Earth Day Festivities

Newsletter 8 – Tuesday, April 24, 2012

You’ll love your garden … It’s our promise!

We’re doing it again!

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went.
Then it dawned on me.

‘When is your next container workshop?’

We love it when you call and ask this.  It means that we are succeeding in three ways.  First we’ve introduced you to the beauty of container gardening.  Second you’ve learned how to create your very own one-of-a-kind masterpiece.  And third, you can’t wait for our next container gardening workshop! 

Spillers, Fillers and Thrillers

By Marty Robbins

This Saturday and Sunday is our kick-off weekend for our container workshops.  To have a striking container garden it’s important to have three ingredients.  Spillers, fillers and thrillers!  Spillers are plants that cascade over the edge of your container.  Fillers are plants that fill in the middle area of your container.  And thrillers are plants that provide the height element and ‘wow’ factor in your container.  We have a plethora of plants for you to choose from.  Our experienced staff will assist you in designing your own living work of art.  Bring in your own container or for a fresh new look purchase a few from our vast and beautiful selection of pottery.  We provide the soil and clean up the mess.  Join us from 10 AM – 4 PM Saturday and Sunday, April 28 – 29, May 5 – 6 and May 19 – 20 for our Container Workshops. 

Two container garden workshop locations

Not only are we having a workshop at our Cottage Grove location, but this weekend, April 28 – 29, our new Edgerton location, 1101 N Main St, will have their very first container garden workshop.

Be kind to your dentist. He has fillings, too!

Too busy?

For those of you who would like to have a beautiful container of plants and flowers, but due to a 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 one out and grab and go!

Broken pencils are pointless.

Earth Day Celebrations

A tshirt with three dark green handprints
Let your creativity run wild!
Click for Larger Image

Hey, kids have you ever painted a T-shirt with your hands?  Our Educational Coordinator Deb Stevens, will show you how on Saturday, April 28th, from 10 AM – 2 PM.  Bring in your own T-shirt or buy one of ours for $4.00.  What else does Deb have up her T-shirt sleeve this year?  She can 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 7 – 10 seed balls with Marigold seeds.  And don’t worry, parents, the clay and cow stuff will be in a plastic zip lock bag.  The kids will not be touching it.

We are going on a class trip to the Coca-Cola factory.
I hope there’s no pop quiz.

Arbor Day Celebration

Black Hills Spruce seedlings
We’re giving away trees like these
Which grow up to look like these

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

Did you hear the one about the oak tree?
It’s acorny one!

St. Vincent de Paul’s Community Food Pantry

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 27 – 29, you have the opportunity to help the St. Vincent de Paul’s community garden.  By donating a $1.99 pack of tomatoes or Lady Bell peppers for their gardens the food pantry will be able to offer fresh vegetables to many families this season.   For every 4 pack sold, America’s Best Flowers will donate $.50 towards the SVDP gardens.

We support our troops

the logo of Boy Scouts of America

If you get hungry on Saturday stop on out and support the fundraising efforts of the Cottage Grove Boy Scout Troop 210.  Donuts and coffee will be ready for you at 9:30 AM.  Can’t make it until lunchtime?  The troop will have hot dogs, brats, pizza, ice cream and soda all ready for you.  Scouts honor!

First: Hey, look way off over there. What’s that?
Second: Wow, smoke signals!
First: What do they say?
Second: Help … my … blankets … on … fire!


America’s Best Flowers wants you to succeed, so if you have gardening questions send an email to our Operations Manager, Al Lunde, at  Al will get back to you promptly.  We want to be your go-to-greenhouse for answers.  

I have an obsession with wind farms.
Yes, I’m a huge fan.

We’re still looking for you

We are looking for a special person to work at our new satellite location in Columbus.  Do you have plant knowledge, customer service and cashier experience?   Are you looking for a short term seasonal job?  We need the right person to work Saturday and Sunday from 9 – 6 PM, Wednesday and Thursday, from 12 – 8 PM and Friday, from 4 – 8 PM for approximately 6 – 8 weeks.  If that is you, please call us at 608-222-2269.

