Flea! Flea for your lives!

Newsletter 19 – Thursday, June 25, 2015

Current Hours

Cottage Grove location open

9 – 8 Monday through Friday
9 – 6 Saturday and Sunday

Edgerton location open

Mon-Fri 8:30-6:00
Sat 8:30-5:00
Sun 9-4

Lucy’s Story – Chapter 97

It’s Flea Market time at the greenhouse, so we thought you might enjoy a reprint of one of Lucy’s Flea Market experiences.

Reprint of Lucy’s Story – Chapter 57

Lucy hiding in the garden among the hostas
"Psst! Dad! She knows about the man cave! Let’s hide out here!"
Click for Larger Image

Yikes, she’s still at it!  Yep, I’m talking about my mom!

The difference is NOW that I know that she is not ‘selling fleas’ but looking for ‘stuff to sell at a flea market’ things aren’t so scary.

She keeps saying though,  “I know there is more stuff here to get rid of.  I just know it.  What have I overlooked?”

My dad and I are plum worn out.  Seeking refuge in the man cave is becoming a daily habit for us.

Earlier this week, (in the cave, of course) as my dad was gently stroking my head, he looked down at me and said,

“Lucy girl, hang in there!  Things will be back to normal in just a few days.  The flea market brouhaha will soon be over with and your mom will be done tearing up the house.  Won’t it be great Saturday night when it’s all over with?  We’ll have some peace and quiet again.”

We both love my mom, but, in regards to this flea market stuff, we think her cheese has slid off her cracker…if you know what we mean!

So, at supper the other night, my dad asked my mom,

“What are you going to do with all of your spare time after the flea market is done this weekend?”

After giving my dad a puzzled look she replied,

“Done? What ARE you talking about?  There are three more flea markets after this weekend!”

My dad and I looked at each other and ran for the hills!  Help!

Wanted: Temporary home for good man and perfect dog.

Till next time!

Before you get a dog, you can’t quite imagine what living with one might be like; afterward, you can’t imagine living any other way.

Caroline Knapp

Buy 2 Hanging Baskets – Get One Free

Freshen up your patio, deck and yard with color, lots and lots of color!  (And save money while you’re at it!)

Purchase two hanging baskets and get one of equal or lesser value free. There is no limit to this fantastic opportunity! 

Buy 2 – 1 free
Buy 4 – 2 free
Buy 6 – 3 free
and so on…

Our quantity discount still applies. 

When you buy 5 or more hanging baskets there is a price break. (Note that free baskets don’t count towards earning this price break)

This offer is valid Thursday, June 25 through Wednesday, July 2 at the Cottage Grove location only.  This offer is good while supplies last and is not valid on previous purchases.

Perennial of the Week – Veronica Spicata

Veronica spicata 'Royal Candles'
Veronica spicata ‘Royal Candles’
Click for Larger Image

Veronica spicata ‘Royal Candles’ is our featured perennial this week.  The short spikes of bright blue flowers are enhanced by its low bushy mound of deep green leaves.  This versatile perennial displays nicely as a border plant, in a rock garden or all by its pretty little self.  Its bright blue spikes will give your fresh cut flowers that final special touch. This perennial likes full sun or partial shade and will attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden.

This sweet perennial is 20% off the regular price.

Flea Market this Saturday!

Come on out this Saturday, between 9am – 3pm and find exactly what you didn’t know you needed.

Flea market vendors are open to a little bartering.  So, if you see something you can’t live without, but don’t want to pay the price that it is marked, don’t be shy, just make an offer. The vendor may say ‘sure’, then again the vendor may make a counter-offer.  That is half the fun of flea market shopping!

June is a busy time of year for everyone and as a result the flea market this weekend is going to be a small one. Chances are still pretty good that you’ll still find a treasure or two!

On Saturday morning, June 27, we will accept last minute vendors at 8:00am for this flea market. Payment must be made upon arrival!  Details below.

For vendor participation we require a non-refundable registration fee of $25.00.  After you have your space set up on the morning of the flea market, 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.  Each vendor is limited to only one $20.00 America’s Best Flowers gift card regardless of the number of parking spaces (booths).  The flea market will be located in our huge blacktop parking lot.  Rain or shine!

[Read the Full Details Here]

The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and,
to have the two as close together as possible.

George Burns

Tomato Hints

Bonide Tomato and Vegetable 3-in-1 Spray

If your tomatoes have brown or black spots on their leaves, you may have early blight.  This is a common disease that disfigures old leaves and tomatoes. Remove the leaves as soon as you see spots form, this may prevent it from spreading to the rest of the plant. Spreading mulch over the soil and keeping the leaves dry can also be effective preventive measures. Spraying with Bonide’s Tomato and Vegetable 3-in-1 can help if caught early.

