Come out so we can Appreciate you!

Newsletter 26 – Thursday, August 8, 2013

Monday – Friday

Saturday – Sunday

Featured Plant of the Week – Hostas

Hosta plants have long been a perennial favorite among gardeners. They are easy to care for and their lush foliage is the perfect low maintenance plant.  There are so many different varieties you’re sure to find the perfect one for your garden. 

Our larger varieties, in gallon size containers, are 20% off this week.  Hurry in while supplies last and get several of these perfect perennials for your garden.

Talk about an eye catcher! The Empress Wu is one giant Hosta.  It grows four feet high and six feet wide and the leaves of this plant are 1 ½ feet wide.  This Hosta has medium green, heart shaped leaves that are heavily veined.  The Empress Wu produces beautiful light lavender flowers that bloom in mid-summer. 

The large heart shaped wavy leaves of the August Moon are bright gold to chartreuse colored depending on the amount of sun exposure.  This Hosta tolerates full sun and is slug resistant. 

The enormous blue leaves on the Blue Angel Hosta will make a perfect dramatic statement in your garden.  Its white flowers on tall stalks are lovely in arrangements. The Blue Angel is resistant to insect damage and is more sun-tolerant than most Hosta varieties.

Wanna hear a good joke about pizza??
Never mind, it’s too cheesy!!

Customer Appreciation Day at America’s Best Flowers

Flying Cow Pizza

In appreciation to you, our LOYAL CUSTOMER, America’s Best Flowers would like to treat you to a slice of the pie…pizza pie that is!

Brett Buchanan, from Flying Cow Pizza, will be tossing pizza dough this coming Saturday, August 10th between 11:00 – 3:00.  Brett’s portable brick oven on wheels is pretty amazing.  It’s really cool, or hot, depending on how you look at it.  And the pizza is fabulous!  Check out Brett’s website for the story behind the name at

Do I smell wet dog?

A dog in a bucket of soapy water

Yep, the smell of wet dog is in the air!  On Saturday, August 17, from 11-3 PM America’s Best Flowers will be hosting their 3rd Annual Dog Wash Fundraiser for the Dane County Humane Society (DCHS).

Volunteers from the DCHS will bathe dogs between 11:00 and 3:00. We are suggesting a $10 donation which will go directly to the DCHS.

Partnering with us again this year is Tabby & Jack’s Mobile Grooming Service and Poochie Portraits by Talbot Photography.

Tabby & Jack’s Mobile Grooming Service logo

Tabby & Jack’s Mobile Grooming Service will be giving manicures/pedicures (you know, front paws, back paws) for $10 and will donate all proceeds to the DCHS. 

And Terry Talbot will snap a forever memory of you and your best friend.  Fifteen percent of Talbot’s proceeds will be donated to the DCHS.

Talbot Photography

Bring your dirty dog(s) in for a day at the spa.  We want to bathe, trim nails and photograph enough dirty dogs to exceed our last years’ combined total of $1,400 for the Dane County Humane Society. 

Remember to mark your calendar for August 17th.   It’s clean dog day at America’s Best Flowers!

New gardeners learn by trowel and error.

America’s Best Flowers is having another Flea Market!

Back by popular demand!  Our July 13th flea market went so well that we are going to have another one!   

You have another opportunity to clean out your garage, basement, and cupboards and bring your treasures out to our Flea Market on Saturday, August 24, from 8am-3pm. 

To participate we require a non-refundable registration fee of $20.00.  After you arrive and have your space set up on that morning, America’s Best Flowers will present you with a $20.00 America’s Best Flowers gift card.  Each vendor will be allowed two parking spaces, which equals one booth, to display their wares.   

More vendor space is available for an additional $10.00 for each parking space.  Additional space must be requested at the time of the initial registration.  Each vendor is limited to only one $20.00 America’s Best Flowers gift card regardless of the number of parking spaces.

Rain or shine! Set up time is at 6:30am and the starting bell is at 8am.  This event will end at 3pm.  Vendors will need to bring their own furnishings, tables, awnings, chairs, etc.

For safety purposes all vendor vehicles must be parked in a separate area and will not be allowed in the market area until after 3pm.  Space is limited.  Don’t wait to register! 

To register please send a check to America’s Best Flowers for the number of booths you would like to reserve.  In the memo section of your check please put ‘Flea Market”.  For clarity include a short note stating how many booths you are registering for, a telephone number and/or email address for contact purposes.

There are a few restrictions on what may be brought to the flea market at our greenhouse.  They are as follows:

  • No firearms or ammunition,
  • No live animals,
  • No flowers and/or plants,
  • No alcohol or tobacco is allowed on America’s Best Flowers’ property.

Remember, one person’s junk is another person’s treasure.

If you are interested in joining us contact Shirley at or call the greenhouse at 608-222-2269.

How do "Keep off the grass" signs get where they are?

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!

Art in the Garden Vendor Information

By Marty Robbins

This year’s Art In The Garden will be held on Saturday, September 14, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Setup and CHECK-IN begins at 7:30 a.m. You must be ready to sell by 9 a.m.

To participate this year, we will require a non-refundable registration fee of $20.00. After you arrive and have your booth space set up, America’s Best Flowers will present you with a $20.00 America’s Best Flowers gift card.

To register, please either send us a check or stop by our garden center in Cottage Grove. If mailing your check for a space, please include a brief note stating that it is for the Art in the Garden event. Please send your check to America’s Best Flowers, 4311 Vilas Hope Rd, Cottage Grove, WI 53527.

This is an art and craft fair!  We ask that the items you are selling be handmade or at least semi-hand made.

