Porch Pot Workshop this Weekend!

Newsletter 40 – Wednesday, November 16, 2016


Cottage Grove location open

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

Edgerton location open

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

Holiday Porch Pot Workshop

Saturday & Sunday, Nov 19-20, 9-3pm

Festive Holiday Porch Pots

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Our first holiday workshop of the season will have you feeling merry and bright! Keep it natural or glitz it up! Choose from branches of birch and curly willow, and simple or glittery lotus pods, berries, pine cones, stars, millet, ornaments, ribbons, and bows!! With so many colors, shapes, and textures, there are endless combinations to be made.

Bring empty container(s) from home or purchase containers from us. All accessories must be purchased on site. With a minimum $10 purchase per container, you get free sand, and our talented porch pot experts will guide you through the design process as you arrange.

Bringing gloves and pruning shears is encouraged, and pre-registrations are appreciated. 608-222-2269


We attempted to photograph this porch pot, but encountered difficulties when we got trapped inside it

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Stop in anytime between 10 and 3, Monday through Friday, to make your own porch pot creation. Assistance will be limited outside of the workshop weekend hours, but you’re welcome to assemble and arrange in our workspace.

Have a group of girlfriends with a free afternoon? Book a private group session to create holiday porch pots with one of our design professionals! It’s a great way to spend time with friends, get crafty, and share the fun. Call us at 608-222-2269 to book a time!

We also have some pre-made containers, or for an extra fee, we can create custom porch pots made to order.

What’s the difference between a well-dressed man on a unicycle and a poorly dressed man on a bicycle?

Only a Few Days Left!
Order your Fresh Thanksgiving Floral Centerpiece

Heart of Fall Centerpiece – 49.99

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Autumn Gathering Centerpiece – 64.99

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Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week already? That means THIS Saturday, November 19th, is the last day to order your floral centerpiece!

These fresh arrangements will bring life and beauty to the table, as you share joy and thanks with family and friends. Not hosting this year? Gift a centerpiece to your host for a heartfelt and memorable ‘Thank you.’

Choose from either the Heart of Fall bouquet or the Autumn Gathering candle centerpiece, designed by our talented florist staff at our Edgerton location. Please note actual arrangements may vary from pictures shown, according to availability.

Call 608-222-2269 to order and pick up your centerpiece from our Cottage Grove or Edgerton location at a time that works for you. For an extra fee, we’ll deliver to Cottage Grove or the eastside of Madison, with 48 hours advance notice.

“Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.”
W. J. Cameron

Save the Date – Christmas Open House

Dec 3rd, 9-3

You’re invited to our special Christmas celebration. Come for the free kids activities and stay for the free treats and refreshments!

11-1 Picture with Santa
10-1 Face Painting
10-1 Felt Ornament Make & Take (ages 3-5)
10-1 Bead Ornament Make & Take (ages 6+)
9-3 Holiday Porch Pot Make & Take

While you’re here, check out our poinsettias, Christmas cactus, cyclamen, Amaryllis and Paperwhites, fresh wreaths, bundled boughs, and more!

Bob: What is a pirate’s favorite letter?
Wade: R?
Bob: You’d think that, but his first love will always be the C.

Bulbs – 50% Off

Wow!! This is the deal you’ve been waiting for! Perfectly lovely bulbs are now at a low price and the weather is still ideal for planting. How great is that?! It’s not often that we have such nice variety left at this point in the season, AND we don’t need winter coats to enjoy the outdoors!

This is a great excuse to soak up the unseasonably warm weather and take advantage of some serious savings. Come next spring you’ll be happy you did!

A book fell on my head.
I’ve only got myshelf to blame.

Fresh Greens and Boughs

The holidays are in full swing here, so come enjoy the wonderful scent and catch the bug! Browse a wide selection of greens including balsam and white pine garland, balsam wreaths, spruce tops, and oodles of mixed green bough bundles. Christmas trees are scheduled to arrive this week. Call ahead just to be sure, 608-222-2269.

Black Friday Weekend Sales!!

Avoid the crazy crowds of big box stores and shop local Black Friday weekend during three days of great savings!