A small boy was looking at the red ripe tomatoes growing in the farmer’s garden.

"I’ll give you my two pennies for that tomato," said the boy pointing to a beautiful, large, ripe fruit hanging on the vine.

"No," said the farmer, "I get a dime for a tomato like that one."

The small boy pointed to a smaller green one, "Will you take two pennies for that one?"

"Yes," replied the farmer, "I’ll give you that one for two cents."

"OK," said the lad, sealing the deal by putting the coins in the farmer’s hand, "I’ll pick it up in about a week."

Put an End to End Rot

Stop End-Rot on Tomatoes

Another problem that can plague tomatoes is blossom end rot which is easy to control with Rot-Stop. This ready-to-use spray is quickly absorbed and begins working immediately. Several of our co-workers who have used it, heartily recommend it, and praise its quick results. 

Many tomato problems can be prevented with proper care. There is a right and wrong way to water tomatoes. Be sure to water at soil level, taking care not to get the foliage wet, and water deeply, thoroughly soaking the roots about once a week unless there has been at least an inch of rain.

Tomatoes in containers need to be watered much more often. Not applying enough water or over-watering can both lead to blossom end rot, which affects fruit at all stages of development. The characteristic symptom is a progressive deterioration of the blossom end of the fruit, from a water-soaked appearance to a sunken, black, leathery lesion. While secondary fungal infections can occur, blossom end rot is a disorder caused by calcium deficiency induced by water stress.

Those Questions No One Can Answer

What disease did cured ham have?

What’s the difference between unique and very unique?

We put in our two cents, but only get a penny for our thoughts. Who gets the extra penny?

When you get to heaven, are you stuck for eternity wearing the same clothes you were buried in?

Why did we put a man on the moon before we realized it would be a good idea to make luggage with wheels?

Why are actors IN movies but ON television?

Exit Ramp – Closed

An alternate route from google maps
See text for a live link to this map
Click for Larger Image

The road construction on Cottage Grove Rd and Stoughton Rd (Hwy 51) may change the route some of you will take to get to the greenhouse this year.   See this article for information.

Since Southbound entrance and exit ramps onto 51 will be closed, those coming from the north will need to get off Hwy 51 at the Milwaukee Street exit.  Go left (east) at the bottom of the exit ramp and stay on Milwaukee St. until you get to Sprecher Rd.  Turn right (south) go to the first stop light, which is Cottage Grove Rd.  Turn left (east) go 1 mile and then take a right (south) on Vilas Hope Rd.  We are down one half mile on the right.  Hope to see you soon!!

Click here for a live version of the pictured alternate route.

“Harry,” whined Mary, to her husband of 20 years. “What should I do?! I’m not ready for old age! I’m only 40 years old but I look and feel like I’m over 55! My face is all wrinkly, my back is bent over, and my hair is all thinned out.”

“Well,” said Harry after looking her up and down, “There is one thing about you that still works as good as new.”

“Oh Harry!” said Mary sitting down next to her husband, “you always know just what to say! What are you referring to?”

“Never mind” said Harry looking down. “C’mon Harry, please tell me what you were referring to.”

“Mary, please don’t make me.”

“Harry, I insist.”

“Well I was going to remark about how your eyesight seems to be working just fine!”

Send Irene 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 Irene, at abfirene@gmail.com.  Irene will get back to you promptly. Let America’s Best Flowers be your go-to greenhouse for answers.

Each week we will be featuring a question, along with the answer, that one of our customers has sent to Irene.  We hope that this may be of help to you. 

Q: Hi, I use miracle grow on my flowers; how often should this be done?  Using a watering can, how much should be used on the flowers?  We have burnt our flowers in years past and ruined them.  I also use a bloom booster.  How often should this be done and how many days should it be spaced out with the miracle grow?  Also is it ok to plant tomato plants in pots?  Thank you!

A: You can generally fertilize with a – water – soluble fertilizer like Miracle Gro once a week or once every other week.  You can alternate between the blossom booster and the Miracle Gro if you like.  Follow directions on the label and mix thoroughly before applying.  This is typically about a tablespoon of fertilizer to a gallon of water.  Water plants slowly and thoroughly, if plants are in a container, water until a little dribbles out the bottom, so you know the potting mix is ‘moist from top to bottom’.

