Art, Art Everywhere!

Newsletter 28 – Tuesday, September 11, 2012

You’ll love your garden … It’s our promise!

Creativity to abound at America’s Best Flowers

Annual Art in the Garden Event

By Deb Meyer

After a summer that sizzled most of us like bacon in a skillet, it’s time to stop and enjoy a few hours of creativity, relaxation and refreshments. 

So grab the calendar of your choice, and pencil-in a “Me Day” on Saturday, September 15, when America’s Best Flowers will be hosting their annual Art in the Garden event. From 9am-3pm over 45 creative and talented local artists will be showcasing their finest work throughout the beautiful greenhouses at America’s Best Flowers.

For rock-solid Badger fans
For rock-solid Badger fans
Click for Larger Image

Whether you’re a Badger fan, looking to pick up one of Joe Milhoun’s stone cut Red and White Badger creations to announce your Bucky pride, or you’ve just decided to start your Christmas shopping early, there will be a great selection of one-of-a-kind creations to choose from.

Bring your Bling-Meter

If jewelry is your passion, be sure to bring your Bling-meter, as several local jewelry artists will be offering all things delightful and shiny. But that’s only the beginning of what will be offered. Many other artists will be expressing their creativity via pottery, paintings, sculptures, fused glass, silk scarves, greeting cards, custom woodworking, yarns, purses and textiles. (Just to name a few!)

Music & Food

Complimenting your day of relaxation and creativity we’ve lined up the talented Rich Baumann, a local singer and songwriter to fill our greenhouses with music while you shop and stroll. And, because we know that hours of relaxation can work up an appetite, and leave you a bit parched, the Cottage Grove Boy Scout Troop 210 will be on deck, serving an assortment of tasty foods and thirst quenching beverages for their troop fundraiser.

"Yup, gardening and laughing are two of the best things in life you can do to promote good health and a sense of well being."

David Hobson

Please allow us to…

A Pathway Lined with Fall Mums
A Pathway Lined with Fall Mums
Click for Larger Image

Brag for a moment, won’t you?  We have the most gorgeous mums!  America’s Best Flowers has mums galore; our fields are overflowing with 4,000 early, mid and late blooming plants in more than 30 shades of white, yellow, gold, bronze, red, burgundy, lavender and purple. 

You’ve heard of the ‘Field of Dreams,’ haven’t you?  Well, we have the field of mums.  We grow our mums outside (to make them strong and hardy) in a 2 gallon container which is twice as big as what you will find elsewhere.

Mums are a wonderful way to introduce rich fall color to your home.  They look spectacular in pots on the porch, deck and patio or planted in the ground bordering your sidewalk or driveway.  You’ll love our full, lush and beautiful mums…it’s our promise!

Check out our article in September 4th newsletter for more information on planting mums .

A toddler was found chewing on a slug.
After the initial surge of disgust the parent said, "Well, what does it taste like?"
"Worms," was the reply.

To Quote the Talented Stevie Wonder, ‘Isn’t she lovely?’

Muscari Dark Eyes
Muscari Dark Eyes

This is the Muscari Dark Eyes, also referred to as grape hyacinth. This is one hardy and easy to grow perennial.  Where can you get them and many other beautiful bulbs?  At America’s Best Flowers, of course!   

September is the time to plant bulbs for next spring’s bloom.  Our fall bulbs have arrived.  Tulips, daffodils, crocus, hyacinth, allium and more are just waiting for you to take them home.  Bulbs are an investment in the future.

To avoid the dreaded BULB ENVY in the spring, plant your bulbs now!

Don’t forget to feed your bulbs

Espoma Bulb Tone
Espoma Bulb Tone
More Information

When you plant your bulbs it is the perfect opportunity to dig in a generous amount of plant food. It’s your only chance to get the nutrients the bulbs need for maximum flowering directly under the bulbs in the root zone of your plants.  This year we are featuring Espoma Bulb Tone and Bone Meal.

What do you call two young married spiders?
Newly webs.

Are you ready for Scarecrow Days?

A smiling scarecrow with a crow perched on his shoulder
Scarecrows are terrifying. Just ask a crow.

Scarecrow time is creeping up on us at America’s Best Flowers.  We will be stuffing straw from 10am to 5pm seven days a week, beginning Saturday, Sept. 22 and running through Saturday Oct. 13.  There is a nominal fee for the scarecrow kit and garage sale prices on the clothing.  Plan ahead and mark your calendars to come on out!  Bring your group out and have yourself a hay-day!  More information coming in next week’s newsletter.

