Garden Expo

Newsletter 1 – Tuesday, February 7, 2012

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

Gosh, we’re excited!

Green is our favorite color!  We’re back at the greenhouse and our production crew is busy planting, fertilizing and creating that perfect outside addition for your yard, patio and/or deck.  It’s a labor of love … just for you, our customers!

Opening Day

Mark your calendars for our opening day on March 31st.  We’d like to invite you out to meet the new members to our plant family. 

2012 Garden Expo

February 10, 11 & 12

Friday     4 am – 9 pm
Saturday   9 am – 6 pm
Sunday   10 am – 4 pm

Come and see us at the 2012 Garden Expo at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.  Our large and colorful booth is located just inside the entrance right across from the Wisconsin Public Television booth. 

Stop by and grab one of our empty 2012 Expo Pot Swap 4 inch pots, bring it in to any of our locations and exchange it for an annual plant in the same size pot.  Stop by early as our supply is limited.

Cyclamen in a variety of colors
Our cyclamen have "Be Mine" written all over them
Click for Larger Image

Blooming plants in February?  You bet!  This year we’ll be bringing African violets, azaleas, cyclamen and kalanchoe.  Our lovely cyclamen plants, in a rainbow of colors, make a perfect valentine gift.  We’ll also have a variety of succulents, including aloe vera, along with rosemary and houseplants. 

Planning a vegetable, herb or flower garden this year?  We’ll have a large selection of seeds for you to choose from.

A schedule of our 2012 events will be available for you to take home and hang on your refrigerator.

Employment Opportunities

Are you looking for a short term seasonal job?  Can you work flexible hours during the week, weekends and holidays?  Do you enjoy people, flowers and dirt?  If so, we may have the perfect job for you.  Job duties could consist of stocking and cleaning plants, sweeping floors, corralling run away shopping carts, cashier work, sales and customer service.  If interested please give us a call at 608-222-2269.  We have some openings available.  Plant knowledge, retail experience, sales and/or customer service skills are a plus.

Hey teenagers, if you are 16 years old or older this includes you, too!  We have several teenagers that have worked here for 3 or four seasons.

Our Newsletter

To give you more advance notice of our weekend events you will receive our weekly on-line newsletter on Tuesday rather than Thursday.

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.

Oscar Wilde

Fundraising Program

Do any of your school sports programs need new equipment or uniforms?  What about your school or church music programs?  Have you heard about America’s Best Flowers’ Fundraising Program?  We offer non-profit organizations the opportunity to keep 25% of the proceeds from the sale of our gift cards.  For example, if your organization sold $500 of our gift cards, which are available in any denomination, your organization would have raised $125.  It’s easy, it’s fun, it’s profitable, and we would be happy to come speak to your group and/or send you information.  If you are interested or have questions, please contact Shirley Cimino at

It is neither wealth nor splendor; but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness.

Thomas Jefferson

Upcoming Events for 2012

It’s going to be a busy season for us at America’s Best Flowers.  Our Community Egg Hunt will be on April 7 this spring.  We’re going to have 10 container workshops this year along with several different types of gardening classes.   Our hope is that we have a little something for everyone.   We’ll have more details about our 2012 events in future newsletters.

Be kind whenever possible.
It is always possible.

Dalai Lama

Find us on Facebook

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

Upcoming Events

Fri, Feb 10 – Sun, Feb 12
Garden Expo
Sat, Mar 31
Opening Day
Sat, Apr 7
Community Egg Hunt

10am – 2pm Rain or Shine! FREE candy. Children 6 and under. Bring your camera and have your picture taken with the Easter Bunny. Enter the Name the Bunny and Name the Chicken contests.

Sat, Apr 14 – Sun, Apr 15
Herb Container Workshop

10am – 4pm Free soil. Let us show you how to plant and design an herb garden.

Sat, Apr 14 – Sun, Apr 15
Vegetable Seed Starting Workshop

10am – 4pm Free soil. Buy your seed packets and seeding trays and we provide the soil. Get a jump on spring!

Sat, Apr 14 – Sun, Apr 15
How to Plant a Veggie Garden Ongoing Class

10am – 4pm Drop in and ask your questions!

Our Kitchen

Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to pamper your loved one, and yourself, with a special meal. And what could be better than a heart-healthy oven meal on a cold winter’s day. These easy dishes take about the same baking time and will make the house smell like you spent hours preparing them. No one needs to know you didn’t. Start the meal with a tossed salad and end it with an ice cream sundae. Delicious!

Marinated Chicken Breasts with Caramelized Onions

  • ¼ C low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 T brown sugar Splenda Blend
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • ¾ t black pepper
  • 1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 T olive oil
  • ¼ t black pepper
  • ½ t salt (optional)

Place first 4 ingredients into gallon Ziploc bag. Seal bag, mix well.  Add chicken breasts.   Seal bag, turn mixture to coat chicken well.  Refrigerate at least an hour or overnight.

Slice onions into very thin rings. Thoroughly spray 9 x 13 baking pan with cooking spray.  Add onions. Drizzle with 1 T olive oil and toss well to coat.  Spread evenly and sprinkle with salt and black pepper.

Place chicken breasts on top of onions. Discard remaining marinade.  Bake 20-25 minutes at 425 until chicken reaches 165 degrees on an instant-read meat thermometer.  Or test by cutting thickest piece – should be white (no pink) and juices should run clear.  Do Not Overcook.

Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving. 

The breasts I used were large – 3 weighed in at over 2 pounds, so I cut them in half crosswise creating six (squarish) pieces, approx 6 oz each. With smaller breasts, I would leave them whole. 

I used my Pyrex glass dish and baked it at 400 degrees.  25 minutes was perfect.

I served this with roasted root vegetables – any combination of baking potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, and parsnips will work, or, if you prefer, just use the potatoes. 

Roasted Vegetables

  • 2 large baking potatoes
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 3-4 large carrots
  • 3-4 parsnips
  • ¼ C olive oil
  • 1½ t salt, or to taste (optional)
  • 1 t dried thyme leaves (crushed)
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • ½ t paprika
  • ½ t black pepper

Peel all vegetables except baking potatoes.  Cut into ½-1” pieces (cut carrots and parsnips smaller) and place in large mixing bowl.

Whisk remaining ingredients in small bowl.  Pour over vegetables and toss well to coat. I bake these in a foil-lined baking sheet (sprayed with cooking spray) for 25 – 30 minutes at 400-425 degrees.  Test with fork for doneness.

When you are choosing carrots and parsnips, try to find a package with similar sized vegetables so they will cook evenly.  If you want to leave the carrots and parsnips in larger pieces, peel first, cut into pieces and microwave for 8 minutes, stirring once, while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

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