Make Something Special for Mother’s Day!

Newsletter 12 – Thursday, May 2, 2013

Extended hours!
Beginning Monday, May 6!

Monday – Friday


Remember Mother's Day!
Remember Mother’s Day!

May 12 is right around the corner! 

Plan ahead for Mother’s Day this year by sending your mom, grandma, aunt or special lady an America’s Best Flowers gift card!  It’s as easy as calling us at 608-222-2269.  We can take your gift card order over the phone, add your personal message to the card and we will even put it in the mail for you.

For a Hands-on Mother’s Day Gift

Stop out and create a lovely gift at our special Mother’s Day Make & Take workshop.  On Tuesday afternoon, May 7 and Thursday afternoon, May 9, from 5-7 pm, our container workshop area will be devoted to Mother’s Day creations.  Plant a special gift for Mom, Grandma, a favorite aunt or a special friend.  America’s Best Flowers has a wonderful selection of beautiful plants, flowers and herbs for you to choose from.  We also have a nice variety of pottery starting at $9.99.  You are welcome to register by calling 222-2269 or just stop on out. 

Or How about a Hanging Flower Basket?

We have a wide and gorgeous selection of hanging baskets at the greenhouse.   Stop in and grab some for all those special ladies in your life.  To make it even better, we offer a price break when you purchase five or more.  While you’re here grab a Dramm watering wand (24” or 30” lengths available) to help get to those hard-to-reach places.

Container Workshop is this Saturday and Sunday

May 4-5, from 10 – 4 PM

Bring your garden gloves with you because it’s a hands-on experience. Our knowledgeable and friendly associates will be happy to assist you while you do the planting and will help with any and all plant or design questions. 

Our workshop starts at 10 AM and is ongoing throughout the day till 4 PM.  Come in anytime between those hours.  Pick out your plants, flowers and a container and then pick your spot in our designated workshop area and let the fun begin!   

You are welcome to bring your own containers from home.  We do ask that, if you are bringing in your containers from home, please empty all soil from them before bringing them into our greenhouse.   We provide fresh and FREE potting soil for your creation and we also clean up the mess. 

Whether you are bringing in large containers from home or are purchasing a few of ours, please bring in packing peanuts, chunks of Styrofoam or Styrofoam egg cartons to help fill the bottom of your container.  It makes the container a whole lot lighter for you to transport back home and also, easier to rearrange in your garden if you want to change your outside decor.  

Q: Why did the gardener quit?
A: His celery wasn’t high enough

St. Vincent de Paul’s Pick-a-Pack Weekend!

Logo of Saint Vincent de Paul

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 3 – 5, you have the opportunity to help the St. Vincent de Paul’s community garden.  By donating a $1.99 pack of tomatoes or Lady Bell peppers for their gardens the food pantry will be able to offer fresh vegetables to many families this season.   For every 4 pack sold, America’s Best Flowers will donate $.50 towards the SVDP gardens.

Don and his magic grinding wheel are back for the weekend!

Come in and sharpen your garden tools
Come in and sharpen your garden tools

Don, from Universal Saw & Tool Sharpening, will be here both Saturday and Sunday, May 4-5, from 10am-4pm and will, for a nominal fee (collected by Don) sharpen those dull garden tools, lawn mower blades, tin snips, and more.  Look for our signs in the parking lot directing you to the drop off area.

Don will be able to sharpen most items while you are enjoying your time at the greenhouse.  For more difficult sharpening Don may need to take your items back to his shop.  They may then be picked up at America’s Best Flowers the following week.

Q: Why did the gardener need a cork?
A: His garden sprung a leek.

Our Large Garden Trellises Have Arrived!

These large (2’ x 6’) trellises are made out of composite material.  The benefits of this are they:

  • Will not rot
  • Are impervious to insects
  • Maintain their color
  • Clean with a cloth
  • Come in white or natural color
  • Come in either a fan or ladder style.

Now, close your eyes and envision how magnificent it will look with climbing roses, or clematis, a Mandeville, or a black-eyed Susan vine working its way up the trellis.

Digging in the Dirt, Part 2

Digging in the Dirt

Last week we talked about what happens when we dig in soil that is too wet.  The warmer temperatures of the past few days, along with the wind, have done a great deal to dry out the excess moisture.  But before you start digging, please take a moment to firmly squeeze a handful of your soil.  If you get a nicely formed solid ball of soil, it’s still too wet.  Try the test again in a day or two.  When you get a handful of soil that forms loose, moist clumps which crumble with pressure, you’re ready to start digging.  Remember, if you are digging a hole to plant a tree or shrub, call Diggers Hotline first at 1-800-242-8511. 

During the day or two you are waiting for your soil to dry out, take a trip to America’s Best Flowers to see what new and delightful plants await you. We have received several shipments of great looking trees and shrubs this week.  Our staff will be happy to help you pick out the perfect one for your yard.

You know you are a Master Gardener when…
There is a decorative compost container on your kitchen counter.
You would rather go to a nursery to shop than a clothing store.
You prefer gardening to watching television.
You plan vacation trips to arboretums and public parks.
Dirt under your fingernails and calloused palms are matters of pride.

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 Al will get back to you promptly.

Opportunity for the young and talented!

This summer we would like to offer a venue for the young and musically talented! Our Music in the Garden event will be a great opportunity for kids to perform in a casual outdoor setting. The dates for this event are Saturday, June 29 and Saturday, July 27. Don’t be shy!  Play a little or play a lot!  Sing a little or sing a lot!  Sign up for a ½ hr increment of time or up to an hour. 

