Fall Bulbs Have Arrived!

Newsletter 29 – Thursday, September 3, 2015

Mum Therapy

Some mums next to a birdbath
Cheaper than acupuncture (and it lasts longer too)
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Kids are back in school, and I have yet to hear a parent complain about it. Fancy that! Now that the kids aren’t home as much to make a mess, it’s an opportunity to get things back in order around the house.

If you haven’t gotten your mums yet, why not treat yourself and your home to a little freshening up. The color will replace those tired annuals, making your home feel renewed. It’s not just about looks; these mums can actually help you feel better. Having a fresh and colorful environment is therapeutic, calming, and good for the soul!

What do you call a bear in the rain?

A drizzly bear

Fall Bulbs Are In!

Mixed-Color Crocuses
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Picture it: Wisconsin… March… It’s been a long, cold winter. You’ve been cooped up for months and it’s hard to remember what it’s like to breathe in fresh air that doesn’t hurt your lungs. You’re just craving to see color outside, so when the snow melts and you finally see the first signs of spring, it is glorious! Crocuses burst through the ground, warming your heart. Then daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips! Suddenly there’s color everywhere, and with it comes sheer delight and excitement! It takes a little planning and preparation to have a truly amazing spring flower show in your yard, so make your future-self happy by planting bulbs this fall.

Note: May cause sudden inexplicable skipping, hopping and odd European accents
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A stunning selection of tulips, daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, alliums, irises, dwarf irises, and scillas just arrived! There are several varieties to choose from and they’re oh so easy to plant. Though it’s not time to plant bulbs just yet, you’ll want to get them early for the best selection. Don’t miss the opportunity to prepare a fantastic spring display for next year. You’ll be happy you did!

We also have a new bulb kit to make planting bulbs even faster and easier! Easy Bloom Pads consist of several bulbs in a biodegradable paper pad, which means all you do is dig a hole, toss in the pad, add some bulb food, and water. That’s it! These pads make planting so easy that almost anyone can do it. We have daffodils and tulips available, and they come in a pretty, colorful package to make a perfectly sweet gift!

What do you call a fake noodle?

An Impasta

Fertilize Bulbs for Better Blooms

Espoma Bulb Tone

Espoma Bulb Tone
More Information

Don’t forget the Bulb-tone! Whenever you plant bulbs, be sure to add a dose of Espoma Bulb-tone to the surrounding soil. It’s a natural fertilizer derived from organic ingredients and provides all the nutrients necessary for healthy bulb plants and flowers. Like any good natural fertilizer, it breaks down and releases nutrients gradually, so the plant has time to take it up as it grows. It also contains a blend of microbes that are vital to plant health and facilitate nutrient uptake.

Bulb-tone is also a good fertilizer for established bulb plants to give them a boost. Check the back of the package for the recommended amount to use and just work into the top few inches of soil. This is best done in the fall, to avoid damaging new growth.

New Tasty Accoutrements

Bald Eagle Sauces, Salsas and Sausages
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Now that football season has kicked off, it’s important to have some awesome tailgating snacks. We have a delicious solution to your snacking needs with an assortment of gourmet dips, salsas, sauces, and marinades from Bald Eagle Foods. Locally made in Plymouth, WI, these culinary creations are made in small batches with quality ingredients.

In addition to the usual favorites, like the popular Bean and Corn Salsa, we are offering new products including a few made with Wisconsin grown cranberries. The Cranberry Salsa is sweet and mild, and the Cranberry Everything Sauce is good for glaze, marinade, or BBQ. Also new are the Corn Salsa, Cub Mild Salsa, and Fat Free Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing, which are sure to be a hit with everyone.

Always remember you’re unique… just like everyone else.

Boxelder Bugs

Boxelder Bugs

Nymph and Adult Boxelder Bugs
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Usually, if you’re familiar with boxelder bugs, then you’re REALLY familiar with boxelder bugs. These little buggers are among the trees during the summer, but congregate in large masses in the fall when they prepare to find a place to overwinter. If you don’t know anything about them, you could potentially be concerned about your plants, but there’s no need to worry.

Boxelder Bug Closeup

Boxelder Bug Closeup
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Boxelder bugs are completely harmless. They feed on the leaves, flowers, and seedpods of boxelder and silver maple trees, but don’t cause any significant damage. More than anything, they’re just a nuisance when they collect on the side of your house and attempt to invade it to stay warm while they wait for spring.

The best defense to keep them out of your home is caulking windows and doors, and repairing any screens with holes which might allow them to get in. Now is the best time for this preventative measure, before the cool fall weather really starts.

Why didn’t the lifeguard save the drowning hippie?

