2008 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 19


Newsletter 19 – July 24, 2008

      Events                  Kitchen              War on Japanese Beetles


 “How wonderful is it that nobody need wait a single moment

 before starting to improve the world.”  Anne Frank


A Little History

Over thirty years ago, Ed and Carol Knapton started a pick-your-own strawberry and vegetable business in Marshall, Wisconsin.  After having many customers ask where they could buy plants of the delicious vegetables they bought from the Knaptons, Ed and Carol took a tiny step forward by deciding to sell vegetable plants to their produce customers.  That was the humble beginning of America’s Best Flowers.

The three decades that have passed since then have brought many changes for ABF.  Tiny steps became giant leaps, in 1990 when they bought the site in Cottage Grove where America’s Best Flowers stands today.  Perhaps the most exciting step came in 1997 when they added the large high-tech greenhouse we use to grow the fabulous hanging baskets we are known for.

While the company has changed, one thing remains the same.  Ed and Carol have been committed to improving the world, one plant at a time.  From the beginning their mission has been to Bring Beauty with God’s Help For You.

We invite you to share that mission.  Improve your world with the beauty that only plants can bring.  Choose from colorful annuals, dependable perennials, hardy shrubs, and earth-friendly trees.  If your landscape is full, improve someone else’s world.  Buy a plant, any plant, give it away, or better yet, plant it for them.  Anne Frank’s quote (above) reminds us that ‘nobody need wait a single moment’ to act.  Life is too short to delay.


Since there is no time like the present, he decided to present the present.joke 1


New Herb Plants are Ready for You

A few weeks ago we seeded a fresh crop of basil and cilantro.  These plants have grown well in the warm sunshine, and are ready for you to take home and plant.  These herbs are favorites of gardeners, because they grow quickly, both outside and in.  Tomatoes and peppers will be ready shortly.  Be ready with your own basil and cilantro.  Unlimited pesto and salsa are just a few weeks away.

July is the perfect time to plant the herb containers you will move into the house for winter.  We have a good variety available, including dill (I can taste the pickles now), oregano, margoram, savory, lemon balm, chamomile, catnip, bay laurel; and, of course, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.

Be sure not to give up on vegetable gardening.  There is still a lot of the growing season left.  Now is the time to plant your last planting of green beans, squash, cucumbers, carrots, beets and all types of peas.  With the warm temperatures, the seeds will germinate and grow very quickly.  We still have a good selection of seeds for all your fall needs.  If you continue with weekly plantings of spinach, radish and lettuce, you will be eating salad until frost.


The farm was used to produce produce. joke 2


Never Is MULCH More Important than Now

The long, hot days of summer are stressful to every living creature, including all your plants.  If you are tired of the endless task of keeping your plants watered, it’s time to think about adding mulch to your beds.

This week’s pleasant weather makes it the perfect time to refresh your mulch.  We know that hotter weather is just ahead, so do yourself and your plants a huge favor – mulch.  If you have beds that have never been mulched, add 3-4 inches around all annuals, perennials, roses, trees and shrubs.  And top dress previously mulched beds with an additional two inches of fresh mulch.

Not only does mulch hold in moisture, relieving you of some of your watering tasks, it also keeps the soil cooler, so your plants aren’t as heat-stressed.  An added bonus is that weed seeds have a difficult time germinating when buried with mulch, reducing the future time and work you spend weeding. ABF has both cypress and red mulch available for your landscaping needs.


The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse. joke 3



They are everywhere.  These bronze colored beetles are about the size of an aspirin, and can be found on many ornamental shrubs and trees, especially roses and linden trees.  They are breeding right now, creating millions of offspring to carry on the family name.  While this is an instinct we understand, enough is enough.

Japanese Beetles are the adult stage of the white grub, which can destroy your lawn, causing large areas of grass to turn brown.  The best defense to prevent this unsightly and costly problem, is the eradication of the grubs by using Bayer Season-Long Grub Killer, which will protect the future of your lawn. Another great option is St. Gabriel Organics’ Milky Spore powder, which is a naturally occurring host specific bacterium (Bacillus popillae-Dutky). This product targets and discriminately works to fatally attack the white grubs of Japanese Beetles. Milky Spore Powder provides long-lasting relief from white grubs.  For more info visit  www.milkyspore.com.

