Father’s Day

Newsletter 14 – Thursday, June 17, 2010

The greatest gift
I ever had
came from God;
I call him Dad!

Unknown Author

Father’s Day at ABF

It might seem we make a bigger fuss about Mother’s Day than we do for Father’s Day. Since Mother’s Day coincides with the beginning of the planting season, it’s just the perfect fit. Gorgeous hanging baskets become Mother’s Day baskets, geraniums become Mother’s Day gifts, etc. But don’t let this fool you. We value Fathers just as much.

To show our appreciation, this Sunday, June 20, the first 25 dads will receive a free pair of gardening gloves with purchase. And to help you select the perfect gift, I’ve put together a list of suggestions for the gardening dads on your list.

I love the expression "Real Men Grow Roses." Father’s Day is the perfect time to give your ‘real man’ the fragrance and color that only tea roses can offer. With so many colors to choose from you might decide to take advantage of our great quantity pricing and fill your cart.

Big Daddy Hosta, with its huge, heavily textured blue foliage, opens spikes of bell-shaped, white flowers in July and August. When planted in rich, well-drained soil in partial to full shade Big Daddy will reach a height of 24 to 32 inches and a spread up to 60 inches. At maturity this is one awesome hosta.

Bred for its lemon yellow foliage, Lemon Daddy Hydrangea will brighten up any dark, shady corner of your garden all-season long. This vigorous cultivar has strong stems and makes a great accent plant. Combine it with ligularia, brunnera, astilbe and ferns for a beautiful display.

For sunny areas Dad might like Wine and Roses Wiegela. Its vibrant rose-colored flowers pop against the dark burgundy foliage! After a tremendous show in the spring, Wine and Roses provides additional bloom throughout the summer and fall, which hummingbirds adore. The leaf color intensifies to near black in late summer.

"It is not flesh and blood but the heart
which makes us fathers and sons."

Johann Schiller

Sun-Loving Bonfire Begonias

Bonfire Begonia

Hummingbirds love the fiery, bright red-orange blossoms of this sun-loving begonia. In addition to continuous flowering, Bonfire is almost maintenance-free, requiring no deadheading or pruning, and is very drought tolerant. If you are looking for something a bit different this year, we suggest this begonia with its drop dead gorgeous vibrant color. I can’t think of enough words to describe this fabulous plant.

I started early teaching my kids the value of a dollar.
From then on, they demanded their allowances in gold.

Perennial of the Week – ‘Ballet Twilight Serenade’ Salvia

‘Ballet Twilight Serenade' Salvia

If you are looking for that elusive blue that can be so hard to find in summer bloomers, try ‘Ballet Twilight Serenade’ Salvia. Growing 18 to 24 inches high, this sun-loving plant has marvelous blue-violet flower spikes which butterflies and hummingbirds love. A delightful cut flower, this cultivar is also deer resistant.

“He didn’t tell me how to live;
he lived, and let me watch him do it.”

Clarence Budington Kelland

Help your Plants Weather the Weather

Moisture has been plentiful these past few weeks, and while it certainly helps our plants to grow, sometimes it can be too much of a good thing. Below are some suggestions to help your plants ‘weather’ the weather.

Drainage is crucial during damp weather, so be sure to dump out standing water in your planters and hanging baskets. Water-logged soils literally drown your plants’ roots. During extended periods of rain, move them under an overhang or even into the garage during heavy downfalls. When we have a lot of rain, it’s really easy to forget about feeding our plants. Our rule of thumb is to fertilize every seventh watering. In sunny weather that turns out to be about once a week. When rainfall takes care of the watering, it’s still important to feed your planters and hanging baskets. The first sunny day, allow your plants to partially dry out and then feed the next morning.

With all this moisture, it won’t be long before we see tomato blight. Now is the time to do what you can to prevent it. A good and inexpensive preventative is to lay down about 5 or 6 layers of newspaper around your plants, then cover it with a layer of straw. This provides a clean environment for your plants and prevents the rain from splashing the soil, and with it the fungal spores, onto your plants. An added bonus is that it will keep weeds down, too. This same technique works great around your cucumbers, melons, squash and pumpkins. Clean growing space will result in more produce.

