Have a Merry Christmas

Newsletter 42 – Tuesday, December 18, 2012

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

Merry Christmas Everyone!

All of us at America’s Best Flowers wish you a very warm and safe holiday season with family and friends.

America’s Best Flowers gift cards are perfect holiday gifts!

Stop in and pick up a few OR we would be happy to take your gift card orders over the phone and mail the cards for you along with a personal message to the recipient.  They are light weight, easy to wrap and have no expiration date!  Does it get any better than that?

Just a reminder – If you are planning on sending an America’s Best Flowers gift card in the mail, please allow extra time for mail delivery during the holiday season.

We’re having a Holiday Sale!

All remaining Christmas trees are marked down to $10.00 each. 

The following items are 50% off original price while supplies last:

  • All Poinsettia plants,
  • Grab and Go Porch Pots,
  • Holiday Hanging Baskets,
  • Decorated Mesh Ribbon Wreaths,
  • Decorated and undecorated fresh wreaths,
  • Roping, 10’ and 25’ lengths,
  • Bundled greens, assorted greens in 2.5 pound bundles.

No adjustments made to previous purchases. 

There are three stages of man –
He believes in Santa Claus;
He doesn’t believe in Santa Claus;
He is Santa Claus.

See you in February at the Midwest Garden Expo

Under the Sea® 'Electric Coral' Coleus
Under the Sea® ‘Electric Coral’ Coleus
Click for Larger Image

We look forward to seeing you at the Midwest Garden Expo at the Alliant Energy Center on February 8-9-10, 2013.  We are so excited to introduce our new Hort Couture Under the Sea Coleus series.  Stop out and pick up one of our new coleus;  Electric Coral, Hermit Crab, King Crab or Lion Fish just to name a few.

Primula 'Blue Zebra'
Primula ‘Blue Zebra’
Click for Larger Image

The Blue Zebra Primula with its lovely blue and white zebra-striped blooms will give you that jump start to an early 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), peat pots, succulent plants, mini succulent gardens and the list goes on.  Ceramic garden mushrooms and copper daisy garden sticks will also be available for you to take home.  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! 

Have you received your 2013 Town Planner Community Calendar Yet?

Those of you that live in Cottage Grove, Door Creek, Sun Prairie or east Madison, you’re 2013 Town Planner Community Calendar is on its’ way.  This handy wall calendar makes it easy for you to keep track of the community events in your area, including many of our 2013 greenhouse events.   Also, the 2013 calendar will have several monthly coupons to use at America’s Best Flowers. 

We will keep you informed of events, new products, pest solutions, and greenhouse specials via the calendar, post cards and our seasonal weekly online newsletter.

Short Days Affect Your Indoor Plants

(Previously published in 2011)

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.

Container Workshops

As we plan ahead for our 2013 container workshops we look back at 2012 and wonder if there is anything we need to do to improve this service?  We thought who better to give us input on this than our loyal customers.  To those of you that have participated in our container workshops do you have any suggestion on how we might change or improve them?  If you feel that they are terrific just the way they are, well, we’d appreciate hearing that, too!

PUPIL – “Would you punish me for something I didn`t do?”
TEACHER – “Of course not.”
PUPIL – “Good, because I haven`t done my homework.”

Employment Opportunities for teenagers 16 years old or older

We have openings for several hard working teenagers!  Do you know a teenager that can work 12 – 14 hours a week beginning in February?  As the season progresses hours could increase per week.   Job responsibilities include moving plants from one location to another throughout the greenhouse, lifting up to 20 lbs on a regular basis and up to 50 lbs on a semi-regular basis, and various job duties as assigned.  

It might be the perfect fit for that teenager in your life.  We have several teenagers that have worked at America’s Best Flowers for 3 or four seasons.

If interested please give us a call at 608-222-2269.

Here is one way you can help the Dane County Humane Society:

Hot off the Presses! Purchase your Dane County Humane Society 2013 “Make Your Pet a Pin-Up” Calendar!

Enjoy throughout the year the “Make Your Pet a Pin-Up” calendar that showcases the good looks, fun-loving spirit, gentleness and goofiness of our local animal population. This calendar will make sure you don’t miss those important dates and makes a great gift for special people in your life. You can order the calendar on-line at http://www.giveshelter.org/shop/calendar.html. For more information, contact Jodi at (608) 838-0413 ext. 118 or jwortsman@giveshelter.org.

