2007 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 30

Newsletter 30 – October 18, 2007   Bonnies Kitchen  Events


Why are Casper’s phone bills so high each month?

He is always calling ghost to ghost.



Several associates from America’s Best Flowers spent last week on the East Coast attending a garden center conference.  These yearly events are wonderful opportunities to tour some of the best gardens in America, as well as meet with people from other garden centers all across America and discuss topics, like “How do we best serve the gardening needs of our customers?”  “How do we choose the best plan to direct our business?”  “What are the best trends in gardening?”  And of course, “What are the best plants that will be available next year?”

Perhaps one of the best things that come out of these conferences is the enthusiasm it creates in our associates who attend.  Ideas for how to do what we do best almost bubble from them as they share their experiences with the rest of our staff.  At meetings we have following these trips, this enthusiasm is contagious.  Soon everyone is talking and planning and looking forward to doing the best job possible next year helping our customers create beautiful gardens. 


What do spooks call their Navy?  The Ghost Guard!



America’s Best Flowers is increasing our focus on growing the best annuals and perennials possible.  A result of this emphasis is a change to seasonal retail hours.  Our 2007 gardening season will end October 31, when we will close for the winter. 

In preparation for Gardening 2008, we will spend the next few months attending garden and trade shows, redesigning the greenhouse, performing necessary maintenance and cleaning, taking time off to refresh ourselves, and, of course, growing the beautiful plants that will adorn your landscapes next year.

We will continue to send monthly newsletters throughout the winter to keep you up-to-date.  When we reopen next April, we pledge to uphold our high standards with quality products and superior customer assistance.

During the next two weeks we hope to see all of you.  This is the time of year we have incredible deals you won’t want to miss.  Refer to the highlights at the top of this newsletter to see our markdowns on trees, shrubs, perennials, bulbs, fountains, and more.

Where do ghosts keep their cars?   In a mirage.



To everyone who came out over the last three weeks to build scarecrows.  Everyone at America’s Best loves this workshop.  It’s our chance to work one on one with children of all ages, to encourage creativity and to just plain have fun.  If you didn’t make it out this year, we encourage you to mark your 2008 calendar.  We will be ‘Scarecrowing’ from the last of September through the middle of October.  We sure would like to see you!


Who did the ghost go with to the Halloween party?

With No-Body!



I know I have been talking about spring blooming bulbs for the past few weeks, and you might be getting a bit tired of the subject.  So this time I will just encourage you to check the highlights at the top of this newsletter for this week’s great offer on bulbs.  Oh, and one more thing, if you don’t plant them this fall, you’ll be kicking yourself next spring.

What would you call the ghost of a door-to-door salesman?

A dead ringer.


TO CUT BACK, OR NOT TO CUT BACK – That is the Question?

When you look out over your garden in autumn you see flowered-out perennials. Some are succumbing to diseases like powdery mildew and some are losing their leaves and turning brown. How can you keep these plants healthy for next year and still clean up your garden? You need to choose a balance between these two objectives, weighing factors such as hardiness of each particular plant species, your use of the garden space for the winter season, disease factors, and your available time.

As long as there has not been a freeze and your plants have green foliage to undergo photosynthesis, there are still beneficial nutrients being sent to its crown. Removing stems and leaves early limits the amount of energy reserves the plant has going into winter, which fuels new growth in spring. It is generally best to wait to remove top growth until it naturally dies back or until after a hard freeze. Some perennials, when cut back prematurely, may try to re-grow from the base, especially if we have a long, warm fall. Such plants use up the stored energy reserves and may not survive the winter.

For marginally hardy plants, such as mums and lavender, it is better to leave old growth through the winter and remove it in spring. Stems can act as small windbreaks to accumulate snow and leaves, which insulate the crown of the plant.

Another reason to leave top growth intact through the winter is the interest it provides. Many perennials, including cone flowers, heliopsis, astilbe, and most ornamental grasses, have relatively strong stems which provide interesting architecture, as well as seeds for wildlife.

Very hardy plants such as bee-balm, daylilies, hostas, and peonies are so durable that removing their foliage in the fall is no problem. Cleaning up and carefully discarding their leaves and stems can help reduce disease the following season. Even for the more tender perennials, where diseases have been an issue, removal of diseased tissue in the fall is a wise choice. Mulch can be used to help insulate them from our harsh winter.

If plants are not diseased, leaving top growth on herbaceous perennials is the easiest and most recommended method. In spring, the old top growth of many plants is more brittle and much easier to remove than in the fall. Consider your particular perennials, winter garden preferences, and disease factors and make the best choices for your situation.

Where do the ghosts go the day before Halloween?

To the boo-ty parlor.



2007 is quickly coming to a close for America’s Best Flowers.  It was a great year, filled with many special events, planned with you in mind.  When we reopen in 2008, we hope to ‘knock your socks off’ with all that will be going on here at the greenhouse.

In April 2008, our Spring Open House will kick off the season with FREE workshops, demonstrations, hot dogs and popcorn.  Other events include our annual Herb Fest, Earth Day Celebration and the start of our Container Workshops.

The first Saturday in May 2008 is our annual “SALSA SATURDAY.” We will be giving away a $50 gift certificate for the best salsa recipe and offer tasty samples.

Special Mother’s Day activities and free classes on vegetable and perennial gardening will continue on into the season, along with our Make and Take Workshops and children’s activities.  We also promise you many exciting surprises.

Our goal is to hold events that are interesting and helpful to our customers. If you have ideas for events, please let us know.  You can email us at ed@americasbestflowers.com or call 222-2269.


The robot turned into a ghost because he couldn’t rust in peace.

Bonnie’s Kitchen

Mexican Chicken Stew

This one is great served with warm tortillas and orange slices, served over baby spinach!

6 servings

4 T olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

4 large cloves of garlic, chopped

2 jalapenos, seeded and sliced

1 T dried oregano

1 t dried cumin

1 (28 ounce) can chopped tomatoes

3 cups shredded cooked chicken

Few dashes Worcestershire sauce

3-4 cups chicken stock

1 lime

1 c cooked white rice


sour cream, for garnish

fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

Heat oil in saucepan over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno and cook until onion is translucent. Add spices and cook 1-2 minutes until fragrant and aromatic. Add tomatoes, chicken, Worcestershire, and stock. Bring to a simmer, and cook 20 minutes.

Cut the lime in half, squeeze juice into the pot, and then add the juiced halves, as well.

Add white rice and cook 5 minutes longer to warm rice through. Season to taste, with salt and hot pepper sauce.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with sour cream and cilantro.


Doctor Bloom, who was known for miraculous cures for arthritis, had a waiting room full of people when a little old lady, completely bent over in half, shuffled in slowly, leaning on her cane.  When her turn came, she went into the doctor’s office, and, amazingly, emerged within half an hour walking completely erect with her head held high.

A woman in the waiting room, who had seen all this, walked up to the little old lady and said, “It’s a miracle! You walked in bent in half and now you’re walking erect.  What did the doctor do?”

The little old lady scoffed, “Miracle, shmiricle.  He gave me a longer cane.”


I don’t know about you, but I can never get enough Halloween jokes.  Here’s a few more –

How can you fatten up a ghost?   With ghoulash and spooketti.

What does the mommy ghost say to the baby ghost?  Fasten your sheet belt.

The favorite game at the ghost’s Halloween party was “Hide and Shriek!”

When the boy ghost met the girl ghost, it was love at first fright.

What is a ghost’s favorite ride?  The Roller Ghoster!


And last but not least

The young ghost went trick or treating.

A neighbor asked her, “Who are your parents?”

“Deady and Mummy” she replied.


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