2008 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 10


Newsletter 10 – May 21, 2008      Recipe     Events


“Dear Heavenly Father,

In every age, You call certain persons to defend the human family

from oppression, tyranny, and evil.

Since our founding as a nation, ‘conceived in liberty,’

countless American men and women have stepped forward

to defend our country and many others

from aggressors, and to liberate those held captive.

Today we revere all our veterans:

Those who rest in honored glory,

Those who still suffer from the wounds of war,

And those who, with us, enjoy the blessing of living

 in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O God, thank You for the selfless sacrifice

of these veterans and their families.

Help us to always remember them,

to pray for them, and to care for them.”unknownV



In response to several requests, we are reprinting the following article from our 2007 Memorial Day newsletter.

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day because it was a time set aside to honor those who died in those Civil War by decorating their graves. It was instituted in 1868 to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers and has since grown to honor fallen soldiers of all wars. The freedom we enjoy today is due to the sacrifices made by the men and women who gave their lives for our country. No wonder we feel a shiver when taps is played at the cemetery or in parades.



Day is done – Gone the sun – From the lakes – From the hills – From the sky

All is well – Safely rest – God is nigh.


Fading light – Dims the sight – And a star – Gems the sky – Gleaming bright

From afar – Drawing nigh – Falls the night.


Thanks and Praise – For our days – Neath the stars – Neath the sun – Neath the sky

As we go – This we know – God is nigh.


Typically, Memorial Day is observed by:  visiting cemeteries and placing flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes; visiting memorials; flying the US flag at half staff until noon; participating in a National Moment of Remembrance at 3PM to pause and think upon the true meaning of the day; playing Taps; renewing our pledge to aid the widows, widowers, and orphans of our fallen dead; and to aid all disabled veterans.

America’s Best has a great selection of colorful flowers to decorate your loved ones’ graves.  Geraniums are available in the traditional reds, pinks and white, as well as other colors.  Some varieties offer unusual foliage colors, from brilliant lime green to variegated shades of green & red. There are seed, cutting, ivy and fancy leaf geraniums for you to consider.  Perhaps you would like to plant a brilliant patch of color with zinnias, marigolds, or daisies.  The choices are endless.

 Please visit www.MemorialDay.com for more information on the holiday.


I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. joke


We don’t mean to blow our own horn, but we are proud of working for an organization like ABF, and equally proud of our bosses. So, we are taking it upon ourselves to tell you that last Saturday night, May 17, Ed and Carol Knapton received an award from the Dane County Humane Society at the annual Bark and Wine Ball. The Dr. Paul Candlin Award was named after the first DCHS veterinarian and in whose hospital DCHS animals were housed from 1921-1965.  Master of ceremonies, Pam Tauscher Coshun, thanked them for their support, generosity and dedication, and remarked that the Knaptons’ contributions bring to life the Humane Society’s mission of “Helping People Help Animals”.

Ed and Carol accepted the award on behalf of our customers.  Many of you have designated DCHS as your charity of choice in our loyalty program.  By working together, the 1% of sales that you designated for the Humane Society this past year added up to $10,193.41 for the animals.  They thank you from the bottom of their little hearts.

The Humane Society also benefits from our Fundraising program and has participated the past two years. Many of our employees have pets from the shelter and at the “Bark and Wine” event, our own Bev T. adopted a heartbreakingly beautiful cat named Sergio. For more information on adopting an animal from the Dane County Humane Society, please visit www.giveshelter.org.

Carol Knapton typically takes in stray cats.  All it takes for her is “just one look”. And when you’ve shopped here, you no doubt have noticed dogs being walked through the greenhouse or riding on the garden carts. Our four-footed friends are always welcome here.  We just looooove animals!


I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.joke 2


Thursday Night’s Splash

Now that the weather is FINALLY getting warmer, it’s time to take off your shoes and dip your toes in the pool, but only your toes because there’s still a little work to do.  America’s Best Flowers just got in our awesome water plants, including several NEW varieties for your pond or container water garden.  Some of the newer items include Hibiscus coccineus, “Scarlet Rose Mallow,” which is a tropical, shrub-like hibiscus which dies back in the winter and resprouts each spring and gets many 6-8 in, 5-petaled flowers; Hedychium coronarium Dr. Moy, “Hardy Speckled Ginger Lily” which has white speckles on its green leaves and looks similar to a canna lily but gets exquisitely fragrant peachy-orange blooms in the fall, hardy in zones 6-9.  We also have the all-time favorites like, Juncus effusus spiralis, “Corkscrew Rush,” Musa dwarf cavendis, ‘Dwarf Banana Tree’, cyperus percamentus, ‘Giant Dwarf Papyrus’ and lobelia cardinalis Queen Victoria or ‘Cardinal Flower;’ and of course, waterlilies, floating lettuce and water hyacinths.


New to ABF this year is the beautiful, intensely fragrant lotus.  They come in their own 12” tub that can be filled with water and enjoyed on your patio or sunk to the bottom of your pond.  At the low price of $69.99, they are sure to be gone soon!

This Thursday evening, May 22, at 6 pm we have an ‘Ask-the-Expert’ class on container water gardening.  Our expert for the evening is Jan Vergeer, who has done several presentations for us in the past.  A true expert, Jan is as entertaining as he is knowledgeable.  Water gardening is one of the hottest trends in gardening.  Whether you already have several water features in your landscape, or would like to learn where to start, this is a wonderful opportunity for you.  Please join us.


