Come Hunt for Fall Treasures

Newsletter 31 – Thursday, September 17, 2015

Current Hours

Cottage Grove

Mon-Fri 9-6
Sat and Sun 9-5


Mon-Fri 8:30-5:30
Sat 8:30-5:00
Sun 9-4

Treasure Hunting

East side of a past flea market

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The west side of a past year’s flea market

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Yahoo! It’s flea market time! Want to look for treasures, without the hassle of searching far and wide? Then search no more, and come to our fantastic flea market this Saturday, September 19 from 9-3. It’s conveniently compact, so there’s no need to make a long journey to see everything. We’re bringing together vendors with all sorts of fun stuff. You just never know what kind of treasures you’ll find, so it’s always worth a look. Plus it’s a great way to enjoy a nice day in the country! Hope to see you there!

Our last flea market for the year is October 19. If you’d like to sign up to be a vendor, click here for vendor information.

What happened when a ship carrying red paint collided with a ship carrying blue paint?
Both crews were marooned

Scarecrow Days

Scarecrow days are starting this Saturday! From September 19 through October 18, come in any day of the week between 10-4, and we’ll have a staff member available to assist you in making your very own, one-of-a-kind scarecrow. You get to do most of the building, and we provide everything you need. We’ll clean up the mess!

Each scarecrow kit contains a wooden frame, a square of burlap for the head, strings for tying, and a variety of felt faces to choose from, as well as plenty of straw for stuffing the body. We have clothes and hats for purchase at garage sale prices, or you’re welcome to bring your own.

This is a fun time for children and adults alike, as you use your creativity to create a character that is cute, scary, silly, or whatever you choose! You can make a traditional scarecrow with overalls and a straw hat, dress them in your favorite sports team attire, or glitz them up for a fancy party. You can even dress them in a Halloween costume which opens the door for all kinds of possibilities. Let your imagination run wild and just have fun!

This is a great time for the whole family or any group! Please call ahead (608)222-2269 for a group of 6 or more people to ensure we have enough staff to help.

What do you call an earthquake fault?
A topographical error

30% Off Perennials, Trees, and Shrubs

This week, all perennials, trees, and shrubs are now 30% off! This is part of our progressive sale, in which the percentage off increases by 10% each week. Take advantage of this sale now for more selection and to allow plants more time to become established before winter.

This offer excludes mums and asters and is not valid on previous purchases or custom orders. There will be no warranty on plants purchased at 40% off or more.

What bone will a dog never eat?
A trombone

Fall Harvest Decorations

Fall is such a fun time of year. It’s not too warm, not too cold. You can still enjoy outdoor activities, yet throw on sweater and get cozy with a warm drink. It’s also a festive time, when we celebrate the last bounties of the summer and enjoy the decorations that come from it.

Nothing says fall harvest like corn shocks, decorative “Indian” corn, and bales of straw. When combined with mums, pansies, and ornamental kale and cabbage, these classic decoration pieces create a complete fall scene that will make you fall in love with fall. It’ll certainly make you smile each time you pull in the driveway and create a festive atmosphere to welcome your guests.

Who can shave 25 times a day and still have a beard?
A barber

Bringing Houseplants and Tropicals Indoors: Pest Control

BRRRRRR…. Bring me inside before my rootsies get cold!

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Just like people, houseplants benefit from being outdoors during the summer and must go back indoors for the winter. It may sound simple, but a few steps should be taken for a smooth transition back indoors. Most houseplants or tropical plants can’t survive below 45°, so when nighttime temperatures drop to around 50°, it’s a good time to start the process.

Before you bring your plants in, you’ll want to do some insect control first. Inspect the entire plant for any pest insects, such as aphids, mealy bugs, or spider mites. Even if you don’t see anything, it’s helpful to spray the foliage with water to rinse off any insects. If you do see something, or just want to be safe, you can spray the foliage with Bonide Neem Oil which is natural, minimally toxic, and requires contact with the insect. A surefire option is to apply Bonide Systemic Houseplant Insect Control to the soil, which is a granular systemic insecticide that lasts up to 8 weeks and kills any insects that feed on the plant.

You can get rid of insects that may be in the soil by submerging the pot in a bucket of water for 2 hours. It’s best to do this in the heat of the day and allow the soil to drain afterwards. Be sure to do this before applying a granular systemic.

If you have houseplants that stayed in over the summer, it’s a good idea to quarantine returning plants to avoid infecting the others. You can quarantine just by placing them in a separate room for a few weeks to be sure they are insect-free.

Also see our instructions for preparing and acclimating houseplants from outdoors, which will also be featured in next week’s newsletter.

Ask Irene: Peony Leaves

Q: The leaves on my Peonies have gotten small round holes in them and the leaf is turning brown. Is something feeding itself on the leaves and what can I do to protect the plants. Thank you for your help.

A: It’s hard to say for certain without seeing it, but I would suppose this late in the season you may have some sort of leaf spot, a fungal problem that is generally just cosmetic and will not harm the plant. Did you have round spots that were brown or black, and then dried out to form the holes?

You don’t have to take drastic measures here. As a precaution, keep plant debris out of the compost when you cut back plants at season’s end to prevent overwintering fungal spores. Then dip your pruners in a 10% bleach solution to prevent spreading any diseases. Perhaps you can recognize your peony problem among these excellent photos.

Good luck,

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

New Website, Tell Us What You Think

Our new website is almost done! We would still like your feedback as we continue to tweak it, so please let us know the good and the bad, by emailing Ed at Please specify in your email if you are viewing it on a computer or smartphone. Thanks!

Locked Out

One rainy evening, my husband, John, and I emerged from a restaurant only to find that he had locked the keys in the car. John insisted he could open the door with a wire coat hanger, so he then ran to a department store nearby and returned with a hanger.

After a few attempts, he got the door open and we climbed in. As we sat there, soaked and cold, he stuck the hanger under his seat.

With a smug grin, he said, “Now if this ever happens again, I’ll have one handy.”

Upcoming Events

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.

Sat, Dec 5
Wreath Workshop

9am-3pm Design and create a holiday wreath that will cheerfully welcome all holiday guests. All accessories must be purchased from America’s Best Flowers. Pre-Registration Appreciated.

Our Kitchen

One of the things that is very enjoyable about our industry is the visiting that goes on between greenhouses.  Owner and managers love to see what other owners and managers are up to.  Over the years friendships form and everyone looks forward to seeing each other.  And, of course, these visits often involve food.

Last week Carol came by my desk with a recipe she had picked up from one of their stops, Lamm Gardens in Jackson, WI.  She was so impressed with this simple cake that she wanted me to share it with you.  Hope you enjoy!

Lamm’s Peach Cake

Lamm’s Peach Cake

  • 1 pkg yellow cake mix
  • 1 16 oz. can sliced peaches, with juice
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 shots Peach Schnapps

Place all ingredients in large mixing bowl. Mix together with electric mixer for 2 minutes, or until well blended. Peaches will get blended into the batter.  Pour into Bundt pan or 13 x 9 cake pan.  Bake at 350 for 40 – 50 min (bundt) or 30 – 40 minutes for 9×13, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Serve with whipped cream.

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