If fungus does become a problem, we recommend Fung-onil, a multipurpose fungicide that controls leaf spots, rust, blights fruit rots, mildews, scab, and molds on vegetables, fruit trees, flowers, shrubs and shade trees. And to prevent Tomato Blossom End Rot, we suggest Rot-Stop to control the calcium deficiencies that cause it.

Now is also the time to take action to prevent black spot on your roses. We think Bayer’s All-In-One Rose Control is the best product on the market for this.

A father carries pictures where his money used to be.

Author Unknown

“Ask the Expert” Recap

We were happy to see so many of you at our Shade-Gardening class last Saturday. The goal was to share new and creative ideas for those less-than- bright gardens that can be such a challenge. Many questions were answered by Ilene, our Perennial manager, who led the class and is a Master Gardener. We pride ourselves on our knowledgeable staff, several of who are Master Gardeners and have years of growing experience. If someone here doesn’t know the answer, we’ll find someone who does.

Mark Your Calendars – You won’t want to miss the free ice cream on July 3-4th when you come out to our Cottage Grove location to celebrate our nation’s Independence

“I don’t care how poor a man is; if he has family, he’s rich.”

M*A*S*H, Colonel Potter

Find us on Facebook

Our fan club is growing. Please become a fan on Facebook, and invite your friends. Help us get one thousand fans and surprises will await you when you visit our page.

Dad, your guiding hand on my shoulder will remain with me forever.

Author Unknown

Upcoming Events

Sat, Aug 14
IRIS Divide and Swap

Starts at 10 AM. Bring a clump of Iris to divide and swap with others! Bring a knife, a sharpie pen and plastic bags.

Sat, Sep 18
Art in the Garden

9 AM – 4 PM Local artisans and crafters will be displaying and selling their merchandise

Making the decision to have a child is momentous.
It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.

Elizabeth Stone

Bonnie’s Kitchen

Yippee! Father’s Day is almost here. This is a truly easy recipe from the Food Network for brunch for Dad on Sunday. Serve with some fresh squeezed juice and perhaps some bacon or pork sausage. And what Dad doesn’t love fajitas? Yup, you’ve got the perfect Daddy-Day dinner.

Dad’s Hash-Brown Eggs

Dad’s Hash-Brown Eggs

Fry 1 cup each chopped onion and grated potato in a cast-iron skillet with butter, to taste, until crisp. Add ½ cup grated cheddar cheese and crack in 2 eggs. Bake at 425 degrees F until set; top with salsa. EASY!

Note from Bonnie: You may want to place the grated potato in a colander, salt it, let sit for 15 minutes and squeeze out moisture. Cayenne or freshly ground black pepper would be a nice addition.

Steak Fajitas

From Mad About Food, Junior League of Madison 2004

Serve these with tortilla chips and salsa, a tossed green salad, and all the fajita extras listed below. Marinade the night before.

  • ½ cup lime juice
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • ½- 1 t red-pepper flakes
  • ¼ t coriander seed
  • ¼ t cumin
  • 1/8 t anise seed (optional)
  • 1 ½ lbs. flank or skirt steak

Place everything but steak in blender or good processor. Blend until well combined. Place steak in a large glass dish or airtight bag. Pour marinade over meat; refrigerate in marinade for 12-24 hrs. Turn occasionally to be certain sides are coated.

Prepare a medium hot charcoal or gas grill.

Remove steak from marinade; discard the marinade. Grill steak 2-4 minutes a side for rare to medium-rare steak. Let stand 5 minutes and slice thinly.

Serve with warmed flour tortillas, salsa, guacamole, sautéed onions and bell peppers and sour cream.

On Sunday mornings, it’s common for our minister
to invite the children up front
and have a small lesson before beginning the sermon.
He would bring in an item found around the house
and relate it to a teaching from the Bible.

This particular morning, the visual aid was a smoke detector.
When he asked the children if anyone knew what it meant
when an alarm sounded from the smoke detector,
My 5-year old son immediately raised his hand and said,
“It means Daddy’s cooking dinner.”

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