2007 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 29

Newsletter 29– October 11, 2007     Events>    Bonnie’s Kitchen>


What did one jack-o-lantern say to the other?   Cut it out!


Pumpkins, in all sizes and shapes, are waiting for you at America’s Best Flowers.  From minis to pie pumpkins to carvers, we have what you are looking for. 

Pumpkins are believed to have originated right here in North America. Native Americans used pumpkin as a staple in their diets centuries before the pilgrims landed.  Early settlers learned to use pumpkins in a wide variety of recipes from desserts to breads to stews and soups.  Pumpkin pie is thought to have been created when colonists sliced off the pumpkin top, removed the seeds, and filled it with milk, spices and honey.  It was then baked in the hot ashes of a dying fire.

The tradition of pumpkin carving was actually brought to America by Irish immigrants. They originally carved turnips and rutabagas, but when they arrived in America they found an abundance of pumpkins and discovered they were much easier to carve for their ancient holiday, All Hallow’s Eve, which we now know as Halloween. 


What do you get if you cross a ghost with a black bird?  A scare-crow.


Don’t Miss Out

Our Build-Your-Own Scarecrow event runs through this Sunday, October 14. When you come out, we will start you off with a kit that contains everything you need but the clothes.  Add a great outfit (bring your own or buy from us at garage sale prices), and you have a scarecrow that will be the envy of the neighborhood.  If you set your creation on a straw bale and surround the whole scene with brilliant mums, fountain grass and pumpkins, you will have a fabulous fall display.  Stop out anytime and one of our staff will be glad to help. Saturday and Sunday we will be serving complementary refreshments and we will have special children’s activities from noon to 4 on Saturday afternoon.  See Upcoming Events for details.


Why don’t the apples smile when you go bobbing?  Because they’re crab apples.



When we talk about Spring-flowering bulbs we are referring to bulbs that we plant in the fall for bloom in the spring and early summer.  These include tulips, daffodils, crocus and hyacinth.  The term bulb is used to refer to any plant that has the capacity to store food underground.  October is a perfect time to plant bulbs.  There is still a few weeks before the ground will freeze, allowing the bulbs time to establish roots.  With our special savings on bulbs, which begins today, you can insure a beautiful spring at a very affordable price.  Come on out today and choose from our selection of great bulbs.  But you might hurry, at these prices, they will be going fast.


What turns the lights off on Halloween?  The light’s witch.



If you’ve been growing your tropical plants outdoors all summer, it’s definitely time to get them inside the house for the winter.  Our fall has been so mild this year, that our plants have been able to enjoy a longer than normal period outside. But all of this is fast changing.  Wherever you are in the following process, if night- time temperatures are forecast below 45 degrees, be ready to slide your plants inside the garage for the night.

The basic steps in preparing your plants to go inside are: 

1.    Move your sun loving plants into the shade for a week or so.  This gets them used to lower light conditions similar to what you have in your home.

2.    Submerge the entire pot in a bucket or tub of lukewarm water for several hours.  If there are any insects, or other creatures in the soil, they will either drown or float to the top of the water.  This is also a great way to soak the soil.  Just be sure to allow plenty of time to drain before bringing in into your home.

3.    Just before bringing them in, hose them down with a strong stream of water.  This helps to blow off any insects that may be living on your plants.  Then spray them down well with insecticidal soap, making sure to spray tops and bottoms of the leaves, stems, and trunks. This step can be done while the pot is soaking in the tub of water.  Allow to dry outside before bringing in.

4.    Move your plants indoors to a well-lit area.  Keep away from heat sources and drafts.  Place a saucer under the pot.  For most plants, you won’t need to water until the top inch of the soil has dried.  Never let your plants sit with water in their saucers.

5.    You should expect most varieties of tropical plants to lose some leaves after their move. 

6.   Cut back on the amount of fertilizer you give.  Generally, I say use half strength (one-half the amount suggested on the container) in fall, and reduce to plain water for November, December, and January.  When the days start to lengthen in mid-February begin your feeding with half strength until mid-April when you once again can increase to full strength.