Burning is more likely from over applying – either by putting too much powder in the water, by not mixing it up so the fertilizer is concentrated in the bottom of the can, or by applying too frequently.  It is best to use all of what you mix up because if you leave it for next time, water evaporates and can concentrate the solution, thus burning the plants.  You might want to consider using a continuous feed where you mix up the fertilizer at a much weaker concentration – one quarter to one eighth the recommended solution strength, and them using it every time you water.  It is still important to stir the can up if you have any left over between waterings.

Tomatoes are big plants and heavy feeders – they do well if you use a big enough pot and fertilize them at least once a week.  It’s also I good idea to add slow release fertilizer, compost, or a granular fertilizer formulated for tomatoes into the potting mix when you plant.

The rule of thumb is to use a pot at least as big as a five gallon bucket in volume, but in my experience that is not nearly big enough.  It will grow a lot bigger in a pot at least about 20 inches in diameter.  Another option is to choose a variety bred for containers; a variety called ‘Patio’ is bred for compact growth.  Then you can get away with a smaller pot.  A small tomato plant can still grow 3 feet tall. 

Give them a big pot and regular fertilizer and you will be rewarded with a healthy plant with lots of tomatoes.  Stress it out in a too small pot and you end up with a sickly plant with yellow leaves, fruit with blossom-end rot, and a pot that needs to get watered more than once a day and routinely topples over.

Happy gardening,

More Questions No One Can Answer

Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast?

Why do we pay to get to the top of tall buildings, then pay to use binoculars to look at things on the ground?

If we don’t care that Jimmy cracked corn, why do we still sing about it?

Why does Goofy stand upright and Pluto stand on all four feet? They’re both dogs.

Do "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and "The Alphabet Song" have the same tune?

On Gilligan’s Island, the professor could make a radio out of a coconut. Why couldn’t he fix the hole in the boat?

Upcoming Events

Mon, Jun 1 – Tue, Jun 30
Perennial of the Week

Focus is on a different perennial each week.

Sat, Jun 27
Flea Market

9am-3pm – Rain or Shine

Sat, Jul 25
5th Annual Dog Wash

11am-3pm – Bring your wonderful dirty dogs out to our garden spa for a bath and nail trim. Benefits the Dane County Humane Society.

Sat, Jul 25
2nd Annual Fund Raiser for Cottage Grove Police Dog "Larz"

Cancelled Larz is unfortunately not available for a visit this year. The rest of the festivities continue unimpeded.

Sat, Aug 8
Customer Appreciation Day at the greenhouse!

11am-2pm Enjoy a FREE brat/hot dog & corn-on-the-cob served by the Cottage Grove Historical Society. Cottage Grove location only.

Sat, Aug 22
Flea Market

9am-3pm – Rain or Shine

Q. What did the mayonnaise say when someone opened the refrigerator door.
A. Close the door I am dressing!

Our Kitchen

The thought must have crossed some of your minds by now that it’s amazing we get any work done around here with all the food tasting and treating that goes on.  What can I say?  After all, we have to eat. 

America’s Best Flowers has always been blessed to have a host of wonderful cooks working here.   I think good cooks make good gardeners and vice versa.  There’s something in the creative side of our brains that causes us to wonder what a recipe will taste like with just a pinch of a new seasoning; or how the look of our flower bed will change if we plant one more tall, red daylily behind the blue salvia.

Last week Scott stopped by my desk with a bowl of carrot and celery sticks and dip.  One taste and I was on my feet following him to the break room to get the recipe so I could share it with you.  While similar to the dip you can make using the little blue and white packet, this recipe offers us the opportunity to find out how a new seasoning can transform the familiar into something unexpected.

Though new might not be quite the right word to describe this seasoning, even though it’s new to me.  Scott has been enjoying this dip since he was a little boy.  He has fond memories of his mom making it for him. That made me curious about just how long it has been around, so I Googled it. I found that the Spice Island Company has been making their original seasoning mix under the registered trademark Beau Monde name since 1941.

This would make a great addition to any 4th of July party or picnic.  Mix up a big batch, buy a couple bags of baby carrots and chips and you are all set.  We hope you like it as much as we do!

Scott’s Dill Dip

Scott’s Dill Dip

  • 1 C Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise
  • 1 C sour cream
  • 1 T dried minced onion
  • 1 T dried parsley
  • 1 t dried dill weed
  • 1 t Beau Monde seasoning

Combine and chill for several hours.

Serve with raw veggies, chips, crackers, sandwiches or as a topping on baked potatoes.

Note from Scott – this is best if you use full fat mayo and sour cream.

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