2009 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 27: Back to School Week

Newsletter 27 – September 3, 2009

 Spring Blooming Bulbs are Here

Autumn Container Workshops

Jesse’s Pick of the Week – Squirrel Stopper

 Al’s Pick of the Month – Fall Mums 

 Recipe – Acapulco Salad

Plan Ahead for the Scarecrow Workshop


Student’s test paper blunders:


Question: What is a fibula?

Answer: A little lie

Question: What is a plasmid?

Answer: A high definition TV

Religious Studies

Question: Christians have only one spouse, what is this called?

Answer: Monotony


Spring-Blooming Bulbs are Here

It’s “Back-to-School Week” and everywhere you look you can see over-stressed, mildly dazed, but rather relieved looks on the faces of folks blessed with children. Besides school supply and clothes shopping, scheduling physicals, setting a carpool schedule for school and sports, and every kind of lesson known to man, you might have had to play psychologist as your children dealt with those school day jitters.  For those of you who have school-aged children, we say “Congratulations! Job well done!”  While you may be tempted to celebrate with a martini, we have a better idea.  Stop out at America’s Best Flowers and take time to smell the flowers.  What could be more therapeutic than gazing upon our beautiful mums or checking out the wonderful fall bulbs that have just arrived. 


Last fall we spent hours picking and choosing unique colors, shapes and sizes with you in mind.  Some staff favorites are Lavender and Lace; Deer Resistant blend; Valentine Candy, with several shades of red; and the tulip of the year, American Dream.  We have fringed tulips with names like Burgundy Lace, Fringed Elegance, and Fancy Frills.  Daffodil lovers may want to consider Pink Parasol, Rip Van Winkle and Baby Moon.


Did you know the spice saffron comes from crocus?  While you’re here be sure to pick up a package of the fall blooming Saffron Crocus.  Another fall blooming crocus, Colchicum Lilac Wonder, gets 8-10 inches tall.


If you want something really different, we have Hair Allium, along with giant Globemaster Allium, and Golden Fragrance Muscari. This spring many of you asked about the Camassia Cusickii or Wild Hyacinth we have planted out front.  This hyacinth spreads very quickly, so you, too, can have a beautiful display.

Whichever ones you choose, keep in mind that our bulbs go very quickly, so hurry out today.  Next spring you’ll be so glad you did.


A bicycle can’t stand alone; it’s two tired!


This fall be sure to pick up some Scott’s Bulb Food. This easy-to-use fertilizer is recommended for all bulbs, including tulips, crocus, and daffodils.  When you plant bulbs in the fall, the first thing they do is put out roots to start getting nutrients from the surrounding soil. Applying bulb food encourages this root growth and continues to feed and nourish the bulb all winter. You’ll get lush green leaves and beautiful color in the spring. Either sprinkle on after the bulbs have been planted and rake in or mix into the soil used to cover the bulbs.  Their 3 lb bag is enough for up to 250 bulbs. Scott’s Bulb Food is the ideal fertilizer for your existing bulb beds.  If you don’t use it all this fall, you can apply more in the spring for a healthy boost. 


Public Service Announcement:

If you receive an email from the Dept. of Health telling you not to eat canned pork because of swine flu, ignore it. It’s just spam.

Jesse’s Pick of the WeekSquirrel Stopper!


How to Plant Tulips and Live with Squirrels, too


You want beautiful spring bulbs, but there’s a problem. You have a squirrel family in your oak tree and a chipmunk family under your porch. We have a solution! America’s Best Flowers has just received a new shipment of Squirrel Stopper, a safe, organic way to repel those pesky, digging creatures. It works by smell, taste and feel, and has a pleasant scent to humans that’s minty with a hint of cinnamon. Simply spray the bulbs and let dry. Then feel free to plant those bulbs along your sidewalk, next to your driveway, between your evergreen shrubs, and perhaps try a few crocus or daffodils in that native area that never seems to get mowed. Once the bulbs have been planted apply a second dose of Squirrel Stopper directly to the soil where the bulbs have been planted. Finally, grab a glass of iced tea and relax! You won’t have to worry about those bulbs being dug up. Just sit back and wait for a wonderful show next spring.


A cardboard belt would be a waist of paper.

Al’s Pick of the Month

Garden Mums

Our mum fields are overflowing with 6,000 early, mid and late blooming plants in more than 30 shades of white, yellow, gold, bronze, red, burgundy, lavender and purple.  You have to see them to believe how full and lush and bursting with blooms these beauties are!  We think you’ll agree we grow the most beautiful mums in town. Picture your home decorated with their blazing color!

Tips for Success with Fall Mums

We sell mums as an annual.  Pop them into a container or basket, or set them on your porch.  They bring immediate color and bloom for a long period.  Keep them evenly moist.  They don’t like to be dried out or sit in water.