I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alivejoke 3



To celebrate Memorial Day this year, America’s Best Flowers will again be offering a FREE ENGRAVED BRASS MEMORIAL PLAQUE with every tree or shrub you purchase from Friday, May 23rd through Monday, May 26th.  This $15.00 value is good on any tree or shrub with a purchase price of $75.00 or more. What a beautiful way to remember your loved one, or perhaps a beloved pet.  You may choose a cross, a dove, a flag, or a cat or dog paw, to decorate the plaque, along with the name of your loved one. The plaque will be mounted on a wooden stake and will be ready for pick-up beginning June 13.



I wish out enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.Joke 4



The yellow birthday cards were mailed today for those of you with June Birthdays. You’ll be pleased to notice they are now worth $10 at our Cottage Grove location. We also mailed cards to people whose birthdays are in November and December. Since we are closed those months, we wanted to give you an equal chance to use them this year. Remember, our birthday cards are just like our orange dollars and our gift cards. They never expire!


I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting 5



Garden Mums

Though chrysanthemums can be tricky in our climate, they are easier to establish as long-term perennials when planted in the spring.  Right now we have six varieties available in our large #5 ABF pots that are just starting to bloom.  You can enjoy them through the spring and then cut them back for another bloom this fall.  Planted in a sunny location, mulched, fertilized and watered, mums will establish root systems strong enough to survive this winter, and return in years to come to provide you with fall bloom.  Varieties available include Erica (yellow), Cheryl (pink), Marilyn (white), Helen (red), Hannah (gold) and Brandi (dark red).  Buy several for a rainbow of color.  Regularly priced at $4.99 each, buy 10 or more and pay only $3.99.




If you attended our rose seminar Tuesday nite, you heard Sharon Stickford praise our latest favorite new tool. It’s a pruner, made by Wolf Garten, a great German company. A good pruner is especially hard to find and can be very expensive. This one is very nice quality and about half the price of the leading brand. It comes in three sizes for the perfect fit, and is good on the joints, thanks to the 30 degree cutting angle. To protect your plants, it features stub-free cutting for quicker wound healing. Best of all, it comes with a 10 year warranty.



We all have such great intentions in the spring.  The idea of serving fresh vegetables to our families outweighs our practicality and we plant, and plant and plant.  Then in June we weed, and weed and weed.  If this sounds familiar, America’s Best has the perfect answer for you.  Preen now comes in an Organic Vegetable Garden formula.  This pre-emergent stops weeds before they start, by inhibiting the root development in seedlings.  Although it does not kill existing weeds, it does prevent new weeds from developing. You can apply Preen anytime during the growing season around established vegetable plants, and cut your weeding time drastically.  Available in a 5 pound container, this product will cover up to 250 square feet of garden space. Save June for yourself, stop in today and pick up a jug

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.joke 6



May 22 at 6 pm, FREE ‘Ask-the-Expert’ Pond and Container Water Gardening seminar by Jan Vergeer.  Check out our many new varieties.

June 1 at 10 am ‘Ask-the-Expert’ Hosta Workshop with Ed Schulz

June 3 at 6:30 pm Make and Take Summer Wreath Workshop with Sharon Stickford

As the year progresses, we promise you many more exciting surprises, including more container workshops, sun and shade gardening classes and our July 4th Celebration, when we have FREE ice cream for everyone.

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 608-222-2269.


I wish you enough “Hello’s” to get you through the final “Goodbye.” joke 7



Memorial Day Weekend is the time to fire up the grill, and make something especially delicious, with a  minimum of fuss. This is beautiful, and oh-so yummy!

Ginger Shrimp with Asparagus

1 lb. shrimp, peeled, deveined

1 lb. fresh asparagus

vegetable oil

Ginger Sauce

2 T. light soy sauce

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 T. sweet rice vinegar

1 T. fresh ginger, grated

¼ t. red pepper flakes, crushed

¼ t. sesame oil

Butterfly  the shrimp. Refrigerate. Clean and trim asparagus. Refrigerate. Mix all Ginger Sauce ingredients in small glass bowl. Set aside at room temperature.

Set grill to medium-high heat

Lightly coat asparagus with vegetable oil. Place on fine wire mesh rack or grilling basket for 7 minutes, rotating spears.

Lightly coat shrimp with vegetable oil. Grill on wire rack for 2 minutes per side or just until pink.

Transfer shrimp and asparagus to serving platter. Pour Ginger Sauce over vegetables and shrimp. Serves 4.

Recipe from Seafood Grilling Twice a Week by Evie Hansen

Serve with salad of baby greens and sourdough bread!

Charley, a new greeter at Walmart, just couldn’t seem to get to work on time.  Every day he was 5, 10, sometimes 15 minutes late.  But he was a good worker, really tidy, clean shaven, sharp-minded and a real credit to the company.

One day the boss was in a real quandary about how to deal with it

Finally, he called Charley into the office for a talk.  “Charley, I have to tell you,

I like your work ethic, you do a bang up job

but your being late so often is quite bothersome.”

“Yes, I know boss, and I am working on it.”

“‘Well good, that’s what I like to hear.  It’s odd though, your coming in late.

 I know you’re retired from the Armed Force,

what did they say if you came in late?”

“They said, ‘Good morning, General.  Tea or coffee this morning, sir?’” joke 8


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