2007 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 17

Newsletter 17 – July 19, 2007 Bonnie’s Kitchen


A plateau is a high form of flattery.


This time of year our gardens seem to have reached a plateau.  The freshness of spring is past, the promise of fall yet to come.  Whether you call it – lazy, crazy, hazy days; summer doldrums, dog days; or my dad’s favorite – ‘a scorcher’ – you picture images of long summer days, muggy, simmering heat and endless thirst.  Lawns look parched, flowers wilt and recycle bins overflow with aluminum cans and bottles. 


But there’s much more to summer than heat.  We have bugs, diseases, unexplained dieback, yellow leaves, things growing in mulch, blooms falling off, weeds in beds, trees popping up from roots, more weeds in pots, seeds coming up where they don’t belong, overwatered plants, underwatered plants, tomatoes with black bottoms, leggy annuals with one lonely bloom on top, spotted leaves on roses, and on and on and on.  But that’s what makes gardening so much fun. How boring it would be if every plant was perfect, rain fell in just the right quantities, and no insects attacked. 


Gardeners’ education begins with these challenges.  What to do when they occur.  How to predict when they may happen.  How to win the war of too much, not enough, and never, ever again.  Looking beyond these struggles to the lushness of foliage, the fragrance of blossoms, and the taste of freshness provides the mental and physical rewards of gardening. 


America’s Best Flowers wants to help you realize these rewards.  From our knowledgeable staff answering questions, to Ask the Expert classes, we are here to help you succeed.  Maybe a few of our annual containers would add color to a troublesome spot. Or perhaps the sounds of a bubbling fountain would calm your busy day.  Whatever you need, always feel free to stop by. Whether it’s for a chat about what’s on your mind, or a garden question or problem.  If you have a holey leaf or a mystery insect – just put it in a Ziploc bag and bring it along.  We’ll be glad to see you.


A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.


Deadheading 101


When you think about the term ‘deadhead,’ what do you think of?  For truck drivers, it’s the dreaded return trip without cargo.  Or perhaps, if you are a fan of the Grateful Dead, you may think of yourself as a ‘Deadhead.’


In the garden, deadheading has a totally different meaning. It refers to the removal of spent flowers from a plant for one of several reasons.


The main reason is to encourage continual flowering.  Pinching off old flowers stimulates new growth and more bloom.  Some plants, like marigolds, need a simple removal of the spent flowers; while others, like geraniums,  benefit from the removal of the spent flowers as well as the stalk on which they grow.  Deadheading is used on both annuals and perennials.


Deadheading works in the same way as pinching or pruning to help keep plants compact.  By removing spent flowers and a bit of the stem below the flower, you are encouraging a fuller plant. 


Deadheading prevents plants from using their energy to produce seeds.  Instead this energy can be used to grow new foliage and, in many cases, more blossoms.  With simple deadheading, most annuals and many perennials can be encouraged to bloom all summer.  Others, like dianthus and coreopsis, require a light shearing at the end of a bloom flush, to encourage another round of blossom.  There are even some shrubs, like spirea, that respond in this way.


Some perennials and many woody plants, like lilacs, do not rebloom, but deadheading keeps them looking a lot nicer for the entire growing season. 


If you haven’t been a ‘deadheader’ in the past, it’s never too late to start.  All you need is a pair of garden shears and a bucket to put the waste in. The increased flowering and tidy plants will make you glad you did.


The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.




Herbs are for Everyone – Thursday, July 26th 6:30PM FREE CLASS!

Join Mari Lynn Haugh as she explains the many different uses of herbs.


Make a Fall Wreath – Tuesday, August 14th and Thursday, August 16th 6:30 PM Design a beautiful silk and grapevine wreath for indoor or outdoor use. This is another of our “Make and Take” events. Pre-register by calling 222-2269.


How to Winterize Roses – Sunday, September 30th1PM.  Join rose experts Sharon Stickford and Jean Schultz as they share their knowledge on everything you need to know to ensure having healthy roses following even the harshest of winters FREE EVENT


When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.


Divide and Swap

Last fall we began a series of Divide and Swap Saturdays. We featured iris, daylilies and Asiatic and Oriental lilies. Gardeners came out and learned how to properly divide clumps of bulbs. They exchanged varieties with other gardeners to add new and exciting color to their garden!  If you would be interested in this activity, please e-mail or give us a call (222-2269)and let us know what you would like to ‘Divide and Swap’  Watch future newsletters for times.


Did you hear about the two blondes who froze to death in a drive-in movie?  They had gone to see “Closed for the winter.”


Bonnie’s Kitchen


As the song goes, "Summertime, and the livin’ is easy". Here’s a fun, yummy , and easy summer dinner.


Grilled Pesto Pizza


2 packages ready-to-serve Italian pizza crusts (6" in diameter).  I use Boboli

1 cup basil pesto

2 jars (6 oz. each) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

6 large Roma tomatoes, sliced (2 cups)

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (8 oz.) (Sometimes, I substitute feta)


Fresh basil leaves


Heat grill. Grill pizza crusts, top sides down, until light brown. Remove from grill.

Spread pesto over grilled side of crusts. Top with artichokes and tomatoes.

Sprinkle with cheese.


Cover and grill about 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.  Cut each pizza in half.

8 servings.


Before serving, sprinkle pizza with chopped fresh basil.


White Sangria


This is refreshing, and good either with or without the alcohol.


1/2 c sugar

1 c orange flavored liqueur or orange juice

1 c vodka or 7UP

2 medium peaches or nectarines, thinly sliced

1 medium orange, thinly sliced

1 lemon,and 1 lime, thinly sliced

1 bottle dry white wine, non-alcoholic wine, or white grape juice, chilled

1 bottle club soda, chilled (1 qt)


Stir the sugar, orange liqueur and vodka in half-gallon glass or plastic pitcher until sugar is dissolved. Pour half of vodka mixture into another half-gallon glass or plastic pitcher. Divide fruits and wine evenly between pitchers.


Refrigerate until serving. just before serving, pour half of club soda into each pitcher; stir gently to mix. Serve immediately. Serve over ice if desired.

12 servings (3/4 c each)


Mensa is an organization whose members have an IQ of 140 or higher  A few years ago, there was a Mensa Convention in Francisco, and several members lunched at a local café.


While dining, they discovered that their salt shaker contained pepper and their pepper shaker was full of salt.  How could they swap the contents of the bottles without spilling, and using only the implements at hand?  Clearly this was a job for Mensa!  The group debated and presented ideas, and finally came up with a brilliant solution involving a napkin, a straw, and an empty saucer.  They called the waitress over to dazzle her with their solution.


“Ma’am,” they said, “we couldn’t help but notice that the pepper shaker contains salt and the salt shaker..” 


“Oh,” the waitress interrupted.  “Sorry about that.”  She unscrewed the caps of both bottles and switched them.


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