend that the only pruning you do is to remove dead wood, damaged wood, or diseased wood.  There is a fourth d – I call it disoriented wood.  It refers to the branches that are growing off in odd

directions, at extreme angles, or crossing other branches.


“Who did Frankenstein take to the prom? …. His ghoul friend!”




We have on good authority that the bridge over the interstate at Cottage Grove Road is to be completed by the week of November 13!!!  This will be just in time for our Holiday Open House.  Until then, you can easily reach us by following one of these alternate routes.


 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.


“Where do spooks water ski? ….. Lake Erie”


Bonnie’s Kitchen


When my children were little they loved these, and they also were a big hit at bake sales, because they look just like caramel apples!




1 2/3 c flour

1 c tightly packed brown sugar

1 t cinnamon

½ t allspice

1 t baking soda

½ t salt

¾ c applesauce

¼ c sour cream

1/3 c vegetable oil

1 t lemon juice


Caramel Glaze

20 caramels

3 T milk

Melt together in saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth.


Preheat oven.

Combine flour, sugar, spices, soda, and salt in mixing bowl.  Stir in applesauce, sour cream, oil, and lemon juice.

Pour into muffin tins filled with paper liners. Bake 20 minutes.

Cool completely on wire rack.


Spread caramel glaze over top of cupcakes and insert stick upright in center of each.  Garnish rim of each cake with chopped walnuts to resemble caramel apples.


“What is a monster’s favorite play?….. Romeo and Ghouliet”


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