Hummers and Flutters

Newsletter 15 – Thursday, May 28, 2015

Current Hours

Cottage Grove location open

9 – 8 Monday through Friday
9 – 6 Saturday and Sunday

Edgerton location open

Mon-Fri 8:30-6:00
Sat 8:30-5:00
 Sun 9-4

Lucy’s Story – Chapter 93

Five mannequins in America's Best Flowers uniform posing in the garden for a "family photo"
"They’re quiet and they’re laid back,
A little slow to react,
They’re not completely intact,
The Dummy Family."

Click for Larger Image

Snippet from Lucy’s journal…

Me and my dad brought all the dummies up from the basement and laid them on the grass in the backyard.  My mom was so excited.   And then it happened.  Her eyes glossed over. ‘Hey, I’ve got an idea!’ she said with a big smile on her face. ‘Now that the ‘family’ is all together again let’s do our family picture!  We’ve talked a lot about it in the past and for whatever reason it hasn’t happened.  What do you two think?’

I suddenly heard a strange noise and looked up at my dad.   He was clenching his teeth.  Oh, oh, I thought to myself.  This doesn’t look good.

My dad looked at me and then at my mom and said, ‘Nope, we brought the dummies up and that’s where Lucy and I stop.’ (Gosh, my dad is brave!)  We held our breath and waited.

‘Hmmm, really?  Well, ya know what you two…you’re right.  I’ll take it from here. You guys go and enjoy your morning walk and I’ll see you later!’

This time it was our turn to say N-O-T-H-I-N-G!  

As me and my dad were strolling down the street my dad said, ‘Lucy, I’m feeling really guilty. What do you think, should we go back and do that silly family picture?’

We looked at each other and laughed so hard we had to stop walking.  ‘Lucy, just between you and me, guilt never felt so good!’       

Till next time!

"You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says,
‘Wow, you’re right! I never would’ve thought of that!’”

Dave Barry

Butterfly and Hummingbird Talk

By Lauren Krouth
Biocontrol Specialist

A Swarm of butterflies
A Swarm of Butterflies
Click for Larger Image

There is a special wonder that we all receive from catching a glimpse of a hummingbird. As we watch its graceful flight, darting from flower to flower, we are reminded of that childhood amazement with the natural world we too often forget. Equally enchanting, the butterfly provides us with color, beauty, and a gentle reminder to slow down and enjoy the flowers. These garden visitors are a joy to watch and part of a healthy ecosystem, so why not provide the environment they need to thrive, right in your own yard!

Certain plants are necessary and/or beneficial to these creatures and luckily, this Saturday, May 30th from 10-11, our very own perennial expert, Margaret Elmore, will be speaking about which perennials are good for attracting butterflies and birds, particularly hummingbirds. She will highlight some of the best flowers for providing nectar, plants necessary for caterpillars to eat and grow on, and shrubs that provide shelter and food for birds in the winter. In addition to her talk, she will be providing handouts and a basic garden plan that will help you get started creating your own natural bird and butterfly haven.

While perennials are very important to providing food and habitat for hummingbirds and butterflies, it’s a good idea to add some annuals as well. Butterflies enjoy bright, tubular flowers, many small flowers arranged closely together (often daisy-like), so they don’t use a lot of energy flying. Hummingbirds also enjoy tubular flowers, but they prefer flowers that are red or orange and are oriented sideways or facing downward. Annuals that provide nectar for butterflies (b) and hummingbirds (h) are; lantana (b,h), pentas (b,h), verbena (b,h), nasturtium (b,h), cuphea (h), petunias (h), cosmos (b), and zinnias (b). Annuals that provide food for caterpillars are parsley, dill, and fennel.

If you extend the invitation, these wonderful creatures will gladly accept. Happy planting!

Q: Did you hear about the hungry clock?
A: It went back four seconds.

Is it celebration time at your house?

