Salsa and Salads of Spring

Newsletter 11 – Tuesday, May 15, 2012

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

We’re here to help you grow!

Don’t be afraid, we’ve got your back,
and your front (yard that is)

It’s happened to you hasn’t it?  You’ve spotted a beautiful plant and flower arrangement in pottery and containers on a front walkway, a porch or a friends’ patio or deck and thought to yourself ‘Gosh that looks nice.  I wish I could do that’. Well, you can and we’ll prove it!

Join us for our next container workshop on Saturday and Sunday, May 19 – 20, from 10 – 4 PM and we’ll assist you in creating your very own container garden.  Bring your garden gloves with you because it’s a hands-on experience. If you forget your gloves we have a wide variety of reasonably priced gardening gloves to choose from.  Bring in your own containers or purchase a few from our dazzling selection.  We provide the potting soil for your creation and we also clean up the mess.

In order to have a successful container garden there are some things you’ll need to know before you get here.  Such as where your containers are going to be located; in the sun, in the shade or a little of both.  Different plants and flowers have different needs.  Do you want to just water them and watch them grow or are you okay with periodically removing the dead blooms from the flowers? It is this kind of information that will allow you to choose the right plant or flower for your situation.  Our container garden designers will be here to answer any and all of your questions. 

Before you know it people will be asking YOU where your gorgeous flower containers came from and you can reply (oh, so modestly, of course), ‘Those containers? I just threw them together this morning.’ 

Salsa Saturday

Fresh and Tasty Homemade Salsa
Fresh and Tasty Homemade Salsa
Click for Larger Image

What do you get when you combine finely chopped fresh jalapeno peppers, diced fresh tomatoes, fresh cilantro, red onion and a little lime juice?  Well, salsa, of course.  Not much of a riddle was it?  As a taste teaser for you, on Saturday, May 19, from 11-2 PM, we will be serving up salsa and chips. 

We’ve got just the right heat for your salsa with our large selection of pepper plants.  You say tomato and we say tasty tomato!  You’re sure to find the perfect varieties to plant in your garden or containers.  Stop in our herb greenhouse, inhale deeply and pick up your cilantro and a few other flavorful herbs.   In no time at all you’ll be slicing, dicing, and mixing up your very own salsa recipe from your own fresh, homegrown ingredients.   We’ll even have free salsa recipes for you to take home on Saturday.  Ole!

From Reader’s Digest – All in a Day’s Work – May 2012

Electrician: I think I may have made a mistake.
Owner of office: Ya think so? What gave it away, the flames?

Best time to shop?

Anytime, as far as America’s Best Flowers is concerned.  We are open from 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM Monday – Friday.  On Saturday and Sunday we are open from 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM. 


America’s Best Flowers wants you to succeed, so if you have gardening questions send an email to our Operations Manager, Al Lunde, at  Al will get back to you promptly.  We want to be your go-to-greenhouse for answers.

From Reader’s Digest – All in a Day’s Work – June 2012

I ran a store in a small town and often took calls from remote properties asking me to deliver food and other goods to them. On one occasion, I was asked to send a toothbrush. “Do you want an expensive one or a cheap one?” I asked.
“Make it a good one,” was the reply, “There are five of us out here.”

Spring Salads Are Just Around your Corner

Whether you start by sowing seeds or planting seedlings, now’s the time to get those delicate, tasty spring greens growing.  Most varieties of both lettuce and spinach grow best in cool spring weather.  The ideal temperature for starting lettuce and spinach is between 45 and 65 degrees.  And, fortunately for us, here in the fickle Midwest, they’ll tolerate a light frost.  They are super easy to grow, and packed full of healthy nutrients.

Both seeds and seedlings can be planted in successive plantings, about 2-3 weeks apart, starting in early spring when the ground is workable.  They will easily grow in a wide range of soil types, but for best results you’ll want to create a loose, fertile loam, amended with plenty of organic matter. Seeds should be sown in shallow rows, and covered lightly with soil. Plants can be spaced 6-8 inches apart.  Leave about 16-18 inches between the rows and be sure to add mulch to suppress weeds and keep the soil temperatures even.

America’s Best has a great selection of both seeds and plants, including: Ruby Red, Parris Island Cos Romaine and Buttercrunch, as well as Mesclin lettuce mix.  Be sure to plant plenty so you can make the following recipe often.

From the Reader’s Digest – All in a Day’s Work – May 2012

Court of Less Appeal –
Actual court transcripts, from

Defendant: “Judge, I want you to appoint me another lawyer.”
Judge: “And why is that?”
Defendant: “Because the public defender isn’t interested in my case.”
Judge (to the public defender): “Do you have any comments?”
Public Defender: “I’m sorry. Your Honor. I wasn’t listening.”

Upcoming Events

Sat, May 19
Salsa Saturday

11am – 2pm Sample FREE salsa and chips while you shop for your tomatoes and peppers for your own homemade salsa.

Sat, May 19 – Sun, May 20
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, May 26
Vegetable Square Foot Garden Workshop

Let us show you how to grow veggies in a small area.

Sat, May 26
Rose Workshop

10am FREE class on how to select, plant, prune, and care for your roses

Sat, May 26 – Mon, May 28
Plant your Junk Container Workshop

Free soil. Contest for best junk planter.

Sat, Jun 2
Perennial Gardening Class

10am Sun and shade garden plants.

Our Kitchen

By Bev Wilson

This was such a popular recipe last year we decided to repeat it!  Enjoy!


Growing up on a farm in Iowa, I remember huge bowls of wilted lettuce on the summertime dinner table.   This easy to make staple was one of my dad’s favorites, so we had it often.  For quick harvest of the lettuce, my mom would take a butcher knife out to the garden and cut the entire plants off about two inches above the soil. (Don’t worry – they will grow back) She would move right down the row (which, like all rows in our farm garden were at least 50 feet long) cutting until she had filled her biggest mixing bowl.  She would cover the lettuce with cool water, let it sit for 30 minutes or so and then it was my turn. Mom would pull a chair for me to stand on up to the sink and then I would rinse each leaf in a fresh bowl of water and put it on a clean dishcloth on the counter.  This took a while since I was little and the bowl was big.  But it was worth it when I saw Daddy’s smile with the first bite!

Wilted Lettuce

Wash and dry lettuce and put into a large glass or metal bowl.  Diagonally cut 4–6 green onions into ¼ inch slices, including at least 2 inches of green tops. Add to lettuce.  

Fry 4–8 slices of bacon until very crisp.  Be careful not to burn it because you will be using the drippings in the dressing.  Drain on paper towels and crumble.  Set aside. If you have your kids help you with this step, you might consider frying a couple extra slices for tasting. 

For each 2 quarts of mixed lettuce leaves, you will need 3 tablespoons of bacon drippings (this can be a guesstimate, Mom always used a cast iron skillet to brown the bacon – she would pour off part of the fat, leaving about 3 spoonfuls.  Add 3-4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 2-4 tablespoons of sugar, depending on your taste, to the skillet.  Stir well to loosen all the bacon tidbits. Heat just to the boiling point and slowly pour over lettuce.  Toss lettuce as you pour to evenly coat.  Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and bacon crumbles. Serve immediately.

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