2009 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 17

Newsletter 17 – June 25, 2009


Perennial of the Week: Echinacea – Coneflower

Al’s Pick of the Week: Annual Hanging Baskets  

2 Fingerling Potato Recipes     Herb Dill       


“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.”

– Dove Chocolate Wrapper



In honor of Concerts on the Square, some musical humor:


What do you get when you drop a piano down a mine shaft?

A flat minor.

Al’s Pick of the Week – Annual Hanging Baskets


Rhythm ‘n Booms, the kickoff of Concerts on the Square, and the upcoming Fourth of July celebrations are great times to show your colors.  Whatever they are, we can help with our beautiful hanging baskets.  Available in a variety of sizes, these baskets are filled with some of the best annual plants available anywhere.  America’s Best has baskets for both sun or shade.  With regular feeding and watering they will provide color until frost.

If you are attending a party, wow your host or hostess, and guarantee yourself an invite for next year, with a fabulous basket.  Come out today, while the selection is at its best.


What do you get when you drop a piano on an army base?

A Flat major.

Watering your Hanging Baskets


This latest weather brings new challenges for watering your plants.  We get many calls focusing on hanging baskets.  There is no set rule you can go by for “how often do I need to water my plants”?  Wind, sun, and temperature will all determine the answer.  In some cases, especially as the mercury reaches into the 90’s, you may need to water some of your plants twice a day.  Remember that over watering is the #1 cause of death in plants. That being said, if you DON’T water them enough, you are going to have some crispy critters on your hands.


Here’s a tried and true method we use here at ABF. Pick the plant up and if it feels light, it needs watering. If it is heavy, it most likely is fine. This works great with hanging baskets. Be sure to keep a really close eye on those Million Bells. They will definitely need extra watering when it’s hot.  If you notice your impatiens baskets looking droopy, even though you’ve watered them, it might be because they don’t like these blistering temps.  However, they are resilient, and should pop back to life when the cooler temperatures return.


You spend a lot of time, money, and effort on your plants. Don’t let one forgetful hot day of not watering cause their demise.


What do you get if Bach dies and is reincarnated as twins?

A pair of Re-bachs.

PERENNIAL- Echinacea, Coneflowers


Every flower garden cries out for a plant that attracts butterflies and birds, makes great cut flowers, and tolerates hot dry conditions. A perennial favorite that fills the bill is Echinacea, commonly called coneflowers. They grow well in partial to full sun, in average soil, and require minimal attention.


‘Magnus’ Echinacea won the Perennial Plant of the Year for 1998. This zone 3 perennial has an upright habit with dark green, lance-shaped foliage. Dramatic seed heads follow daisy-like rose flowers. Magnus grows to 4 feet, and is a great addition to the prairie garden, the border garden, and in containers.


Twelve other varieties are available at America’s Best, including Harvest Moon (yellow), Sundown, (orange), Prairie Splendor (pink), Coconut Lime (green with dramatic cone), Fatal Attraction (dbl pink with a black stem), Fragrant Angel (white), Hope (pink), Mac’n’ Cheese (yellow), Merlot (dark red), Pink Double Delight, Tiki Torch (orange), and Tomato Soup (red).  Just imagine all of these in a bouquet. Wow!  Come on out today and pick up one of each at special Perennial of the Week prices:


Why don’t they know where Mozart is buried?

Because he’s Haydn!


EEEEYEWW!  Earwigs


Earwigs on the sidewalk

Earwigs on the grass

Earwigs in the flower pots

Will soon be dead at last.


They’re back. The creepiest, crawliest, ugliest of them all. In the past three days I have killed several of these miserable critters at home.  One even had the audacity to climb into my shoe.  Yuck!  Bayer Complete Insect Killer is your best defense to rid your plants of these disgusting bugs.  Come on out today and pick up a bottle.  In a few days the earwigs will be gone.  Great news – the same product also works for Japanese Beetles.


How do you fix a broken tuba?