Which word in the dictionary is spelled incorrectly?
Answer: Incorrectly.

Tying up the loose ends for 2012

You know how it is.  You mean well, but sometimes you have to put things on a shelf until you have more time.  This is the last newsletter for 2012, so I really need to ‘make’ the time to wrap things up. 

First, we want to thank you for taking time to reply to several surveys and/or articles in our newsletter.  Second, please don’t hesitate to send emails to me at abfscimino@yahoo.com with any ideas you may have for events, classes or workshops that you would like to see at America’s Best Flowers for 2013.       

Here we go!  Following are responses that we have received regarding our newsletters:

July 24, 2012 newsletter – tagline survey

‘You’ll love your garden…it’s our promise’

Thanks to everyone that sent suggestions and/or comments regarding a new tagline for America’s Best Flowers.  We not only had some very creative and clever submissions, but we also had a very pleasant surprise.  The majority of comments we received said, ‘Don’t change it’! 

So, that is what we are going to do (or not going to do…it’s all in how you look at it.)  America’s Best Flowers tagline will not change.

November 6, 2012 newsletter – newsletter survey

Following are a few suggestions that we received in response to the survey:

–        "If you have space, you might also want to occasionally include a photo of some part of the buildings.  Now that it is so easy to take digital photos and copy them into newsletters."
–        "It would be great to have the pages numbered or be able to click to the recipe link."

Great suggestions and we’ll do our best to address all of them in 2013.

November 13, 2012 – ‘What do you do to spoil your pet? 

We received only one response to this query:

One gal hides her dog’s treats in different rooms in the house before she leaves for work.  The dog has a fun day ‘treasure hunting’ while she is at work.  How cute is that?

Hmmm, ‘denial’ is a word that comes to my mind…I know there are more of you ‘pet spoilers’ out there!   

We hope that through the year we’ve provided you with useful information in our newsletter and possibly a few laughs along the way!

From Hubby, Lucy and me, Merry Christmas everyone!

`til next time,
    ~ Shirley

Doggie Contest

Three handsome male dogs are walking down the street when they see a beautiful, enticing, female Poodle. The three male dogs fall all over themselves in an effort to be the one to reach her first, but end up arriving in front of her at the same time. The males are speechless before her beauty, slobbering on themselves and hoping for just a glance from her in return.

Aware of her charms and her obvious effect on the three suitors, she decides to be kind and tells them "The first one who can use the words "liver" and "cheese" together in an imaginative, intelligent sentence can go out with me."

The sturdy, muscular black Lab speaks up quickly and says "I love liver and cheese." "Oh, how childish," said the Poodle. "That shows no imagination or intelligence whatsoever."

She turned to the tall, shiny Golden Retriever and said "How well can you do?" "Um. I HATE liver and cheese," blurts the Golden Retriever.

"My, my," said the Poodle. "I guess it’s hopeless. That’s just as dumb as the Lab’s sentence." She then turns to the last of the three dogs and says, "How about you, little guy?"

The last of the three, tiny in stature, but big in fame and finesse, is the Taco Bell Chihuahua. He gives her a smile, a sly wink, turns to the Golden Retriever and the Lab and says, "Liver alone. Cheese mine."

Our Kitchen

By Bev Wilson

Appetizers make holiday celebrations so much fun.  The rest of the year food seems to be more of a hurry-up get it on the table sort of thing.  But for the family and friend-filled weeks beginning with Thanksgiving and running through New Year’s Day, it becomes festive.  We bring out recipes handed down from generation to generation, as well as new ones we’ve wanted to try but never taken the time. 

Here is one of Marty’s that his family looks forward to every year.  This make-ahead dip may soon be a favorite of yours too.

Marty’s Shrimp Dip

  • 1 4 oz can shrimp, drained
  • 1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 c Western brand French dressing
  • 1/4 c mayo
  • 2 T dried onion flakes
  • 1 T dried parsley flakes
  • 1 T prepared horseradish spread
  • 1 ½ t Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ t garlic salt
  • dash lemon juice

Mix all together until blended well.  Chill and let flavors blend for 2-3 hours.  Serve with crackers or corn chips.

Marty usually makes it a day ahead.

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