2009 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 16

Newsletter 16 – June 18, 2009


Perennial of the Week: Boxwood

Al’s Pick of the Week: Rocky Mountain Geraniums 

Three New Recipes             Succession Gardening


“It’s not how we think, it’s how we act upon those thoughts

that makes us truly worthy of being loved.” – Bob Perks

Instant Beauty

With Father’s Day this weekend, Rhythm & Booms next weekend and the Fourth of July the one after that, many of you will be having celebrations in your back yards.  If spring has sped by and left you unprepared, we have good news for you.  You have People.  People who can help you instantly turn your outdoor living space into a beautiful, welcoming oasis.  These people are at this great garden center, and they have worked hard to have planters and hanging baskets in all colors and sizes ready just in time for all your festivities.

Sometimes gardeners think they have to do everything from scratch.  Not so, it’s okay to let us help.  So come on out today and pick up the blooming containers of your choice.  All you’ll have to do is say ‘thank you’ when the compliments start coming in.

At the beginning of the school year, a young man

was reflecting on his chance of being the 8th grade valedictorian.

He said his dad was valedictorian, his mom was valedictorian,

and his sister was also valedictorian.

He paused, leaned back in his chair and said,

“Looks like the end of an era!”


Succession Gardening

Now is the time many of you are enjoying the harvest of the early crops of lettuce, spinach, peas and radishes that you planted in early May.  But did you know that it’s not too late to plant more seeds for successive crops?  Mid June is the perfect time to start another crop of beets, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, scallions, bush snap beans, swiss chard and zucchini.  The warmer soil will help germination, so your plants will come up more quickly and grow faster.  When you are trying to decide if there’s time for a crop to grow, check the maturity dates on the back of your seed packages.  Anything that is listed as 70 days or less has plenty of time left this year.  We still have a good selection of garden seed available here at the farm, so come on out today and pick up what you’re missing.  Mid August you’ll be sooo glad you did.

I started early teaching my kids the value of a dollar.

From then on, they demanded their allowances in gold. Joke 2


Al’s Pick of the Week – Rocky Mountain Geraniums

If you wish you had more color in your plantings, we have the answer.  The Rocky Mountain series of geraniums is as versatile a plant as you can find.  They do well in partial to full sun and make great fillers for empty spots and replacements for plants which have stopped blooming.  A few minutes spent adding a few plants can tremendously change the impact of your beds.  Available in Royal Red, Deep Rose, Violet, Salmon and White, our plants are simply covered with bloom.  Come out today and see for yourself how good they look.

My dad wants me to have all the things he didn’t have when he was a kid.

Like all A’s on every report card. Joke 3


PERENNIAL/SHRUB of the Week – Boxwo


What kind of shrub I can plant that the rabbits and deer WON’T eat?  It needs to stay green all year long, be easy to take care of, and not be prickly or thorny. That’s a question we hear a lot at America’s Best Flowers. One easy answer is boxwood.  This popular and versatile evergreen shrub forms a dense mat of neat, small glossy leaves. Boxwood forms soft, mounded shapes if left alone or can be sheared into a globe, cone, or small hedge.  It can even be formed into topiary in the shape of that dreaded rabbit.  Boxwoods will grow in both sun and shade and fit well in many types of gardens and landscapes, from a casual country garden to a more formal setting.  Check out the following links to see examples

Boxwood Hedge on Flickr

A more Formal Arrangement

or even this one, If you have a lot of time on your hands


You can add evergreen accents to your perennial garden or keep the critters out of your yard at a special price because Boxwoods are the shrub of the week at America’s Best Flowers.

My father said I should learn the Ten Commandments

But I don’t think I want to because we already have enough rules in our house.  joke 4


Say Goodbye to Pest Problems

It’s that time of year – when bugs start their annual nasty business of chomping on your beloved plants. The phone calls have begun here at the garden center, and so many people are confused about what product to use on what insect. We’re putting together another QUICK CLASS that will answer all your questions and keep you from losing your annuals, perennials, rosebushes, trees and shrubs. As my mom used to say, ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’ It’s very costly to replace your plants, so catching the problem immediately or even before it begins, is what you want to do.  Check next week’s newsletter to find out the date and time of our class.  Feel free to bring a damaged leaf (in a ziploc bag) to show us, and we’ll see if we can help you.