But right now, if we are to save our beautiful plants, we have to deal with the adult beetles.  Bayer has a line of products that can help.  Available in both ready-to-use spray, concentrate and granular, these insecticides both kill on contact and work systemically to rid your plants of pests.  Stop out today and let us help you choose the product that is best for you.  For more information visit www.ohioline.ag.ohio-state.edu or www.bayeradvanced.com.  Both of these websites give information on the life cycle and control of these insects.


The doctor had to subject the subject to a series of tests.Joke 4



August 10    –    Divide and Swap Iris at 1PM  Learn how to divide iris, and swap to get more varieties for your garden.

August 16 & 17 –  Customer Appreciation Days – FREE treats from 11-3pm

September 6    –    How to Divide Perennials 10AM

September 6 & 7 – Fall Container Workshop FREE soil & assistance 10-4pm

September 6-14 – ABF Dollar Days Use your ABF orange bucks.

September 13-14 -Fall Container Workshop FREE soil & assistance 10-4pm

September 15-28 – Scarecrow Days Make your own scarecrow. Free popcorn on the weekends. Fun for the entire family. $12.99 includes scarecrow kit. Bring your own clothes, or purchase ours. An ABF favorite!


Upon seeing the tear in the painting, I shed a tear.joke 5


Time to Start PLANNING for FALL


We hope you take time to check out the changes to our fall Event Schedule. We’ve added a two Fall Container Workshops. If you attended one last year, we’re sure you enjoyed planting mums, grasses, heucheras, pansies, ornamental cabbages or other favorites, to create eye-catching, cool weather planters that dazzled your neighbors and friends.  Remember we love giving you FREE soil and assistance at these events.  Mark your calendars and plan to attend.  They’ll be going on during our September Dollar Days, giving you even greater value!

Notice the date changes for the Make-A-Scarecrow Workshops.  These are especially fun for families and groups of friends.  And it’s so easy!  You purchase a kit for $12.99, which includes your scarecrow’s head, frame and stuffing.  Then we help you create a truly unique scarecrow. You can bring old clothes to dress it in, or we’ll have some for you to purchase at bargain prices.

We will have great fall decorating items for you again this year, including pumpkins, gourds, Indian corn, hay bales and corn shocks. But perhaps what we are best known for are our fall mum plants. They are absolutely spectacular!  We grow over 6,000 of them in 35 varieties, that provide color throughout the season.  With early, mid and late season bloomers, your yard will look fabulous for months. Our asters are always beautiful for fall, too.  We have 10 different varieties in hues of white, pink, purple and burgundy.

Picture your home showcasing the scarecrow YOU made, sitting on a hay bale, with corn shocks, pumpkins, giant mums and aster plants spreading their color throughout your entryway and yard!  Mark your calendars, and make America’s Best Flowers your one-stop fall decorating outlet.


The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert. joke 6



Peach Ginger Salsa

Absolutely yummy!  Excellent on pork, chicken or fish, even better with chips.

1 c fresh peaches, diced

1 c ripe tomato, seeded and diced

2 t brown sugar

2 t apple cider vinegar

1 t fresh ginger root, minced or diced finely

Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine ingredients and chill before serving.

Hawaiian Salsa

Inspired by seasonal tropical fruits, this is a delicious side salad, topping for grilled sandwiches, or just plain eating with chips.

2 c fresh pineapple, diced

1 c fresh mango, peeled and diced

1 c red or yellow sweet bell pepper, diced

2 kiwis, peeled and diced

½ c red onion, diced

1/3 c cilantro, chopped

Juice of ½ fresh lime

½ jalapeno or seranno pepper, diced, including seeds

Combine ingredients, chill at least 2 hours before serving for flavors to marry.

Recipes taken from: Sensational Salsas, From Apple to Zucchini


An amateur photographer was invited to dinner with friends,

and he took along a few pictures to show them.

The hostess looked at the photos and commented,

“These are very good!  You must have a good camera.”

The photographer didn’t make any comment,

But as he was leaving to go home he said,

“That was a really delicious meal!  You must have very good pots.”joke 7


If you haven’t had enough of English yet:

The bandage was wound around the wound. Joke 8

A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum. Joke 9

When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes. Joke 10

I did not object to the object. Joke 11

They were too close to close the door. Joke 12

The insurance was invalid for the invalid. Joke 13

The buck does funny things when the does are present. Joke 14


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