Sharpen Your Container-Making Skills!

Newsletter 13 – Thursday, May 12, 2016

Current Hours

Cottage Grove

Mon-Fri 9-8
Sat 9-6
 Sun 9-5


Mon-Fri 8:30-7:00
Sat 8:30-6
Sun 9-4

Container Garden
Make & Take Workshops

Sat & Sun, May 14 & 15th, 10-4

There are infinite possibilities of plant combinations for creating a stunning container. If you’d like some help choosing plants or creating a design, come to a workshop! You get the enjoyment of planting and playing in the soil, while our helpful container experts are available to answer any questions you may have. They have the knowledge and experience to help you bring your vision to life!

Here’s the procedure for the Make and Take Workshop:

  1. Sign in at the registration table located near the back of the main greenhouse.   You’ll receive a worksheet at this time which we will complete after your container is finished.
  2. Shop for your plants, flowers, and containers.
  3. Return to the registration area and pick your spot in our designated workshop area and let the fun begin!

It’s a hands-on experience, so be sure to bring your gardening gloves.  If you forget them, don’t worry, we have a wide variety of reasonably priced gardening gloves to choose from.

We do ask that if you bring in containers from home, please EMPTY all soil from them before bringing them to our greenhouse.  To participate in our container workshops and receive FREE POTTING SOIL AND ASSISTANCE, a minimum $10.00 plant purchase is required per container the day of the container workshop.

Why are frogs always so happy?
Because they eat whatever bugs them.

Get your Tools Sharpened for Easy Gardening!

Sat & Sun, May 14 & 15th, 9-3

Come in and sharpen your garden tools
Come in and sharpen your garden tools

Any seasoned gardener knows the struggle of working with tools that are dull or rusty and boy, is it a pain! Literally! It can really strain our bodies to make do and since we gardeners are a tough lot, we often don’t notice until our hand is throbbing in pain! Make gardening easier by getting your tools sharpened by a professional.

Don, from Universal Saw & Tool Sharpening, will sharpen those dull garden tools, lawn mower blades, tin snips, and more for a nominal fee (collected by Don). Look for our signs in the parking lot directing you to the drop off area in Greenhouse #7.

Don will be able to sharpen most items while you are enjoying your time at the greenhouse. For more difficult sharpening Don may need to take your items back to his shop. They may then be picked up at America’s Best Flowers the following week.

Why do people never eat clocks?
Because it’s really time consuming.

Why our Plants really are the BEST!

Here at America’s Best Flowers, we’re committed to producing and carrying high quality plants. It’s not enough for our plants to look great, but we go the extra mile to make sure our plants thrive and bloom once you bring them home. We even grow our plants using more environmentally-friendly methods than other growers.

These are just a few reasons why our plants are the BEST:

  • We use a high-quality custom soil blend.
  • We have spent the last 25 years picking the best varieties based on visits to trial gardens around the country, personal experience and feedback from customers and fellow garden association members.
  • We use beneficial insects to avoid pesticides.
  • Healthier for you, children, pets, and the environment.
  • If necessary, we use soft pesticides whenever possible.
  • We add slow-release fertilizer to our baskets for long-lasting quality.
  • We use baskets with a higher soil volume for better growth and so the soil dries less quickly.
  • We use growth regulators very sparingly so that the plants grow vigorously once you plant them.
  • Unlike big-box stores which heavily apply growth regulators to keep them small in the store, thus preventing them from growing once you plant them.

From beginning to end, all the little details are tuned to create the best possible plants with the least evironmental impact possible.

I am not a schizophrenic and neither am I.

Watch for signs of Iris Borer

A classic ornamental, the iris is a favorite among gardeners and generally fairly easy to care for. Once established, they require little care other than the occasional fertilizer and division, and are generally affected by very few insects, except… the iris borer.

The iris borer is a pinkish caterpillar that looks innocent enough yet can cause significant damage to irises. It’s the larval form of a brown and cream colored moth that lays its eggs on the leaves. When an egg hatches, the tiny caterpillar bores its way through the leaf down to the rhizome, creating tunnels that look like brown and watery streaks. Eventually, they will eat the rhizome from the inside out and it will rot until the plant is dead. The larvae then form cocoons in the soil where they pupate into the moth form.

Now is the time to check your irises for any brown or streaking of the leaves. If you catch the infestation early, you can easily squish the larvae in the tunnels before they reach the rhizome. Once found, keep an eye on your irises throughout the summer and if you notice browning leaves, dig it up to check the rhizome. Get rid of any rhizomes that have tunnels or are rotting, as well as any cocoons in the soil.