My father should be a minister.

Every day he gives me a sermon about something. Joke 5


Mark Your Calendars

June is Perennials on Parade month.  Each week we will be featuring one perennial/shrub at special savings.  Watch the newsletter every week to see what we have selected for you.


July 4-5 Independence Celebration – Stop by our main location in Cottage Grove and receive FREE Ice Cream and Popcorn to celebrate our amazing country’s independence.


July 11-19 ABF Dollar Days – This is the first of two opportunities to use your orange ABF Dollars for up to 50% off the total price of purchase on our entire stock


Did you know?  Only Loyalty customers receive our newsletters via email.  Only Loyalty customers receive ABF Dollars.  And, best of all, only Loyalty customers receive all our great mailings throughout the year.  If you know anyone who shops here, but hasn’t signed up as a Loyalty customer yet, please encourage them to do so.  We thank you and so will they.


If you are receiving double mailings, please email or call us at 222-2269 so we can reduce the amount of paper coming to your home.  It’s just one small way we are working to save our environment.


One time my kids wanted to surprise me with breakfast in bed for Father’s Day.

They put a cot in the kitchen. Joke 6


Bonnie’s Kitchen

Toot your horns, clap your hands and stamp your feet! It’s Almost Father’s Day! Time to show Dad how much he means to you! How about an old-fashioned BBQ featuring baked beans, brats, burgers and ice cream cones? Only we’re adding a few new twists!


Tex-Mex Baked Beans

You can make this special by sprinkling shredded cheddar cheese and chopped fresh cilantro on top, just before serving.

2 cans (15.5 oz) Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed

2 cans (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed

1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce

1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chilies

¾ cup BBQ sauce

¾ cup salsa

¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar

In a 3 ½ qt. slow cooker, combine all ingredients, mix well.

Cover; cook on low setting at least 4 hours (I cook for 6 hrs, stirring twice or three times) or until mixture is thoroughly heated and flavors are blended. You can also do this on the stove top and cook 30-45 minutes, stirring often.

From Pillsbury Classic Cookbooks June 1999


Brats with Mango Relish

This is a recipe Dad is sure to love, or make Inside-Out Southwestern Cheeseburgers from a previous news letter (there is also a really good grilled corn with chili-lime spread recipe). See Bonnie’s Kitchen Week 26 2006

1 large fresh mango, seeded, peeled, and halved

1 small red onion, cut in ½” slices.

4 cooked, smoked bratwurst

4 buns, split

2 hearts of romaine lettuce, halved

½ t Jamaican jerk seasoning

Brush mango and onion with 1 T cooking oil.

Grill (medium heat) mango halves, onion and brats about 8 minutes, or until mango and brats are browned and heated through and onion is crisp-tender, turning once halfway through cooking. Lightly toast buns for 1-2 minutes. Set aside mango, onion and brats.

Lightly brush romaine with cooking oil. Grill 1-2 minutes until lightly browned and wilted, turning once (I’ve had mixed reviews on the grilled romaine, some love it, others not-so-much).

For relish, chop grilled mango and onion. Combine in bowl with 1 T cooking oil, the jerk seasoning, and salt and pepper. Serve brats in buns with relish and romaine.  Makes 4 servings.


Choco-Mint Waffle Cones

4 giant waffle ice cream cones

1 quart mint or pistachio ice cream

1 12 oz. jar dark chocolate or fudge ice cream topping.

Fresh raspberries, blackberries and/or blueberries

Fresh mint leaves

Place each waffle cone in a tall cup or glass. Scoop ice cream into cones. Top with ice cream topping. Add berries to top of cone. Sprinkle with mint leaves. Makes 4 cones

Dad is from the old school,

where you keep your money under the mattress –

 only he kept his in the underwear drawer.

One day I bought my dad an unusual personal safe –

A can of spray paint with a false bottom –

So he could keep his money in the workshop.

Later I asked Mom if he was using it.

“Oh yes,” she replied, “he put his money in it the same day.”

“No burglar would ever think to look on the work shelf!” I gloated.

“They won’t have to,” my mom replied,

“He keeps the paint can in his underwear drawer.”  Joke 7


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