2007 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 14

Newsletter 14 (6 /21/2007 )

  Recipe Bookmark




Last Friday, June 15, America’s Best Flowers received a 2007 Dane County Small Business Award during a ceremony at Madison Marriott West.  To qualify, businesses must be at least 3 years old, have a minimum number of employees and do less than $10 million in sales per year.


The entries were judged on a number of criteria, including commitment to the community, customer satisfaction and employee opportunities and benefits.  America’s Best Flowers has always prided itself on these things.  We are delighted to be recognized by Dane County as a model small business. 


Stop in to see our trophy and experience the customer service that sets us apart as an award-winning small business.


What do you call a bug dance?  A moth ball.




The phrase, “Open Up a Can of Worms” has taken on an entirely new meaning at my house.  Our home, in Monona, has 11 wonderful oak trees in the yard, and all of them have become home to thousands of gypsy moth caterpillars.  As you have probably heard on the news, 2007 is a particularly good year for these creatures.  Ranging from one to three inches long, these furry insects with colorful spots on their backs might be interesting to have around, if they weren’t such a pest.  Every night they feast on oak leaves, defoliating the trees, and at the same time excreting huge amounts of droppings which litter whatever is below.  I have been sweeping our sidewalks at least once a day, gagging all the way. 


During the day, these nocturnal critters can be found hiding in crevices of the bark or on foliage at the bases of the trees they inhabit. Recently I was given a pamphlet by a neighbor called “What to do about Gypsy Moths in your backyard.”  Following its instructions, I put burlap bands around each tree.  Last night when I checked them, hundreds of caterpillars had sought shelter under the burlap.  Now, you might ask, “What does a person do when they find hundreds of creepy crawlies on a tree?”


This is where the ‘can of worms’ comes in.  Right now on my porch I have six coffee cans filled with a mixture of water, dish soap and worms.  At last count, I was approaching 2500 of these drowned invaders.  “Wow!” you might say, “That’s a lot”.  And indeed it is, especially when you consider that each individual caterpillar was hand-picked or flicked into the can.  So you would think that surely I have made a dent in the population, but this morning, I again swept a solid coating of droppings from the walk.  I can’t wait to get home and see how many are hiding today.  Does that make me weird?


If you, too, are cohabitating with Gypsy Moth caterpillars, and would like more information, visit http://datcp.state.wi.us/arm/environment/insects/gypsy-moth/index.jsp


What do you call it when worms take over the world?  A Global Worming!


Perennial of the Week


In honor of June as National Perennial Gardening Month, America’s Best Flowers features a different perennial each week.  This week our selections are ‘Adam’ and ‘Fireball’ Monarda.  Commonly known as bee balm, these sun loving plants are a wonderful addition to any garden.  ‘Fireball’ grows to 24” and ‘Adam’ will reaches a height of 42” The red blossoms attract hummingbirds and butterflies, and are great for cutting.  Monardas are so hardy, they will grow in almost any soil.  Stop out today and pick up a one or two for your garden. 


How do you make a butterfly?  Flick it out of the butter dish with a knife.




If you have never considered growing your own fruit, now is the time.  Whether you like grapes, berries, apples, pears, plums or cherries, we have the plants and knowledge to get you started.  Stop out today and let us help you.  Your efforts will be rewarded for years to come.


What do you get if you cross a firefly and a moth?  An insect who can find its way around a dark closet.




The soft cottony look and feel of our new outdoor rugs, disguise their rugged strength.  The synthetic yard provides optimum durability.  These rugs are resistant to stains, abrasion, fading and mildew.  When needed, they can be cleaned with a mild detergent solution and rinsed with a hose.  We offer a variety of styles to suit your patio, deck, or porch.


What pillar doesn’t need holding up?  A caterpillar




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.  We get ideas for classes from our customers, so if there is a topic you would like to learn more about, or a speaker you would like to hear, let us know.  We will try our hardest to make it work.   


What’s the daffi-nition of a caterpillar?  A worm in a fur coat!




TONIGHT!! Thursday, June 21 at 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 your questions.  Take this tremendous opportunity to learn more, from a true expert, about the hosta, the king of all shade gardening plants.


Tuesday, July 10 at 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.


What is a myth?  A female moth.


Bonnie’s Kitchen


Here’s a great recipe for grilled shrimp.  As Emeril would say, “BAM!”


Grilled Citrus and Herb Jumbo Shrimp in Their Shells

By Emeril Lagasse


1 ½ lbs jumbo shrimp

2 t. kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

1 t. freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning

½ c. olive oil

½ c. freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 T. minced garlic

1 T. roughly chopped fresh rosemary leaves

1 T. roughly chopped fresh marjoram leaves

1 T. roughly chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 c. dry couscous

½ c. finely chopped red onion

1 T. chopped fresh parsley leaves

Salt & Pepper


Use a pair of kitchen shears to cut the backs of the shrimp through the shell, and use a paring knife or skewer to remove the vein.  Season the shrimp with 1 t. salt and ½ t. pepper.  In a mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, 1 t. salt, and ½ t. pepper.  Reserve 6 T. of marinade.  Place the shrimp in large Ziploc bag and add remaining marinade.  Seal the bag, and massage ingredients together to mix well.  Place bag in a casserole dish and refrigerate for 1 hour.


Set grill to medium high. Remove shrimp from marinade wiping off excess and place on grill.  Cook the shrimp until they begin to curl and turn pink, about 2 minutes.  Turn over and cook on the other side another 2 to 3 minutes, until just cooked through.  Serve on a bed of couscous, drizzled with some of the reserved marinade. Season with salt & pepper to taste.


To make couscous, place in a stainless steel or glass bowl.  Bring 1 ¼ cup water to a boil in a saucepan along with the red onion.  Pour boiling water over couscous, wrap the bowl in plastic wrap, and set aside undisturbed until the couscous has absorbed the water, about 5-6 minutes.  Fluff the couscous with a fork, and add chopped parsley.


A distraught senior citizen phoned her doctor’s office.

“Is it true that the medication you prescribed has to be taken

for the rest of my life?”

“Yes, I’m afraid so,” the doctor told her.

There was a moment of silence before the senior lady replied,

“I’m wondering, then, just how serious is my condition,

because the prescription is marked ‘NO REFILLS’.”

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