Learn All About Rose Care

Newsletter 8 – Thursday, April 7, 2016

Current Hours

Cottage Grove

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


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

Rose Care Class

Saturday, April 9th 11 – Noon

Growing roses, made simple! Learn easy steps to prune, plant, and select varieties for a beautiful rose garden from our rose expert, Sharon. In addition to useful tips and information, all attendees will receive a coupon for 10% off any roses.  This coupon is good through May 30th.

All of our rose varieties should be available by the end of April. We carry hybrid teas (not hardy, good for cut flowers), shrub roses (hardy, with continuous blooms), and a few varieties of David Austin roses (only those hardy to our zone.) Our roses are easy to care for and we carry a wide variety of colors!

My dog used to chase people on a bike a lot.
It got so bad, finally I had to take his bike away.

Make a Colorful Spring Basket

Wednesday, April 13th 3-6

Come on out to our greenhouse and create a colorful basket or container for spring!  Choose a variety of young plants (we have a greenhouse full), pick a spot in our customer planting area, get your hands in our luscious potting soil and plant away!

Once your spring container is finished you can either take it home with you or for this one-time-only you may leave it at our greenhouse and we’ll give it all the love and attention (and water, of course) it needs.  We will care for your lovely creation up until Saturday, May 23, however payment is due the day it is planted (April 13.) This is an early bird opportunity for you to plant a container for spring without worrying about the damage an early frost can bring.

I wanted to grow my own food,
but I couldn’t find bacon seeds anywhere.

Save the Date
Sat & Sun, April 16-17th 9-5
Spring Flower Show Weekend!

You’re invited to our special spring flower show weekend! Come see what we have growing for you and check out our new 2016 varieties. We will provide a list of all new varieties including 95 annual varieties and lots of new fruits, vegetables, perennials, trees and shrubs. You’ll be able to get a jump on picking out your new faves!

We also have some great events taking place:

Saturday 9-10 Vegetable Gardening Workshop
Sat. & Sun 9-3 Universal Saw & Tool Sharpening
Saturday 10-3 Drop in ‘Hands Only’ CPR class

What do you call it when a shoemaker drops his vegetables?
Corn on the cobbler!

Vegetable Gardening Workshop

Saturday, April 16th 9-10

By Ed Knapton
Owner of America’s Best Flowers

Despite last Saturday’s blizzard, this event was well attended and it was enjoyed so much we decided to do it again!

Come have some fun and listen to a few jokes, as you learn about vegetables and flowers in your garden with one of the most experienced vegetable growers in Dane County. Much of the time will be spent answering your questions, and a handout will be provided as to varieties and proper spacing.

Our speaker, Ed, has experience starting seedlings in a wide range of settings, including in the living room 40 years ago, in a lean-to greenhouse on the house, and in a large commercial greenhouse. He has planted container gardens, small backyard gardens, and a one-acre garden, which grew into 30 acres of vegetables for a pick-your-own operation. He has attended vegetable, fruit, and flower conferences all over the US and Canada, and has a degree in horticulture from the University of Wisconsin. Please come to pick his brain. If he doesn’t know the answers, he certainly can get them for you later.

Dentist: "You need a crown."
Patient: "Finally, someone who understands me."

New Products Corner
Jellybean Rugs

Jellybean rugs aren’t exactly a new product for us. In fact, many of our friends and customers have several of these already, but we just got in a fresh supply of new designs that we know you’ll love!

Colorful and fun, these rugs are great for changing the feel of your space and providing interest. With so many different styles, it’s easy to choose several that you can change according to your mood or with the changing seasons!

Why do cows wear bells?

Their horns don’t work.

Plant Finder

Click here to try our Plant Finder

Now you can find the plants you need with ease! Our new Plant Finder tool on our website has an extensive list of many of the trees, shrubs, vines, ground covers, perennials, ferns and ornamental grasses that we carry. You can search using keywords including common and/or botanical names and you can narrow your search by choosing specific characteristics.

You can even create your own list and print it to bring with you when you shop! Our associates will be happy to help you find the plants on your list and offer other solutions to fit your needs.

The plants listed include those we have available at our store or plants we can special order for you. Please note that while it has many of the plants we carry, the list is not comprehensive. We encourage you to call us about availability at 608-222-2269, or ask any associate when you’re here!

Has your email address changed?

If you are a Loyalty Customer and have submitted your email address to us you will receive our newsletter by noon, every Thursday.

If your email address has changed please remember to let us know by either calling us at 608-222-2269, sending us an email at abfbev@yahoo.com or just let us know the next time you are at the greenhouse.

Upcoming Events

Sat, Apr 9

Rose Care Class – Planting, pruning & maintenance

11-12pm A 10% off coupon on all roses. Coupon expires May 30.

Wed, Apr 13

Make a Colorful Spring Basket and we’ll grow it for you! 3-6pm
Sat, Apr 16

Drop-in ‘Hands Only’ CPR class

10-3pm No fee, no certification.

Sat, Apr 16 – Sun, Apr 17

Spring Flower Show

We have your all-time favorite plants plus a few new ones for the season and a HUGE selection of new pottery.

Sat, Apr 16 – Sun, Apr 17

Universal Saw & Tool Sharpening

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

Sat, Apr 23

Earth Day Celebration

10am-2pm – Free children’s activities. Bring a white T-shirt to paint, make seed balls, plant flower seeds and more.

Sat, Apr 23 – Sun, Apr 24

Arbor Day Celebration

Receive a Free Black Hills Spruce with purchase, while supplies last. Limit 1 per family.

Sat, Apr 23 – Sun, Apr 24

Container Workshop

10am-4pm – FREE soil, slow release fertilizer and assistance with a minimum $10 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.

Our Kitchen


Bev is off to Florida this week for her daughter’s wedding! She’s been bubbling with happiness and anticipation for a while now and we are just thrilled for her and her daughter. A beach wedding in the spring… how lovely! While she’s away, we’ll still be shivering in the cold, so here is the recipe for a newly-found-favorite soup I tried a few weeks ago, which is perfect for a cool, gloomy day.

As a vegetarian who doesn’t actually care for beans all that much, I have to find good recipes to sneak them into my diet. This soup actually made me enjoy the beans, rather than eat around them like I usually do, and the kale and potatoes are comforting and nutritious. The original recipe called for arugula, but you can use any dark leafy greens; I just happened to have kale on hand.

This recipe would serve as a nice base to all sorts of variations, from the beans to the greens to the vegetables; you can get creative with it!

White Bean and Kale Soup

  • 1 T olive oil – use pure olive oil not extra virgin when you sauté
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 heaping T garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 t thyme
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • 1/2 t fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 (15 oz cans) white beans (Great Northern or Cannelini), rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups vegetable stock, preferably low or no sodium
  • 2 medium red potatoes, chopped – you can add more to make it super hearty
  • 1 1/2 T olive oil
  • 2 C kale, stems removed and leaves chopped

Sauté in a large soup pot, pure olive oil, onion, thyme, black pepper. Stir frequently and when the onion is clear, add the garlic and sauté for a few more minutes – do not brown the garlic or it may turn bitter. If the pot becomes dry before the veggies are softened, add one tablespoon of the stock and continue to sauté until the veggies are soft.

Add the white beans, stock and potatoes. Simmer at least 15 minutes. Taste and add more seasonings if you wish. You may want a thinner soup, in which case add more broth.

Shortly before serving, heat a skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and sauté the kale or whatever greenery you are using. When it’s wilted, add it to the soup.

Serve with a warm roll or salad for a comforting and nutritious meal.