Helping Dogs, One Bath at a Time

Newsletter 23 – Thursday, July 21, 2016


Cottage Grove location open

Mon-Fri 9-7
Sat & Sun 9-5

Edgerton location open

Mon-Fri 8:30-5:30
Sat 8:30-5:00
Sun 9-4

Lady’s Story – Chapter 1

Lady, the border collie, contemplates her inner Cujo
Always on alert with a steely glare and cocked ears!
Click for Larger Image

Hi everybody!  Here I am in my new home looking out over my domain.  My mom says I’m very photogenic (and who am I to disagree?)

Soon after I was adopted, me and my dad had a sit-down on the deck and he told me how happy he was that I came to live with them which made me feel really, really good!  (Then, something must have blown in his eyes ‘cause he started to wipe them with the back of his hand.)  After a bit he was ok and he went on to tell me how important it was for the two of us to keep our family safe.

My dad trusts me to protect our family!  What an honor!  Wow!

Do not be deceived by my sweet (and photogenic) exterior!  Ya see, deep down inside is a Cujo prepared for any and all battles. I will rise up and face each and every threat head on and banish all dangers from my new kingdom.

From this moment forward, I, Lady, guardian extraordinaire, swear to guard and protect my family and home from all danger….ah, unless there is a thunder storm…then all bets are off!

As you have read, there is a new ‘Lady’ in our home.  She is 10 years old and runs and plays like she is a 5 year old.  Many thanks to everyone for responding to the ‘GUESS THE NEW GIRL’S NAME AND AGE’ contest.

We had many correct submissions for Lady’s name, but only one person guessed both her name and age correctly.  The winner of our $25 America’s Best Flowers gift card is Sharon Bates from Cottage Grove.

Featured Plants

Butterfly Bush

‘Black Knight’ Butterfly Bush

If you like bursts of color, visits from hummingbirds and butterflies then the Butterfly Bush would make a perfect addition to your yard.

They are fast growers and low maintenance which makes life easier for any gardener.  Sit back, relax, and watch as a soft breeze gently and gracefully sways the stems and the lengthy colorful flowers to and fro.

‘Petite Purple’ Butterfly Bush
Click for Larger Image

Our Butterfly Bushes are now buy one get one FREE!  What?!  No kidding!  Purchase one Butterfly Bush at $9.99 get another $9.99 Butterfly Bush ABSOLUTELY FREE!

We have Royal Red, Petite Purple, Bi-Color and Black Knight for you to choose from.  Hurry on out so that you get the color(s) you want!

Scaevola Hanging Baskets

Scaevola Baskets
Click for Larger Image

This sweet annual, with purple flowers and deep green foliage loves heat and is drought tolerant, but does need watering, of course!  The Scaevola works well in a mixed container or all by its lovely self in a hanging basket.  And there is no need to deadhead it.

Every single beautiful 10” Scaevola hanging basket, normally 24.99, are now just $10.00! Yes, you read it correctly!  Come on out and load up your vehicle(s) with a bounty of Scaevola hanging baskets.

What a great time to freshen up your backyard, deck and patio with nature’s beauty!

Water Plants

All of our water plants are 25% off!  The greenhouse rumor is that they are absolutely beautiful and lush.  If you are looking for lovely Variegated Sweet Flag, Water Orchid, Rain Lily, Canna Lily (orange, yellow or pink) or Blue Spiral Rush, then America’s Best Flowers is the place you want to visit.

“Anybody who doesn’t know what soap tastes like never washed a dog”

Franklin P. Jones

Calling All Dirty Dogs!

Dog Wash

All clean and dirty dogs are welcome at America’s Best Flowers’ 6th  Annual Dog Wash this Saturday, 11am-3pm!  A cool refreshing bath, a nail trim and a professional picture are all a part of our fundraiser for the Dane County Humane Society (DCHS).

Due to the extreme heat coming our way on Saturday, we will have water sprinklers on for both man and man’s best friend to cool off in.  We’ll also have plenty of water bowls and a wading pool for the dogs.

Your four-legged best friend will be in the loving and gentle care of Kaley, from Deer- Grove Veterinary Clinic, Talbot Photography and all the wonderful volunteers from the DCHS.

Kaley, from our local Deer Grove Vet Clinic, will have her doggy nail salon all set up and will be ready to trim those long dog nails.  Kaley’s nail salon will be located under one of our blue awnings.  Shecan trim those doggie nails either by the traditional method or with a drummel.  The cost for a traditional nail trim is $10 and for the drummel method is $15. All proceeds from the nail salon are donated to the DCHS.