He was too far out, man

Art in the Garden


Only one more week until our Art in the Garden event on Sept. 12th from 9-3! The anticipation is rising here at the greenhouse as we begin to clean and setup. Everyone is invited to stop by and check it out. It’s a wonderful opportunity to find unique art and shop for gifts. Don’t forget to bring a friend!

If you’d like to participate, please click here for information.

New Website, Tell Us What You Think

We are currently in the process of redoing our website in order to make it more helpful and user-friendly. We’d like to get your feedback as we continue to tweak it. Please check it out at www.americasbestflowers.com, and let us know the good and the bad, by emailing Ed at ed@americasbestflowers.com. You can also check it out on your smartphone!

Please specify in your email if you are viewing it on a computer or smartphone. Thanks!

Ask Irene: Dividing Daylilies

Q: When can we divide our bulbs of the daylilies?  Can it be done late September or early October?  Thank you.

A: Are we talking about the perennials with clumps of grassy foliage, not real lilies that grow on single stems with short leaves growing off the stalk? Daylilies do not grow from bulbs, but have somewhat fleshy roots.

Daylilies can be divided in spring or in early fall. So now is the perfect time to get out your fork or spade. You can cut back the grassy foliage by about half to make dividing easier for you and transplanting easier on the plants. Work the fork around the sides of the clump until you can get underneath and lift it out of the ground. You want to make healthy divisions with at least a few growth points, although you could simply split a large clump in half or thirds and replant larger divisions. If you have two forks, it works great to put both back to back into the clump’s center and then pull outwards to make the divisions. Tease away the very center of a large clump if it is lacking in roots and thin on foliage — or it may just fall away as you work. Make sure to water well after replanting. Have fun out there!

Happy gardening,
~ Irene

We want you to be successful in your gardening efforts. Please send any questions you have to Irene, at abfirene@gmail.com. She’ll give you solid advice from years of gardening experience.

Upcoming Events

Sat, Sep 12
Art in the Garden Craft Fair

9am-3pm Talented artists display and sell their unique items.

Sat, Sep 19
Flea Market

9am-3pm – Rain or Shine

Sat, Sep 19 – Sun, Oct 18
Scarecrow Days

Mon-Fri 10am-4pm
Sat-Sun 10am-4pm
Bring family and friends out to build one-of-a-kind scarecrow(s).

Sat, Oct 17
Flea Market

9am-3pm – Rain or Shine

Sat, Oct 17 – Sun, Nov 15
Miniature Garden Container Workshop

10am-3pm Every Weekend – FREE soil and assistance. Create a beautiful miniature garden in our greenhouse. Customers may bring in their own EMPTY containers, but all accessories must be purchased from America’s Best Flowers.

Sat, Nov 21 – Sun, Nov 22
Holiday Porch Pot Workshop

9am-3pm Create a festive porch pot for the holiday season. Customers may bring in their own EMPTY containers, but all accessories must be purchased from America’s Best Flowers. Pre-Registration Appreciated.

So, I saw this friend of mine today. He was sitting in a chair, holding a bag of candy drops, and crying. So I asked him, “Why are you crying?”

“Because I’m thinking of all these sad things,” he said.

“But why?” I asked.

“Because I want to make myself cry,” he said.

“Why would you do that?” I asked.

“Because I want to open this candy bag!” he said.

“How is crying going to help you open the bag?” I asked.

“It says here,” he said, pointing to the bag, “Tear here!”

Our Kitchen

If you’re wondering what to do with the last of the peppers and zucchini from your garden, here’s an idea from Margaret.  Easier than the traditional stuffed pepper, but filled with all the same flavors.  If you have a lot of peppers, think about making a double or triple batch and freezing it (unbaked) for delicious winter meals.

We love cheese, so I plan to use more, perhaps a mixture of pepper jack and sharp cheddar.

Stuffed Pepper Casserole

  • 1 lg or 2 med red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 # Italian sausage
  • ½ c chopped onion
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 2 c fresh diced tomatoes, or 1-14.5 oz can
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • ½ t Italian seasoning, or more to taste
  • ¾ t salt
  • ¼ t black pepper, or more to taste
  • 1 c fresh or frozen corn
  • 3 c cooked white or brown rice
  • ½ c shredded pepper jack cheese

Brown the sausage, peppers and onion in a large skillet.  Stir in zucchini, tomatoes and seasonings.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes.  Stir in corn.  Combine rice, ¼ c of the cheese and the vegetable mixture in a baking dish.  Cover loosely with foil.  Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake 10 minutes longer.

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 Center4311 Vilas Hope RoadCottage Grove, WI 53527608-222-2269 Fax 608-222-1234 Cell 608-698-5627