Container Workshop Weekend

Newsletter 10 – Thursday, April 24, 2014

Current Hours

Our Cottage Grove location is open Monday-Friday 9-7, Saturday 9-6 and Sunday 9-5.

Lucy’s Story – Chapter 46

Lucy closely observing the action under the sink
Lucy the Apprentice Plumber
Click for Larger Image

That thing that the water comes out of needed to be fixed. It’s been acting funny for a while now.  How do I know that if I can’t see up that high, you ask?  Well, every time my mom would turn the water on the tone in her voice made it very clear that something was wrong.  But she seemed to be managing okay with it.

That is UNTIL the day my mom turned the water on, and water sprayed all over!  And I do mean all over!  The cupboards and floor got sprayed and the kitchen wall waaay across the room got drenched.  It all happened so fast.  My mom hollered for my dad (or maybe it was at my dad, hmmm, gotta think about that one.)  Anyway, my mom stood there dripping wet and my dad real quickly got a bunch of towels and was wiping the wall down and then he left in his car.

Now, my dad can fix anything, but that day I sensed that he needed my help. So, when he returned, I offered my assistance and we tackled this water monster together.

It’s funny the things you learn on-the-job. Here I thought I knew everything about my dad, but I guess not. My dad is bilingual!  How did I find that out?

Well, when my dad was lying on the floor halfway inside the cupboard I heard him speaking an entirely different language.


Join us for a Fun Weekend at the Greenhouse!

Our Container Garden Workshop is this Saturday and Sunday, April 26-27, from 10 – 4 PM. The workshop starts at 10 AM and is ongoing throughout the day till 4 PM.  Come in anytime between those hours.  After you have shopped for your plants, flowers, and containers pick your spot in our designated workshop area and let the fun begin! 

It’s a hands-on experience, so be sure to bring your garden gloves. If you forget them, don’t worry, we have a wide variety of reasonably priced gardening gloves to choose from.  Our knowledgeable and friendly associates will be happy to assist you while you do the planting and will help with any and all plant or design questions.

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

If you are bringing in large 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 a whole lot lighter for you to transport back home and also, easier to rearrange in your garden if you want to change your outside decor. 

Do you know?

To have a successful container garden there is some information that you’ll need to know before hand.  Such as, where are your containers going to be located; in the sun, in the shade or a little of both?  Different plants and flowers have different needs.  Do you want to just water them and watch them grow or are you okay with periodically removing the dead blooms from the flowers? It is this kind of information that will allow you to choose the right plant or flower for your situation.  Our container garden designers will be here to answer any and all of your questions.

Are you too busy for a workshop?

For those of you who would like to have a beautiful container garden, but due to your busy schedule can’t participate in a workshop, we can help.  Our designers have created a wonderful variety of pre-made containers so you can just pick the one you like and grab and go!

What a perfect segue to tell you about…

…our talented design team, led by Sharon, who create the beautiful container gardens at our greenhouse. 

Our staff will custom design and plant your containers at our greenhouse and will deliver them.  If you have permanent container structures at your home or business our designers will come out and plant on site.  In fact, we can do this for each of Wisconsin’s four seasons.

Containers come in all sizes and shapes and we can design and plant them all. Why not give us a call 608-222-2269, and get started on creating your own spot of beauty to enjoy each season.

Remember, life is better when surrounded by beautiful flowers and container gardening makes it all so easy.

Earth Day Celebrations

A tshirt with three handprints made to look like a tree
Let your creativity run wild!
Click for Larger Image

Hey, kids do you want to paint a T-shirt with your hands?  Our Educational Coordinator Deb Stevens, will show you how on Saturday, April 26th, from 10 AM – 2 PM.  Bring in your own T-shirt or buy one of ours for $4.00.   Deb will show you how to magically grow bean seeds without soil.  And, we’re saving the best for last, kids.  You can make seed balls which is a Native American tradition, using terra cotta clay and cow poop!  You’ll make seed balls with Marigold seeds.  And don’t worry, parents, the clay and cow stuff will be in a plastic ziploc bag.  The kids will not be touching it.

Arbor Day Celebration

Spruce tree saplings
These grow up to look like this, and someday like this

In honor of Arbor Day we are giving a free White Spruce seedling with each purchase while supply lasts.  Limit one per family.