Clean up leaf litter around your irises in the fall and start treating them next spring when the leaves are about 4-6 inches tall with an insecticidal spray such as Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew, and repeat the spray in 10-14 days. Spraying is only effective when eggs and small caterpillars are present. Preventative spraying isn’t effective, so it’s not necessary unless you’ve had an infestation. As always, follow label directions!

Iris Borer Symptoms
Iris Borer Symptoms
Click for Larger Image

Iris Borer Symptoms
Iris Borer Symptoms

You can observe a lot by just watching.

Yogi Berra

New Products Corner

Somewhat Organic Soap

Now when you visit our greenhouse, you can get dirty in the soil AND get what you need to clean up! We are carrying a line of high quality soaps that not only smell fantastic but are also 85% organic and vegan! They are 4 oz and contain essential oils and extracts that nourish your skin and enhance your mood so that you actually feel better when you’re finished using it.

We have some useful blends such as Gardener’s Scrub (for deep cleaning) and Camping (which contains essential oils that repel bugs)! We also carry a wide variety of the classics including Lavender, Lemongrass, Patchouli, Peppermint, Rose Hips & Orange, Shea Oatmeal, Thyme & Cloves, Tea Tree, and Cedarwood.

The package says it’s only “somewhat” organic “because the soap making process uses lye, a non-organic ingredient which prevents any bar of soap from being 100% organic.” So this is as good as soap gets!

Be sure to check out the assorted foaming hand soaps and lip balms too!

Somewhat Organic Gardener's Scrub Bar Soap
Gardener’s Scrub Bar Soap

Somewhat Organic Lavender Bar Soap
Lavender Bar Soap

Somewhat Organic Lemongrass Bar Soap
Lemongrass Bar Soap

Somewhat Organic Citrus Hand Soap
Citrus Hand Soap
Click for Larger Image

Somewhat Organic Lip Balm Sticks
Somewhat Organic Lip Balm Sticks
Click for Larger Image

Doctor, how can I live longer than 100 years?

Do you smoke?

Do you eat too much?

Do you go to bed late?

Then why would you want to live more than 100 years?

Upcoming Events

Sat, May 14 – Sun, May 15

Container Garden Make & Take

10am-4pm FREE soil, slow release fertilizer and assistance with a minimum $10 plant purchase per container. You create a beautiful container garden in our greenhouse and we’ll clean up the mess. Bring in your own EMPTY pots or buy some of ours.

Sat, May 14 – Sun, May 15

Universal Saw & Tool Sharpening

9am-3pm Get your tools ready for easier gardening.

Sat, May 21

Herb Cooking Class

11am-1pm Cooking with fresh herbs.

Sat, May 21

Herb Container Workshop

1pm-2pm FREE soil, slow release fertilizer and assistance with a minimum $10 plant purchase per container. You create a beautiful container garden in our greenhouse and we’ll clean up the mess. Bring in your own EMPTY pots or buy some of ours.

Sat, May 21 – Sun, May 22

Container Garden Make & Take

1pm-2pm FREE soil, slow release fertilizer and assistance with a minimum $10 plant purchase per container. You create a beautiful container garden in our greenhouse and we’ll clean up the mess. Bring in your own EMPTY pots or buy some of ours.

Tue, May 24

Container Garden Make & Take

5-7pm FREE soil, slow release fertilizer and limited assistance with a minimum $10 plant purchase per container. You create a beautiful container garden in our greenhouse and we’ll clean up the mess. Bring in your own EMPTY pots or buy some of ours.
Pre-Registration Appreciated.

Our Kitchen

By Lauren

Graduation parties will be coming up before you know it, and this week’s recipe is perfect for such an occasion! I found this recipe while searching for a unique appetizer for my nephew’s high school graduation and it was just what I was looking for. These are simple, easy to make, and incorporate fresh cucumber and dill. They’re a bit different than the usual party fare, but not so different that people will shy away from them. I just know my family will gobble them up!

The recipe calls for a French baguette, but since I enjoy a little crunch I think I’ll try some on crackers too.

Creamy Dill Cucumber Bites

  • 1 – 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 – 0.7 oz package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 French baguette, cut into 1/2 inch thick circles
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 3 T fresh dill weed, or 2 t dried
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, dressing mix and mayonnaise.
  2. Spread a thin layer of the cream cheese mixture on a slice of bread, and top with a slice of cucumber. Sprinkle with dill. Repeat with remaining ingredients.