If you would like to start a little earlier, another option is to stop in at our Edgerton location at, 1101 Main St, from 10am-2pm on Saturday, September 15 or September 22 to build your one-of-a-kind scarecrow.

For groups of 5 or more, please call ahead 608-222-2269 (or 608-884-8120 for Edgerton).  This will allow us to plan ahead and have enough staff available for your group. 

Did you hear about the scarecrow that won the nobel prize?
He was outstanding in his field.


America’s Best Flowers wants you to succeed, so if you have gardening questions send an email to our Operations Manager, Al Lunde, at Al will get back to you promptly. We want to be your go-to-greenhouse for answers.

What was green and a great trick shooter?
Annie Okra

Go teams go!

Our Badgers and Packers didn’t do too well this weekend, but we have only begun to fight, fight, fight…yeah, I know, I know, the cheerleading just doesn’t translate well in print, does it?  But you get the idea, right?

`til next week,
    ~ Shirley

Have you heard of the garlic diet?
You don’t lose much weight,
but from a distance your friends think you look thinner.

Upcoming Events

Sat, Sep 8 – Sun, Sep 16
The Last Dollar Days

Come in and use your orange dollars. This is the last chance to use them before they expire for good.

Sat, Sep 15
Art and Craft Fair

9am – 3pm

Sat, Sep 22 – Sun, Sep 30
Autumn Sale
Sat, Sep 22 – Sat, Oct 13
Scarecrow Days

10am – 5pm Seven days a week. Come in and make your own one-of-a-kind scarecrow!

Sat, Oct 6 – Sun, Oct 7
Universal Saw & Tool Sharpening

10am – 4pm Sharpen your tools for fall or spring yard work.

Sat, Nov 17 – Sun, Nov 18
Porch Pot & Wreath Workshop

9am – 3pm Pre-registration required

Our Kitchen

By Bev Wilson

The cooler weather has me in the mood for comfort food.  And the most comfortable of all is homemade soup.  Last weekend, I was raiding the cupboard, trying to figure out something different for dinner and came across the following recipe on a can of Progresso black beans.  Amazingly, I had everything I needed to cook up a batch.  And even more amazing is that it is a recipe I will use again and again. Very quick to make and satisfying to the tummy.   Enjoy!!

Buona Sera Black Bean Soup

Buona Sera Black Bean Soup

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 medium stalk celery, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped (1 cup)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • ¼ t black pepper
  • 3 cans (14 oz) chicken broth (I used low sodium)
  • 4 cans (15 oz) Progresso black beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 1 can (15 oz) whole kernel sweet corn, drained
  • 1 jar (16 oz) mild picante sauce or salsa

In a 4 qt saucepan or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat.  Cook onion, celery, carrots and garlic in oil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add chili powder, cumin and pepper, cook 1 minute.  Stir in broth, 2 cans of black beans and the corn.  Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, place remaining 2 cans black beans and the picante or salsa in blender or food processor.* Cover and blend on high speed until smooth.  Stir into boiling soup mixture.

Reduce heat to medium and simmer 15 minutes.  Serve with chopped cilantro if desired.  Serves 6 as a main dish.

*When I made this I read the list of ingredients but only skimmed the instructions – after all, I’ve made about a thousand pots of soup in my life.  So all of my beans and the salsa went into the pot without blending.  Everyone who ate it agreed with me that the texture was fine without messing up my blender.

Variation:  3 cups diced cooked chicken can be added during the last 5 minutes, if you prefer meat in your soup.

NOTE:Because this soup is made with all canned ingredients, it might be a bit salty for some tastes.  I used low sodium chicken broth and will use unsalted corn the next time, too.  I’m not sure if low sodium beans or salsa are available, but if they are, next time I will use one or the other of them.

Carol and Ed Knapton, owners of Americas's Best Flowers You’ll Love Your Garden … It’s Our Promise! May the Holy Spirit Guide You! God Bless
Edward Knapton says Keep on Smiling!
Sec – Treasurer Berry Hill Farms, Inc.
DBA Americas Best Flowers Garden Center
4311 Vilas Hope Road
Cottage Grove, WI 53527
608-222-2269 Fax 608-222-1234 Cell 608-698-5627