For a suggested $10 donation (or more if you choose) DCHS volunteers will shampoo and rinse all those intriguing (?) summer smells from your dog.  All proceeds go directly to the DCHS.

If Rover or Daisy has a very special bath towel, please feel free to bring it on Saturday and have the volunteers use it to dry your dog.

The DCHS is always in need of towels!  If you have any old and clean towels that you could bring to the dog wash and donate to the humane society it would be greatly appreciated.

Talbot Photography

Here is a helpful tip from Tabby and Jack’s Pet Grooming Service for owners of long haired dogs; long haired dogs should have a good brushing before a bath to remove any matting or knots.  This will allow for a more thorough rinsing of shampoo.

Don’t forget the brush!  Partnering with us again this year is Poochie Portraits by Talbot Photography.  For a $30 donation, your dog will have a professional photo session in a cool, calm and private area in our greenhouse.  And Terry Talbot sure knows how to make a dog smile!  You’ll receive an adorable 5×7 picture of your best friend that you’ll treasure for years.

What’s a dog party without prizes!  There will be door prize drawings during the dog wash.  You must be present to win.  We will provide water and treats for the dogs and, ah, those necessary plastic bags (we’ll even do the picking up!)

Bring your darling dirty dog(s) in for a day at the spa and help us reach our goal of $2,000 for the DCHS.

Please check the website for a list of much needed dog and cat items.  We will have collection bins for your generous donations.

In the event of lightning, thunder or hurricanes, it will not be safe to continue with the dog wash, but all else will continue inside the greenhouse.

Please sign up for your dogs’ nail trim, bath and photo session upon arrival at the registration table in front of the main greenhouse.

For safety reasons all dogs must be on a leash.  And dog parents must stay with their dogs.

Remember, Saturday, July 23rd, from 11am – 3pm.   It’s clean dog day at America’s Best Flowers! (Cottage Grove location only.)

Essential Oils and Garden Herbs
Intro Class

Wednesday, July 27th 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Have you ever been curious about using essential oils to support your health and wellness?  Essential oils are a potent form of natural support to one’s health and wellness.

In this hands-on workshop you will explore herbal essential oils, learn about their safety, and try different methods of application. We will also be making a natural and safe bug spray using oil made from herbs to take home with you.

Pre-registration is required and payment of $10 is required (the night of class.)  To register please call Margaret at 608-235-7413.

Grab-N-Go Container Gardens

Bright and colorful Grab-N-Go container gardens and hanging baskets are in need of good homes!  Stop on out and adopt a few for your yard, patio or deck!

What happened when the cat swallowed a coin?
There was money in the kitty.

Art in the Garden – Vendor Information

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, we 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 contact either Marty Robbins or Betty Bless at 608-222-2269 or email Marty at or Betty at with any questions you may have.  Reservations, along with your booth size choice, must be received NO LATER than Thursday, August 18th, 2016.    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.

We look forward to working with you as we strive to share your creativity with our community.

A man was telling his neighbor, “I just bought a new hearing aid. It
cost me four thousand dollars, but it’s state of the art. It’s perfect.”
“Really,” answered the neighbor. “What kind is it?”
“Twelve thirty.”

America’s Best Flowers 2016 Flea Market Schedule and Information

Sept 17SaturdayFlea Market 9am – 3pm – Rain or Shine
Oct 15SaturdayFlea Market (Indoors) 9am – 3pm – Rain or Shine

For Flea Market vendor participation we require a non-refundable registration fee of $25.00.  After you have your space set up on the morning of the flea market, America’s Best Flowers will present you with a $20.00 America’s Best Flowers gift card.

Each vendor will be allowed two parking spaces, which equals one booth, to display their wares.  More vendor space is available for an additional $10.00 for each parking space.  Additional space must be requested at the time of the initial registration.  Each vendor is limited to only one $20.00 America’s Best Flowers gift card regardless of the number of parking spaces (booths).  The flea market will be located in our huge blacktop parking lot.  Rain or shine!

Set up time begins at 8am.  The starting bell for the flea market is 9am and it ends at 3pm.  Vendors will need to bring their own furnishings, tables, awnings, chairs, etc.  For safety purposes all vendor vehicles must be parked in a separate area and will not be allowed in the market area until after 3pm.  Space is limited.  Don’t wait to register!

