2007 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 12

Newsletter 12 (6 /07/2007 )

  Recipe Bookmark


Do what you can, for who you can, with what you have, and where you are.


June is National Perennial Gardening Month.  Due to years of work by horticulturists doing what they could, with the plants they had, where they were, there are more great plants available than ever.  During June, Americas Best features a different perennial each week.  Our selection for this week is Coreopsis Autumn Blush.  What a summer beauty!  This sun loving plant has lovely light yellow flowers with red eyes.  In the cool days of late spring and fall, the flowers take on a wine rose blush.  The bright green thread-like foliage grows in 24 inch mounds that are covered with large flowers all summer.  Autumn Blush is so easy to grow, it is a must for every perennial garden.


The problem with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.


Americas Best Flowers want to help you do all your gardening right the first time.  And with the right help, it doesn’t have to be hard.  One of our most frequent requests at ABF is for help in designing a perennial garden.  If you, too, would like to have perennial gardens that are the envy of the neighborhood, we have an ideal opportunity just for you!  We have two—count ‘em TWO perennial workshops coming up back to back on Tuesday, June 12th and Wednesday June 13th. Join us at 6 PM both nights, for our special FREE classes. We will give you ideas to help you design perennial beds which will give you years of enjoyment in your outdoor living areas. Tuesday is our “Made in the Shade Gardening” and, Wednesday is our “Good Day, Sunshine Gardening”. Join our knowledgeable staff as they guide you in designing perennial beds for sun or shade.


Topics to be discussed in the classes include: site selection; bed preparation; design styles, colors and textures; choosing plant materials, from the classic to those that put a twist on old favorites; and plant selections for continuous bloom.


A sample garden plan will be provided FREE along with incentive pricing on perennials purchased during the seminar.


A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance.


Last Thursday, May 31, we were lucky to have Jan Vergeer, from the Langeveld Bulb Company, lead our FREE class on Container Water Gardening. Jan simplified this hot new trend and amazed many of us with how container water gardening can be easy as 1 2 3!


1. Select a container with a dark colored interior to provide the appearance of depth once the container is filled.

2. Pick your plants. You can cover 50-100% of the surface of your container with plants and no filtration is necessary, as long as you include an oxygenator, a water plant that lives and grows under the surface of the water and provides a self-cleaning and oxygenation element to your container.  Other plant choices include floaters and marginals, plants of varying heights which often produce beautiful flowers. Water plants come in containers of their own that can be placed directly into your container.

3. Fill with water.  You can determine the heights of your plants by placing stones or bricks underneath them.  A minimum of three inches of water is required over the base root system. Submerged oxygenators should be completely submerged, but may eventually grow above the water.


That’s how easy it is.  America’s Best Flowers has a great selection of both containers and water plants, and we invite you to stop out and view our lovely water gardens.


One of the newest items we have is the 20 inch kidney shaped AQUA BASKET, which comes complete with suspension hooks. These baskets are filled with a variety of plants of varying height, color and texture.  The hooks allow you to hang them directly on the rim of the pot.  Add an oxygenator and a few floaters, and voila! You have a stunning water garden container.  What a great choice for people with a hectic lifestyle and very little free time!  Water gardening is very low maintenance gardening.  To make it easier, we even offer pre-designed containers, which we can deliver and set up for you.  Whether you design your own or choose one of ours, water garden containers make a fabulous statement on your deck or patio.


The trouble with life is that there is no background music.


There are many ways to explore the world of gardening here at Americas Best Flowers. One of them is with our classes and workshops.  We try to offer a large choice of FREE courses, which we hope are of interest to you.  If there is a topic you would like to learn more about and think it would make an interesting class, let us know.  We will do our best to make your wishes come true.


Personally I am always ready to learn, but I do not always like being taught. Winston Churchill.




Tuesday, June 12 from 4 until 7PM


FREE soil and assistance. Join us in our Potting Shed for our final container workshop of the spring. We will help you choose annual and perennial plants of different textures, heights and color to create a stunning and eye-catching container.  Whether you need a sun or shade container, we will help you end up with a beautiful finished product. Come on out and get your hands dirty-we’ll even clean up the mess!



Tuesday, June 12th   6PM

“Made in the Shade Gardening” Perennial Gardening for Shade

Wednesday, June 13th   6PM

“Good Day Sunshine Gardening” Perennial Gardening for Sun

Join our Perennial Staff as they guide you in designing a perennial bed for sun or shade. 


Saturday, June 16th 10AM


We’ll help you make a beautiful grapevine and silk summer wreath for indoor or outdoor use-perhaps a red, white and blue one for the upcoming Fourth of July, or one filled simply with beautiful blooms and greens. Pre-registration required at 222-2269. Cost of workshop is $35.