Are you frantic just thinking about everything that needs to get done before your celebration?  Let us offer a simple and easy solution to decorate your yard, patio or deck.  Our Grab-N-Go container gardens and hanging baskets will give your special area that beautiful final touch.

If your get together is in a week or so let America’s Best Flowers create custom-made container gardens for you.  Our talented staff will create beautiful flower containers that will amaze and impress your guests.  Just give us a call at 608-222-2269 to arrange a time to meet with our designer.

Weather forecast for tonight: dark.

George Carlin

Summer Snacks

Black Bean and Corn Salsa and Grizzly Bear Hot Sauce from Bald Eagle Foods
Click for Larger Image

If you need a few new and tasty snack ideas for serving your summer guests, why not try a few of our Bald Eagle Foods products?  We have a variety of flavorful salsas such as Black Bean and Corn Salsa, Salsa Verde, and Harvest Apple Salsa, Grizzly Bear Hot Salsa.  If you are a dipper, try one of the following: Spinach and Artichoke Dip, or Bread and Butter Jalapeno Dip for a zesty addition to those boring veggies, pretzels, or crackers.  And that’s not all!  The Holy Cow Snack Sticks matched with the Beer Pub Mustard or Jalapeno Honey Mustard and a cold beverage make for a perfect combination. 

By the way, Bald Eagle Foods products are made locally in Plymouth, WI!

America’s Best Flowers 2015 Flea Market Schedule and Information

June 27 Saturday Flea Market 9am – 3pm – Rain or Shine
August 22 Saturday Flea Market 9am – 3pm – Rain or Shine
Sept 19 Sunday Flea Market 9am – 3pm – Rain or Shine
Oct 17 Saturday Flea Market 9am – 3pm – Rain or Shine

For vendor participation we require a non-refundable registration fee of $25.00.  After you have your space set up on the morning of the flea market, America’s Best Flowers will present you with a $20.00 America’s Best Flowers gift card. 

Each vendor will be allowed two parking spaces, which equals one booth, to display their wares.  More vendor space is available for an additional $10.00 for each parking space.  Additional space must be requested at the time of the initial registration.  Each vendor is limited to only one $20.00 America’s Best Flowers gift card regardless of the number of parking spaces (booths).  The flea market will be located in our huge blacktop parking lot.  Rain or shine!

[Read the Full Details Here]

Q: "What’s the difference between a guitar and a fish?"
A: "You can’t tuna fish."

Associates of the Week: Sharon and Jean

By Judy

This week we are highlighting two associates; Sharon and Jean.  Both of these talented ladies work in our Customer Service Department.  Their expertise is designing and creating beautiful container plantings.   Many of the gorgeous container gardens on display (and for sale) at our greenhouse are a result of these two pairs of hands. 

When you visit us in the spring for our container workshops you’ll find them both hard at work helping our customers create their very own containers of living art.  Sharon and Jean have both mentioned that their favorite workshop is the Holiday Porch Pot workshop (which is Nov 21-22 this year).

Sharon has been with America’s Best Flowers for 10 years and along with our dear friend Bonnie Marshall are the talented people responsible for establishing our Container Garden Workshops. These workshops have mushroomed into hundreds of excited customers coming to our greenhouse and learning the dos and don’ts about planting their own custom containers.

We also would like to acknowledge that Sharon launched our Commercial Planting Service.

Sharon’s favorite flower is the single flowering rose.  She says ‘Home Run’ with its’ dark red single flowers is the best.  Sharon enjoys working for America’s Best Flowers indicating it is ‘a breath of fresh air complete with beautiful flowers and good friends’.  In her spare time she enjoys designing and making custom jewelry.

Jean has been with America’s Best Flowers for 4 years working in Customer Service, assisting in Custom Design and also helping with the container workshops.  Jean has always worked in Customer Service, it is her favorite area because it allows her to have contact with customers and showcase our amazing flowers.  She loves to see customers delight at their finished planting.

