2009 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 10

Newsletter 10 – May 7, 2009


Salsa Recipe      Events       FREE Geranium    Container Workshop           


“A mother’s heart, a mother’s faith and a mother’s steadfast love

Were fashioned by the angels and sent from God above.” Unknown

FREE Geranium for Mom


Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 10.  As usual, we’re giving Mom a FREE geranium, valued at $4.99, with any purchase.  Many of you never miss this weekend.  In fact, it has become a tradition to bring the entire family and have Mom, Grandma or anyone else who is ‘Mothers-Day-Special’ to you, pick out their own hanging baskets, planters etc.  We, too, especially enjoy this weekend because we get to see so many of you.  We will be open from 8 in the morning to 8 at night this Saturday, and 8 am until 6 pm on Sunday.  Just a reminder, easiest shopping hours are early and late. We look forward to seeing you.

I’d like to be an ideal mother, but I’m too busy raising my kids. Joke 1


Put a smile on your Mom’s face this year with a growing gift of a blooming hydrangea, rhododendron, magnolia, forsythia, rose, or a gorgeous hanging basket. If you’re not sure what she would like, you certainly can never go wrong with an ABF Gift Card.  Available in any denomination, our gift cards never expire.  Stop out at the farm today, or visit one of our sites at West Towne Mall or in Sun Prairie to pick one up for your special mom.

The mother of 3 notoriously unruly youngsters was asked whether or not she’d have children if she had it to do over again, “Yes,” she replied, “But not the same ones.” Joke 2

Sharon’s Mother’s Day Pick

For Mother’s Day this year, we are featuring our custom designed moss hanging baskets, which are positively brimming with color. Filled with a combination of almost any annual you can imagine, perhaps begonias, foxtail fern, and coleus, each one is uniquely designed and planted by our container staff.  These baskets are gorgeous, and will most assuredly earn a double-take; maybe even a triple-take!  You won’t want to miss them.

Sweater – garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly. Joke 3


Last weekend’s Container Workshops were filled to bursting with folks who planted numerous floral, vegetable and herb containers. Thanks for your participation and many compliments.  The design staff was weary on Monday, but loved every minute of it.

Many of you told us you are planning to return for the Container Workshops on May 16, 17 and 23 from 10 to 4.  These workshops truly are our most popular events.  If you’ve never attended one, we encourage you to give one a try.  They are so easy, and so much fun.  All you do is choose a variety of plants from our large inventory of annuals and perennials, pick out a pot (or bring in your own) and create a beautiful, unique creation for your porch, deck or patio.  We provide FREE soil and clean up the mess.  Many people use these workshops to plant all the containers they will need for the entire season.  No registration is required, but if you will need a lot of assistance, you might want to consider coming Sunday morning, May 17, before it gets too busy.

‘Mothers are fonder than fathers of their children

Because they are more certain they are their own.’ Aristotle Joke 4

Roses, Roses, More Roses

There is a vase on the corner of Bonnie’s desk containing a single rose blossom.  A single breathtaking blossom so perfect and so incredibly fragrant, it has the power to momentarily take me away.  Better than Calgon.  With rich coral pink petals and a name like Fragrant Cloud, it’s one of the choice roses available to you to here at America’s Best Flowers.

If you love roses, but lack the confidence to grow them, you won’t want to miss our FREE upcoming Rose Workshop on Saturday, May 16th at 10AM.  A few simple tips can not only ensure your rose gardening success, but simplify things to save you time and money. Plan to attend in our meeting room with our own Sharon Stickford, a past Madison Rose Society president.

The suburban mother’s role is to deliver a child obstetrically once

and by car forever after. Peter De Vries Joke 7


What an unbelievable weekend it was here at America’s Best Flowers!  The weather couldn’t have been better, and we loved seeing you stroll the grounds with HUGE grins on your faces as ‘gardening fever’ struck. We served SO MANY servings of complimentary chips and salsa and handed out over 400 copies of the Salsa Contest winning recipes.  Saw some pretty good Latin dancing going on in the aisles too!  What fun.

“It kills you to see them grow up, but I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn’t.” Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver joke 6


May 16                Rose Workshop at 10 AM  If you have any questions about roses, you won’t want to miss this one.  Our own Sharon Stickford, past president of the Madison Rose Society, will simplify rose gardening and show you just how easy growing and caring for them can be. HONEST!

May 16, 17 & 23  Container Workshop from 10-4 each day. If you’ve never attended, you may be surprised that we provide FREE SOIL AND ASSISTANCE and clean up the mess!  

May 23                  Easy Vegetable Gardening, Tomatoes and More! 10AM. Vegetable gardening is back!  People have rededicated themselves to growing their own veggies. In addition to providing delicious fresh produce, other benefits include the therapeutic effects of working the soil, which clears your mind; the physical exercise, which strengthens your body; and the calming effect of watching your garden grow, which is a tonic for your soul. We invite you to learn gardening shortcuts and tips from Brian Emerson of the Madison Agricultural Research Station.