We will have a specific area set up to test electrical items.

To register please send us a check for the number of booths you would like to reserve.  In the memo section of your check please put ‘Flea Market’.  Also, include a short note stating the specific flea market date(s), the number of booths you are registering for, a telephone number and/or email address for contact purposes.  Our mailing address is:

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

There are a few restrictions on what may be brought to our flea markets. They are as follows:

  • No firearms or ammunition,
  • No live animals,
  • No flowers and/or plants,
  • No alcohol or tobacco is allowed on America’s Best Flowers’ property.

If you are interested in joining us contact Shirley at or call the greenhouse at 608-222-2269.

Telemarketers suck big time. Here are some proven ways to rid your life of them for good…

1. If they start out with, “How are you today?” say, “I’m so glad you asked, because no one these days seems to care, and I have all these problems. My arthritis is acting up, my eyelashes are sore, my dog just died . . . ”

2. Cry out in surprise, “Judy? Is that you? Oh my Gosh! Judy, how have you been?” Hopefully, this will give Judy a few brief moments of terror as she tries to figure out where she could know you from.

3. Tell the Telemarketer you are busy at the moment and ask if he/she will give you their home phone number so you can call him/her back. When the Telemarketer explains that telemarketers cannot give out their home numbers say, “I guess you don’t want anyone bothering you at home, right?” The Telemarketer will agree and you say, “Me either!” and proceed to hang up.

Upcoming Events

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 photo session. All proceeds go to the Dane County Humane Society!

Wed, Jul 27
Essential Oils Intro Class

6-7pm Pre-registration required
Learn to support your healthy body systems naturally using oils of the garden! Cost for class is $10, due the night of class.

Sat, Aug 6
Customer Appreciation Day!
Sat, Aug 13
Iris Divide & Swap

11am-12pm Swap your iris divisions with fellow gardeners! Bring in your iris clumps, and everyone will divide, check for iris borer, and exchange some of their divisions for divisions brought in by other attendees.

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

Our Kitchen

By Lauren

Our Scott has refined taste, so we know that if he likes a dish it must be something special! This is another fine recipe from Fine Cooking magazine. It’s a simple and perfectly fresh summer dish with basil, green beans, tomatoes and mozzarella! Who the heck doesn’t like fresh mozzarella with basil? So yummy! Plus, this dish has a nice contrasting mix of fresh crunchy beans and lettuce with the softness of tomatoes and mozzarella.

One thing to note about this dish; it’s best eaten the same day it is mixed. If refrigerated, the mozzarella balls become soggy and the tomatoes lose their oomph (technically speaking, of course). It’s still edible, just not quite as delicious.

Green Bean Salad with Tomatoes, Arugula & Basil Dressing

  • 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 2 strips lemon zest about 3 inches long and 1/2 inch wide, white pith removed
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 lb. fresh slender green beans, trimmed (long ones snapped in half)
  • 2 cups arugula, rinsed and spun dry
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes (about 3/4 lb; preferably a mix of red, orange, and yellow), halved
  • 1-1/2 cups (10 oz.) 1-inch-diameter fresh mozzarella balls (ciliegine), halved
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice; more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Fill an 8-quart stockpot three-quarters full of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Put the basil and lemon zest in a metal sieve, immerse it in the boiling water, and blanch for 5 seconds. Remove, tapping the sieve over the sink to shake off excess water. Turn off the burner but leave the water in the pot with the cover on.

Roughly chop the lemon zest. Put the basil and lemon zest in a blender and pulse a few times. With the blender running, pour the olive oil through the lid’s fill hole and purée until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender as needed. Transfer to a small bowl or liquid measuring cup and cover. Refrigerate until ready to assemble the salad.

Return the water to a boil over high heat. Add 2 Tbs. salt and the beans. Cook until the beans are crisp-tender or fully tender, depending on your preference, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Spread the beans on a large rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate to cool completely. If making more than an hour ahead, cover and refrigerate.

In a large bowl, combine the cooled beans with the arugula, tomatoes, and mozzarella. Toss with the basil oil and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper and more lemon juice.

Make Ahead Tips:

You can cook the beans up to a day ahead, just spread them out on a rimmed baking sheet, cover, and refrigerate. The basil dressing can also be made a day ahead. Wait to combine the beans and dressing until just before serving.