Gardening for your Fairy and Gnome Friends

Newsletter 19 – Thursday, June 23, 2016

Current Hours

Cottage Grove

Mon-Fri 9-8
Sat 9-6
Sun 9-5


Mon-Fri 8:30-5:30
Sat 8:30-5
Sun 9-4

June is Perennial Month at America’s Best Flowers!

Perennial of the Week – Buddleia-Butterfly Bushes

Buddleia davidii 'Petite Purple'
Buddleia davidii ‘Petite Purple’
Click for Larger Image

Buddleia davidii 'Black Knight'
Buddleia davidii ‘Black Knight’

The Butterfly Bush is a wonderful flowering shrub that will add not only color to your yard, but butterflies and hummingbirds as well. 

This fast-growing shrub is easy to maintain, but it does need to be deadheaded.  It’s drought-tolerant, likes full to part sun and will grow up to 5 ft tall.  In addition to the Black Knight and Petite Purple colors pictured above, we also have Royal Red, Bi-color, and Magenta.

Sit back, relax and observe the flight patterns of the butterflies and hummingbirds as they feast on the nectar of the Butterfly Bush.   Enjoy the wonderful fragrance and long-lasting blooms of the Butterfly Bush from now through the fall.  It’s a win-win for all…man, butterflies and hummingbirds.

Stop on out and pick up one or more of our Butterfly Bushes and receive 20% off, now through next Wednesday!

Make and Take Summer Miniature Garden

2 sessions available
Saturday, June 25, 10-noon or 1-3

Think small and inside the pot!  We’ll show you how easy it is to create a charming miniature garden just as you’ve seen in the glossy home and garden magazines!

Captivating little gazing balls, tiny bird baths, mischievous gnomes, 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 in your own containers from home (minus any potting soil or dirt of any kind) or choose from our large variety of pottery.

Procedure for All Make & Take Workshops

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.

Grab-N-Go Container Gardens

America’s Best Flowers has a wonderful assortment of Grab-N-Go container gardens and hanging baskets.  What an easy and great way to brighten up your yard, patio or deck! 

I’ve been repeating the same mistakes in life for so long now,
I think I’ll start calling them traditions.

Featured Products Corner
Bonide Mosquito Beater

Mosquito Beater
Mosquito Beater
Click for Larger Image

Summer is here in all its glory.  That means that the annoying mosquitoes are here too!  Don’t let them drive you indoors!  Fight back with the following products!

We’re excited about a new product from Bonide, the Mosquito Beater Area Mosquito Repellent. This product is all natural and will effectively repel those annoying pests for up to 3 weeks. It is non – toxic, biodegradable and pleasantly scented. It comes in an easy to use shaker applicator. Enjoy mosquito free surroundings, any place, anytime.  This product contains Geranium Oil, Cedar Oil, Lemon Grass Oil, Garlic and Citronella Oil.

Mosquito Area Repellent
Mosquito Area Repellent
Click for Larger Image

Another product from Bonide to keep the mosquitoes out of you area is the Ready to Spray, Area Mosquito Repellent. This product is also an all natural residual formula that repels mosquitoes, gnats, flies and other nuisance insects for up to 2 weeks. This is an easy to use product for lawns, patios, and gardens or any other outdoor area. This pleasantly scented product contains Cedar Oil, Citronella, Geranium Oil and Lemongrass Oil and Sodium Laryl Sulfate.  Simply attach to garden hose and apply.

Mosquito Beater with Permethrin
Mosquito Beater with Permethrin
Click for Larger Image

Also, from Bonide is the Mosquito Beater with Permethrin. This product contains 2.5% Permethrin, which will kill and repel mosquitoes,flies, gnats and more. Simply attach to garden hose and apply.

When I call a family meeting I turn off the house wifi and wait for them all to come running.

Art in the Garden – Vendor Information

By Marty Robbins

This year’s Art In The Garden will be held on Saturday, September 10, 2016 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Setup and CHECK-IN begins at 7:00 a.m. You must be ready to sell by 9 a.m.

To participate this year, we will require a non-refundable registration fee of $25.00 for a single booth and $35.00 for a double booth. After you arrive and have your booth space set up, America’s Best Flowers will present you with a $20.00 America’s Best Flowers gift card (regardless of the booth size.)

To register, please either send us a check or stop by our garden center in Cottage Grove. A registration form will be at our Customer Service desk.  If mailing your check for a space, please include a brief note stating that it is for the Art in the Garden event.  Please include your phone number and email address for contact purposes. Please send your check to:

America’s Best Flowers
4311 Vilas Hope Rd
Cottage Grove, WI 53527

This is an art and craft fair!  We ask that the items you are selling be handmade or at least semi-hand made.

Vendors are responsible for their own tables, chairs, draping, displays, products and booth security. Art in the Garden will take place inside our main greenhouses. In the event of rain, some of our plastic roofs may leak. YOU WILL NEED TO PROVIDE PLASTIC DRAPING to cover your items/booth if rain is forecast. This is a rain or shine event.