A Sweet Moment in Time

Have you ever been witness to a moment between a husband and wife and you just go ‘ohhhh’.  Last week at the greenhouse office I witnessed one such moment between Ed and Carol.  Ed and Carol are the owners of America’s Best Flowers.  Their dedication to the greenhouse is surpassed only by their dedication to God and to one another.  And after forty years of marriage they still have ‘it’! 

Ed was at the supply cupboard which is located in a little corner of the office and Carol came up behind him and started talking to him.  Carol needed an answer about something.  Ed turned around smiling and made a futile attempt to get out of the corner.  He was trapped and he really didn’t seem to mind all that much.  Carol could tell he was trying to escape and they both started to laugh and smile at one another.   I don’t know if Carol ever got her question answered and I believe, at that moment in time, it didn’t matter.

`til next week,
    ~ Shirley

A good chess player
A man went to visit a friend and was amazed to find him playing chess with his dog. He watched the game in astonishment for a while. "I can hardly believe my eyes!" he exclaimed. "That’s the smartest dog I’ve ever seen."

"Nah, he’s not so smart," the friend replied. "I’ve beaten him three games out of five."

Upcoming Events

Fri, Apr 27 – Sun, Apr 29
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, Apr 28
Earth Day Celebration

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

Sat, Apr 28 – Sun, Apr 29
Arbor Day Celebration

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

Sat, Apr 28 – Sun, Apr 29
Container Workshop

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

Sat, May 5 – Sun, May 6
Container Workshop

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

Tue, May 8
Mother’s Day – Make & Take Workshop

6:30pm Plant a beautiful ceramic herbal or pansy garden to give Mom, Grandma, or a favorite aunt. Reservations are accepted 608-222-2269.

Find us on Facebook

Our fan club is growing. Please become a fan on Facebook, and invite your friends.

Our Kitchen

By Bev Wilson

Nothing tingles my taste buds like the herby fragrance of an Italian hot dish baking in the oven.  This stuffed shells recipe was originally given to me by Bonnie, when I needed something I could make ahead and freeze in portion-size packages to fill my daughter’s freezer.  It fast became her favorite.  This recipe is enough for two 9 x 13 casseroles. Bake them both and divide up the second one in individual servings to freeze.  Or freeze the second one, unbaked, to bring out on a day when there is no time to do anything but slide a dish in the oven.  Start your meal with a tossed salad.  Serve up some toasty garlic bread alongside and end with spumoni ice cream for a great Italian meal. Buon Appetito!!

Stuffed Shells

makes 48 shells – enough for 10-12 servings
  • 1 box jumbo shells
  • 1 ½# ground meat (beef or sausage, or a combination)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ c bread crumbs
  • ½ c parmesan cheese (dry from a can)
  • 1 large jar spaghetti sauce (3#), spice it up if you want to
  • lots of fresh parsley, chopped finely
  • dash of cayenne pepper

Cook the entire box of shells per directions on the box, leave slightly firm.  There will probably be more than 48, but some may tear. 

Place a thin layer of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 casserole which has been sprayed with a non-stick vegetable cooking spray. 

Brown the meat, drain.  In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, add bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, meat, parsley and cayenne.  Mix well.  Fill shells with mixture, arranging them in rows in casserole.  Spoon sauce over top. Sprinkle more parmesan over the top.  Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees until brown and bubbly.  

If frozen, thaw in fridge for a day, it may need to bake up to 50 minutes.

Bev’s Quick Garlic Bread

One time when I was in a real hurry to get some garlic bread in the oven, I hit on a shortcut that is not only faster, but I think tastier than typical slices. 

Start with a long, skinny loaf of Italian bread.  Cut it in half lengthwise, and then cut those halves lengthwise again to make four long strips of bread. 

Spread the cut sides generously with real butter that has been mixed with a minced garlic to taste.  Cut each strip into 4 pieces and place on cookie sheet.  Broil until brown and crispy – Enjoy!!!

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