Autumn Container Workshop this Saturday

Newsletter 30 – Thursday, September 5, 2013

Current Hours

Monday – Friday

Saturday – Sunday

Featured Plant of the Week – Spirea

Spirea 'Neon Flash'
Spirea ‘Neon Flash’
Click for Larger Image

The spirea is a small to medium sized shrub that is easy to grow, low maintenance and produces cascades of flowers in spring and summer.  How perfect is that?  They are used often as hedges and in perennial gardens.  Any variety of a spirea is just an all around wonderful shrub. 

We are featuring the Renaissance, Gold Flame, Magic Carpet and Neon Flash in 3-gallon size containers this week.  Please check out those links to see the flower and foliage colors of each variety.

As always the featured plant of the week is 20% off while supplies last!

Autumn Container Workshop

Come out to our Container Workshop this Saturday, September 7, from 10 – 4 PM.

Check Out Some of Our Fall Creations
Check Out Some of Our Fall Creations
Click for Larger Image

Pick out your favorite mum, add one or two of our perfect perennials, even a shrub and we’ll help you create a beautiful autumn container to showcase your home, deck or backyard.   Autumn, with its plethora of vibrant and sultry colors, is the time to appreciate our Wisconsin beauty!

Our workshop starts at 10 AM and is ongoing throughout the day until 4 PM.  Come in anytime between those hours.  Our knowledgeable and friendly associates will be happy to assist you while you do the planting. 

We do ask that, if you are bringing in your containers from home, please empty all soil from them before bringing them into our greenhouse.  We will provide fresh and FREE potting soil for your creation and we even clean up the mess. 

When planting larger containers please bring in packing peanuts, chunks of Styrofoam or Styrofoam egg cartons to help fill the bottom of your container.  It makes the container much lighter for you to transport back home and easier to rearrange in your garden. 

Hey, while you’re here…

Why not pick up your Fall Bulbs?

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

When you plant your bulbs 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.

One day, finding a wasp had entered the house, a wife shouted to her husband, "There’s a wasp in here. Do we have any spray?"
He told her there was a can under the sink.
"Honey," she called. "This is ant and roach spray."
"Well," her husband replied, "don’t show him the label."

Get a Jumpstart on Protecting Your Ash Trees

By Bev Wilson

Healthy ash trees that have been protected with insecticides growing next to untreated ash trees killed by Emerald Ash Borer.

Yesterday afternoon, I was lying in the hammock looking skyward, when my gaze landed on our neighbor’s two stately ash trees.  What a difference the tree canopy in our neighborhood would be without them.  This thought triggered a conversation I had a while back with the folks at Bayer Advanced, a division of the same company that makes aspirin.  Diane and I were talking about the treatment options available to protect our ash trees from the Emerald Ash Borer.  She told me that recent research has indicated fall applications of Imidacloprid (the active ingredient in their Tree & Shrub Protect & Feed) have been effective in the fight against the damage caused by this insect, when used according to label instructions.  Since this pest has been found just down the road in Janesville, Wisconsin, it is definitely time to act.  Delaying treatment until spring is risky because it takes one to three months for trees to uptake the chemical to all their branches.  The weather in a cold snowy spring could prevent early enough treatment to protect your trees. I found a very informative article online at

If you, or your neighbor, have ash trees in your yard, please pay special attention to pages 5-8.  Protection of your trees should begin now.  Bayer’s 12-Month Tree & Shrub Protect & Feed is labeled for use by the homeowner. Our regular price of a 32 oz bottle of concentrate is $29.99, but because of our commitment to you and your trees, America’s Best has reduced the cost of this protection to only $19.99 per bottle.  Download a rebate form from Bayer for even greater savings. To determine how much product your trees need, measure around the trunk at chest height, you will need one ounce of concentrate for every inch of circumference.  Bigger, older trees may require more than one bottle, but compared to the cost of tree removal, this product is a bargain.  Not to mention the pleasure of sitting in the shade they provide.  Please come out today and let us help you develop a plan for protecting your trees.

Wanted! Good homes for our Mums!

A Planting of Fall Mums
A Planting of Fall Mums
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America’s Best Flowers has mums galore!  Our fields are overflowing with 4,000 early, mid and late blooming plants in multiple shades of white, yellow, gold, bronze, burgundy, lavender and purple.  We grow our mums outside (to make them hardier) in a 2 gallon container and are twice as big as what you normally find.  You have to see them to believe how full and lush and bursting with blooms they are. 

The clerk in a shoe store was trying hard to persuade his customer
that a pair of uncomfortable shoes fit her.
"I’m telling you, these shoes are too pointed and too narrow," argued the customer.
"But, madam," replied the salesman, "everyone is wearing narrow,
pointed shoes this season."
"That may be," countered the customer,
"but I’m still wearing my last season’s feet."

Art in the Garden

Featuring Local Artisans
Saturday, September 14, 9am-3pm

Our 4th Annual Art in the Garden event is right around the greenhouse corner. 

Over 40 talented Wisconsin artists will be at our greenhouse displaying their unique creations.  Some of the items available include: jewelry, paintings, weavings, carved gourds, pottery, woodworking, textiles, photography and much more!

