festive holiday poinsettia painting

Get set for the Holidays

Newsletter 38 – Thursday, November 5, 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

Ongoing Miniature Garden Container Workshop!

Weekends Now thru November 15 10am – 3pm

So many possibilities!
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Think small and inside the pot every Saturday and Sunday, through November 15, at our Miniature Garden Workshop.  Join us, from 10 am to 3 pm, for a journey to our miniature world. Create your very own miniature fairy garden just as you’ve seen in the glossy home and garden magazines!

Captivating, Christmas miniatures, little gazing balls, tiny bird baths, petite fairies, small stepping stones, diminutive garden arbors, and miniature fences are just some of the treasures we have waiting here to help you realize your vision. Choose from our wide selection of tiny, live plants to bring your miniature wonderland to life.  Bring your own pot or purchase one here. Soil is free, and design assistance is always available!  Choose from our large selection of succulents and miniature garden plants and garden accessories to create your very own one-of-a-kind miniature garden.

All miniature garden accessories must be purchased from America’s Best Flowers and we ask that you do not bring in anything from home or from other suppliers.  A minimum $10 purchase, per container, is required.

We know life is busy so if you are unable to make it to a weekend workshop you are welcome to come in and create your special miniature garden anytime during the week.  Groups are welcome at any time but please call ahead for groups of 5 or more to make sure we have adequate staff.


Why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin?

Why women can’t put on mascara with their mouth closed?

Why don’t you ever see the headline ‘Psychic Wins Lottery’?

Fresh Flower Thanksgiving Centerpieces

Tuscan Autumn Bouquet 59.99
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Maple Leaf Bouquet 39.99
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Wouldn’t it be nice to have a beautiful centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table? We are now offering finished, fresh flower centerpieces to make your table really shine!

This is a great way to take your presentation up a notch. If you’re going to be a guest, it can also make a wonderful gift for the host! It’s an easy way to show your appreciation for all of the cook’s hard work.

We have two lovely designs to choose from, either the Maple Leaf Bouquet or Tuscan Autumn bouquet. These fresh flower arrangements are designed by our very talented florist staff at our Edgerton store, but can be ordered by calling our Cottage Grove location at 608-222-2269, now through November 23rd.

You can pick up your centerpiece from our Cottage Grove location, or for an additional fee, it can be delivered in Cottage Grove or the eastside of Madison. Orders must be received 48 hours in advance.

Please note: Photos are examples. Actual flowers and containers may vary according to availability.


Why is ‘abbreviated’ such a long word?

Why is it that doctors call what they do ‘practice’?

Why is the man who invests all your money, called a broker?

Holiday decorating can be easy AND fun!

A collage of our Winter Workshop
A collage of our Winter Workshop
See more images in our Gallery

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Bring your creativity and holiday spirit on out to our Winter Workshops!

This is how it all works!

You may pre-register for any or ALL of our workshop events by sending Marty an email at abfrobbins@yahoo.com or call us at 608-222-2269.  All of our workshops are ongoing throughout the day between 9 and 3, so there is no need to sign up for a particular time slot, just the date.

We want to have plenty of supplies for you to create your masterpieces, so pre-registration is appreciated, though not required. Walk-ins are always welcome.


Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?

Why didn’t Noah swat those two mosquitoes?

Why don’t sheep shrink when it rains?

Holiday Porch Pot Workshop

Saturday and Sunday, November 21st and 22nd
Ongoing throughout the day between 9 and 3

Make Something Beautiful this Holiday Season!
Make Something Beautiful this Holiday Season!
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Awe your family and friends this holiday season with beautiful festive porch pots!  Our holiday porch pot workshop is just one of our many ‘hands-on’ workshops we offer our customers.  What a creative, fun and easy way to decorate for the holidays.

You are welcome to bring in your empty container(s) from home or purchase a few from us.  Our containers range from inexpensive plastic to high-end ceramic.  We will provide FREE sand for your container or liner.  (We recommend always using a liner in ceramic containers.)  All porch pot accessories must be purchased from America’s Best Flowers and we ask that you do not bring in anything from home or from other suppliers.  A minimum $10 purchase, per container, is required.

We offer bundles of assorted fresh greens as a base to start your container. Once you have arranged the greens, you can add to your container from our wide assortment of artificial picks and stems to accentuate your design.

Finished prices range from $35 to $150. It all depends on how large, how full, and how dramatic you would like your container to be.

As with all our workshops, you do the actual planting.  Our experienced design staff will be on hand to assist with your design and arrangement.

If you can’t make it to one of our weekend workshops just stop out to the greenhouse from Monday through Friday, between 9:30-3:30 and do your own porch pot creation.  Please keep in mind that assistance will be limited outside of the workshop weekend hours.

Festive Porch Pot Accessories

Some of our Porch Pot Supplies
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Porch Pot
An example Porch Pot
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Porch pot season is upon us and we’re ready for it! We have an entire wall full of sparkly, glitzy, and colorful porch pot accessories to dress up your porch for winter. When combined in an arrangement, these individual accents become a delightfully dazzling decoration for all to enjoy.

