Happy Holidays

Newsletter 34 – Wednesday, December 21, 2011

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

From Our Family to Yours

All of us at America’s Best Flowers wish you and yours a peaceful, loving and healthy holiday season.

See you in February at the Midwest Garden Expo

We look forward to seeing you at the Midwest Garden Expo at the Alliant Energy Center on February 10-12, 2012.  Stop out, pick up a few items, and get a jump-start on spring.  The America’s Best Flower booth will have ‘in bloom’ flowers, packets of seeds (for that perfect vegetable or flower garden you’re planning), small bags of Miracle Grow Potting Soil, peat pots, ceramic containers, succulent plants, mini succulent gardens and the list goes on.  There will be garden tools, adult and kids gardening gloves and other gardening accessories for kids!  What a fun and healthy hobby to introduce children to!  (And junk food does not grow in a vegetable garden!)

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world,
and behold,
everything is softer and more beautiful.

Norman Vincent Peale

Spring is on it’s way

We are anxiously awaiting the 2012 gardening season and our March 31, 2012 opening day.  For those of you that live in Cottage Grove, Door Creek or Sun Prairie, if you haven’t already, you’ll soon be receiving your 2012 Town Planner Community Calendar.  America’s Best Flowers worked with the owner, Steve Strobel, (what a nice man!) in making it a little easier for you to keep track of our 2012 greenhouse events.  We will keep you informed of events, new products, pest solutions, and greenhouse specials via the calendar, our seasonal weekly online newsletter, and future radio ads. 

Why does Santa Claus go down the chimney on Christmas Eve?
Because it soots him

2012 Calendar of Events

We are so excited about the many events, classes and workshops that we’ve scheduled for the 2012 season.  Here is a sneak peak of a few of them;

March 31 Opening Day
April 7 Community Egg Hunt – It is a fun event for the whole family!
April 14-15 Plant Your Herb Container Garden – FREE CLASS
April 14-15 Vegetable Gardening Class – FREE CLASS
April 20-21 Open House – Come on out and see our new selection of plants
April 20-21 Universal Tool Sharpening – Get those rusty, dull gardening tools ready for spring! 

And this is just the beginning of the season!

Where do Santa’s reindeer get their morning coffee?

Short Days Affect Your Indoor Plants

Houseplants, just like people, are affected by winter. Temperatures drop, humidity falls and the days get shorter, reducing the quantity and quality of available light.  The change in light conditions can cause your favorite plant to suddenly drop leaves.  Some varieties, such as figs and hibiscus can lose so many leaves that you may think they are dying.

Keep in mind that this is natural response to environmental stress.  Be sure their winter home is away from cold or hot drafts, resist the urge to fertilize to help them snap out of it (it won’t), and watch them carefully to determine their watering needs.  Most houseplants need to dry out a bit between waterings.  Test by sticking your finger into the soil a couple of inches to test for dryness, and by watching for signs of wilt.  Use plain water that has been allowed to warm to room temperature is the best choice during the winter.  March is the time to start fertilizing your plants again.  Use half strength until April 15, when you can return to full strength.

"I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph."

Shirley Temple

With a very sad heart

The America’s Best Flowers family has lost a very special member of our family.  Ilene Isenberg passed away on December 16.  Ilene was our perennial garden manager.  Ilene loved sharing her gardening knowledge with people.  They would leave the greenhouse with a much better understanding and appreciation of the beauty of a perennial.  Ilene was the essence of our perennial department.  Words associated with the word perennial are permanent, returning, perpetual, constant, persistent, and lasting.  Likewise, words associated with the word essence are spirit, core, heart, and soul.  What a perfect collection of words to describe Ilene.  We will miss her. 

Our Kitchen

We went to the archives and retrieved two recipes from the past.

This recipe makes a lot, and can be halved. Deeeeeeeeelicious!

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

  • 9 cups flour
  • 1 ½ t salt
  • 3 c butter
  • 4 ½ c sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 t vanilla
  • 1 t almond extract
  • 1 ½ t baking soda
  • 9 T sour cream

Melt the butter and add sugar, then eggs, sour cream, vanilla and almond extract. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt, and work into butter mixture.

Chill overnight.  Cut into desired shapes, using ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake at 350 until edges brown a bit.

This is a recipe from the Crisco Co.

Cherry Chewbillies

    • 1 c walnut pieces, divided
    • 1 ¼ c all purpose flour
    • ½ c firmly packed brown sugar
    • ½ c butter flavored Crisco
    • ½ c flake coconut
    • 2 packages (8oz each) cream cheese, softened
    • 2/3 c granulated sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 t vanilla extract
    • 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling

    Preheat oven to 350. Grease 13x9x2” pan with Butter Flavor Crisco. Set aside. Chop ½ c nuts coarsely for topping.  Set aside.  Chop remaining ½ c finely.

     For crust; combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in Crisco until fine crumbs form. Add ½ c finely chopped nuts and the coconut.  Mix well. Remove ½ c and set aside. Press remaining crumbs in bottom of pan. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.

    For filling; beat cream cheese, granulated sugar, eggs and vanilla in small bowl at medium speed with electric mixer until smooth.  Spread over hot baked crust.  Return to oven and bake 15 minutes longer.  Spread cherry pie filling over cheese layer. Combine reserved coarsely chopped nuts and reserved crumbs.  Sprinkle evenly over cherries.  Return to oven.  Bake 15 minutes longer.  Cool. Refrigerate several hours.  Cut into bars, about 2”X 1 ½”.

    Prep. Time 15 minutes

    Bake time 45 minutes.

    Makes 36 bars.

    Even though we are closed for the season, if there is anyway we can help you during the winter months, please let us know.  Send us an email at ed@americasbestflowers.com or give us a call at 608-222-2269.  If we are away from the phone, please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible. We are always glad to hear from you.

    A woman goes to the post office to buy stamps for her Christmas cards. She says to the clerk, "May I have 50 Christmas stamps?"

    The clerk says, "What denomination?"

    The woman says, "God help us. Has it come to this? Okay, give me 6 Catholic, 12 Presbyterian, 10 Lutheran and 11 Baptists."

    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