America’s Best Flowers will provide a safe area for kids to perform.  Our ‘blacktop’ stage will be in the front parking lot.  An open sided tent/awning will be provided for the kids to perform under.  Electricity will be available.   We do not provide instruments or a microphone.  So, the ‘performers’ would need to bring their own equipment. 

We will advertise the line-up in our weekly on-line newsletter and possibly local newspapers.  That is, of course, with the approval of the parents.

If you know of any groups or solo artists that either play musical instruments or sing and would like to perform at our greenhouse please contact Shirley at

Q: Why did they let the turkey join the band?
A: Because he had the drumsticks!

Lucy’s story – Intermission

Visions of drumsticks danced in her head

Lucy and her mom are NOT morning animals!  Lucy doesn’t budge from her bed until I crawl out of my bed.  Now, Hubby, on the other hand likes to start his day off early.  (And, good for him, I say!) 

This past Monday morning, someone called on the telephone at 7:15 am.  Hubby was outside on the deck having his morning coffee which meant I had to answer that annoying ringing thing.  I answered it in my cheery morning voice (yeah, right!) and a deep masculine voice, very quietly said, ’Go to the back bedroom window and carefully look out into the back yard.’  Well, by that point I recognized Hubby’s voice.  Now, in my cheery morning mind I’m thinking ‘This had better be good!’  Then Hubby said ‘There is a wild turkey in the yard!’  (Yikes, this was really good stuff, he was immediately let off the hook.)  Slowly, I pulled back the curtain and pulled up the Venetian blind and ‘lo and behold there was one very big bird out there. 

The normal morning routine consists of Lucy and I going out to the backyard before she has her breakfast, but obviously, it’s not a good idea to take a Labrador retriever out to an area with a wild turkey, so, I took her out to the front yard.  Lucy didn’t care if it was the front yard or the backyard as long as she got out.   She did care though when I left her in the house and went out to the backyard without her. 

Hubby and I sat and watched the turkey go back and forth through the yard for about 20 minutes or so.  When the turkey went over the fence into the neighbors’ yard we let Lucy join us outside.  Honestly, I don’t think all four of her feet touched the deck before she went into hunt and stalk mode.  Ears perked, head jutted forward and the steady controlled walk which soon turned into an all out run to the back fence.  I’m not a hunter so I don’t know the proper terms for this stuff, but as they say ’If looks could kill’ Lucy was planning on a drumstick for breakfast.  She was a stitch to watch.  She didn’t take her eyes off of the beast.  When it walked, she walked.  When it stopped, she stopped.  And, she was, oh, so quiet, she didn’t bark once.  Hubby and I noticed two of our neighbors come out in their jammies and sit on their patio.  Together, but two yards apart we watch the first and last episode of ‘Turkey in the Yard’.

Man, we have an exciting life, don’t we? 

By the way, Tuesday morning Lucy did an all out run to the back of the yard.  Apparently, she was still in the mood for a drumstick.

`til next time,
    ~ Shirley

Thanks to Colleen and Sharon for their dog emails.   Remember, it’s not ALL about Lucy, so if any of you other dog people want to share a dog story with me send it to

Upcoming Events

Fri, May 3 – Sun, May 5
St. Vincent de Paul’s ‘Pick-A-Pack’ Event

Come out and donate a $1.99 pack of tomatoes or Lady Bell peppers for their gardens. The veggies will be used for their Community Food Pantry. For every 4 pack sold, America’s Best Flowers will donate $.50 towards the SVDP gardens.

Sat, May 4 – Sun, May 5
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, May 4 – Sun, May 5
Universal Saw & Tool Sharpening

10am-4pm – Get those tools ready for easier gardening.

Tue, May 7
Mother’s Day – Make & Take Workshop

5pm – 7pm Plant a beautiful ceramic planter with an herb or pansy to give Mom, Grandma, or a favorite aunt. Reservations are accepted 608-222-2269.

Thu, May 9
Mother’s Day – Make & Take Workshop

5pm – 7pm Plant a beautiful ceramic planter with an herb or pansy to give Mom, Grandma, or a favorite aunt. Reservations are accepted 608-222-2269.

Sat, May 11 – Sun, May 12
Celebrate Mother’s Day

Our Kitchen

Every time we have a gathering of America’s Best people, we count on Carol to make her famous vegetable casserole.  It’s a yummy combination of broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and cheese.  When I asked her if I could share it with you, she was surprised anyone would want her recipe, but I assured her that you will love it.  Carol’s version is based on a recipe found in a 1996 Quick & Easy Casseroles published by Reckitt & Coleman Inc.  But like all cooks, she has made changes along the way.  Treat your family to some real comfort food.  I’m sure they’ll love it, we all do.

Swiss Vegetable Medley

By Carol Knapton

  • 2 bags frozen vegetable combination, broccoli, carrots & cauliflower
  • 1 10¾ oz. can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 5 oz bag finely shredded Swiss cheese
  • ½ c sour cream
  • ¼ t black pepper, if desired, Carol omits this
  • 1 2.8 oz can French’s French Fried Onions

Preheat oven to 350.  Precook veggies in microwave one bag at a time in a microwave bowl for 4 minutes each bag.  In a large bowl, combine soup, sour cream, ½ cheese, ½ french fried onions and veggies. Stir well.  Pour into 2-3 qt casserole.  Bake, covered, at 350 for 30 minutes, until hot and bubbly.  Sprinkle remaining cheese and onions in diagonal rows across top, bake uncovered 5 minutes or until onions are golden brown.  Makes 12 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