2009 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 8

Newsletter 8 – April 23, 2009


Recipe            Events           Keep Hydrangeas Blue           Salsa Recipe Contest


“Treat the Earth well: it was not given to you by your parents.

It was loaned to you by your children.” Ancient Indian Proverb



Celebrate Earth Day with us! With FREE Kid’s Activities

Saturday, April 25, from 10 to 2, we will have FREE activities for kids.  Your children can bring a white T-shirt to paint (or buy one here), make cosmos and marigold seed balls, learn how to grow beans without soil and create a peanut butter bagel birdfeeder. Children must be accompanied by an adult.  Caution: If your child has a peanut allergy, you will want to avoid this activity.

Now, for a bit of Earth Day history – On April 22, 1970, the hard work of Wisconsin’s Senator Gaylord Nelson changed history when the first Earth Day was celebrated in the United States.  His primary objective was to show the politicians of the day that there was a deep concern by Americans for the environment.  The participation of millions of people of all ages made it a huge success.  For more info visit http://www.epa.gov/history/topics/earthday/02.htm

FREE Black Hills Spruce with purchase April 24 – 26

Celebrate Arbor Day with us! Plant a Tree Today

Arbor Day began a century earlier in 1872.  Julius Sterling Morton, a member of the Nebraska state board of agriculture and Secretary of Agriculture under President Grover Cleveland, proposed a special day be set aside dedicated to tree planting.  That first year over one million trees were planted in Nebraska alone.  In the years following, his idea spread throughout the US.  Today all 50 states celebrate Arbor Day, although dates vary.  For info see http://www.arbor-day.net/arbor-day-state-dates.htm

Arbor Day is a great reminder to homeowners to take a good look at their existing trees.  April is the perfect time to prune away damaged or diseased branches, as well as to plant new trees that will beautify the landscape for years to come.  Imagine your yard filled with the red, pink and white blossoms of flowering crabapple trees.  America’s Best Flowers also has wonderful fruit trees, including apple, cherry, and pear, as well as two wonderful new varieties of peaches. The weeping pussy willows are simply lovely, and nothing compares to the huge blooms of the magnolia. Stop out today and do your part to help our environment by planting a tree.  To help you get started, this Friday through Sunday, April 24 – 26, we are giving away a FREE Black Hills Spruce seedling with any purchase while supplies last.


Help beautify our city dumps – throw something pretty away today! Joke 1



Beginning this weekend, our two satellite sites will be stocked and open for business.  This year we will be in the Sears automotive parking lot at West Towne Mall and across from the old Hanley’s hardware in Sun Prairie.  The contracts for our previous sites at East Towne and in Monona were not renewed by Menards.  We were very disappointed with their decision, because we have established wonderful relationships with our customers in those areas.  If you normally have shopped at these sites, please come on out to our main greenhouse, located between Madison and Cottage Grove on Vilas Hope Road.  You will find the short drive well worth your time. Our hours are 9 to 8 Monday through Friday, and 9-6 Saturday and Sunday.  Call for directions 222-2269.


“Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.” joke 2


Keep Your Blue Hydrangeas Blue

Every year we get phone calls from gardeners wondering why the blue hydrangeas they planted are blooming pink.  The simple answer is that the ph of the soil is wrong.  A harder answer involves an explanation of how soil ph can be modified to encourage the hydrangea to bloom blue.  For more information visit http://www.usna.usda.gov/Gardens/faqs/hydrangeafaq2.html

However deep you want to go into understanding the pinks and blues of hydrangeas, if you want your blue to be blue, early spring is the time to begin applying aluminum sulfate to your plants.  A general rule is to apply approximately two cups of Bonide Aluminum Sulfate granules around the drip line of your plant, beginning as soon as you see new growth.  Repeat application at 2 – 4 week intervals throughout the season.  This product is available in 4 lb. bags at our Cottage Grove Road location.


I didn’t realize how bad the smog was getting

until they started making freeway signs in Braille joke 3



April 25           Earth Day Celebration – FREE CHILDREN’S ACTIVITIES 10-2 PM. Bring a white T-shirt to paint, make seed balls and create a peanut butter bagel birdfeeder. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Caution: If your child has a peanut allergy, you will want to avoid this activity.

April 24-26     Arbor Day – Receive a FREE Black Hills Spruce with purchase.  While supplies last.  Limit 1 per family.

May 2-3     Container Workshop Your all-time favorite event kicks off Saturday and Sunday, May 2 and 3, from 10-4 each day. If you’ve never attended, you might want to consider that we provide FREE SOIL AND ASSISTANCE and clean up the mess!  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, mind-boggling creation for your porch, deck or patio.  Many people use these workshops to plant all the containers they will need for the season.  No registration is required, but if you will need a lot of assistance, you might want to come earlier in the morning, before it gets too busy.  Sharon, Barb, Chris, and Cathy will give you unique ideas to personalize your containers.  This is truly an event you won’t want to miss!

May 2          SALSA SATURDAY It’s that time of year again. We’ll be celebrating Cinco de Mayo on Saturday, May 2, this year and serving our customary complimentary salsa and chips from 11-2 that day, while you shop to a Latin beat!

Salsa Recipe Contest

HURRY !!! Enter our Salsa Recipe Contest by April 26 and you could win the first prize of a $50 gift card or one of two honorable mention winners of a $10 gift card to Americas Best Flowers. Email your favorite salsa recipe to ed@americasbestflowers.com. Please put ‘Recipe for Bonnie’ in the subject line. You can also drop it off at our main greenhouse in Cottage Grove. All entries must be submitted by April 26.  Our staff will judge the finalist recipes and we will notify the winner on May 1st. Winning recipes will be available to our customers on Salsa Saturday, May 2nd.

May 5 & 7     Mother’s Day Make and Take Workshop 6:30 pm

Design a beautiful planter for your mom or other special woman from a variety of options:

#1 Fill a colorful Scheurich pot with cheerful pansies or begonias. Cost $20

#2 Plant a Topsy Turvy pouch with a cherry tomato plant to hang outside your door or for your patio (as seen on TV). Great for people in apartments or condos. Cost $25

#3 Fill our elegant ceramic planter (3 square pots nesting on a matching ceramic saucer) with fresh herb plants. A beautiful accent piece for your kitchen, in choice of sage or cobalt blue. Cost $35

Tuesday, May 5, and Thursday, May 7, at 6:30PM.  Register at 222-2269 and indicate the planter of choice, supplies limited.

We will have free classes on vegetable and perennial gardening 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!


Polution is so bad that when I put air in my tires,

Two of them died. Lee Tully Joke 4


Bonnie’s Kitchen

Here’s a simple and refreshing salad that makes an especially good luncheon choice served with a creamy spring vegetable soup, or can be part of an easy dinner, paired with grilled salmon or chicken breast and served with couscous or rice pilaf.

Orange-Avocado Toss

1 large or 2 smaller heads Boston lettuce, torn in bite size pieces

1 small cucumber, thinly sliced

2 T green onions, sliced

1 avocado, seeded, peeled and sliced

1 can 11 oz. mandarin oranges, drained


¼ cup orange juice

½ cup salad oil

2 T sugar

2 T red wine vinegar

1 T lemon juice

¼ t salt

In a large salad bowl, combine lettuce, cucumber, avocado, mandarin oranges and green onions. In a screw top jar, combine dressing ingredients. Cover tightly and shake well. Just before serving pour over salad. Toss lightly. Serves 8


“What about all those detergents that are going out into our rivers and the ocean?

If this keeps up, it’s going to leave a ring around the country.” John Byner joke 5



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