With a tuba glue.

Try Your Mapping Skills – Try It


This is truly fun.  All you do is look at the top of the page and drag’n’drop the state where it belongs.  Smart map, it varies the order of the states’ placement with each new try. Don’t get discouraged, it’s easier after you get some states in place.  When you get pretty good at it, try without looking at the name of the state.  Enjoy. But watch out. It’s almost as addictive as solitaire.



What’s an accordion good for?

Learning how to fold a map.

Mark Your Calendars


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.


What do you get if Bach falls off a horse, but has the courage to get on again and continue riding?

Bach in the saddle again.

A Dilly of an Herb


Our dill plants are looking awesome! Dill is a must-have herb, this time of year. New potatoes are showing up at the markets, people are making potato salad for their cookouts and outdoor parties, and soon, some of you will be putting up jar after jar of your favorite family pickles. Dill’s uses are numerous, but it is also a beautiful plant with a very distinct aroma.  We carry two varieties, and the one you select should depend on what you’ll be using it for.


Bouquet Dill is the best American cultivar for seed production, and is great for pickling. It’s finely cut foliage and the seeds, can be used in many dishes. Foliage height is 24”-36” with a spread of 18”-24”.


Fernleaf Dill is a dwarf dill, good for containers. It has extra finely cut foliage that is slow to go to seed. Foliage height is 18” with a spread of 12”-18”.

Grow both in average, well-drained soil in full sun.


The best way to use dill is fresh from the garden (or pot), so during the growing season, cut your dill to use fresh as you need it. If not kept cut, your dill will go to seed, so cut often until you are ready to switch to seed production.  If you find that you have cut more than you can use, dry the excess in the microwave.  Spread the dill in a single layer on a paper towel and microwave on high for 3 minutes.  The result is fabulous – much better than the dried dill you buy in stores.  After microwaving, remove and discard the hard stems, crumble the leaves, and store in an airtight container protected from light.


Once seedheads begin to form, it’s time to stop cutting dill for fresh use. Allow the seedheads to dry completely, then cut them. You’ll be able to remove the seeds easily with your fingers.


While at a concert being performed by a very bad orchestra, George Bernard Shaw was asked what he’d like them to play next. “Dominoes,” he replied.

Bonnie’s Kitchen


I love fingerling potatoes, and this time of year they are easy to find and a bit more affordable.


Dilled Fingerling Potatoes

Recipe from the Barefoot Contessa

2 T unsalted butter

1 ¼ pounds fingerling potatoes, rinsed but not peeled

1 t kosher salt

¼ t freshly ground black pepper

1 ½ T chopped fresh dill


Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot. Add the whole potatoes, salt, and pepper, and toss well. Cover the pot tightly, and cook over low heat for 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender when tested with a small knife. From time to time, shake the pot without removing the lid to prevent the bottom potatoes from burning. Turn off the heat and allow the potatoes to steam for another 5 minutes. Don’t overcook. Toss with the dill and serve hot.


Lemon-Dill Potato Salad

3 pounds medium baby new potatoes, unpeeled, quartered

1 cup frozen green peas

¾ cup finely chopped red onion

2 T freshly chopped fresh dill

2 T chopped fresh chives

1 cup mayonnaise

2 T fresh lemon juice

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper


Place your baby new potatoes in a large saucepan filled with cold salted water and cook on medium heat until tender for about 20 minutes. While the potatoes are cooking, place a colander over the boiling water and blanch the green peas for about 45 seconds. Drain potatoes, transfer to large bowl, and set aside to cool for a bit. Once potatoes are cooled slightly, add the red onion, dill, chives, mayonnaise and peas. Drizzle with lemon juice, and toss gently to coat.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.


“What kind of music do you sing?”


“Don’t you mean ‘a cappella’, singing without instrumental accompaniment?”

“Nope: I mean ‘aqua-pella.’

Singing accompanied only by the water coming out of the shower-head.”


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