Remember to mark your calendar for our 4th Annual Art in the Garden event on Saturday, September 14, from 9-3.  What a great opportunity to get a jump start on your holiday shopping!

For Art in the Garden Vendor Information please go to this link:

My husband was just coming out of anesthesia after a series of tests in the hospital, and I was sitting at his bedside. His eyes fluttered open, and he murmured, "You’re beautiful."
Flattered, I continued my vigil while he drifted back to sleep.
Later he woke up and said, "You’re cute."
"What happened to ‘beautiful’?" I asked him.
"The drugs are wearing off," he replied.

Send Al your gardening questions!

America’s Best Flowers wants to help you succeed in your gardening efforts. If you have gardening questions send an email to Al Lunde, at Al will get back to you promptly.

What a cool gift and great way to help the Dane County Humane Society!

A perfect gift for a friend or family member as we get closer and closer to the New Year! The 2014 Dane County Humane Society Calendar is full of adorable rescue animals whose pictures were submitted and voted on by thousands of DCHS supporters throughout the county. For a very affordable $12, you can continue to tell these animals’ stories and share with your loved ones the value of a new home, a new family and a fresh start. Visit or contact Nick Pelzer at for purchasing details.

During a county-wide drive to round up all unlicensed dogs, a patrolman signaled a car to pull over to the curb.
When the driver asked why he had been stopped, the officer pointed to the big dog sitting on the seat beside him and asked, "Does your dog have a license?"
"No," the man said, "He doesn’t need one."
"Yes, he does," answered the officer.
"But," said the driver, "I always do all the driving."

Lucy’s Story – Chapter 21

Lucy laying near the packer's team rock in her backyard
Lucy asks that you pretend she’s wearing her Packer collar
Click for Larger Image

Are you ready for some REAL football?  The Green Bay Packers play the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday! 

A few weeks ago we thought we had our act together.  Our plan was to get a few pictures of Lucy, for the newsletter, in the back yard posing, (obviously, lying down is her favorite pose) in front of our Badger and Packer football rock carvings.  She was oh, so accommodating (esp. when Hubby got the treats out!) 

When last week’s newsletter came out guess who noticed that she wasn’t wearing her Badger collar?  Yep, this means this week’s picture is minus her Packer collar. 

Lucy was upset and Hubby and I felt pretty inept.  We immediately dug her Badger and Packer collar out of storage, washed them and hung them on the clothesline to dry.  Lucy prefers them to be air dried rather than in the clothes dryer.  I guess it’s that fresh outdoor scent. 

Then she requested a retake for this week’s newsletter.  Hubby and I convinced her that her Packer-less collar picture was just adorable and that it would be impossible to recapture the sweet look she had on her face.  She kindly acquiesced.

Actually, let me reword that ‘She kindly acquiesced after Hubby got the treats out.’

`til next time,
    ~ Shirley

While leading a tour of kindergarten students through our hospital, I overheard a conversation between one little girl and an x-ray technician.
"Have you ever broken a bone?" he asked.
"Yes," the girl replied.
"Did it hurt?"
"Really? Which bone did you break?"
"My sister’s arm."

Upcoming Events

Sat, Sep 7
Autumn Container Workshop

10am -4pm FREE soil and assistance. Create a beautiful container in our greenhouse and we’ll clean up the mess. Bring in your own pots or buy some of ours.

Sat, Sep 14
Art in the Garden

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

Sat, Sep 21 – Sun, Oct 13
Scarecrow Days

M-F 10-5PM / Sat – Sun 10-4PM

Sat, Sep 28
Make & Take Bird Feeders

10am – 12pm – Kids come out & build a bird feeder for your feathered friends.

Sat, Oct 19
Flea Market

8am – 3pm – Rain or Shine

Sat, Oct 19 – Sun, Nov 17
Miniature Garden Workshops

10am – 3pm Every weekend (Saturday and Sunday) – Make a mini garden in a terrarium or planter of your choice.

Our Kitchen

The abundance of zucchini in September has led to one more jaunt down memory lane.  Bonnie first introduced us to this recipe on August 26, 2010.  This zucchini bread is something she made often because her kids loved it so much.  We were lucky when she brought in a loaf to share with us.  As I was reading through back issues, I realized I haven’t eaten it since she passed.  As soon as I can get some zucchini I will remedy that situation.

Originally from Bonnie’s Kitchen – August 26, 2010

This is a recipe I tried from the Food Network. It’s a good twist on zucchini bread.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ t baking powder
  • 1 t salt
  • ½ t ground cinnamon
  • ½ t ground nutmeg
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 T orange zest
  • Zucchini ribbons for serving

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease two 9X5” loaf pans. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, spices and baking soda.  In a large bowl, beat eggs until light and fluffy.  Add sugar, and continue beating until well blended.  Stir in oil, vanilla, zucchini, pecans, chocolate chips and orange zest.  Stir in sifted ingredients.  Pour into prepared loaf pans.

Bake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove loaves from pans and cool. Chill before slicing. Serve with whipped cream and ribbons of zucchini.

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