Please dress accordingly. On sunny days the greenhouses can become quite warm by mid-day. Shoes and shirts MUST be worn at all times.

We have two booth sizes. The single booth is 6 ft. long. The double booth is 12 ft. long. ALL BOOTHS ARE APPROXIMATELY 6 ft. DEEP. A very limited number of 6 ft. long steel mesh top tables are available if you need a display table. Tables are on a first come first serve basis and you are responsible for covering the steel mesh top. Your display and products MUST fit within your designated area. After unloading your vehicle, it must be moved to the designated parking area for vendors.

Please call 222-2269 or e-mail either me at, or Betty Bless at with your booth size choice NO LATER than August 18th, 2015. Your registration fee will be required to reserve your booth no later than August 25th. If we have not received your fee by then your booth space will not be held.

Upon request we will provide vendors with flyers for advertising.  Please stop at our greenhouse and pick up a supply to post in appropriate places. Please be sure you receive permission before posting them.

Items deemed inappropriate by our management to sell in a family atmosphere will be and can be excluded at any time. There is NO SMOKING or firearms allowed on our property.

Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.  We look forward to working with you as we strive to share your creativity with our community.

I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.

Marty Welcomes…

Betty Bless, his new assistant.  Betty will be gradually taking over a number of his duties as Marty is planning on some R & R in the near future.  Come on out to the greenhouse to meet Betty and to introduce yourself.  Betty will be easy to spot.  She’s the one wearing the blue America’s Best Flowers shirt!

My therapist says I have a preoccupation with vengeance. We’ll see about that…

Seeking Cashier for our Edgerton Location

Do you, or someone you know, enjoy helping people and making their day brighter? Then consider joining our Edgerton team as a part-time cashier! You’ll be able to help people, contribute to light floral duties, and share the joy of plants.

This is an almost year-round position that requires evening and weekend availability. If interested, please call 608-884-8120 and ask to speak to Spike.

A recent study has found that women who carry a little extra weight live longer than the men who mention it.

Upcoming Events

Sat, Jun 25

Make & Take a Summer Miniature Garden

10:00 am – 12:00 pm or 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm 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. All accessories for Make & Take events must be purchased from America’s Best Flowers.

Sat, Jul 23

6th Annual Dog Wash Fundraiser for the Dane County Humane Society

11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Bring your wonderfully dirty dogs to our garden spa for a bath and nail trim. All proceeds go to the Dane County Humane Society!

Sat, Aug 6

Customer Appreciation Day!
Sat, Sep 10

Art in the Garden Craft Fair

9:00 am – 3:00 pm Talented artists display and sell their unique items.

Sat, Sep 17

Flea Market

9:00 am – 3:00 pm Rain or Shine

Sat, Sep 17

Rose Winterization Class

9:30am – 10:30am

Our Kitchen

By Lauren

The other day, Scott brought in a taste of an amazingly tasty treat he made. The recipe is from a Fine Cooking magazine and Scott says, “This fabulous, decadent dessert is perfect for a hot summer day! No oven required!” I never knew about icebox cakes before this, but I’m impressed with the simplicity! It’s an easy mix-and-put-together recipe with only a few ingredients. Everyone here who tried this cake really enjoyed it and agreed that it tastes fancier than the short list of ingredients would lead on. The coffee flavor is subtle, so true coffee-lovers may enjoy adding a bit more espresso for a boost.

Coffee & Cream Icebox Cake

  • 1-3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 Tbs. instant espresso powder
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 44 Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers (buy two boxes in case some are broken)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped, toasted hazelnuts for garnish
  • 1/4 cup crushed chocolate wafer cookie crumbs

Lightly grease a 6-cup loaf pan. Line the pan with two pieces of overlapping plastic wrap, allowing the excess to hang over the edges of the pan.

In a bowl, combine the cream, espresso powder, and sugar. Whisk until the cream holds firm peaks. Spoon about two-thirds of the whipped cream into the prepared pan. Tap the pan firmly on the counter to even the cream and eliminate any air bubbles.

Starting at a short side of the pan, arrange 11 cookies in the cream, standing them on their edge in a row like dominoes. Gently squeeze the cookies together as you go. Do the same with a second row of cookies, slightly overlapping the cookies from the second row with the cookies in the first row. Continue with two more rows for a total of four rows.

Press down on the cookies gently. Cover them with the remaining cream. Smooth the cream with a spatula, gently pressing to make sure any gaps between the cookies are filled. Tap the pan on the counter several times to eliminate any air pockets.

Cover the cake with the excess plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 24 hours, preferably 2 days. When ready to serve, peel the plastic wrap from the top and gently tug on the plastic to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Set a cutting board on top of the pan and invert the cake onto the board. Lift the pan off and gently peel away the plastic wrap. Mix the hazelnuts with the cookie crumbs and sprinkle over the top of the cake. Slice carefully with a warm knife.