2008 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 5


Newsletter 5 – April 16, 2008      Recipe>       Events>


“How can we ever lose interest in life?

Spring has come again, and cherry trees bloom in the mountains.” Ryokan



Flower gardens can be as formal, or as casual, as you choose.  Select one based on your home, existing plantings and your personality.  Common garden themes include the formal garden, the woodland garden, cottage gardens, tropical gardens, eclectic gardens and container gardening.

Formal gardens feature straight lines, groomed borders and aim for balance.  Gazing balls, urns and statues are common features.

Woodland gardens are a good choice if your site is shady.  This style features ground covers, spring flowering bulbs (tulips, daffodils, etc) and native woodland plants.  Broad leafed hostas, graceful ferns and colorful astilbe are other commonly used plants.

Tall plants in the rear, shorter to the front are features in the cottage garden.  Perennials and annuals are liberally mixed and roses are a popular feature.  The cottage garden is often used to attract birds and butterflies by featuring coneflowers, lilies, phlox, penstemon and the like.  Smaller flowering shrubs are often used in cottage gardens as well.

Even here in Wisconsin you can create a tropical paradise this summer by featuring cannas, calla lilies, begonias (see next article), hibiscus and elephant ears.  Even a small water feature adds to your tropical feel.  Plant annuals in hot colors like yellow, red and orange to finish the tropical touch.

Perhaps the most common garden style is the eclectic garden.  Mix and match contrasting and complimentary colors.  Remember leaf color, shape and substance as well as flowers as you select your new plants.  Most annuals will bloom all summer and into the fall, but most perennials have a distinct bloom period.  Select some perennials that bloom in the spring as well as others for summer and fall.

Don’t forget containers.  For decks, patios and other areas, remember container pots look great and can be changed to match the season and your mood.  America’s Best Flowers has a large selection of pre-planted containers, or let us help you create your own unique ones.

April is the best time to select a style and start gardening.  Bring the family and come on out this weekend, April 19 & 20, for a sneak peek of our great selection of hardy annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs.  You’ll be glad you did!


I would be unstoppable, if I could just get started!joke 1


Solenia Begonia (begonia hiemalis)

This begonia performs not only in part shade but full sun as well.  It features 3-inch double blooms on sturdy 10-12 inch stems.  Solenia will bloom from early summer until frost, or bring indoors for a great winter houseplant.  Available in dusty rose, salmon coral and dark pink varieties, we’re growing them 3 to a pot in our #10 hanging baskets, as well as individually in our large #5 pots. An added plus is Solenia shows excellent resistance to powdery mildew and, unlike most begonias, can tolerate heat, wind and sun.


Why are you driving me crazy when you know it’s within walking distance?joke 2




Our annual spring Open House will be April 25 – 27.  This three-day event features FREE Black Hill Spruce trees given in honor of Earth/Arbor Day with any purchase, while supplies last. Saturday at 10 we have FREE kid’s activities, including t-shirt painting (bring your own white t-shirt) and seed ball making.  We will be cooking hotdogs and popcorn from 11-3 on both Saturday and Sunday, and invite you to come on out for lunch.  We are open from 9 to 8 Monday through Friday and 9-6 on Saturday and Sunday.  Hope to see you soon!!


 Did you hear the one about the dentist and the manicurist?

They fought tooth and nail.joke 3



Mark Your Calendars

We have lots of events coming up over the next few weeks.  This Saturday we have our first “Ask the Expert” workshops of the season. At 10 you can learn all about roses, followed at 11 by all you want to know about soils and soil amendments.  Whether this is your first year gardening or you have decades of experience, these are terrific opportunities to learn from experts.  Check the event schedule below for more.


A smart husband buys his wife fine china so she won’t trust him to wash it..joke 4




The weekend of April 19 & 20, is a special SNEAK PEEK for our Loyalty Customers.  We’ve redesigned our retail area to make your shopping experience even better.  . Come on out and see our new ‘look’.  For more information, check last week’s newsletter

April 19, Saturday at 10 am, ‘Ask-the-Expert’ at our FREE Rose Workshop on how to select, plant, prune and care for your roses by Joan Schultz.

April 19, Saturday at 11 am, ‘Digging Up The Dirt’, a FREE ‘Ask-the-Expert’ workshop on how to prepare and amend your soil by Dori Nemeth.  A must for all new gardeners.

April 20, Sunday at 1 pm How to Divide Hostas, a FREE hands-on workshop.  Wear your gardening clothes and prepare to have fun.  Learn about hostas’ different growth habits, and how to divide your plants.

