Fun-filled weekend at the Greenhouse!

Newsletter 10 – Thursday, April 23, 2015

Current Hours

Cottage Grove location open

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

Edgerton location open

Mon-Sat 8:30-5:30
 Sun 9-4

Edgerton Hours Starting Sun, April 26

Mon-Sat 8:30-6:00
 Sun 9-4

Lucy’s Story – Chapter 88

"And that we won’t be melting clocks. That matters too."
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Snippet from Lucy’s journal…

My dad is going on a vacation with a bunch of his guy friends.  So, me and my mom are planning all kinds of special things to do while he’s gone.  We’re going to do a lot of cuddling, a lot of girl talking, and a lot of laughing.  Hmmm, now that I think about it that’s a pretty normal day at our house.

Well, whatever we do we’ll be doing it together and that’s all that matters.

Till next time!

Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.

Anatole France

Join us for a Fun Weekend at the Greenhouse!

Our first Container Garden Workshop of the year is this Saturday and Sunday, April 25-26.  The workshop starts at 10 and is ongoing throughout the day till 4.  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.  To participate in our container workshops and receive FREE POTTING SOIL AND ASSISTANCE, a minimum purchase of $10.00 is required and you must use plants purchased at America’s Best Flowers.

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.  In addition to providing great drainage, 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 beforehand.  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 us to help you choose the right plants and flowers for your situation.  Our container garden designers will be here to answer any and all of your questions.

A good friend will bail you out of jail.
A best friend will be sitting next to you saying: "Darn that was fun!"

Earth Day Celebrations

A tshirt with three handprints made to look like a tree
Let your creativity run wild!
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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 25th, from 10 – 2.  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.

Person 1: Knock, Knock
Person 2: Who’s there?
Person 1: Cows go.
Person 2: Cows go who?
Person 1: No, silly! Cows go moo!

Arbor Day Celebration

We're giving away trees like these
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.

Trees, Shrubs, Roses and Perennials. Oh My!

By Judy

Hellebore plants
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Hellebore Blooms
Hellebore Blooms – We carry all these varieties and more!
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Now is the time for you to get serious about your landscape.  We have Evergreens, Crabapples, Lilacs, Magnolias, Redbuds, Knockout Roses, Hellebores and many more.  These and many more varieties are arriving daily and by the end of the week we will be filled to the brim.

We have knowledgeable associates ready to answer your questions and will help you select the right one for your property.  Come in and check out our fresh stock.

What is a dolphin’s favorite TV show?
Whale of fortune!

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!

A man had his VISA stolen but he decided not to report it
as the thief was spending less than his wife did!

Pottery Galore

By Marty Robbins

A picture of our pottery area in the back of the main greenhouse, filled with pottery of all kinds
All kinds and colors!
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Decorate your doorstep, deck or patio with a signature piece of pottery.  We have ceramic, plastic, concrete, and pottery made from recycled material in a wide variety of styles, sizes, and colors. After selecting your pottery our talented associates would be happy to assist you in creating your container garden.

You Can’t Get Here from There

By Bev Wilson

An alternate route from google maps
See text for a live link to this map
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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.

Knock, knock
Who’s there?
Did you ever hear the joke about the broken pencil?
Did you ever hear the joke about the broken pencil who?
Nevermind, it’s pointless.

Associate of the Week: Barb

By Judy

Barb, also known as the ‘seed lady’, has been with America’s Best Flowers since 1992.  This is her 24th season.  She began her career at the satellite site in Sun Prairie.  In February of 1993, she returned to the Cottage Grove site doing planting of plugs into baskets, pots and flats in preparation for spring sales.  She became retail site manager and also production line manager in the years that followed.

Approximately 17 years ago America’s Best Flowers began growing and selling poinsettias with Barb filling orders for churches and fundraisers. She now works with The Dairy Expo fulfilling orders for flowers used in displays.  Her specialty is seeding crops for us that we are unable to purchase through growers who supply our plugs in early spring.

Barb enjoys helping people with their gardening efforts and answering their questions. She has made many friends during her 24 years here including co-workers and customers. Her favorite annual is yellow Argyranthemums.  They are so bright and cheery all the time, deadheading is not required (although she does), and they make her smile!

When not working for Americas Best Flowers, she enjoys growing plants and gardening, volunteering and involvement with church groups.  Most of all Barb enjoys spending time with family and her greatest joy, of course, her grandson!  Barb invites you to come visit and see all of the special varieties that we have available.

Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor,
and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons?

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  Irene will get back to you promptly. Let America’s Best Flowers be your go-to greenhouse for answers.

Upcoming Events

Sat, Apr 25
Earth Day Celebration

10am-2pm Free children’s activities. Bring a white T-shirt to paint, make seed balls, plant flower seeds and more.

Sat, Apr 25 – Sun, Apr 26
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 EMPTY pots or buy some of ours.

Sat, Apr 25 – Sun, Apr 26
Arbor Day Celebration

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

Fri, May 1 – Sun, May 3
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 2 – Sun, May 3
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 EMPTY pots or buy some of ours.

Tue, May 5
Mother’s Day – Make & Take Workshop

5pm-7pm Plant a beautiful ceramic planter with an herb or pansy to give Mom, Grandma, or a favorite aunt. Reservations are accepted 608-222-2269.

Ice Cubes

Mix 2 cups of water with 2 tablespoons of water. Add more water to taste.
"I wish there was a Crock-Pot version of this recipe. I work long hours and I just don’t have the time to invest in this kind of hands-on cooking."

Our Kitchen

I learned the most amazing thing from Sharon this week.  Many of you know her, she and her sister Jean are among the talented people who work at our container workshops to help you make up beautiful containers for your home.  They also create many of the extraordinary pots we have in our displays and for sale.   Anyway, she told me their family has a family cookbook.  What a great idea!  I’ve put it on my list of projects to do after I retire.  I can see it now, Aunt Betty Jean’s 3-Bean Salad, Aunt Betty June’s Mayonnaise Cake, Aunt Thelma’s Beef and Noodles and Grandma Wilson’s Pumpkin Bread.  This list would go on and on and on.  What a wonderful way to preserve the flavors of my childhood.

Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some of Sharon’s favorites from their book.   I’ve been reading through the ones she brought me today.  It’s hard to know where to start.  But as I type this, snow flurries are falling and a brisk wind is blowing.  It’s time to put another pot of soup in the slow cooker.   This recipe is very similar to a favorite found at The Olive Garden.  Throw everything in the crock pot before you leave for work.  Stop for a fresh loaf of Italian bread and a bag of salad on the way home and you’ll be ready for a feast.

Pasta Fagioli Soup

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 15 oz can cannelini (white) kidney beans, drained
  • 3 10 oz cans beef broth
  • 3 t oregano, dried
  • 2 t black pepper, ground
  • 6 t parsley, dried
  • 1 10 oz jar spaghetti sauce
  • 8 oz pasta, Sharon uses Penne

Brown beef, drain and put in crock pot with everything except the pasta.  Cook on low 7-8 hours.  During last 30 min add your favorite pasta.

**If you have fresh herbs, the ratio is 3 t fresh for each 1 t dried.  This recipe would take 9 teaspoons or 3 Tablespoons fresh minced oregano and 18 teaspoons or 6 Tablespoons fresh minced parsley.

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