2008 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 14


Newsletter 14 – June 19, 2008   20% Plant Sale   Events   Recipe


“Everything hinges upon how you look at things.” Henry Miller



by Bev Wilson

So far 2008 has not exactly been a gardener’s dream, unless you’re talking nightmares.  Gardeners are very patient people.  We start with a seed, and wait months for the benefit. But 2008 has sorely tested us all.  Incredible amounts of snow, a very slow thaw, extremely cool temperatures, and finally torrential rains, have made gardening very frustrating.

This frustration is similar to what used to overwhelm me when I was a stay-at-home mom.  There were days when Murphy’s Law ruled.  I was normally more or less organized with my day.  Kids up, breakfast, laundry in, kids to school, change laundry loads, go to the grocery, etc, etc.  But some days I would find myself hours behind, and too frustrated to slow down enough to get back on track.  So I discovered a little trick.  I’m taking a big chance sharing this with so many people, because it sounds so silly, but it truly, truly, worked for me.  Since the frustration was all in my mind, I simply turned the clock back, literally.  We had a big clock in the kitchen that still had hands.  I took my finger and spun the hand back to the time I wished it was, and went on with my work.  This trick returned my sense of order and allowed me to function.  Later, when things were under control (but always before it was time to pick up the kids from school) I would turn the clock back to the correct time.

While we have certainly lost more time in our gardens than the clock can give us back, I’m seriously considering doing it with the calendar.  Just think, if it were mid-May instead of mid-June, our enthusiasm would still be fresh, our desire to beautify the outdoors that had so recently been void of all but ice and snow would be strong, and our ‘Spring Fever’ would still be burning.

I challenge you to not let nature win this year.  Being the gardener makes you the boss.  Come on out to America’s Best, buy those plants you wish you had; pick out a beautiful rose bush just because you like it; discover the perfect hanging basket, find fillers for your storm-damaged beds and planters, and get excited about our vegetable seed rack.  After all, where else are you going to find Watermelon radish, Science Fiction carrots, Gourmet Blend Basil, and Jade green beans, unless you grow them.

In a couple of weeks, you can flip the calendar right past June to July, sit back with an icy cold drink, watch the fireworks, and say, “My, how the summer is flying!”


Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult. bumper sticker joke 1



We have rescheduled this class because of the torrential downpours we had last Thursday.  Please join us Tuesday, June 24 at 6:30 for “Good Day Sunshine Gardening.”  Ilene will guide you through planning and selecting sunny perennials that will do well in your yard.  Everyone who attends will get a free sample garden plan. 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.


If We Quit Voting, Will They All Go Away? Bumper Stickerjoke 2


How Many Roads Must a Man Travel Down, Before He Admits He’s Lost. Bumper Sticker  joke 3



Do you have a bedraggled looking mixed container that has suffered from all this rain?  There’s a very easy fix. Come on out and choose a fresh, colorful annual or perennial to stick in the trouble spot, and voila, instant beauty! If possible, it’s always a good idea to take your containers inside, when heavy rain is expected. I sometimes cover my large ones with big plastic trash bags, because they are simply too heavy to lift.  However, this past rain proved too much and I needed to add a fresh geranium and calibrichoa to one pot, and replace a verbena and several marigolds in another. They are once again, drop-dead gorgeous, and it took less than ten minutes.


Boldly Going Nowhere. Bumper StickerJoke 4


Bridge Out

If you typically come to America’s Best by taking Buckeye to Sprecher Road, we want to let you know that the bridge going over the I90/94 is out.  But don’t let that stop you from coming out.  Just take the last left-hand turn off Buckeye, right before the interstate, Thompson Drive, all the way down to Cottage Grove Road, turn right, and proceed to Vilas Hope Rd as usual.  We’ll be waiting for you.


I Do Whatever My Rice Krispies Tell Me To. Bumper Stickerjoke 55



If you have a spot in your landscape that is just begging for a facelift, come on out to our Cottage Grove location and let us help you pick the perfect plant.  The water from all the rain has finally dried out enough so you can dig in the dirt, and just in time, too.  Beginning Thursday, June 18, all trees, shrubs, annuals, perennials and water garden plants will be 20% off.  You will automatically be given the 20% off or the quantity discount on plants at checkout which ever is greater not both. What a great opportunity whether you need a few or a lot.  Hurry on out for the best selection.