April 25 – 27, Spring Open HouseIn celebration of Earth/Arbor Day, we will be giving away FREE Black Hills Spruce seedlings with any purchase, while supplies last.  FREE hot dogs and popcorn will be served Saturday and Sunday from 11-3.

April 26, Saturday at 10 am, FREE children’s activities.  Bring a white t-shirt to paint, make seed balls and more.

May 3 & 4 from 10 to 4.  Our first Container Workshop of the year.  Buy a pot, or bring your own, select plants from our wide selection and receive FREE soil and assistance.  We’ll clean up the mess.

May 3, Saturday at 10 am, FREE ‘Ask-the-Expert’ workshop, ‘Water, Water, Everywhere!”, learn how to properly water your plants with Howard Zimmerman, our representative from the Dramm Corporation.

May 4 is “SALSA SUNDAY,” celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Latin music.  Plant a ‘salsa container’ at our container workshop. Watch newsletters to enter our salsa recipe contest and win a $50 gift certificate for the best salsa recipe. We’ll have FREE salsa recipes, including the winning entry, for you to take home and FREE samples of chips and salsa from 11-2

May 6 & 8 at 6:30 pm, Make a Mother’s Day Basket.  A ‘Make and Take’ Event, call for details.

May 9 – 12 – Celebrating Mother’s Day, Mom gets a FREE geranium.

May 16 – 18, Tomato Days

May 17, Saturday at 10 am FREE ‘Ask-the-Expert’ class on vegetable gardening, led by Brian Emerson of the Agricultural Research Station.

May 17, Saturday 10 – 2, Herb Fest, with FREE samples of herb breads and dipping oil.

May 17 & 18, 10-4 Container Workshop

May 20 at 6:30 pm, FREE ‘Ask-the-Expert’ How to Select & Care For Your Roses with Sharon Stickford.

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

As the year progresses we promise you many more exciting surprises, including 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.


Strength is the ability to break a chocolate bar into four pieces

 with your bare hands and then eat just one piece joke 5






2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

3 c sugar

6 large eggs

1 c sour cream

1/2 c plus 1 T apricot brandy

1 t vanilla

1 t orange extract

1 t rum extract or 1 T dark rum

½ c dried apricots, chopped

grated zest (peel) of 1 orange

3 c sifted all-purpose flour

½ t salt

¼ t baking soda

In small bowl, soak chopped apricots in 4T of apricot brandy. Set aside for 15 minutes.

In large bowl, cream butter, add sugar a little at a time, beating well, until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in sour cream, soaked apricots, remaining apricot brandy, vanilla, orange and rum extract, and orange zest. In bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking soda. Stir dry mixture into butter mixture. Transfer batter into well-buttered and floured 2 ½ quart bundt pan and bake cake in preheated slow oven (325 degrees) for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the cake tests done. Let cake cool in pan on rack for 45 minutes; invert on plate and brush on Apricot Glaze.


1 c fresh orange juice

2/3 c sugar

½ c dried apricots, chopped very fine

3 T apricot brandy

In small saucepan, add orange juice, sugar, and apricots. Cook over low heat until sugar liquefies. Bring to low boil, remove from heat and add apricot brandy. While glaze is still warm, apply to cake.

Serves 14-15

From Wisconsin Country Gourmet, 1988 Spring edition



Two sisters, one blonde and one brunette, inherit the family ranch.  After just a few years, they’re in financial trouble.  To stop the bank from repossessing the ranch, they decide to purchase a bull from the stockyard in Ft. Worth so they can breed their own stock.  Before leaving, the brunette tells her sister, “When I get there, if I decide to buy the bull, I’ll contact you to bring the truck and trailer and haul it home.”  The brunette arrives at the stockyard with just $600 to spend, inspects the bull, and decides to buy it.  The man tells her he will sell it for $599, no less. Joke 6

After paying him, she drives to the nearest town to send her sister a telegram. She walks into the telegraph office, and says, “I want to send a telegram to my sister telling her that I’ve bought a bull for our ranch.  I need her to hitch the trailer to our pickup truck and drive out here so we can haul it home.  The telegraph operator explains that he’ll be glad to help her, and then adds, “It’s just 99 cents a word.”  After paying for the bull, the brunette only has $1.00 left.  She realizes that she’ll only be able to send her sister one word.  After a few minutes of thinking, she says, “I want to send her the word ‘comfortable’.”

The operator shakes his head, “How is she ever going to know that you want her to hitch the trailer to your pickup truck and drive out here to haul that bull back to your ranch if you send her just the word ‘comfortable?’” The brunette explains, ‘My sister’s blonde. The word’s big. She’ll read it very slowly – com-for-da-bull.joke 6



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