Vendors are responsible for their own tables, chairs, draping, displays, products and booth security. Art in the Garden will take place inside our main greenhouses. In the event of rain, some of our plastic roofs may leak. YOU WILL NEED TO PROVIDE PLASTIC DRAPING to cover your items/booth if rain is forecast. This is a rain or shine event.

Please dress accordingly. On sunny days the greenhouses can become quite warm by mid-day. Shoes and shirts MUST be worn at all times, NO BAREFOOT attire will be allowed.

We have two booth sizes. The single booth is 6 ft. long. The double booth is 12 ft. long. ALL BOOTHS ARE APPROXIMATELY 6 ft. DEEP. A very limited number of 6 ft. long steel mesh top tables are available if you need a display table. Tables are on a first come first serve basis and you are responsible for covering the steel mesh top. Your display and products MUST fit with-in your designated area. After unloading your vehicle it must be moved to the designated parking area for vendors.

Please call 222-2269 or e-mail me at, with your booth size choice NO LATER than August 20th, 2013. Your registration fee will be required to reserve your booth no later than August 24th. If we have not received your fee by then your booth space will not be held. We will once again provide each vendor with flyers for advertising and ask that you place them in the appropriate places. Please make sure you receive permission to post them.

Please provide me with your mailing address so we can forward them to you.

Items deemed inappropriate by our management to sell in a family atmosphere will be and can be excluded at any time. There is NO SMOKING or firearms allowed on our property.

Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.  We look forward to working with you as we strive to share your creativity with our community.

My neighbor asked if he could use my lawnmower and I told him of course he could,
so long as he didn’t take it out of my yard.

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.

Lucy’s Story – Intermission

Due to the length of this newsletter Chapter 18 of Lucy’s Story will be in next week’s newsletter.  Meanwhile sit back and enjoy the pictures of Lucy from last night as she relaxes on the deck in front of her fan!

`til next time,
    ~ Shirley

If any of you other dog people want to share a dog story send it to

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit;
Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad

Upcoming Events

Sat, Aug 10
Customer Appreciation Day
Sat, Aug 17
3rd Annual Dog Wash Fund Raiser for the Dane County Humane Society

11am – 3pm Bring your dirty dogs out to the garden.

Sat, Aug 24
Flea Market

8am – 3pm – Rain or Shine

Sat, Aug 24
Tomato Tasting

11am – 2pm – Taste the difference between varieties.

Sat, Aug 24
Contest for Kids

10am – 2pm – Bring your colored chalk & color our parking lot! A prize winner for each age group (2-5) (6-10) (11-15) A PAPA JIMMY’S $20.00 GIFT CARD for the Grand Prize winner.

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.

Our Kitchen

I confess; I’m a Woman’s World magazine junkie.  You know my story, you’re in line at the grocery store with nothing to do but wait and your eyes fall on the magazine cover. There’s this youngish, thinish model claiming to have lost 30 lbs in just one month.  So you turn to the diet of the week to see what new and wonderful tricks are being promoted.  But as you read the suggested menus you notice they seem to follow the same patterns as last week, last month, last year.  Eat lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  Stay away from high fat and processed foods and voilà the thinner you that is lurking just below the surface will appear.

If only it were that easy!  They never tell us how to develop a willpower that is strong enough to actually eat a carrot while everyone else is enjoying ice cream or how to add the necessary time to our day to shop for and prepare only healthy options.  Today’s recipes may actually help with that last one.

My Facebook friend, who is sharing more recipes than you could possibly try if you stayed in the kitchen all day, posted the following recipe for oatmeal in the crock pot.  Several of us here at the greenhouse decided to give it a shot.  Marge, who lives the closest, did the cooking and the rest of us the tasting.  And tasty it was!   It has the added bonus that you will wake up to a house that smells like there’s an apple pie in the oven!

Crock Pot Oatmeal

Spray the sides of your crock pot well with non-stick cooking spray.

Place 2 sliced apples, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, pinch salt in the bottom of the crock pot.

Pour in 2 cups of oatmeal, 2 cups of milk and 2 cups water.

Do NOT stir.

Cook overnight for 8 – 9 hours on low.

Marge had me add the line about spray your crock pot because she had to scrub to get the cooked-on oatmeal off the sides of hers.  She also said that the next time she would mix the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt together and then sprinkle the mixture evenly over the apples to be sure the apples are evenly sweetened.

For an even easier breakfast, try this recipe which was posted by Bev T’s sister-in-law.  With the many flavor suggestions, your oatmeal will never grow boring.  We tried raspberry, blueberry and grape.  Everyone liked the raspberry the best.  Marge started with raspberry flavored Greek yogurt and added some in season raspberries to it.  So yummy!  If you make them the night before you will have a quick healthy breakfast ready to grab and go!!

Overnight Oatmeal

  • 1 container (6 oz) greek yogurt, any flavor
  • 1/4 cup uncooked old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup fruit (see ideas below)

In container with tight-fitting cover, mix yogurt and uncooked oats.

Stir in desired fruit.  Cover; refrigerate at least 8 hours but no longer than 3 days before eating.

Try adding raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, mandarin orange segments, pineapple pieces, diced kiwi, sliced grapes, pomegranate seeds, banana slices, or toasted almonds.

Or try some of these possible combinations:

German Chocolate Cake Overnight Oatmeal: Stir in 1 tablespoon chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut.

S’mores Overnight Oatmeal: Stir in 1 tablespoon chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons miniature marshmallows.

Bananas Foster Overnight Oatmeal: Stir in 1/2 sliced banana and 1 tablespoon chocolate chips.

Peanut Butter Cup Overnight Oatmeal: Stir in 1 tablespoon each chocolate chips and peanut butter chips.

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