Tall Garden Phlox

Garden phlox has long been a favorite of gardeners.  This delightfully fragrant perennial, adds height and color to the back of the border throughout the summer.  A favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds (darker colors), the long-lasting blooms of garden phlox make great cut flowers.  We have the impressive white phlox, ‘David,’ which was named the Perennial Plant of the Year for 2002 partially because it’s mildew resistant.  Other varieties that we have available include Nicky, Laura, and Becky Towe.  The purples and pinks of these plants are sure to brighten any sunny garden.  They make great gifts, too, especially if the receiving gardener happens to be named David, or Nicky, or Laura, or Becky.



Tall Plant Supports

Many taller perennials are blooming so spectacularly this year that the blossoms are falling over.  If you have beautiful blooms laying in the dirt, we have the answer for you.  Gardman makes a simple stake that can be put in place at any time.  These green vinyl coated stakes have a loop at the top with a slot in it, not unlike a paper clip.  You simply guide the flower stalk through the slot after pushing it in the ground and you have instant support.  These durable stakes will last for many years, protecting your beautiful delphiniums, phlox, lisianthus, snapdragons, etc. Come out today and let us show you how easy it is to stake your plants.



Espoma Earth-Tone

Whenever possible, gardeners prefer to use natural products in their war against pests and disease.  Espoma Earth-Tone is a new product line for us this year.  Whether you need to control insects, fungus, mildews, weeds, moss or algae, Espoma has the product for you.  The affordable line is perfect for the home gardener.  Less toxic than most garden chemicals, you can achieve good results by simply following the instructions on the ready-to-spray bottles.  Look for our colorful display, the different formulations come in easy to see blue, pink, orange and green bottles.

Cover Me, I’m Changing Lanes Bumper Stickerjoke 6




Tuesday, June 24 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.


If you can read this, I’ve lost my Trailer. Bumper Stickerjoke 7


Bonnie’s Kitchen

Now that the warm temps are here, it’s salad time! On those warm evenings, there’s nothing like a yummy salad and some crusty bread for an easy meal This is a good one taken from. Salad Suppers by Andrea Chesman.

Mediterranean Tuna Vegetable Salad

1 c green beans, cut into 1 ½” pieces

1 15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 14 oz. can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and quartered

1 carrot julienned (save time by purchasing shredded carrots)

½ green bell pepper, thinly sliced

½ c pitted kalamata olives

¼ c diced red onion

1-2 T capers, drained (optional)

¼ c red wine vinegar

¼ c defatted chicken broth

¼ c chopped fresh basil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 T EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)

1 6 ½ – 7 oz. can water-packed tuna, drained and flaked

4 plum tomatoes, diced (or handful of halved cherry tomatoes)

12 c torn mixed salad greens

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a small saucepan, blanch the green beans in boiling water to cover for a minute; they will be crunchy and bright green. Plunge into cold water to stop the cooking. Drain.

In large salad bowl, combine the beans, chickpeas, artichoke hearts, carrot, green pepper, olives, onion, and capers.

Whisk together the vinegar, broth, basil, garlic and oil. Pour over the vegetables. If you have the time, set the salad aside for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or for up to 8 hours in the refrigerator, tossing occasionally, to allow the flavors to develop.

Just before serving, add the tuna and tomatoes to the salad and toss well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the greens and toss again. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding salt and pepper as needed, and serve.

Tootsie’s Dressing

This salad dressing is really good. Mix it up in an attractive bottle, and store in the refrigerator. I have even used it on this week’s salad recipe and just eliminated the basil, garlic and olive oil from the original salad.

2/3 c oil (I use canola)

2 T olive oil

1/3 c wine vinegar


1 t each, salt, pepper, dried oregano

pinch of sugar

Combine and shake well before each use.

 “Gonna be a Bear.”

In this life I am a woman.  In my next life, I’d like to come back as a bear.

You do nothing but sleep for six months.

I could deal with that.

Before you hibernate, you’re supposed to eat yourself stupid,

I could deal with that.

When you’re a girl bear, you birth your children (who are the size of walnuts),

while you are sleeping and wake up to partially grown, cute, cuddly cubs.

I could definitely deal with that.

If you are a mama bear everyone knows you mean business.

You swat anyone who bothers your cubs.

If your cubs get out of line, you swat them, too!

I could deal with that.

If you’re a bear, your mate expects you to wake up growling.

He expects that you will have hairy legs and excess body fat.

Yep, Gonna Be a Bear!!! 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