By the way, our Christmas cactus & Norfolk Pines will be arriving very soon.

Funny Blind Date

Once there was a girl who wanted a boyfriend.
Her mom wanted to help her, so she set up a blind date for her daughter.

When the girl got back from the date she said “That was the worst night of my life!”

“Why is that?” her mom asked.

“He owns a 1922 Rolls Royce!”

“Isn’t that a good thing?”

“He’s the original owner mom!”

Custom made Holiday Porch Pots!

America’s Best Flowers would be happy to custom make your Holiday Porch Pots.  To order please email Marty Robbins at abfrobbins@yahoo.com or call us at 608-222-2269.

More Holiday Freshness Coming Soon

Fresh roping, wreaths, spruce tops and bundled assorted greens will be arriving in a couple of weeks.

Again this year we will have locally grown Fraser/Balsam mix Christmas trees.  We will keep you informed as to their arrival date.

Our Poinsettias are beginning to show color and will be ready for sale the week before Thanksgiving.

It’s beginning to look like a colorful season ahead!

Exciting Event at our Edgerton Location

Isn’t this a beautiful painting of a poinsettia?  Wouldn’t this look great in your home?  Well, in just a matter of a couple of hours you, yes, you can paint this masterpiece!

Please join us at 6:30 pm, on Friday, November 20th, at our Edgerton location only for a Vannie Gogh “Paint Togethers” party. This family-owned and operated business brings the joy and love of art to you.

Enjoy the evening with a friend and a paint brush!  All materials and instructions are included in the $35 cost.

Only 20 spots are available, so please call our Edgerton location at 608-884-1120 or 1-888-287-1411 to pre-register.

Wedding Colors

Attending a wedding for the first time, a little girl whispered to her mother,
“Why is the bride dressed in white?”
“Because white is the color of happiness, and today is the happiest day of her life.”
The child thought about this for a moment then said,
“So why is the groom wearing black?”

90% Off Perennials, Trees, and Shrubs!

Wow! 90% off all perennials, trees, and shrubs! This is as low as it gets! We still have plants to choose from and though some of them have gone dormant, they will be beautiful by next summer. This is the perfect opportunity for the nurturing type to save big on perfectly healthy plants!

This offer is not valid on previous purchases or custom orders and 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!

Ask Irene: Cleaning pots for storage

Q: All my summer potted flowers and plants are dying now. Is there any trick to cleaning out the pots for the winter?

A: Good old-fashioned elbow grease is really the only trick I know, but I’m not exactly a Good Housekeeping guru. A strong stream of water from the hose followed by scrubbing with a stiff brush or plastic scrubbie should get your pots mostly clean. I have heard of using baking soda or a dull knife to get stubborn, crusty fertilizer salts off pots. (I have also seen terra cotta pots soaked in fertilizer to make them look old in Martha Stewart Living!) Keep down disease problems by dipping the pots in a very dilute bleach solution — like 1 part bleach to 9 parts water — then rinse in clear water & dry thoroughly.

Store your ceramic containers inside. You may choose to store plastic or resin pots outside, but it will shorten their lifespan. Be sure to store them upside down to prevent moisture from collecting.

It’s not the most glamorous gardening job, but satisfying in its own way. At least the fruits of your labor are immediately apparent!

Have fun,
~ Irene

With the gardening season coming to a close this is the last ‘Ask Irene’ article for 2015.

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.

Fri, Nov 20
“Paint Together” with Vannie Gogh

6:30PM – Edgerton location ONLY – Paint a gorgeous poinsettia painting for the holidays with professional instruction from Vannie Gogh. $35 per-person fee covers materials and instruction. Please pre-register at 1-888-287-1411. Only 20 spots available.

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.

Our Kitchen

Just this morning on my way to work I was thinking about what recipe I should share with you this week.  When I got here the answer had magically appeared on my desk.   Marty’s best friend, and a good customer of ours, Tom, made this delicious dessert for Marty and Martha last week.  It was so delicious that Marty got the recipe and wrote it up for me to share with you.  Hope you enjoy it as much as he did.

Apple Crunch

  • 2 C flour
  • 1 C oatmeal
  • ¼ t salt
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • ¼ C softened butter
  • 8 large cooking apples
  • 3 T cornstarch
  • 1 C white sugar
  • 1 C water
  • 3 T melted butter
  • 1 t cinnamon

Mix together flour, oatmeal, salt, brown sugar and soft butter until well blended.  Reserve 1½ cups for topping.  Pat remainder into 9×13 glass baking dish.

Combine cornstarch, water and white sugar and cook until clear and thickened.

Peel and slice apples.  (You should have about 7-8 cups.)

Put apples over crust.  Pour cooked sauce over apples.  Then pour 3 T melted butter over apples & dust with cinnamon.  Top with reserved topping.

Bake 1 hour at 325.  Serve warm with ice cream.