Bulbify your Garden & Visit our Flea Market this Saturday

Newsletter 35 – Thursday, October 15, 2015


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

Indoor Flea Market this Saturday!

This Saturday, Oct. 17th 9-3, is our last flea market of the season. This is a very special one, since it’s going to be indoors this time AND our friends from School Grounds Café will be selling their fine coffee and pastries! You’ll be protected from the elements as you browse with a toasty hot beverage and/or treat.

It’s sure to be a good time and, as always, you just never know what kind of treasures you’ll find. You can also check out our seasonal decorations, including some of our winter porch pot items. What a great way to enjoy a brisk fall day!

Why did Humpty Dumpty have a great fall?
To make up for his miserable summer.

Avoid Spring Regret by Planting Bulbs

In the spring, many people see the beautiful early flowers and regret not planting them in the fall. Save yourself the regret and plant bulbs now.

Bulbs are so easy to plant and care for, and provide beauty year after year. They really are a gift that keeps on giving, so plant spring-blooming bulbs now, and you’ll be so happy you did. Heck, by the time they bloom, you may have forgotten you even planted them, so you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

What is a frog’s favorite flower?

Mini Garden Workshop

The outdoor gardening season may be coming to a close, but you can continue to garden with an indoor miniature garden! Starting this weekend, we’re holding a mini garden workshop every weekend through November 15th, which makes planning and planting a mini garden super easy. There’s no need to RSVP, just stop in anytime 10-3 Saturday or Sunday and we’ll have our mini garden expert, Margaret, available to assist you from start to finish.

We have everything you need to make a beautiful garden, including plants, containers, and accessories. With a required minimum $10 purchase, we provide the soil. All plants and accessories must be purchased at our greenhouse, but you’re welcome to bring your own empty container.

Come make your mini garden dreams come true, and you’ll have a place to escape the winter… or at least you can pretend. 🙂

Mini gardens also make fabulous, unique gifts!!

What do you call a boy named Lee that no one talks to?

Teeny Tiny Halloween Decorations

Make your mini garden festive with appropriately sized Halloween decorations! We have pumpkins, ghosts, skeletons, gravestones, crows, pumpkin houses, and even trick-or-treaters! These adorably fun accessories will really set the scene for a ghoulish good time in your little landscape!

What do ghosts eat on Halloween?

Audubon Bird Feeder Weather Shield

Pick up an Audubon Copper Weather Shield to protect your bird feeder and birdie friends, in style. It’ll keep bird feed protected from the rain and snow, so it stays fresh and lasts longer. With such a beautiful oak leaf design and copper look, they double as a gorgeous accent piece as well. They would make a great gift for any bird-lover!

Why do bicycles fall over?
Because they are two-tired

70% Off Perennials, Trees, and Shrubs

This week all perennials, trees, and shrubs are now 70% off! This is part of our progressive sale, in which the percentage off increases by 10% each week. Take advantage of this sale now 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 is no warranty on perennials, trees, and shrubs purchased through the remainder of the season.

How is a tree like a big dog?
They both have lot of bark!

America’s Best Flowers Fundraising Program

Did you know that America’s Best Flowers has a fundraising program for non-profit organizations?  It is such an easy, straight forward and profitable fundraiser, that many non-profit organizations participate year after year.

Most fundraisers sell products that people don’t really want or need, and in order to realize a profit, the cost of the item is usually inflated. This one is different! Click here to see how!

I remember the last thing my grandfather said to me before he kicked the bucket….
He said, “Hey, how far do you think I can kick this bucket?!”

Only 2 Days Left to Vote!

Please vote for us as the Best of Madison!

We strive to live up to our name, so if you like (or love!) what we do, please vote for us! You can vote once a day, every day through October 17, so please vote often! Click here to vote!

Last year, we got 2nd place in the Lawn, Garden, and Landscape category and we hope to get your vote this year as the best garden center around.

Why was the broom late?
It over swept

Ask Irene: Hydrangea Winter Care

Q: Hello! We planted ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangea in June. Is there something I should do for them going into the winter?

A: It is a very good idea to mulch your ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangea with straw or shredded leaves after ground freeze in early December and then uncover it as it thaws out in spring, much as you would protect the canes of a hybrid tea rose.

You could stake down a ring of chicken wire or hardware cloth some time this fall with the express purpose of loading it up with mulch in December. Evergreen boughs after holiday decorating could also do the trick. Deep snow cover is your best friend in this regard. Remember you’re not trying to keep plants warm, but frozen. You’re trying to regulate the effect of winter’s cycle of freezing and thawing while providing protection from desiccating winds.

Happy gardening,

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.

What did the paper say to the pencil?
Write on!

Upcoming Events

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.

Sun, Dec 6
Holiday Centerpiece Workshop

9am-3pm Add that finishing touch to your holiday table with a festive holiday centerpiece! All accessories must be purchased from America’s Best Flowers. Pre-Registration Appreciated.

Grandmother’s Gift

It was Timmy’s 5th birthday, and he was joyfully opening all the presents he received. He saved the biggest for last, so it took a while until he got to opening Grandma’s present. “Wow” Timmy exclaimed in delight, upon seeing the mini drum set that his Grandmother got for him. “Thanks Grandma this is just what I wanted.”

It was after Timmy went to bed that Timmy’s mother approached her mother. “Ma, I’m surprised at you, don’t you remember how it used to drive you crazy when we used to play the drums in the house growing up?”

Grandma smiled and then said, “I remember, of course I remember.”

Our Kitchen

Working at a greenhouse provides perhaps more than the average number of opportunities to encounter ‘healthy’ cooks.  While it’s something we all aspire to, only a few come close.  We have several on staff right now.  When I was trying to decide what recipe to share with you this week, Lauren, one of the healthiest, told me about this really delicious soup she had just made. Packed full of vegetables and lentils, it is a great way to welcome in the cooler days of fall.  The following suggestions for recipe changes are hers.


  • You could use fresh tomatoes and/or fresh thyme.
  • Use “Imagine” vegetable broth for the BEST flavor, available at Woodman’s
  • Serve with a lemon wedge on the side so each person can add more lemon juice if they wish

Yummy Lentil Soup

  • ¼ C extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 2 t ground cumin
  • 1 t curry powder
  • ½ t thyme, dried; 1 t fresh
  • 1 28-oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 C brown or green lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 4 C vegetable broth
  • 2 C water
  • 1 t salt, more to taste
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 C chopped fresh collard greens or kale, tough ribs removed
  • Juice of ½ to 1 medium lemon, to taste

Warm olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. One-fourth cup olive oil may seem like a lot, but it adds a lovely richness and heartiness to this nutritious soup.

Once simmering, add chopped onion and carrot and cook, stirring often, until onion softens and is turning translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, curry powder and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Pour in drained diced tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often, to enhance their flavor.

Pour in lentils, broth and water. Add salt and red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, then partially cover and reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape.

Transfer 2 cups of soup to a blender. Protect your hand from steam with a tea towel placed over the lid and purée the soup until smooth. Pour puréed soup back into pot and add chopped greens. Cook for 5 more minutes, or until the greens have softened to your liking.

Remove from heat and stir in juice of half of a lemon. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice until the flavors really sing. Serve immediately.