2009 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 26

Newsletter 26 – August 27, 2009

 The Seasons of Our Life

Autumn Container Workshops

 Tomato Troubles

 Plant of the Week – Ornamental Cabbage and Kale 

 Recipe – Canteloupe Soup and Crunchy Chicken Pitas



If you do nothing, nothing will happen.

If you do something, something will happen,

but not necessarily what you intended.


The Seasons of Our Life

This week we are busy verifying bulb orders, making phone calls to straw suppliers, traveling to the fabric store for burlap, cutting felt pieces for scarecrow faces, reorganizing the displays out front so there’s room for our gorgeous mums, and creating signage for the fall merchandise.  Add to that the bombardment of back-to-school ads and shorter days, and we are forced to admit that fall is upon us.


Seasonality is most obvious in the garden.  From the earliest of snowdrops, peaking through March snow, to the simplicity of dogwoods shimmering with a December coat of ice, each day provides beauty of its own.  We are so privileged to be a part of the ever-changing face of nature here at the greenhouse, but realize that everyone does not have this opportunity.  To help you become more aware of these seasonal changes, we invite you to visit us on a regular basis.  Just this morning, we were reminded how special it is here when a regular customer stopped just inside the door and said, “It’s so quiet, and peaceful, and relaxing!”


If you are thinking, ‘That’s nice, but who has the time?’ keep in mind that each season is repeated in our adult lives only 50 or so times.  Once it’s passed, it will be a year before you can see it again, and one less season your life will hold.  So please make time for a ‘green-cation.’  Best defined as a mini-vacation, requiring no planning, packing, or money, filled with peace and quiet.  Just jump in the car, come on out and leave the stress behind.  Our fall hours are 9-7 Monday through Friday and 9-6 on weekends.

‘It’s easy to identify people who can’t count to ten.

They are in front of you in the express lane at the supermarket.’

June Henderson

Autumn Container Workshops

This weekend, August 29 and 30 is our first Make an Autumn Container Workshop of the season.  From 10 to 4 both days, you get FREE SOIL AND ASSISTANCE as you create unique autumn containers for your home.  Our designers are looking forward to working with you as you plant your beautiful pots.  If weekends are busy for you, come out for our second workshop, on Thursday, September 24 from 4 to 8 pm.


Start thinking about the design and color scheme you’d like for your fall planters.  Some especially nice plants to use that will take the cooler temperatures, are pansies, petunias, Goldilocks Creeping Jenny, sages, mums, asters, kale and cabbages, dusty miller, and our lovely Snow Princess Alyssum.  Autumn containers will last into the fall and paired with our straw bales, corn shocks, mums, and a scarecrow, your home will be the talk of the neighborhood.


Hospitality is making your guests feel at home, even if you wish they were.

Al’s Pick of the Week

Ornamental Cabbage & Kale

Take a serious look at your landscaping.  If it needs a face-lift, try replacing worn out summer annuals with ornamental cabbage and kale for a long-lasting fall display.  They work well as fill-ins, in mass plantings, containers, and as edgings.  Ornamental cabbage and kale look beautiful combined with fall-blooming perennials, such as mums, asters, tall sedums, and grasses.  Add a few pansies and you will have bright color right up to frost. The following website has great pictures and information:



Middle age is when broadness of the mind and

narrowness of the waist change places.

Tomato Troubles

I included the following websites explaining tomato diseases in last week’s newsletter.  By popular demand, I’ve included them one more time.





Be careful what rut you choose, you may be in it the rest of your life.

Calendar of Events

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 20        Dividing Perennials at 1 PM

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

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

September 27        How to Winterize Roses at 1 PM


America’s Best Flowers gift certificates make the perfect gift for your favorite gardener.  Remember, they never expire and may be used on everything we sell.


Money doesn’t bring you happiness,

but it enables you to look for it in more places.

Plan Ahead for Scarecrow Days

There’s no better way to decorate for fall than with a unique scarecrow of your own creation. Mark your calendars for our Build-Your-Own Scarecrow event, which runs from September 21 through October 4, and expect to have the time of your life.  We build scarecrows every day, so you can stop out anytime and our staff will be glad to assist you.  Refreshments will be served on weekends.  When you come, we will provide you with a kit to get you started.  Add a great outfit (bring your own or buy one from us at garage sale prices), and you will have a scarecrow that will be the envy of the neighborhood.  If you set your creation on a straw bale, use a few corn stalks for background and surround the whole scene with brilliant mums, asters, fountain grass and pumpkins, you will have a fabulous fall display.


Misers aren’t much fun to live with, but they make great ancestors.



On a hot summer day, this makes a fabulous cool meal for supper or a special luncheon. This soup is so refreshing. 


Cantaloupe Soup

Recipe from Alex Guarnaschelli


1 large or 2 small cantaloupes (yield 3 c tightly packed sliced cantaloupe)

3 lemons, juiced

1 cup sparkling cider

2 to 3 t granulated sugar (if needed)

½ cup cold water (if needed)

1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper


Split cantaloupe in half. Scoop out and discard seeds. Use spoon to scoop out flesh in small increments. You want 3 cups tightly packed cantaloupe.


Place melon in blender and add lemon juice and cider. Puree until smooth and taste for seasoning. Add sugar, if needed. Use water only if more liquid is needed. Pour soup in medium bowl. Make ice bath to chill soup by combining ice cubes and cold water in bottom of a larger bowl.  Put soup in ice bath and store in refrigerator until ready to serve


Season cucumber lightly with salt and pepper. When ready to serve, pour soup into chilled bowls and add a bit of cucumber to each.


You want this soup to be served icy cold, which is why they tell you to use the ice bath and chill the soup bowls. I did not use the ice bath, but used chilled soup bowls, and it was fine.


Cool and Crunchy Chicken Pitas


½ cup plain yogurt

¼ cup finely chopped cucumber

½ t dried dill weed

¼ t dried mint, crushed

2 large pitas, cut in half

4 lettuce leaves

6-8 ounces cooked chicken, thinly sliced

1 small tomato, thinly sliced

1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese


For dressing, in a small bowl, stir together yogurt, cucumber, dill weed, and mint. Set aside. Stuff pita halves with lettuce, chicken, tomato, and feta cheese. Spoon dressing on top. Serve immediately


You can make the dressing ahead, and chill for up to 6 hours.



Growing up as a kid,

I learned all about capitalism through the board game Monopoly. 

I mean, what better way to teach a young mind the way our economy functions.

I loved the game and still do.  Only now, as an adult,

I have some questions that remain unanswered.

For instance, “If I have all this money and own all this real estate,

Why am I still driving around in a thimble?”



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