We will have free classes continuing throughout the season, along with more Make and Take Workshops.  Our goal is to hold events that are interesting and helpful to our customers. Remember to give us your input.  We’re listening!

“All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy.

No man does. That is his.” The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Bonnie’s Kitchen


2009 ABF Salsa Contest

1st Place Winner of $50 Gift Certificate

Jules Salsa

Julie Gilden

2 medium cans of diced green chili tomatoes

¾ cup diced green bell pepper

¾ cup diced red bell pepper

¾ cup diced red onion

2 T diced Habanera or Jalapeno peppers (depends how hot you like it)

½ cup white vinegar

3 T sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

2 T lemon juice

2 T lime juice

Combine all ingredients and chill overnight.

HONORABLE MENTIONS – $10 Gift Certificates

Summertime Salsa

Shannon Traeder

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 avocados, chopped

3 tomatoes, chopped

1 small red onion, chopped

1 can Mexi-corn, drained

¼ c red wine vinegar

¼ c olive oil

1 pkg. Good Seasons Zesty Italian dry mix

½-1 t cumin

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Serve with chips.

Black Bean, Corn, and Tomato Salsa

Donna Teasdale

16 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained

16 oz. fresh or frozen whole kernel corn

½ c chopped cilantro

¼ c chopped green onion

¼ c chopped red onion

½ c red or green bell pepper (optional)

1/3 c fresh lime juice

3 T vegetable oil

1 T ground cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups chopped ripe seeded tomatoes (can use more or less)

In a large bowl, combine beans, corn, cilantro, onion, pepper, lime juice, oil and cumin.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover and chill at least 2 hours or overnight.  Just before serving, stir in tomatoes

Serve with blue and white corn chips or scoops


Last year’s recipes were fabulous, and we’ve had requests to reprint them. Enjoy!

1st Place 2008 ABF Salsa Contest

Venezuelan Salsa

Elaine Meier

1 small ripe tomato

1 large ripe avocado

2 garlic cloves

¼ cup virgin olive oil

2 T red vinegar

1 small fresh hot pepper, finely chopped w/seeds removed

1 t salt

½ t black pepper

1 cold hard boiled egg, finely chopped

3 sprigs finely chopped parsley

3 sprigs finely chopped fresh cilantro

Cut out the stem of the tomato, then slice it in half. Gently squeeze each half so that the seeds and juices run out. Discard the seeds and juices. Chop the tomato into little pieces.

Cut the avocado in half. With the tip of a small spoon, loosen the pit and lift it out.  Gently strip off the skin with your fingers.  Chop the avocado into little chunks.  Mince the garlic.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, fresh hot pepper, salt, black pepper, chopped egg, garlic, parsley and cilantro. Mix all ingredients gently and thoroughly.

Serve fresh with chips. Enjoy

Nancy’s Salsa

Nancy Cooley

6-8 plum tomatoes, diced small, or 1 large can petite diced tomatoes, drained

1 red pepper, diced

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1-2 jalapeno peppers (remove seeds if you don’t like it too hot), finely diced

1 can corn, drained

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 large can olives, sliced

1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

¼ c sugar

juice of ½ lime

handful of cilantro, chopped

salt to taste

Mix all together and enjoy! The taste improves if made the day before.

Mango Salsa

Julie Bennett

2 medium mangos, peeled, seeded, and diced

1 cup seedless grapes, halved

1 red or green bell pepper, seeded and diced

½ red onion, diced

2 jalapeno chilies, finely diced (more for additional heat)

Juice of 1 lime (about 2 T if not using fresh)

2 T sugar, or to taste

1 T honey

¼ t salt, or to taste

¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

In medium bowl, mix mango, grapes, bell and jalapeno peppers, and onion.

Blend lime juice, sugar, honey, and salt. Pour over fruit mixture.

Add cilantro and mix well.

Let stand 1 hour before serving for best flavor.

Serve with tortilla chips as a snack, or with grilled salmon, chicken , or pork as a condiment.

Harvest Salsa

Sandy F. Smith

3 Roma tomatoes, halved, seeded, and chopped

½ small red onion, cut up

¼ small cantaloupe, seeded, peeled and cut up

1 Pink Lady apple, cored and cut up

½ medium green pepper, seeded and cut up

1or 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and cut up

1 T sugar

1 T lime juice

¼ t salt

¼ t ground cumin

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and chill for 1-6 hours before serving. Stir well before serving. Serve with tortilla chips. Makes 3 cups of salsa.

The banana loaf I was making was in the oven

when my 16 year-old came into the kitchen where the family had gathered.

“That bread smells about done, don’t you think, Mom?” he asked.

I told him I had set the timer and it was fine.

A little later he repeated his suggestion,

“Mom, I really think that loaf is done.  Maybe you should check it.”

Always quick to come to my defense, my 13 year-old son said, “Eddie,

Mom’s been burning that banana bread for 20 years now.

I think she knows when to take it out.” 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