Friday, Nov. 25th – Sunday, Nov. 27th

Birdbaths and Bird Feeders – Up to 60% Off!
Succulent Creation Planters – 50% Off!
Glazed Ceramic Pottery – 40% Off!

You’ll save money, enjoy a relaxed environment, and feel good knowing that you’re supporting a locally-owned business. Don’t forget that it’s Small Business Saturday, so be sure to visit other small businesses to support our local economy.

At a wedding I recently attended, the priest called for a moment of silence to remember the faithful dead…

As the church grew quiet, a little boy sitting in front of me turned to his father and said excitedly, “Dad, you have some of their albums!”

Holiday Blooms

The Christmas cactus are blooming and look incredible right now! They are sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face and make wonderful gifts.

Our dear friend Bev is actually having a ball giving these away to everyone she knows! She gave one to her sister, one to her dentist, and one to her hair stylist, and said that everyone just raves about them. In fact, her dentist is coming to pick up more just as soon as she can get here!

They would make a great gift for a hostess or those relatives you don’t get to see all that often!

Why can’t you hear a pterodactyl going to the bathroom?
Because the “P” is silent.

Stay Updated on the Latest!

Have you checked us out on Facebook lately? If not, then you’re missing out! Our social media contact has been taken up a notch, thanks to our newest addition to the ABF team, Rowena! For the last few months, she’s been updating Facebook and Twitter to keep our customers updated on the latest products, events, sales, gardening tips, tidbits, and happenings, both here and in the community. Check out photos and videos of some of the highlights around the greenhouse you won’t want to miss.

Rowena is also helping us become more involved in the community by volunteering and partnering with other businesses. She’s energetic and emulates the friendliness that you’ve come to know and love about ABF. So be sure to say “Hi” when you see her out and about at community events or when she’s taking pictures around the greenhouse, and stay tuned for the latest info and more fun!

Holiday Community Events

By Rowena

During this holiday season please remember to shop local and support the local businesses that make our community great! This year we are excited to be a part of some great holiday events.

We have been a proud member of Dane Buy Local, a non-profit organization that helps promote small businesses in the Dane County area. They are running their Shift Your Shopping campaign. It’s a call to local residents to shift your holiday spending money to local business first. Make sure to stop in here and enter your name in the raffle drawing now through Dec 31st. There are some fabulous prizes to be won!

Did you know that we have been a longtime member of The Cottage Grove Chamber of Commerce? And this year we are participating in Christmas in the Grove.

Be sure to come out and see us in the parade Friday night Dec. 2nd at 7:00, starting from 1855 Saloon, and then stop in Dec. 3rd for our Christmas Open House.

For more information and details on these events please visit our social media pages. We support other local businesses in the area and we urge you to do the same this holiday season.

Military Time

My wife never quite got the hang of the 24-hour military clock. One day she called the orderly room to speak with me. The person who answered told her to call me at the extension in the band rehearsal hall.

“He can be reached at 4700, Ma’am,” the soldier advised.

With a sigh of exasperation, my wife responded, “And just what time is that?”

Easy Money for Your Non-Profit Organization!

Is your non-profit organization in need of funds?  America’s Best Flowers’ fundraising program begins this fall on October 1 and runs through April 1, 2017.  We have designed it to be quick, easy, and profitable.  In as little as 2-3 weeks or less, you can earn substantial money for your group. 

What else makes our fundraiser so special?

1.    Your group gets 25% of the total value of the America’s Best Flowers gift cards they sell!

2.    Our gift cards are valid at both our Cottage Grove and our Edgerton locations!

3.    America’s Best Flowers gift cards NEVER EXPIRE!

Offer your customer that perfect gift to give for the holidays or any occasion.  To help promote your fundraising efforts be sure to advertise that an America’s Best Flowers gift card may be used to purchase items for the coming holiday season.  We will have beautiful poinsettias, Christmas trees, decorated and undecorated fresh wreaths, holiday hanging baskets, Grab and Go Porch Pots, and much more for your holiday decorating needs.  Many non-profit groups have told us that “America’s Best Flowers’ gift cards almost sell themselves!”

How do you get started?

Learn more about our fundraising program by visiting our website www.americasbestflowers.com or emailing Shirley at abfscimino@yahoo.com.

