2008 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 13


Newsletter 13 – June 12, 2008     Rainy Day Special  Managers Special Events     Recipe   Perennial of the Week


“A king, realizing his incompetence,

can either delegate or abdicate his duties.

A father can do neither.

If only sons could see the paradox.” Marlene Dietrich




One of my fondest memories of my father is actually the story of a stubborn little girl humbled.  One early spring day, forty-plus years ago, back in the day when the whole family actually went places together, our family was headed to town.  The sun was shining, the air a bit cool, and a nice breeze was blowing.  You know the kind of day, following the cold days of winter, it was almost summer-like, even though small patches of snow could still be found.  My father told us all to get our coats.  In a rare fit of rebellion, I did not.

On the way home, with about a mile to go, the car quit.  We lived in the country in Iowa where houses can be miles apart, so the logical solution was for us to walk the rest of the way home.  Our house was up a long lane, and sometimes in the early spring the lane was too muddy to travel on, so we would cut through the pasture.  The nice breeze that had been blowing earlier, had grown more brisk and chill, and once we started our northward journey through the pasture, I started to shiver.  The distance between us and our nice warm home seemed enormous, but being the person I am, I didn’t say a word.  I had argued with my dad about the coat, and there was no way I was going to admit I was wrong.  A few minutes passed, as we trudged against the wind, and then I felt the warmth of daddy’s jacket as he wrapped it around me.  Being the person he was, he didn’t say a word either.

I lost my dad nine years ago this month.  I miss him so much:  his chuckle, his eyes, his strong hands, his appreciation of good food.  I miss the sharpened edges on my garden tools that he faithfully honed each spring.  I miss the way he would stand, with his eyes cast upward and watch a storm move in, and I miss how his eyes would fill with love when he looked at my mom.  But most of all I miss sitting quietly with him and listening as he spoke a million words with his silence.


One evening a little girl and her parents were sitting eating supper.

The little girl said, “Daddy, you’re the boss, aren’t you?”

Her Daddy smiled and said yes

The little girl continued, “That’s because Mummy put you in charge, right?” Joke 1



Thursday, June 12 at 6:30 we will have “Good Day Sunshine Gardening.”  This class is designed to help you select sunny perennials that will do well in your yard.  The gardeners who come out for our Ask-the-Expert classes love to spend time with other gardeners.  It is our hope that you can set aside a little time to come on out and share your perennial gardening experiences with each other.


God made rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done. joke 2



Here at America’s Best Flowers, we think God made rainy days so gardeners have time to go to the greenhouse and shop.  If you’ve never been here on a rainy day, you’re in for a surprise.  No crowds, cooler temperatures and lots of personalized attention make it a pleasant shopping experience.  To add a little incentive, we are introducing our Rainy Day Special.  Every time you shop with us on rainy days, you will find special offers that are not available at other times.  This offer is at our Cottage Grove location only.  Call 222-2269 for more information.


It used to be only death and taxes were inevitable.

Now of course, there’s shipping and handling, too. joke 3


CUTE is as CUTE does!

And what those incredibly cute baby bunnies from a few weeks ago have done, is grow up.  Now we have yards full of teen-age rabbits, and we all know what bottomless pits teenagers are.  As gardeners, our challenge is to figure out how to convince these ravenous critters to stay away from our gardens.  Many things have been tried.  Some even work.  Mothballs, blood meal, lime, bags of human or cat hair, hot pepper or garlic sprays, placing prickly prunings of raspberries or roses on the ground around your plants, and hanging pie tins so they blow in the wind have all been used with some degree of success.  To escape all rabbit damage, fencing is always the best option, especially for the vegetable garden.  We have several easy-to-install options available.  For areas where a fence isn’t practical, we suggest you try a chemical repellent, such as Liquid Fence.  See below.


As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point the wrong wayJoke 4



With our recent severe weather, many perennial flower gardens have been damaged. While this is certainly discouraging, be assured that it is not the end of an enjoyable garden.  Perennial flower beds can be severely damaged, but with a little tender loving care recover beautifully.

Most shorter perennials will recover on their own.  All they need is a little time. Taller plants, like delphiniums, iris and lilies, may need staking.  If your plants have broken off, they will likely regenerate new growth and flower again later this year..

There are several things you can do to revive your damaged flower beds.  First clean up.  Remove all downed sticks, twigs and limbs.  Fluff up the foliage of your plants, trim all damaged leaves and branches and stake up tall stalks.  America’s Best has a great selection of staking products available.

Next, remulch.  Nothing gives a facelift like a fresh layer of mulch.  Mulch prevents erosion, helps to maintain consistent soil temperatures, and provides a clean place for you to step.  Mulch also helps support plants.

Add a few colorful annuals.  This will fill in areas with color where your damaged perennials aren’t blooming.  We still have a good selection of annuals available in four-packs and our large ABF pots.

Keep a close eye out for plant diseases, such as mildew and black spot, which are caused by damp conditions.  We have several products, some organic, that you can use to treat these problems..

Add several blooming containers and hanging baskets to your garden area.  These will brighten areas with color.

