2009 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 24

Newsletter 24 – August 13, 2009


Customer Appreciation Weekend

Upcoming Events

Winning Tomato Recipe

Cheesy Bacon ‘n Apple Muffins 

Pick of the Week: Fall Asters

Win an Autumn Container





“Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time.  The wait is simply too long.”

Leonard S. Bernstein


Customer Appreciation Weekend

With perfect weather forecast for the weekend, there has never been a better time to ‘come on out’ to America’s Best Flowers.  We are celebrating you, our loyal customers, with FREE ice cream and popcorn this Saturday and Sunday, August 15 and 16 from 11-3.  While you’re here, take a tour of our grounds, which have never looked better.  The tremendous colors of the summer garden are everywhere.  Butterflies and hummingbirds abound.  What a great sight!  We invite you to share the beauty.  Gather up your friends and family, head on out to the country, and take a break from life.  You’ll be so glad you did.


“The difference between fiction and reality?  Fiction has to make sense.”

Tom Clancy


While you’re here this weekend, be sure to register to win a beautiful ceramic fall planter, designed by our own Sharon Stickford and valued at $169.99. This beauty was planted with a gorgeous selection of plants that will withstand the cooler fall temperatures. The winning entry will be drawn Monday, August 17th.  If you aren’t the lucky winner, you can make your own fall container at our first “Make a Fall Container” Workshop, August 29-30, from 10-4 each day. These workshops are a favorite for many.  Come on out and let us provide FREE soil and assistance while you create a truly unique planter for your home.


“I never know what I think about something until I’ve read what I’ve written on it.”

William Faulkner

West Towne Update

The West Towne sales associates, Karen, Lisa and Cheryl, want to thank you, our customers, for making this a very special season.  We’ve enjoyed getting to know you and helping you to choose just the right plants for your gardens and containers.  The West Towne site will be open one more week.  We still have a great selection of annuals and perennials, as well as fall asters and mums fresh from the farm.  We look forward to seeing all of you this week.


“I handed in a script last year and the studio didn’t change one word,

The word they didn’t change was on page 87.”

Steve Martin

Al’s Pick of the Week – Fall Asters

Aster, meaning "star" in Latin, can be identified by their star-shaped blossoms in shades of white, lavender, purple, pink or red, surrounding a deep yellow center.  A must in any perennial garden, asters are indeed the "stars" of the autumn landscape, providing brilliant color during a time when the other flowers begin to fade.


Asters are a true zone 4 perennial, reliably coming back year after year.  They prefer a spot in partial to full sun with well-drained soil.  To encourage bushy growth and more flowers, perennial asters, like mums, benefit from pinching back.  Beginning in June, pinch all the growing tips.  Repeat every two weeks, ending around the Fourth of July.  Your asters will begin blooming mid to late August and continue right up to a hard frost. 


America’s Best is growing ten varieties of asters this year, including Purple Dome, Days, Hazy, Magic, Marie III, Peter III, Pink Henry III, Pink Magic, Shout and Winston Churchill.  They have just started blooming, so come on out today and pick up your favorites.  To help you decide, visit the following website, being sure to scroll down and click on the photos for more information.



“I have always been a huge admirer of my own work.

I’m one of the funniest and most entertaining writers I know.”

Mel Brooks

Calendar of Events

August 15 & 16      Customer Appreciation Days  FREE Ice Cream and popcorn

August 23               Iris Divide and Swap at 1 PM  Bring in a clump of iris, a knife, scissors, a Sharpie and plastic bags.

August 29 – 30       Make a Fall Container Workshop 10-4 – FREE Soil and assistance – Design a mixed container using plants that will withstand cool fall temperatures.

September 21 – October 4 – Scarecrow Days – Make your own scarecrow and we’ll clean up the mess.  Real family fun! Refreshments on weekends.

September 20        Dividing Perennials at 1 PM

September 24        Make a Fall Container Workshop from 4-8 pm

September 27        How to Winterize Roses at 1 PM


“It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing,

but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.”

Robert Benchley


Next Week’s Newsletter

Fall is the time when garden center people from all over the United States, gather to review the past and plan for the future.  We attend informative classes, watch presentations, take garden tours, listen to each others’ ideas, and sympathize with each others’ problems.  It’s a great time of giving and taking, of inspiring and challenging, and of renewing precious friendships, which have grown dormant over the busy months.  This year’s meeting is in Chicago, running from this coming Sunday through Wednesday.  I have the privilege of attending the entire time, and look forward to coming back and sharing some of the highlights with you in next week’s newsletter.  Because of the timing of the trip, you will receive that issue later in the day on Thursday than normal.  If I don’t get too wordy, it should be in your inbox by 4:00.


A writer is congenitally unable to tell the truth

and that is why we call what he writes fiction.”

William Faulknet

Tomato Winning Recipe

This week’s winning recipe was submitted by Geralyn H.  We made this for a company taste test and it received rave reviews from everyone.  Geralyn will receive a $25 gift certificate for her entry.  We want to thank everyone who submitted recipes over the past three weeks.  It has been great fun to make, and eat, the entries.


Fresh Tomato Tart

Prep 20 minutes

Bake 25 minutes



1/2 of a 15-ounce folded refrigerated unbaked piecrust (1 crust)

1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (6 ounces)

4 Roma or small regular tomatoes

3/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves

4 cloves garlic

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (she uses fresh)

1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing

1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper

Fresh basil leaves (optional)



1. Unfold the piecrust according to package directions.  Line a 9-inch tart pan with pastry (it’s easier to remove the baked tart if pan has a removable bottom.)  Press the pastry into the fluted sides of the tart pan and trim the edges.  Don’t prick.  Partially bake in a 450 degree F oven for 5 to 7 minutes or until pastry is slightly dry.

2. Remove from oven.  Sprinkle with 1/2 C. of the mozzarella cheese.  Cool in pan on a wire rack.  Reduce oven temperature to 375 degree F.

3. Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes into wedges, drain on paper towels.  Arrange the tomato wedges over the melted cheese on the baked crust.

4. In a food processor bowl, combine basil and garlic, cover and process with on-off turns until coarsely chopped, or snip the basil and mince the garlic.

5. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the basil-garlic mixture, the remaining shredded mozzarella cheese, the mayo, the grated parmesan cheese, and pepper.  (Mixture will be thick.) Spread evenly over tomato wedges.

6. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until cheese is golden.  Let stand 5 minutes before cutting into wedges.  Serve warm.  If you like, garnish with additional basil leaves.

Makes 8 appetizer or 4 main-dish servings.


“The free-lance writer is the person who is paid per piece or per word

or perhaps.”

Robert Benchley



This recipe is a favorite of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board ©1989 – a good breakfast muffin!


Cheesy Bacon ‘n Apple Muffins

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

¼ cup sugar

4 t baking powder

¾ t salt

1 cup milk

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 egg, slightly beaten

½ cup finely chopped unpeeled apple

¾ cup (3 ounces) shredded aged Cheddar cheese

2/3 cup crisp bacon crumbles (about 8 slices)


In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In small bowl, combine milk, butter and egg; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.  Fold in apple, cheese and bacon crumbles. Spoon into buttered muffin cups, filling 2/3 full.  Bake in preheated 400 degree oven 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan. Cool on wire rack.


A woman went into her local garden center to purchase a bale of peat moss.

She gave a personal check in payment and said to the clerk,

“I suppose you will want some identification.”

He replied, without hesitation, “No, Ma’am, that won’t be necessary.”

“How come?” asked the woman.

“Crooks don’t buy peat moss.” Answered the clerk.


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