Thursday, June 21 6:30PM

HOSTA WORKSHOP Another FREE Ask the Expert CLASS by Ed Schulz,

President of the Madison Hosta Society. Join us as Ed discusses What Makes Hostas Different?  He will cover basic requirements, selection and care, as well as answer all your questions.  Take this tremendous opportunity to learn more about the hosta, the king of all shade gardening plants.


Tuesday, July 10 6:30PM

NATIVE PLANT WORKSHOP Another FREE Ask the Expert CLASS by Joe and Diane Powelka.  Joe is the National President of Wild Ones Natural Landscapes and will discuss prairie and woodland plants. Learn how to restore native plants and natural landscapes.


Future Events


Last fall we began a series of Divide and Swap Saturdays. We featured iris, daylilies and Asiatic and Oriental lilies. Gardeners can come out and learn how to properly divide clumps of bulbs. Then you can exchange your variety with other gardeners to add new and exciting color to your garden!. Watch future newsletters for times.


They called it PMS because Mad Cow Disease was already taken.


Bonnie’s Kitchen


It’s rhubarb time again!  I’m blessed to work with some very good cooks.  Seems there are always treats to pass around and celebrations to enjoy with this group of wonderful people. Rhubarb is sooo good, but if you’re one of those unlucky people who first tasted a “yucky” recipe, and you’ve shied away from it since, I encourage you to give it another try. Here are three really good recipes my coworkers brought in for treats!


This one reminds me of my grandma’s coffee cake and I love it!


Mom’s Raw Rhubarb Cake

1½ c brown sugar

½ c butter

1 egg

½ t salt

1 c buttermilk, sour milk, or sour cream

1 t soda

½ t baking powder

1 t vanilla

2¼ c flour

1½ c cut rhubarb



¼ c sugar

1 t cinnamon

1 t nutmeg


Cream sugar, butter, egg, and salt. Stir in buttermilk, soda, vanilla, and flour.  Add rhubarb and beat well. Pour into well-greased 9×13 cake pan.  Sprinkle with topping. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.


This can be served as a coffeecake, or is good as a dessert cake with whipped cream or ice cream.

Recipe from Ilene Isenberg


Cherry Rhubarb Crunch

Serves 12


1½ c quick oatmeal

1½ c brown sugar

pinch of salt

1½ c flour

¾ c margarine or butter


4 c rhubarb, diced

1 c sugar

1 c water

2 T cornstarch

1 t almond extract or vanilla

1 can cherry pie filling

½ c chopped nuts

Mix crust ingredients and press ¾ of mixture in bottom of 9X13 pan.  Layer with cut rhubarb.  Boil sugar, water and cornstarch till thick. Add extract or vanilla and pie filling. Spoon over rhubarb.  Sprinkle with remaining crust mixture.  Add nuts on top. Bake 45 minutes at 350

Recipe from Sandra Lange


Rhubarb Surprise

Serves 15


1 c all-purpose flour

½ c firmly packed brown sugar

1/3 t salt

½ c chopped walnuts

¼ c margarine or butter

1 t vanilla



2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened

¾ c sugar

1 t vanilla

3 eggs



3 c fresh rhubarb, chopped

¾ to 1 c sugar

¼ t cinnamon

¼ c water

1 T cornstarch


Heat oven to 375.  Lightly spoon flour mixture into measuring cup: level off.  In medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, salt and nuts.  Blend in butter and vanilla.  Press into ungreased 9X13 pan. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.  In mixing bowl beat cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Mix in sugar and vanilla.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Pour cheese mixture over baked crust.  Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes, or until set and edges are light brown: set aside.  In large saucepan, combine chopped rhubarb, sugar, cinnamon, water and cornstarch.  Cook, stirring constantly until thickened and rhubarb is tender. Cool. Pour over cheese filling. Chill.  Served with whipped cream, if desired.  Refrigerate leftovers.

Recipe from Rachel Munz


When a grandmother was in her late eighties, she decided to move to Israel.  As part of the preparations, she went to see her doctor and get all her charts.  The doctor asked her how she was doing, so she gave him the litany of complaints, this hurts, that’s stiff, I’m tired, etc.  He responded with, “Mrs. Siegel, you have to expect things to start deteriorating.  After all, who wants to live to 100?”


The grandmother looked him straight in the eye and replied, “Anyone who’s 99.”

May the Holy Spirit Guide You!  God Bless
Edward Knapton says Keep on Smiling!
President 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

Also President of The Commercial Flower Growers of Wisconsin  http://www.cfgw.org/ an Organization that is a division of the six group Wisconsin Green Industry Federation (WGIF) a 3 Billion dollar industry with over 4700 businesses and over 43,000 employees in Wisconsin
Senator Representing Wisconsin members of the American Nursery and Landscape Association – ANLA
Also Board member of Garden’s Beautiful Garden Centers
Also member of legislative of Committee of WGIF

Also Board Member of (WGIF) Wisconsin Green Industry Federation

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