Happy Labor Day!

Newsletter 29 – Thursday, August 29, 2013

Current Hours

Monday – Friday

Saturday – Sunday

Happy Labor Day!

American Flag and Bald Eagle

Featured Plant of the Week – Sedum

Sedums are such fabulous perennials!  They are hardy, easy to care for and drought tolerant plants. Just as other plants and flowers start to slow down for the fall the Sedums will burst into bloom and bring long lasting color to your garden.   Did you know that Sedums will lure butterflies into your garden?

As always the featured plant of the week is 20% off while supplies last!

Sedum 'Autumn Joy'
Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’
Click for Larger Image

The Autumn Joy Sedum is a true garden classic.  Plant it with ornamental grasses, lavenders and colorful sages for an eye popping display.

Sedum 'Neon'
Sedum ‘Neon’
Click for Larger Image

The bright Bubblegum-pink blooms of the Neon Sedum blaze with intensity for weeks and weeks and then the color turns a rich coppery-orange in autumn!

Good Advice

A man approached a local person in a village he was visiting.
"What’s the quickest way to York?"
The local scratched his head.
"Are you walking or driving?" he asked the stranger.
"I’m driving."
"That’s the quickest way!"

Are you entertaining this weekend?

A beautiful coleus bush, full of lush greens and vibrant pinks
No two pots look alike!
Click for Larger Image

Freshen up your deck, patio and yard for your get-together with a few hanging baskets and pre-made flower containers.  Stop on out and choose from our large selection.  Look at this mixed coleus container!  Pretty amazing, wouldn’t you say?

Labor Day is a glorious holiday because your child will be going back to school the next day. It would have been called Independence Day, but that name was already taken.

Wanted! Good homes for our Mums!

A Pathway lined with Fall Mums
A Pathway lined with Fall Mums
Click for Larger Image

America’s Best Flowers has mums galore!  Our fields are overflowing with 4,000 early, mid and late blooming plants in multiple shades of white, yellow, gold, bronze, burgundy, lavender and purple.  We grow our mums outside (to make them hardier) in a 2 gallon container and are twice as big as what you normally find.  You have to see them to believe how full and lush and bursting with blooms they are. 

Not only mums, but white, purple and pink Asters are available too!

Tips for Success with Fall Mums

In this climate, mums are generally considered annuals. Whether you pop them into a container or basket, or set them on your porch, they will provide immediate color and bloom for a long period.  Our plants are so full of bloom, that they do require a lot of water, so be sure to keep them evenly moist.  They don’t like to dry out or sit in water.

If you want to try to establish mums as perennials, plant them as soon as possible in a sunny, well-drained location.  They don’t do well in our heavy clay soils, so incorporate peat or compost when planting them.  A protected spot away from cold, drying winter winds also helps survival.  Plant them deeper than they are growing in our pots.  Remember, to survive, they have to develop roots at or above the first set of branches before the ground freezes.

Do not cut back dead plants until next spring.  Research at Iowa State University shows leaving stems and foliage results in better winter survival.  Apply loose winter mulch after the ground freezes.  Straw, shredded bark, pine boughs and even snow are good winter mulches.  Carefully remove in the late spring.  And remember mums are heavy feeders, so apply all-purpose fertilizer (per package instructions) from late spring until mid July.

Most of us have a bad habit we are constantly trying to break.
For me, it’s biting my fingernails.
One day I told my husband about my latest solution: press-on nails.
"Great idea, Honey," he smiled. "You can eat them straight out of the box."

Art in the Garden

Featuring Local Artisans
Saturday, September 14, 9am-3pm

Our 4th Annual Art in the Garden event is right around the greenhouse corner. 

Over 40 talented Wisconsin artists will be at our greenhouse displaying their unique creations.  Some of the items available include: jewelry, paintings, weavings, carved gourds, pottery, woodworking, textiles, photography and much more!

Remember to mark your calendar for our 4th Annual Art in the Garden event on Saturday, September 14, from 9-3.  What a great opportunity to get a jump start on your holiday shopping!

For Art in the Garden Vendor Information please go to this link: www.americasbestflowers.com/newsletter/2013/26/index.html#article1326

Send Al 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 Al Lunde, at abflunde@yahoo.com. Al will get back to you promptly.

A football coach was asked his secret of evaluating raw recruits.
"Well," he said, "I take ’em out in the woods and make ’em run.
The ones that go around the trees, I make into running backs.
The ones that run into the trees, I turn into linemen."

Lucy’s Story – Chapter 20

Lucy standing in front of a painted stone engraving of the wisconsin badger's logo in her owner's garden
Lucy knows that football is just a convoluted game of ‘fetch’
Click for Larger Image

Lucy has such an exciting weekend ahead of her!

First – Lucy’s tail is wagging in anticipation of the Badger Football game this Saturday.  The Badgers play the UMass Minutemen. 

Second – It is Labor Day weekend which means Lucy gets to kick back and relax. 

Third – Lucy’s ears perk up every time we talk about the food menu for the football game. 

Fourth – Hey, wait a minute! Let’s go back to that second point.

How exactly does this weekend differ from every other weekend for Lucy?

Not much!

`til next time,
    ~ Shirley

In helping my daughter prepare for a dinner party, I volunteered to clean the refrigerator and freezer to make room for the extra food. I restacked all the frozen dinners, but one casserole blocked my progress. Uncovering it, I found something resembling sauerkraut, noodles and hot dogs in a cream sauce … definitely a disposal item.
I asked my daughter about tossing it out.
"Oh, no," she said. "You can’t throw that away. Every time my husband comes home and sees it defrosting, he suddenly remembers seeing a new restaurant we have to try."

Upcoming Events

Sat, Sep 7
Autumn Container Workshop

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

Sat, Sep 14
Art in the Garden

9am – 3pm – Talented artists display and sell their unique items.

Sat, Sep 21 – Sun, Oct 13
Scarecrow Days

M-F 10-5PM / Sat – Sun 10-4PM

Sat, Sep 28
Make & Take Bird Feeders

10am – 12pm – Kids come out & build a bird feeder for your feathered friends.

Sat, Oct 19
Flea Market

8am – 3pm – Rain or Shine

Sat, Oct 19 – Sun, Nov 17
Miniature Garden Workshops

10am – 3pm Every weekend (Saturday and Sunday) – Make a mini garden in a terrarium or planter of your choice.

Our Kitchen

A few weeks ago, when the first beans of the season were ready, Diane made a batch using this recipe and brought them in for all of us to try.  She remembered how much I loved them and brought me the recipe last weekend so I could share it with you.  Be sure to use young, tender beans, this recipe would not work well with older ones.  If you have basil in your garden, feel free to substitute it for the dried.  Standard rule of conversion – 3 teaspoons (1 T) fresh herbs equals 1 teaspoon dried.  Enjoy.

Special Green Beans

Special Green Beans

  • 2½ lb fresh green beans
  • 3 c water
  • 2 c sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/3 c chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 can (8 oz) sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ t pepper
  • ½ t dried basil
  • 1 t dried whole Italian seasoning
  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • ¼ c grated parmesan cheese

Wash beans, trim ends and remove strings.  Combine beans and water in a Dutch oven.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 6 to 8 minutes or until crisp-tender.  Drain.  Plunge beans into ice water to stop the cooking process.  Drain and set aside.

Sauté mushrooms, onion, garlic, water chestnuts and seasonings in oil in Dutch oven.  Stir in beans and cook until thoroughly heated.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Makes 8 – 10 servings.

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