2009 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 29: Dollar Days almost over

Newsletter 29 – September 17, 2009


 Dollar Days are almost over!

FREE Class on Dividing Perennials

Scarecrow Days almost here

 Al’s Pick of the Month – Fall Mums 

 Recipe – Cherry Pomegranate Chutney and Cheese

Recipe – Stuffed Pumpkin Shell Potatoes


Nothing Gold Can Stay

 by Robert Frost

Nature’s first green is gold,

her hardest hue to hold,

Her early leaf’s a flower;

but only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.


September 12-20

Dollar Days kicked off to a great start on Saturday.  It was wonderful seeing so many of our good friends again, and even better seeing how thrilled they were with their purchases.  If you’ve never been here for Dollar Days, imagine everyone walking around with a fistful of orange bucks, great big smiles on their faces, busily checking out all the merchandise, and trying to decide what they’re going to use them on.  Pottery, trees, shrubs, perennials, spring-blooming bulbs, and mums were the most popular items.  If you haven’t made it out yet, remember this event runs through Sunday September 20th.  You can redeem your orange bucks for up to 50% off your total purchase of our entire stock. No exceptions. The only limitation is they cannot be used with birthday cards or other coupons.


What were you drooling over this year?  A hydrangea or Tina crab tree?  A particular ceramic pot?  A car/van/truckload of mums?  We’ve left all sale pricing in place, so you can get many items at sale prices and STILL use your dollars for up to an additional 50% off.  What a deal?  For best selection, come on out today!  We’re waiting for you!


If the left side of your brain controls the right side of your body,

then only left-handed people are in their right mind!

FREE Dividing Perennials Class

Sunday, September 20 1PM

Join Us!

Every year do you put off dividing your perennials because you’re not really sure how and when to do it?  We’re going to show you how easy it is. Visit us Sunday, September 20 at 1pm, and our own Margaret Elmore and Bev Wilson, both Master Gardeners, will take you through our display gardens and demonstrate exactly what to do.  This is another of our FREE Quick Classes.  You’ll be in and out of here in no time, and leave with a head full of knowledge.  Wait until you see how nice your gardens look next year, after you’ve divided your plants and given them room to grow.  Best of all, you will be so very proud of yourself for finally getting it done!


Most of us have a bad habit that we are constantly trying to break.

For me, it’s biting my fingernails.

One day I told my husband about my latest solution; press-on nails.

“Great idea, Honey,” he smiled. “You can eat them straight out of the box.”

Pumpkins, Indian Corn, Gourds, Corn shocks and Hay bales!


All these fall favorites are in stock.  We’re proud that ours are all locally grown right in the area. It’s so important to support our neighbors. We are a proud member of Dane Buy Local. Check out their web page for more info www.danebuylocal.com 


If your busy schedule leaves little time for decorating, we have the answer.  Our Autumn Bundle includes one of our larger-than-life mums, a straw bale and a bundle of corn shocks, all at special savings.  And yes, you can use your dollars, too.  All you will need to finish your display is a unique scarecrow you can build yourself starting next week.


Our pumpkins are absolutely great.  From the smallest minis to the largest of our jumbos, they are some of the best we’ve had in years.  As are the gourds, which are almost completely blemish-free.  The Indian corn is awesome this year, too.  And remember, we sell netted corn shocks (like they net Christmas trees) so you can safely tie them to the roof of your vehicle and they won’t be wind damaged.  How easy is that?


I married a younger man, ten years younger than I am.

I figure it like this;

If you can’t find a good man, raise one.”


Scarecrow Days is Almost Here


Scarecrow Days begin next Monday, September 21.  Mark your calendars for September 21-October3, and plan to come out and build your own creative masterpiece.  We began hosting this super fun event in 2005, and some of our friends have been coming every year since.  Scarecrows are easy to store, just place them in trash bags after Thanksgiving and put up above in your garage. After a couple of years, you will have quite a collection for the yard. You can make them in child or adult sizes. Many folks choose to make a mother and child or Packer or Badger couple.  Our scarecrow expert, Cheryl, thinks it would be fun to dress them in old Halloween costumes.  Wait until you see the Frankenstein scarecrow she made!  The possibilities are endless.  We’ll supply you with the kit, and offer you assistance from our talented scarecrow staff.  Bring your own clothes or buy ours at garage sale prices.  This is wonderful activity for Scouts or Brownies, or any group, regardless of their ages.  Just call ahead if you have more than 5 so we can be sure to have enough help available.  On weekends we’ll even treat you to popcorn, candy, and some cider or lemonade. So come on out and join the fun.  You’ll be so glad you did!


I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford.

Then I want to move in with them.


Calendar of Events

Sept 12-20             Dollar Days

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.