Good Bugs

By Lauren Krouth

Wasps, mites, and nematodes, oh my!!! It sounds like the intro to a scary movie, but at our greenhouse, these are the good guys!

We are the only greenhouse in the area using beneficial organisms to control our pest insects, which is part of our Integrated Pest Management program (IPM). This is our fourth season implementing an IPM program and it’s allowed us to greatly reduce our pesticide use, thus providing you with safer and more environmentally friendly plants! When we do occasionally need to spray, we are sure to use safe, minimal impact sprays whenever possible.

As the biological control specialist, I’m actively scouting for insects to find them before they become a problem and in order to prevent infestation. I release a variety of insects each week, including wasps (which are about the size of a gnat), midges, mites, nematodes, lacewings, and even ladybugs. These bugs merrily go about their business eating other insects and are of no bother to humans or pets. So the next time you see a bug in your garden and before you swat that bug on your arm, remember, they could be good bugs!

The research assistant couldn’t experiment with plants because he hadn’t botany!

Digging in the Dirt

By Bev Wilson

One of the most frequent questions we get is, “Can I start planting yet?” 

The answer depends on what type of planting you are talking about.  If you want to plant your containers, the answer is yes.  In fact, our first Container Workshop of the season is this weekend. See above for more details.  Our only caution is that you may have to bring your containers in at night if temperatures drop below the comfort zone of the plants you choose.

If you are talking about digging in your flower beds or vegetable garden, however, there is more to the answer than the weather forecast… [Click here to read the rest of this article from our April 25, 2013 newsletter]

Marty is back from the Ukraine!

What’s so funny about this is that he was never there! 

Please accept Marty’s apology for another hacked email occurrence.

A little girl was watching her daddy repair his tractor.
She asked her mother, “What happens to old tractors when they finally stop working?”
Sighing, her mother answered: “Someone sells them to your father, dear.”

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 our Operations Manager, Al Lunde, at Al will get back to you promptly. Let America’s Best Flowers be your go-to greenhouse for answers.

Lot Speed

Safety is a major concern here at the greenhouse.
So I’m constantly preaching caution to the workers I supervise.
“Does anyone know,” I asked a few people, “what the speed limit is in our parking lot?”

The long silence that followed was interrupted when one of them piped up.
“That depends. Do you mean coming to work or leaving?”

Upcoming Events

Sat, Apr 26
Earth Day Celebration

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

Sat, Apr 26 – Sun, Apr 27
Arbor Day Celebration

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

Sat, Apr 26 – Sun, Apr 27
Container Workshop

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

Fri, May 2 – Sun, May 4
St. Vincent de Paul’s ‘Pick-A-Pack’ Event

Come out and donate a $1.99 pack of tomatoes or Lady Bell peppers for their gardens. The veggies will be used for their Community Food Pantry. For every 4 pack sold, America’s Best Flowers will donate $.50 towards the SVDP gardens.

Sat, May 3 – Sun, May 4
Container Workshop

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

Sat, May 3 – Sun, May 4
Universal Saw & Tool Sharpening

10am-4pm – Get those tools ready for easier gardening.

Our Kitchen

We are very lucky to have so many great cooks working here at the greenhouse.  I’ve shared recipes from many of them.  Today’s hors d’oeuvre recipe is from Morley, who has been working here seasonally part-time for well over twenty years.  It was his love of gardening that brought him to us.  The hours he works here, added to his employee discount, has allowed him to buy the many plants that adorn his landscaping.  By day, he is a gourmet chef.  Like I said, we are so, so lucky.

Morley’s Bacon Wraps

By Morley Stoflet

  • 1 pkg Plumpers hot dogs, cut in 1½” pieces
  • 1 pkg bacon (do not use thick cut) cut in lengths to go around hot dogs
  • 1 large can pineapple chunks, drained
  • maraschino cherries
  • brown sugar
  • short wooden skewers

Soak skewers in water while you prepare hors d’oeuvre.

Cut hot dogs into pieces.  Wrap each with a strip of bacon, do not overlap very much.  Place one bacon wrapped hot dog chunk in the center of a short skewer.  Put a piece of pineapple on one end and a maraschino cherry on the other.  Roll in brown sugar and place on a sprayed aluminum foil covered baking sheet.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, until bacon is cooked thoroughly.

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