How to try to Establish Mums as Perennials

If you wish to try this, plant them as soon as possible in a sunny, well-drained location.  They don’t do well in our heavy clay soils, so incorporate peat or compost when planting them. A protected spot away from cold, drying winter winds also helps survival.  Plant them deeper than they are growing in our pots.  Remember, to survive, they have to develop roots at or above the first set of branches by the time the ground freezes.


Do not cut back dead plants until next spring.  Research at Iowa State University shows leaving stems and foliage results in better winter survival.


Apply a loose winter mulch after the ground freezes.  Straw, shredded bark, pine boughs and even snow are good winter mulches.  Carefully remove in the late spring.


Mums are heavy feeders, apply all-purpose fertilizer, per package instructions, from late spring until mid July.


It was an emotional wedding.  Even the cake was in tiers.


Fall Container Workshop Update

The arrangements people made at our Fall Container Workshop this weekend were drop-dead gorgeous. And the cooler weather couldn’t help but put you in the mood for autumn. These container workshops are such fun!  It’s great turning people on to the whole 4-season container concept—planting in a liner, and changing the liner out of your beautiful ceramic pot, as each season approaches. After several years of holding container workshops, we have our own “groupies” who come to them all. They’ve become like family to us and do we ever enjoy it.  If you couldn’t come last weekend, remember there is an evening workshop scheduled for Thursday, September 24th from 4-7PM. While you’re here, why not make a scarecrow?


My wife walked into the den and asked “What’s on the TV?”

I replied, “Dust.”

And that’s how the fight started.

Calendar of Events

September 20        Dividing Perennials at 1 PM

Sept 21 – Oct 4     Scarecrow Days – Make your own scarecrow and we’ll clean up the mess.  Real family fun! Refreshments on weekends.

September 24        Make a Fall Container Workshop from 4-8 pm

September 27        How to Winterize Roses at 1 PM


America’s Best Flowers gift certificates make the perfect gift for your favorite gardener.  Remember, they never expire and may be used on everything we sell.


He wears glasses during math because it improves division.

Plan Ahead for Scarecrow Days

There’s no better way to decorate for fall than with a unique scarecrow of your own creation. Mark your calendars for our Build-Your-Own Scarecrow event, which runs from September 21 through October 4, and expect to have the time of your life.  We build scarecrows every day, so you can stop out anytime and our staff will be glad to assist you.  Refreshments will be served on weekends.  For a small fee, we will provide you with a kit to get you started.  Add a great outfit (bring your own or buy one from us at garage sale prices), and you’ll have a scarecrow that will be the envy of the neighborhood.  If you set your creation on a straw bale, use a few corn stalks for background and surround the whole scene with brilliant mums, asters, fountain grass and pumpkins, you will have a fabulous fall display.



Those who throw dirt are sure to lose ground.


This is a good salad to take to your Labor Day cookout. It’s different and colorful and always gets a lot of comments. If you’ve never tried jicama, pronounced hic-a-ma, you will be pleasantly surprised.


Acapulco Salad

2 medium navel oranges, peeled, sectioned and chopped

2 cups jicama, peeled and diced

1 medium red bell pepper, diced

1 medium cucumber, diced

½ cup radishes, thinly sliced

1 large tomato, diced

1 can (2 ¼ oz.) ripe olives, drained and sliced

1/3 cup olive oil

3 T red wine vinegar

2 T lime juice

1 T cilantro, chopped

¾ t lemon pepper

½ t seasoned salt


In a large bowl, combine oranges and vegetables.  In container with stopper or lid, combine oil, vinegar, lime juice, cilantro, lemon pepper, and seasoned salt; blend well.  Pour over vegetable mixture and toss to coat.  Marinate in refrigerator 1 hour.


Classroom Etiquette


A teacher sees a student entering the classroom, his hands are very dirty.

She stopped him and said, “John, please wash your hands.

My goodness, what would you say if I came into the room with hands like that?” Smiling, the boy replied, “I think I would be too polite to mention it.”



May the Holy Spirit Guide You!  God Bless
Edward Knapton says Keep on Smiling!
President 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
https://www.americasbestflowers.com/home.htmlAlso President of The Commercial Flower Growers of Wisconsin  http://www.cfgw.org/ an Organization that is a division of the six group Wisconsin Green Industry Federation (WGIF) a 3 Billion dollar industry with over 4700 businesses and over 43,000 employees in Wisconsin
Senator Representing Wisconsin members of the American Nursery and Landscape Association – ANLA
Also Board member of Garden’s Beautiful Garden Centers
Also member of legislative of Committee of WGIF
Also Board Member of (WGIF) Wisconsin Green Industry Federation

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