Jean loves the zinnia because there is so much color and they blossom well into fall.  She enjoys cooking, gardening and sewing when her busy schedule permits.  Jean especially enjoys the people and being in such a beautiful place.  She loves returning to America’s Best Flowers every spring and smelling ‘spring in the air’.

You Can’t Get Here from There

An alternate route from google maps
See text for a live link to this map
Click for Larger Image

The road construction on Cottage Grove Rd and Stoughton Rd (Hwy 51) may change the route some of you will take to get to the greenhouse this year.   See this article for information.

Since Southbound entrance and exit ramps onto 51 will be closed, those coming from the north will need to get off Hwy 51 at the Milwaukee Street exit.  Go left (east) at the bottom of the exit ramp and stay on Milwaukee St. until you get to Sprecher Rd.  Turn right (south) go to the first stop light, which is Cottage Grove Rd.  Turn left (east) go 1 mile and then take a right (south) on Vilas Hope Rd.  We are down one half mile on the right.  Hope to see you soon!!

Click here for a live version of the pictured alternate route.

Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.

George Burns

Send Irene 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 Irene, at  Irene will get back to you promptly. Let America’s Best Flowers be your go-to greenhouse for answers.

Upcoming Events

Sat, May 30
Perennial Gardening Class

10am-11am Free garden plan and class.

Mon, Jun 1 – Tue, Jun 30
Perennial of the Week

Focus is on a different perennial each week.

Sat, Jun 6
Container & Succulent Garden Workshop

10am-4pm – FREE assistance and FREE soil with $10 plant purchase per container. Create a wonderful container and/or succulent garden in our greenhouse. Bring in your own EMPTY container or buy one of ours.

Sat, Jun 13
Container & Miniature Garden Workshop

10am-4pm – FREE assistance and FREE soil with $10 plant purchase per container. Create a beautiful container and/or miniature garden in our greenhouse. Customers may bring in their own EMPTY containers, but all plants and accessories must be purchased from America’s Best Flowers.

Sun, Jun 21
Father’s Day

FREE Schoeps ice cream for Dad and the family!

Sat, Jun 27
Flea Market

9am-3pm – Rain or Shine

Cooking the Books?

Lyn belongs to our Diet Club and she was lamenting that she had gained weight.

She told us that she had made her family’s favorite luscious cake over the weekend, and added that they’d eaten half of it at dinner that evening.

The next day, Lyn continued, she kept staring at the other half, until finally she cut a thin slice for herself. One slice led to another, and soon the whole cake had vanished.

She went on to tell us how upset she was with her lack of willpower, and how she knew her husband would be so disappointed. Everyone commiserated; until someone asked what her husband said when he found out.

Lyn smiled broadly and quipped, ‘He never found out. I made another cake and ate half of that too.’

Our Kitchen

I know you all have situations in your life where there is simply no time to cook.  The same thing happens around here.  No time to do anything except put out the fires that continually surface during the month of May.  For situations like these, it is good to have something in the cupboard you can whip together in a hurry to create a delicious, if slightly less than homemade, meal.  It’s also a quick to type recipe, so I can get back to today’s fires before they get out of control

My cellmate, did I really say that, Shirley is the one who came up with this quick to fix hot meal.  After you try it you can send her a thank you at  Enjoy.  This is a gluten-free recipe.

Chicken Cheese Enchilada Soup

  • 2 cans Progresso Chicken Cheese Enchilada soup
  • 1 T butter
  • ¼ c diced onion
  • ½ c sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1T chopped garlic, or to taste
  • 4 C fresh spinach

Saute onion, mushrooms and garlic in butter in 3 qt sauce pan.  When they are lightly browned, add spinach.  Toss.  When slightly wilted, stir in soup.

Heat thoroughly and serve with thick slices of bread (gluten-free if you need to) and whatever fresh fruit you have.  Enjoy!

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