And most important of all, be patient.  Plants have a tremendous ability to recover from adversity.  Their will to live is as strong as your desire for them to live


Fatherhood is pretending the present you love the most is soap-on-a-rope. Bill Cosby joke 5





Nothing could be a quicker makeover than a fresh hanging basket of beautiful flowers to brighten up your outdoor living space.  America’s Best is known for the beautiful hanging baskets we grow.  Every year we plant thousands of hanging baskets for you to choose from.  This weekend we have specials available on all our hanging baskets at the Cottage Grove location only, to help you refresh your deck and patio from the storm damage.  Watch for signs here at the farm for special savings on these beautiful baskets.  Bring home several and add new life to your weather beaten landscapes.  If your containers look a little rough around the edges, try removing the wire hangers from a hanging basket and dropping it in your pot.  Instant Beauty!!!


Delphiniums thrive in the cooler climates of the north when planted in rich, well-drained soil in either partial or full sun.  When you plant delphinium, take care not to cover the crown with soil to prevent rotting.  Since delphiniums have hollow stems, it is a good idea to use plant stakes to support their bloom stalks.  Delphinium ‘Blue Bird’ has extremely tall, colorful spikes of clear medium blue flowers with white bees (center) which rise above distinctively cut leaves in early summer.  Delphinium ‘Double Innocence’ is an English hybrid with very strong stems and vigorous growth habit.  In early summer, spires of large, heavily petaled, pure white, double flowers stand up to 4 feet tall, adding a dramatic touch to the landscape.  Delphinium are hardy to zone 3 and will rebloom if spent flowers are removed.  If you don’t have any delphinium in your perennial bed, this is the year to plant some.  They will provide you with brilliant splashes of color early next spring.  You will be sooo! glad you did.


Deck and Fence Railing Planters are the perfect solution for anyone with a deck.  Since decks can never be big enough to hold all the furniture, grills, planters, toys, etc we always want in our outdoor living areas, these self-mounting planters help you free up deck space by allowing you to move your plants to the railing.  Available in several sizes and colors, they are designed to fit either 4 or 6 inch railings.  We even have a round one that is the perfect size to drop a hanging basket into for instant beauty.  Stop out today and check out these wonderful planters.


Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent

Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent is an environmentally safe and biodegradable solution for all your deer and rabbit problems.  Best of all, this easy-to-use, long-lasting spray is family and pet friendly so you can use it worry-free.  Liquid Fence dries odorless and is rain resistant.  Thoroughly tested by the National Home Gardening Club, Liquid Fence has been found to be effective and safe.  The all natural formulation won’t damage your plants, or hurt the deer or rabbits!  Liquid Fence comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.  Come out today and pick up a bottle.

Security and peace of mind were part of the reason we moved to a gated community.

Both flew out the window the night I called a local pizza shop for a delivery.

After ordering a large pepperoni pizza, I gave him the address of our condo.

“We’ll be there in half an hour,” the kid replied.

“Your gate code is still 1238, right?”joke 6




Thursday, June 12 at 6:30 PM

“Good Day Sunshine Gardening”

Learn how to design a great garden for sunny locations.

Saturday and Sunday, June 28 and 29   from 11-3

Independence Day Celebration

FREE ice cream for everyone.  Dress in red, white and blue and receive a special gift.

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.


My friend’s 5-year-old granddaughter looked at the stars one night

and exclaimed, “God’s home!  All his lights are on!”joke 7


Bonnie’s Kitchen


Basil Scrambled Eggs with Cornbread Toast

Prep:25 minutes

Makes 4 servings

1 8 oz. pkg. cornbread mix

1 c shredded cheddar cheese, divided

½ pkg. (32 oz.) frozen hash browns (about 3 ½ c)

6 eggs

1/3 c milk, half and half, or light cream

¼ t salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 T butter

½ c snipped fresh basil

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare cornbread mix according to directions, stirring ½ c of the cheese into the batter. Spread batter in greased 8X4” loaf pan. Bake 20 minutes or until cornbread is lightly browned and a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool corn bread in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.

2. In a large skillet, prepare hash brown potatoes according to package directions. Sprinkle potatoes with remaining ½ c cheese during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Set aside and keep warm.

3. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Slice cornbread loaf into 8 slices (about 1”). Lay slices on a baking sheet. Place in oven to warm. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl beat together eggs, milk, salt and pepper with a wire whisk until just combined. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat and pour in egg mixture. Cook over medium heat, without stirring, until eggs begin to set on the bottom and around the edge.

4. With a spatula or large spoon, lift and fold the partially cooked egg mixture to let the uncooked portion flow underneath. Cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until egg mixture is cooked through but still glossy and moist. Remove from heat immediately.

5. To serve, place 2 slices cornbread on each of four plates. Divide scrambled eggs and hash browns among the plates. Sprinkle eggs and hash browns with fresh basil.

Optional: Finely shred additional basil and stir into ketchup. Serve alongside eggs, potatoes, and cornbread. June 2006 Better Homes and Garden magazine


A man took his little boy to the zoo for the very first time.

Each time they would see a new animal the little boy would ask, “What’s that?”

And each time his father would explain.

When they came to a pen with a very large bird inside,

the father said, “And that, Timmy, is a Stork.

The boy stood there for a few moments and then began to wave and say,

“Hi!  I’m Timmy!”

After several times of repeating this, he finally turned to his father and said,

“Guess I’m all grown up, Dad, he doesn’t recognize me.” 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