Merry Christmas

Newsletter 35 – Thursday, November 25, 2010

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world,
and behold,
everything is softer and more beautiful.

Norman Vincent Peale

From Our House to Yours

The entire crew at America’s Best Flowers wishes you and yours a wonderful holiday season filled with peace, joy, beauty and love. 

We look forward to seeing you at the Garden Expo in mid-February., and anxiously await the new gardening season and our April 1 reopening next year.  If there is anyway we can help, please let us know.  Call or write anytime,  We are always glad to hear from you.

Where do Santa’s reindeer get their morning coffee?

Gift Cards for Christmas

There’s plenty of time to order your gift cards from America’s Best Flowers and have them arrive in time for Christmas.  Just give us a call (608-222-2269) and we will mail them for you. Our gift cards have no service charges or expiration dates. A gift card from America’s Best not only shows you care, but it gives the recipient a promise that spring really will come again.

Why does Santa Claus go down the chimney on Christmas Eve?
Because it soots him

If holiday preparations are getting you stressed,
take a few minutes for this bit of holiday fun.

Where do Santa’s reindeers like to stop for lunch?
Deery Queen

What’s the BIG NEWS for 2011?

Herbs, herbs and more herbs.  We will be a MUCH bigger herb grower in 2011, offering more than 100 different varieties, carefully chosen to perform well in this area.  We’ve listened to your requests for naturally grown plants, so next year our herbs and vegetables will be grown in a custom soil mix and fed with natural fish emulsion. So now, besides growing ‘America’s Best Flowers’ we will also be growing ‘America’s Best Herbs and Vegetables’.  How cool is that!?

Who sings "Love Me Tender" and makes Christmas toys?
Santa’s little Elvis

Field Trips and Tours?

America’s Best Flowers offers FREE tours and field trips for just about any type of group, including pre-school and elementary classes, horticultural students, garden clubs, senior groups, assisted living groups, and more.  You can custom plan your event with scavenger hunts, growing seeds without soil, making seed balls, pizza garden ideas, and so much more!

For more information call us at 222-2269.  If we are away from the phone, please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.  Or send an email to  We look forward to helping you plan your best event ever.

If athletes get athlete’s foot, what do astronauts get?
Missile toe

2011 is Just Around the Corner

We are so excited about the many events, classes and workshops that we’ve already scheduled for the 2011 season.  Be sure to mark April 2 on your calendar for our first class of the year on veggie and fruit gardening.  Learn how to start your own seeds, and how to take care of them.  The class will be at 10 AM and immediately after, you can purchase seeds and plant them up right here in the greenhouse. We’ll provide FREE SOIL AND CLEAN UP THE MESS.  What a way to kick off your gardening season after a long Wisconsin winter.

In April we will host our annual Community Egg Hunt and Earth/Arbor Day celebrations.  As spring progresses, we’ll have numerous herbal classes, container workshops, demonstrations and much, much more to help you gear up for gardening.  Watch for additions to the schedule as spring gets closer, by checking our website.

Your patronage and support have made it possible for us to be able to have so many free classes and educational opportunities. We are always open to ideas, so feel free to contact us with them at

What reindeer has the cleanest antlers?

Why does Scrooge love Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?
Because every buck is dear to him

Bonnie’s Kitchen

Don’t you just look forward to nibbling on a selection from the Christmas Cookie Platter over the holidays?

Peppermint Kisses

Crushed peppermint candies add just the right amount of sparkle to these crisp meringue cookies. They’re low-fat, (0 g.) low-calorie (15 per cookie), and easy to make! From the 1995 Ladies’ Home Journal 100 Great Cookie Recipes.
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • ¼ t cream of tartar
  • 1/8 t salt
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ t vanilla extract
  • 1 drop red food coloring
  • ½ cup crushed peppermint candy

Preheat oven to 225°. Line 2 cookie sheets with foil.

Beat the egg whites in a large mixing bowl at medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and salt and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, then continue to beat until stiff. Beat in the vanilla and food coloring. Gently fold the peppermint candy into whites with a rubber spatula just until blended.

Spoon the meringue into a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2” star tip. Pipe kisses onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake 1 hour 15 minutes. Turn off oven. Cool in oven at least 1 hour 30 minutes to overnight. Carefully remove from foil. Makes 4 dozen.

Maple Cookies

Only use REAL maple syrup in these fabulous cut-out cookies. The recipe is from A Taste of Quebec by Julian Armstrong. These can be frozen up to 3 months.
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened, (no substitutions)
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • Confectioners’ Icing (Recipe below)

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat the butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl at medium speed until light. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until light and fluffy. Beat in the syrup and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture at low speed just until combined. Divide dough into quarters. Wrap dough and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 2 cookie sheets. Between 2 sheets of wax paper, roll one quarter of dough 1/8 inch thick (keep remaining dough refrigerated). Remove top sheet of wax paper. Cut with floured cutters into desired shapes.

Transfer cut-outs to prepared cookie sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes, until edges are golden. Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Repeat rolling and cutting remaining dough, re-rolling scraps. Decorate with Confectioner’s Icing as desired. Makes 6 dozen.

Confectioners’ Icing

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 5-7 t milk

Place the sugar in a small mixing bowl. Stir enough of the milk to make the icing smooth and spreadable. Color as desired. Makes ¾ cup.

Sam and Ruth from Maine just bought a new car for Christmas
when winter hit with all its fury.
“I wonder if the car has seat warmers,” Ruth said
“It sure does,” said Sam, looking up from the owner’s manual.
“Right here on page 12, – Rear Defrosters.”

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