Happy Independence Day

Newsletter 18 – Monday, July 2, 2012

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

Happy Independence Day America!

Are you planning a mid-week Fourth of July celebration?

Lisianthus 'Echo Pink'
Lisianthus ‘Echo Pink’

There is still time to perk up your deck, patio, front and back yards with beautiful flowers and plants from America’s Best Flowers.

You’ll impress everyone with the lovely Echo Pink and Echo Blue Lisianthus. These beautiful rose-like beauties can really take the heat.These are double spray type flowers with strong tall stems.  The Echo series make for a beautiful cut flower arrangement and are gorgeous in flower beds.The Lisianthus is a sun loving plant that needs at least six hours of full sunlight daily.

Lisianthus 'Echo Blue'
Lisianthus ‘Echo Blue’

America’s Best Flowers has many other varieties of annuals and perennials that will add that special touch for your get-together.

While you’re here pick up a few summer grilling recipes and fresh herbs for your cook-out.  What a flavorful way to ‘Wow’ your guests!

Do they have a 4th of July in England?
That’s how they get from the 3rd to the 5th.

Fourth of July Hours

America’s Best Flowers will be open from 9 AM to 6 PM on Wednesday, July 4th.

Why did Paul Revere ride his horse from Boston to Lexington?
Because the horse was too heavy to carry!

Tomato Tips


Are you anxiously awaiting the day that you can harvest a red beauty or two from your garden to slice up and stack on a BLT?  Mmmm, what a delicious thought, right?

We want you to succeed in growing healthy tomato plants.  Following are a few important tips that will assist in your tomato endeavor.

It’s been terribly hot the last few weeks and doesn’t look like it’s going to get any cooler for a while, so amp up the watering on your tomato plants, as well as other plants.  Tomato plants need to be watered deeply, thoroughly soaking the roots, several times a week, especially in this extremely hot weather. Tomatoes in containers will, of course, need to be watered much more often.  Water at soil level and take care not to get the foliage wet.

Keeping soil moisture level will also help prevent blossom-end rot, the dreaded small black spot on the bottom of the tomato which spreads throughout the fruit. It is believed to be caused by a calcium deficiency in the cell walls of the tomato.  If a plant is growing and water is moving nutrients along through the cells, the fruit keeps growing.  If water becomes limited, the fruit can’t stop making new cells fast enough so some don’t get enough calcium and later on you get decay.  Blossom-end rot is easy to prevent with Bonide’s Rot-Stop. This is a ready-to-use spray that is quickly absorbed.

Bonide Stop Rot for Tomatoes
Espoma Tomato Tone
Miracle Gro Fertilizer for Tomatos

Tomatoes are “heavy feeders.”  Be sure to get on a regular fertilization schedule.  We suggest Tomato Tone by Espoma for organic gardens.

or Miracle Gro’s Tomato Plant Food.

Watch the leaves of your tomato plants for signs of leaf spot diseases. They appear first on lower leaves and can be effectively controlled if leaves are removed as soon as leaf spots are seen.  Practice good garden hygiene here – don’t touch the good leaves, or any other plants, after you handle the diseased leaves until you wash your hands well.  Chemical control is also possible with a fungicide containing copper.  Bonide’s multi-purpose fungicide can be used on your tomatoes as well as other garden plants.  They also have a good insecticide to prevent damage from a variety of insects.

To conserve soil moisture during the hot, dry days of July and August, apply a 3 inch layer of mulch around your tomato plants. We suggest straw, although you can use grass clippings if your lawn is chemical free.

It‘s a paradox.  The more you water your plants the more you flush out the fertilizer which makes it doubly important to adopt an adjusted fertilizer schedule in this heat.

Keep your plants watered, mulched, and fertilized and before you know it a BLT, Old Settler Beans and a nice cold —– (you get to fill in the blank) are in your very near future.

What did one flag say to the other flag?
It just waved!

Succulent Workshop

Saturday, July 21 from 10 to 4

Don't miss our Succelent Container Workshop!
Don’t miss our Succelent Container Workshop!
Click for Larger Image

Select from our wide variety of succulents and create your own unique container.  Succulents are easy to care for inside or out.  We’ll have a variety of planters for you to choose from, or bring your own.  As always soil and design help are free of charge.  Mark your calendar and join our design team on July 21 from 10 to 4.

A father took his five-year-old son to several baseball games where The Star-Spangled Banner was sung before the start of each game.
Then the father and son attended a church on a Sunday shortly before Independence Day.
The congregation sang The Star-Spangled Banner, and after everyone sat down, the little boy suddenly yelled out,


America’s Best Flowers wants you to succeed, so if you have gardening questions send an email to our Operations Manager, Al Lunde, at abflunde@yahoo.com. Al will get back to you promptly. We want to be your go-to-greenhouse for answers.

`til next week,
~ Shirley

Upcoming Events

Sat, Jul 7 – Sun, Jul 15
Summer Sale
Sat, Jul 21
Succulent Container Workshop

10am – 4pm FREE soil and assistance. Create a beautiful container in our potting shed and we’ll clean up the mess. Bring in your own pots or buy one of ours.

Sat, Aug 11
Tomato Tasting

Taste the difference between fresh varieties. Canning & pickling anyone?

Sat, Aug 18
2nd Annual Dog Wash Fund Raiser

11am – 3pm For the Dane County Humane Society

Sat, Aug 25
Autumn Container Workshop

10am – 4pm FREE soil and assistance. Create a beautiful container in our potting shed and we’ll clean up the mess. Bring in your own pots or buy one of ours.

Sat, Sep 8 – Sun, Sep 16
The Last Dollar Days

Come in and use your orange dollars. This is the last chance to use them before they expire for good.

Our Kitchen

By Bev Wilson

Every year we have a picnic for the Fourth of July.  Our yard is filled with friends and family, all enjoying the warm weather and good food that always shows up.   One staple that we all look forward to is baked beans.  There are as many recipes as there are cooks. The following one is delicious and can be varied by whatever kinds of canned beans you have in the cupboard.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Old Settler Beans

  • ¼ # bacon
  • ½ # ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 16oz can butter beans, drained
  • 1 16 oz can kidney beans
  • 1 16 oz can pork n beans
  • ½ c white sugar
  • ½ c brown sugar
  • ¼ c catsup
  • 2 T molasses
  • ½ t dry mustard

Cook bacon, beef and onion in a skillet until lightly browned. Drain.

Stir in remaining ingredients.  Pour into casserole and bake at 350 for 1 hour.  Alternately put in crock pot and heat on low for 4-6 hours.

Feel free to make substitutions for the beans.  Some of the recipe variations call for lima beans and or green beans.  There is no right or wrong combination.  Experiment and see which you like best.

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