Anti-Freeze Your Plants

The cooler evening temperatures have arrived and will soon be reaching the point where light frosts happen.  ABF has an exciting new product from the makers of Liquid Fence called FreezePruf which will power the freezing point of your temperature-sensitive plants by up to 9.4 degrees. That’s like moving your plants 200 miles south! FreezePruf protects the plant both systemically and externally by enhancing its natural “anti-freeze” properties and its ability to survive ice crystal damage. It is biodegradable, and is designed to resist being washed away by rain or snow. You simply spray it on.


Remember each plant is different in how well it tolerates cold. While Impatiens and tomato plants will die as soon as it reaches the mid to low 30’s, a petunia or geranium can tolerate temps in the 20’s.  How long your plant’s life will be extended using FreezePruf, will vary based on this. One application lasts up to six weeks.  It works best if applied when temperatures are in the 50’s with at least 12 hours before an expected frost.  The Liquid Fence Company guarantees your satisfaction. 


 “Worry is interest paid on trouble before it is due.”

Al’s Pick of the Month

Garden Mums

This week we want to tell you about a gorgeous mum we grow called Erica.  It’s a beautiful bright yellow that you can readily see from the street and is sure to impress your neighbors, and bring a smile to your face.  After nearly two decades of working with garden mums, Erica remains Bev’s favorite.


We sell mums as an annual.  They bring immediate color and last a long time.  If you plan to try to have them come back next year, plant them deeply in the ground, as soon as possible. Mums prefer a sunny, well-drained location.


For more information on planting, pruning, feeding and mulching mums, refer to last week’s newsletter. To get there, go to our homepage www.americasbestflowers.com and click on newsletters, 2009 and then Newsletter 27.


There is so much good in the worst of us,

and so much bad in the best of us,

that it ill behooves any of us

to find fault with the rest of us.

James Truslow Adams


What was I thinking last week when I didn’t include a recipe for something you could have for the opening season PACKER/BEAR GAME?  I let you down, Packer buddies.  Anyway, this week, the first recipe is a really good appetizer to nibble on while you watch next week’s game.  The second is a recipe I found at Better Homes and Gardens and it is something you can impress people with this fall when you have dinner guests, or possibly serve at Thanksgiving.


Yum! This chutney pairs well with a glass of spiced apple cider, or a lovely Pinot Grigio.  The original recipe was just for the chutney, but it is perfect with some really good crackers and top notch wedges of cheese.  I also served it with a main course of pork chops and loved it, and imagine it would be equally good with poultry.


Cherry Pomegranate Chutney and Cheese

1 T olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped (1 cup)

1 T grated fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced (1t)

¼ t ground cinnamon

1/8 t ground allspice

1 12 oz. pkg. frozen dark sweet cherries

½ c unsweetened pomegranate juice

3 T sugar

Seeds from 1 small pomegranate (3/4 cup)

¼ t salt

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, ginger, and garlic. Cook for about 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent. Stir in cinnamon and allspice; cook about 20 seconds, until fragrant. Add cherries, pomegranate juice, and sugar.

Increase heat to medium-high. Bring onion-cherry mixture to boiling.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until onion-cherry mixture is thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in pomegranate seeds and salt. Refrigerate chutney, covered up to 1 week. Makes 1 ¾ cups



This recipe calls for smoked cheese, which I do not care for. I made it with aged cheddar and was quite pleased with the result.  Make ahead tip: Make the potato mixture a day ahead. Refrigerate in a covered casserole; bake at 325 for 1½ hrs. Serves 8 – I made a half recipe with four mini-pumpkins.


Stuffed Pumpkin Shell Potatoes

8 miniature pumpkins

4 medium baking potatoes

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 T butter

1/8-1/4 t ground nutmeg

½ cup fat-free milk

1 cup shredded smoked Jarlsberg or smoked Cheddar cheese (4 ounces)


Preheat oven to 325. Cut 1/4” off tops of pumpkins, discard tops, if desired. Remove seeds and fibrous strings from inside of pumpkins. Place pumpkins, cut side down, on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until pumpkins can be easily pierced with a fork. Set aside.

Meanwhile, peel and quarter potatoes. Cook, covered in a small amount of boiling lightly salted water for 20-25 minutes, or until tender; drain. Mash with a potato masher, or beat with an electric mixer. Beat in canned pumpkin, butter and nutmeg. Gradually beat in milk. Stir in cheese.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon mashed potato mixture into pumpkin shells, spooning any remaining potato into a small casserole. Place pumpkin shells and casserole, if needed, in a 15”X10” baking pan. Cover loosely with foil.

Bake in preheated oven 15-20 minutes to lightly brown. Makes 8 side-dish servings.



Collect Call

My mother was away all weekend at a business conference.

During a break, she decided to call home collect.

My six year old brother picked up the phone and heard a stranger’s voice say “We have a Betty on the line.  Will you accept the charges?”

Frantic, he dropped the receiver and came charging outside screaming,

“Dad! They’ve got Mom! And they want money!”



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