Herbs and Butterflies for the Solstice

Newsletter 16 – Tuesday, June 19, 2012

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

Perennial of the Week – Butterfly Bush

Buddleia 'Black Knight'
Buddleia ‘Black Knight’

Do you like butterflies?  Would you like to see more of them in your garden?  We thought so!  This week we have two varieties of the Buddleia, commonly known as the Butterfly Bush for our weekly perennial.

This deep purple beauty is the Black Knight.  Watch, as not only butterflies, but hummingbirds and bees are drawn to the intense color and fragrance.  The blooms are complemented with the graceful curve of the gray-green foliage.

Buddleia 'White Ball'
Buddleia ‘White Ball’
Click for Larger Image

Add the beauty of the White Ball to the Black Knight for an even more dramatic effect.

Enjoy the blooms of these fast growers from early summer to first frost. Be sure to deadhead your Buddleia regularly. Prune back or cut to the ground in late winter or early spring. Plant the carefree Buddleia in full sun in fertile well-drained soil and watch the visitors arrive. 

Both the Black Knight and the White Ball Buddleia are 20% off this week.  What a great gift for your favorite gardener!

Q: What herb or spice heals all wounds?
A: Thyme.

Your garden ought to be in pictures

We’d love to see how your America’s Best Flowers are doing in their new home.  Send us a picture of your America’s Best Flowers garden and/or your container gardens.  Please include your name and let us know if it is okay if we post your pictures (with or without your name) on Face book, our newsletter or our bulletin board at the greenhouse.  We can’t wait to see your flower family.

Blooming Zinnias!

Zinnia 'Dreamland Mix'
Zinnia ‘Dreamland Mix’
Click for Larger Image

Our Dreamland Mix Zinnia’s are in bloom.  The early, big, long-lasting colorful blooms on these compact plants come in dazzling hues of coral, pink, rose, yellow, ivory, red, and scarlet.  They are not only tough, weather tolerant sun lovers, but they attract butterflies, too.   

The cut flowers stay fresh for well over a week in a vase and, bonus, the more you cut, the more you get.  The foliage does not do as well as the blooms, so be sure to trim it off before putting them in a vase.  They like sun and heat but do need well-drained soil.  Also, it’s best to water them either with a soaker hose to minimize wetting the foliage or water them early in the day so that the leaves dry off before nightfall.  You just cannot go wrong with the Zinnias.  They are amongst the easiest annuals to grow.

How to stop a dog from digging in a garden.
Start right!
Never let the dog see you digging … Doggy see, doggy do

Herbs are delicious and we can prove it!

Saturday, June 23, 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Get a taste of fresh homemade herb dipping oil on Saturday,  11 -2 PM.

Our favorite local bakery department at the Piggly Wiggly Grocery Store, in Cottage Grove, will have fresh baked herbal bread for us to serve as a complement to our homemade dipping oil.  Dipping oil is so easy to make!  A little extra virgin olive oil, fresh herbs from our very own greenhouse, along with a little simmer time on the stove and there you have it

Our herb guy, Steve, has been taking very good care of these flavorful plants.  And the recipe for this week uses the Rosemary herb which we just so happen to have at the greenhouse.  Coincidence?  I think not…well, maybe.  Recipes?  Of course, we’ll have recipes for you to take home.

For more information on herbs checkout this excellent website: http://culinaryherbguide.com/usingherbsincooking.html

A friend of mine was cutting dried herbs last week and some of it went into his eye…. be careful when doing the same as it has left him ‘Parsley’ sighted.

I was doing the same when I got a bit stuck to my arm.
Now I can tell the thyme.

Summer Solstice

By Steve Hauge

The Summer Solstice, which marks the official beginning of summer in the top half of the world, occurs in the northern hemisphere on June 20 or 21.

The word solstice comes from the Latin word ‘solstitium’ which translates as ‘sun standing still.’  It makes sense to conclude that the June solstice is in fact the middle of summer, given that it is the point at which the sun is highest and remains longest in the sky.  Yet here in the northern part of the country we think of the solstice as the beginning of summer because the hot weather of summer usually follows a few weeks afterwards.

Interestingly enough the solstice is a day lover’s delight:  the longest day of the year and shortest night of the year.  But celebrations of the Summer Solstice do have a bittersweet irony:  the day following begins a bit later and ends a bit sooner…and the slow march toward winter begins!

Steve’s thought for the day; Let my words, like vegetables, be tender and sweet…for tomorrow I may have to eat them!

Water Plants 50% Off

Our Water Plants are so lovely

We have a wide variety of water plants for you!  This Forget-Me-Not thrives with lots of water and can be grown in full sun to almost full shade.  We have Louisiana Iris, Varigated Dropwort, Pink Pickerelweed and many others to choose from.  Freshen up your pond with any or all of these beauties for 50 % off.  


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, Jun 23
Herbal Bread Sampling

11am – 2pm Sample complimentary herbal breads and herbal dipping oils. FREE recipes.

Sat, Jun 23 – Sat, Jun 30
Herbs are for Grilling

Special mini garden promotion.

Mon, Jun 25 – Sun, Jul 1
Rhythm and Blooms

Beautiful containers available for sale. Special recipes for your 4th of July cookout!

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?

The best way to garden is to put on a wide brimmed straw hat and some old clothes.
And with a hoe in one hand and a cold drink in the other,
tell somebody else where to dig.

Our Kitchen

By Bev Wilson

Rosemary is one of the most versatile herbs. Not only does it punch up potatoes, it also can freshen your breath and shine your hair. For most dishes, use this potent herb sparingly, but on the grill, add a generous amount, as the leaves may slip through the grate.

Rosemary New Potatoes

Rosemary New Potatoes

  • 1/4 cup fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Fresh pepper
  • 20 small, whole new potatoes
  • Skewers

Mix first four ingredients and toss with potatoes. Skewer potatoes and grill for 25 minutes, turning occasionally and basting with olive oil mixture. Goes great with steak, fish and chicken.

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