Herbs Are For Grilling!

Newsletter 15 – Wednesday, June 29, 2011

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

Herbs are for Grilling

All those dads out there who received new grills for Father’s Day are as happy as a monarch on milkweed.  To keep that happiness going, America’s Best Flowers would like to encourage you to get excited about the incredible flavors available to you when you add herbs to the grill.  And what better time for delicious grilled food than July Fourth.  Stop out today and check out our home-grown herb selection.  While you’re here, pick up a few recipes featuring the use of herbs on the grill.  In no time at all, a simple grilled chicken breast can be turned into a feast.  And pork chops flavored with a few herbs will earn you the title of chef extraordinaire.  We also have recipes for holiday burgers and desserts available.

Hummingbirds weigh less than a penny.

Perennial of the Week – June is Perennial Month!

Hummingbirds Love Our Perennial of the Week

Garden Phlox Flame Series
Garden Phlox Flame Series
Click for Larger Image

Our Perennial of the Week is sun-loving garden phlox.  We have David, Laura and Nicky, as well as the Flame series which is available in white, coral and lilac, all for 20% off this week.

You can count on tall garden phlox (Phlox paniculata hybrids) to provide a colorful summer display in perennial gardens, blooming from mid-summer until late August.  Tall garden phlox grow two to three feet, and are often used as background plants in the border garden.  Phlox are sweetly perfumed, making them attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds.

A hummingbird’s brain is 4.2% of its body weight,
the largest proportion in the bird kingdom

Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Garden

Did you know hummingbirds hover in mid-air by rapidly flapping their wings 12–90 times per second?   They can also fly backwards!  These are just a couple of the amazing acrobatics these tiny birds use to captivate our attention.

Hummingbirds feed on nectar, a sweet liquid inside certain flowers. Like bees, they are able to assess the amount of sugar in the nectar they eat.  Fussy little birds, they reject flower types that produce nectar that is less than 10% sugar.  Last weekend we had a hummingbird in our front yard.  With 12 tall oaks on a 50 foot wide lot, our densely shaded yard doesn’t provide the habitat for the flowers we usually associate with hummingbirds.  They love bright reds, oranges and pinks.  But Saturday afternoon I was treated to the sight of a hummingbird feeding on the white blossoms of our Solomon’s Seal.

In addition to nectar-rich plants, hummingbirds seek out habitats that will provide water, nesting sites and perches. Perches can be as simple as small branches on your trees and shrubs. Small clay saucers of water set around your flower garden can provide the necessary water.

If you’d like to attract hummingbirds you may want to consider planting some of the flowers listed below in large patches near trees, where the hummingbirds can rest and perch.

More plants that attract Hummingbirds include:

  • Columbine (Aquilegia)
  • Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
  • Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
  • Turk’s Cap Lily (Lilium superbum)
  • Bee Balm (Monarda)
  • Lupine (Lupinus)
  • Beardtongue (Penstemon)
  • Phlox (Phlox divaricata, Phlox paniculata) – Perennial of the Week June 29
  • Salvia – perennial, annual and herb types
  • Petunias – especially red, orange and bright pink

Read more from The Herb Companion and The Herb Gardener

Hummingbirds are very smart –
they can remember every flower they have been to,
and how long it will take a flower to refill.

Upcoming Events

Wed, Jun 1 – Thu, Jun 30
Perennials of the Week

Starting in June, we feature a different perennial each week.

Mon, Jun 27 – Sun, Jul 3
Rhythm and Blooms

Beautiful red, white and blue containers. Special recipes for your 4th of July cookout!

Sat, Jul 9 – Sun, Jul 17
Summer Dollar Days

Redeem your collected orange ABF dollars for up to 50% off your total purchase.

Sat, Jul 23
Plant your Own Succulents Workshop

10AM – 4PM Select from our wide variety of easy to care for succulents and create your own indoor container. Free soil and design assistance.

Sat, Aug 6
Customer Appreciation Day

11am – 3pm Free Pizza for our loyalty customers

Find us on Facebook

Our fan club is growing. Please become a fan on Facebook, and invite your friends.

What do you get when you cross a hummingbird with a doorbell?
A humdinger!

Our Kitchen

The internet has become an invaluable resource for everything from maps to medical advice. It has changed the way we get our information. I came kicking and screaming into the computer age just over a decade ago, at the time vowing to never ever like it. But as with many things, time has changed my mind. Now, when I’m in the mood for a new recipe, instead of hauling out five different cookbooks and plunging in, I google an ingredient or two and up they pop. That’s how we came across the following. What a great menu for the Fourth.

Tropical Chicken

Pineapple sage is a great garden herb. Our pineapple sage plants are beautiful. This versatile under-used plant is at home in any sunny spot and is not only an interesting culinary ingredient, but an attractive food source for butterflies and hummingbirds. If you try only one new plant this year, let it be this sage. In late summer, when the rest of the garden is drifting into slumber, pineapple sage sends up tall spikes with lipstick-red flowers that are just as tasty as its leaves.
Tropical Chicken

  • 4 chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 20-ounce can pineapple chunks in juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark rum*
  • 2 sprigs cinnamon basil, chopped, stems removed
  • 2 red peppers, cut into chunks
  • 12 large pineapple sage leaves, torn in half
  • Skewers
  • a handful of pineapple sage flowers

Wash chicken and pat dry with a paper towel. Set aside. Reserving juice, drain pineapple chunks. Set aside. Mix pineapple juice, brown sugar, rum and basil in a medium-sized glass bowl. Place chicken in mixture and marinate for at least 30 minutes. Thread chicken, pineapple chunks, red peppers and pineapple sage leaves onto skewers, alternating ingredients.

Place skewers on prepared grill, away from direct heat. Grill for 5 to 6 minutes per side, basting with marinade. Garnish with pineapple sage flowers.

*Substitute ½ to 1 teaspoon rum flavoring for the rum if you prefer.

Rosemary New Potatoes

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

  • 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.

Little Johnny and his family lived in the country,
and as a result seldom had guests.
He was eager to help his mother after his father appeared
with two dinner guests from the office.

When the dinner was nearly over, Little Johnny went to the kitchen
and proudly carried in the first piece of apple pie,
giving it to his father who passed it to a guest.
Little Johnny came in with a second piece of pie and gave it to his father,
who again gave it to the other guest.

This was too much for Little Johnny, who said,
"It’s no use, Dad. The pieces are all the same size."

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