Asked to write a composition entitled, "What I’m thankful for on Thanksgiving,"
Little Johnny wrote, "I am thankful that I’m not a turkey."

Upcoming Events

Sat, Nov 19 – Sun, Nov 20

Holiday Porch Pot Make & Take

9am to 3pm Create a festive porch pot for the holiday season. Pre-Registration Appreciated.

Sun, Nov 27

Christmas Miniature Garden Make & Take

10am to Noon or 1pm to 3pm Create an indoor miniature winter wonderland. Pre-Registration Appreciated.

Sat, Dec 3 – Sun, Dec 4

Holiday Porch Pot Make & Take

9am to 3pm Create a festive porch pot for the holiday season. Pre-Registration Appreciated.

Sat, Dec 3

Christmas Open House

9am-3pm Holiday celebration! Free kids activities! Free treats and refreshments!

  • Picture with Santa 11am-1pm
  • Face Painting 10am-1pm
  • Felt Ornament Make & Take (ages 3-5) 10am-1pm
  • Bead Ornament Make & Take (ages 6+) 10am-1pm
Sun, Dec 4

Holiday Wreath Make & Take

9am to 3pm Create a holiday wreath that will cheerfully welcome all holiday guests. Pre-Registration Appreciated.

Sun, Dec 11

Holiday Centerpiece Make & Take

9am to 3pm Create that finishing touch for your holiday table with a festive holiday centerpiece! Pre-Registration Appreciated.

Our Kitchen

By Lauren

Planning Thanksgiving dishes can be tricky when people have different eating preferences/needs. As a vegetarian, I prepare a few things for Kevin, myself, and other people who limit their meat consumption, to make it easier on the host. Basically, I make substitutes for the main meaty things: roast, gravy, and stuffing. There are many kinds of veggie roasts, but my favorite is the Celebration Roast, which is delicious, nutritious, and super easy to make – just heat it up. I also mix up some mushroom gravy from a packet (nothing fancy, but it does the trick).

Best of all, I make this awesome vegetarian stuffing that even meat-eaters enjoy. It’s called “The Best Vegan Stuffing,” and as far as I know it is! It substitutes lots of flavorful mushrooms for the meat and keeps the rest of the ingredients simple and traditional. I like to use mostly cremini mushrooms, with just a little shiitake for flavor, and I use regular bread since I’m not vegan. Like any really good dish, it takes some time to make, but it’s totally worth it. I’ve made it for the past two Thanksgivings and both times it was gobbled up until there was nothing left. I’m looking forward to it again. Enjoy!

The Best Vegan Stuffing

  • 2 1/2 pounds hearty vegan white bread (about 2 loaves), crusts removed, cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 5 quarts)
  • 1 pound (450g) button, cremini, or shiitake mushrooms (or a mix), roughly chopped
  • 6 ounces toasted pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh sage leaves (1/2 ounce; 15g), or 1 tbsp dried sage leaves
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 large leek, white part only, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 4 large ribs celery, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 quart vegetable stock (4 cups) (I recommend Imagine)
  • 1/4 cup (57g) minced fresh parsley leaves, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Adjust oven racks to lower-middle and upper-middle positions. Preheat oven to 275°F. Spread bread evenly over 2 rimmed baking sheets. Stagger trays on oven racks and bake until completely dried, about 50 minutes total, rotating trays and stirring bread cubes several times during baking. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Increase oven heat to 350°F.

2. Place half of mushrooms in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped, about 8 short pulses. Transfer to a large bowl and repeat with remaining mushrooms. Place pecan halves in food processor (do not wipe out bowl) and process until roughly chopped, about 12 short pulses. Set aside.

3. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat until simmering. Add chopped mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until all moisture has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Add half of sage and continue to cook, stirring, until mushrooms are well browned, about 5 minutes longer. Add onion, leek, celery, garlic, and remaining sage and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add stock, half of parsley, and chopped pecans and bring to a boil. Add bread cubes and fold gently until evenly mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Transfer mixture to a greased 9×13 inch rectangular baking dish (or 10×14 inch oval dish), cover tightly with aluminum foil, and bake until hot throughout, about 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until golden brown and crisp on top, about 10 minutes longer. Remove from oven, let cool for 5 minutes, sprinkle with remaining parsley, and serve.