Let our Bulbs Light Up Your Spring!

Newsletter 36 – Thursday, October 22, 2015


Cottage GroveMon-Fri 9-6
Sat and Sun 9-5
EdgertonMon-Fri 8:30-5:30
Sat 8:30-5:00
Sun 9-4

Beautiful Bulbs

These Bulbs won’t plant themselves!

Our bulbs are just itching to get in the ground! Don’t let a few frosty nights discourage you; this is the best time to plant bulbs, and they can be planted until the ground freezes solid. So there’s still time to make a beautiful spring display for yourself and your neighbors!

What do you call a seagull that flies over the bay?
A bagel

Amaryllis Bulbs for Indoor Winter Blooms

Do you yearn for the vibrancy of large, fresh blooms in the middle of winter? Luckily, we have just the plant to solve this problem. Our amaryllis bulbs are sure to make you forget all about that icky white stuff outside, just when you need it the most!

Amaryllis bulbs produce large, beautiful blooms indoors, in the winter, after a few weeks of dormancy. Easy to care for, they need only a sunny window, regular feeding, and careful watering. You can either toss them after they’ve bloomed, or with extra care, they can bloom year after year. Check out these Amaryllis Care Instructions for details.

We also have indoor-blooming paperwhites and hyacinths for variety’s sake.

My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was 60.
She’s 97 now, and we don’t know where the heck she is.

Ellen Degeneres

Bargain Alley

These deals will be right up your alley! We have an entire aisle full of all sorts of discounted items, from pots to lawn ornaments, and everything in between. These items have small flaws or faded packaging, but are otherwise as good as new! So you can enjoy browsing through these items at a great price.

My wife accused me of being immature.
I told her to get out of my fort.

Miniature Garden Workshop

Every Saturday and Sunday through November 17th between 10 and 3, you can get assistance to create a totally unique, wonderful, and fun miniature garden.

If you’re not sure what a miniature garden is, it’s exactly as it sounds. It’s a complete garden or landscape on a miniature scale that fits in one pot. That’s it! The rest is up to you, and we have a variety of mini plants and accessories to choose from to make it all your own.

Even if you don’t consider yourself the creative type, creating a mini garden can bring the creativity out of you! This is also a great activity to do with kids! You’ll both enjoy the process, and they’ll delight in caring for their little landscape.

Easier than a hamster and less stinky!

There are two fish in a tank.
One says to the other “How do you drive this thing?”

Mulching Perennials for Winter

Late fall is a great time to mulch your perennials to protect them from the stress of winter. Mulching helps keep in moisture, but more importantly, it helps regulate the temperature of the roots.

When the temperature changes and the ground temp alternates between freezing and thawing, the ground tends to heave, which can unearth plants and harm roots. Perennials have a better chance of surviving the winter when they aren’t stressed by ground heaving and they can maintain dormancy until it’s warm enough that there’s no chance of refreezing.

We have several kinds of mulch available. Usually it’s best to use no more than 2-3 inches and make sure you have dead plant matter cleaned up before you apply it.

Two cows are standing in a field.
Cow 1: Did you hear about the outbreak of mad cow disease?
Cow 2: Good thing I’m a helicopter.

80% Off Perennials, Trees, and Shrubs

This week all perennials, trees, and shrubs are now 80% off! This is part of our progressive sale, in which the percentage off increases by 10% each week. We still have some perennials left, so come check them out to see what you can get for an incredibly low price!

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.

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 took the shell off of my racing snail, thinking it would make him run faster.
If anything, it made him more sluggish.

Ask Irene: Overwintering Gardenias

Q: Hi, I purchased two gardenias from you in the spring and love them so much.  Can you please give me some tips to overwinter them so I can enjoy them for years to come? Thank you.

A: Glad you are enjoying the gardenias — their scent is divine! Fair warning: they can be fickle when it comes to life indoors. They like abundant light & humidity — two things in short supply during Wisconsin winters. After making sure they are critter-free (see Newsletter 31 “Come Hunt for Fall Treasures”), put them right in the sunniest window you have, south- or west-facing. Increase humidity by either running a humidifier or by placing the plants on humidity trays — some sort of basin filled with pebbles & water. That way, water evaporates around the plants without them sitting in water night & day. Misting is nice, but not enough. A slight drop in night-time temperatures, like 70-75F during the day and 60-65 F at night, helps with bud set next season. Expect some leaves to yellow & drop, & few if any flowers. If you get them through the winter & back on the patio next summer, you can pat yourself on the back with your green thumb!

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, 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.

An elderly woman walked into the local country church. The friendly usher greeted her at the door and helped her up the flight of steps.

“Where would you like to sit?” he asked politely.
“The front row please,” she answered.
“You really don’t want to do that,” the usher said. “The pastor is really boring.”

“Do you happen to know who I am?” the woman inquired.
“No,” he said.
“I’m the pastor’s mother,” she replied indignantly.
“Do you know who I am?” he asked.
“No,” she said.

“Good,” he answered.

Our Kitchen

Two weeks ago, we gave you Bonnie’s tried and true method for preparing pumpkins for recipes. Since the season for warm, comforting squash dishes is just beginning, we continue with a butternut squash dish recommended by our retail assistant manager, Lisa. She made it for the first time last weekend and really enjoyed it! This is a simple dish made in one pot, so you don’t have to dirty several dishes, making clean up easy. She said it kept well in the refrigerator and still tasted great even after reheating. Enjoy!

One-pot Butternut Squash Alfredo

  • 3 C diced butternut squash (about half a squash)
  • 1 C vegetable stock
  • 4 T butter
  • 1 C diced onion
  • 1 T rosemary
  • 1 T sage
  • 4 C low-fat milk (divided)
  • 1 C parmesan cheese
  • ¼ t nutmeg
  • 1/8 t each salt and pepper
  • 2 C water
  • 1-16 oz. fettuccini noodles

Melt butter. Add diced onions, rosemary and sage. Cook for 3 mins on medium heat until onions soften. Then cook on medium-high heat until the butter begins to brown (be careful not to burn it.) Add in diced butternut squash and vegetable stock, stir, then cover and cook for 15 mins, until butternut squash softens.

Uncover and mash with a potato masher until you’ve squished all the squash. Add 2 C of milk and stir. Then add parmesan cheese and stir. Add nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste, and stir until well blended.

Break fettuccini noodles in half and place in the sauce. Carefully cover the noodles with sauce. Then pour in 2 more cups of milk and 2 C of water and stir. (Add more water, if needed, to smooth out the sauce.) Stir the pasta continuously (to make sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pot) and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until pasta has reached desired texture.