Where plants are concerned, you can never have too much of a good thing. America’s Best has many beautiful houseplants in stock.  We have Streptocarpella, Chenille, Spider Plants, Ivies and Ferns available in hanging baskets. Bridal Veil, Boston and Foxtail Ferns, Assorted Ivies, wandering jews, and begonias, just to name a few, are available in pots.  We also have large pots of sansevieria, fig trees, citrus trees and dragonwing begonias.  If your home needs some fresh green plants to brighten it up, come on out today.  You can enjoy gardening indoors, all winter long.


What did the pumpkin say after Thanksgiving?   Good Pie



Last Chance to Make A Scarecrow through October 14. Everyone’s favorite and tons of fun.  Bring your family and friends, or come by yourself to have unbelievable fun creating your own scarecrow. We provide the basics for a small fee.  Bring your own clothes, or purchase some from us at garage sale prices. Popcorn and cider will be available Saturday and Sunday.  A Rain or Shine event!

Saturday afternoon, October 13 from noon-4 PM we will be having FREE children’s activities including a scavenger hunt, and match games.  Keeping with our goal to foster children’s interest in gardening, your child can plant something to take home and watch grow.  Bring the family or a group of friends, and don’t forget your camera.



Why are pumpkins better than men?  Each year you get a brand new crop to choose from and they are always on the doorstop waiting to greet you.

Bonnie’s Kitchen

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

There are always lots of pumpkins to carve up around Halloween, and what better way to make use of the seeds, than to eat them, salted and toasted? My preference is with the shells on. If they are toasted correctly, they are wonderfully crunchy and easy to eat! Try to use seeds from the sugar or pie pumpkins (which are not really pumpkins but large squash ) and not the huge carving type of pumpkins.  The trick is to boil the seeds in salted water before toasting them.

Here’s an easy recipe!

1 medium pumpkin


olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut open your pumpkin and use a sturdy metal spoon to scoop out the insides. Separate the seeds from the stringy core and rinse them.

In a small saucepan, add the seeds to water-about 2 cups of water to every half cup of seeds. Add a tablespoon of salt for every cup of water.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.

Spread about a tablespoon of olive oil over the bottom of a roasting pan. Spread the seeds out over the roasting pan in a single layer. Bake on top rack for 20 minutes, or until the seeds begin to brown. When browned to your satisfaction, remove from the oven and let the pan cool on a rack. Add additional salt if needed.  Let the seeds cool all the way down before eating. Either crack to remove the inner seed (a lot of unnecessary work, if you ask me) or eat whole.

Pumpkin seeds make a great addition to salads or sprinkled on creamy soups like tomato, squash, pumpkin and creamy broccoli or cauliflower soups.


Spicy Pumpkin Pancakes

This is great served with hot apple cider and sliced pears. It’s an easy recipe from Betty Crocker.

Maple-Pecan Syrup

1 cup maple flavored syrup

1 tablespoon butter

¼ cup chopped pecans


2 1/3 cups Bisquick

1/3 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

1 ¼ cups milk

1 ¼ cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

2 eggs

In 1 quart saucepan, heat syrup and butter until butter is melted, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, stir in pecans.

Heat griddle or skillet over medium heat or to 375 degrees. Grease griddle with vegetable oil if necessary. In medium bowl, stir all pancake ingredients until well blended. For each pancake, pour slightly less that ¼ cup batter onto hot griddle.

Cook until edges are dry. Turn; cook other sides until golden brown. Serve with syrup.


While touring historic building in Alexandria, Virginia, we visited an old church.  The guide told us that George Washington had attended services there and pointed to his pew.

A reverent silence fell.  The guide, encouraged by this, went on to tell us that church services back then had been very lengthy – frequently lasting three hours or more.

The mood of the moment was shattered when an anonymous voice whispered loudly, “So George Washington slept here, too!”


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
https://www.americasbestflowers.com/home.htmlAlso 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