Santa is doing his pre-flight checklist

Newsletter 40 – Tuesday, December 4, 2012

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

Come join us for our last 2012 America’s Best Flowers workshop!

More workshops coming in 2013 🙂

Holiday Centerpiece Workshop

Making the Turkey jealous
Making the Turkey jealous
Click for Larger Image

Sunday, December 9th
Ongoing throughout the day between 9am to 3pm

Create your very own personal holiday table centerpiece this year.  You can do it, we know you can!  If you need assistance, our talented designers will lend you a hand.  Start with an assortment of fresh greens and build your own base using florist’s foam. Choose from our assortment of picks and ornaments or add a candle or glass hurricane.  We have two pricing options available for this workshop. One is priced at $29.99 and the other is priced at $39.99. You’ll amaze and impress everyone with your work of art. 

Just call or email us and we’ll get you signed up

Pre-register for our holiday workshop by sending Marty an email at or call us at 608-222-2269.  Our workshop is ongoing throughout the day between 9am to 3pm.  We want to have plenty of supplies for you to create your masterpieces, so pre-registration is important, however, walk-ins are always welcome.

Contemplative Vicar

A vicar was talking to one of his parishioners. He said "When you get to my age you spend a lot more time thinking about the hereafter." "Why do you say that", enquires the parishioner. The vicar replies "Well, I often find myself going into a room and thinking what did I come in here after."

We have your Christmas tree!

Our Frazier balsam mix trees are spectacular!   No gaps or droopy branches on these beauties.  We’ll fresh cut the trunk for you and help you load them into or on top of your vehicle.  If you live within 5 miles of our Cottage Grove location we’d be happy to deliver it to your home.  A $10.00 delivery fee would apply for that service.


Your host and hostess with any one of these fabulous thank you gifts:

America’s Best Flowers gift cards are perfect holiday gifts!  Stop in and pick up a few OR we would be happy to take your gift card orders over the phone and mail the cards for you along with a personal message to the recipient.  They are light weight, easy to wrap and have no expiration date!  Does it get any better than that?

Our poinsettia plants are ready for the holidays.  The poinsettia pots are wrapped with colored foil, dressed with ribbon and decorated with glittered ting for that festive touch.

What an imagination!  A little spray of color here and a touch of glitter there!  Our talented staff have created some gorgeous non-traditional looking Poinsettias.

In a hurry?  Stop by and grab and go with one of our ‘Grab and Go Decorated Porch Pots’! Fresh greens combined with artificial poinsettias will stand the test of holiday time.

Our Holiday Hanging Baskets will look stunning hanging from a shepherds hook.

Dangerous Dog

One day a mailman was greeted by a boy and a huge dog.
The mailman said to the boy, "does your dog bite?"
"No," replied the boy. Just then the huge dog bit the mailman.
The man yelled, "I thought your dog doesn’t bite!"
"He doesn’t," replied the boy, "that’s not my dog!"

Birds of a feather flock together around the ‘Bird Whisperer’

America’s Best Flowers is introducing the talents of Wisconsin native Skip ‘Bird Whisperer’ Hurley.  Skip’s one of-a-kind birdhouses will be featured at both the America’s Best Flowers Cottage Grove location and our Edgerton location.  Skip’s beautiful and functional birdhouses will give welcomed shelter for your winged winter friends.  Recycled/reclaimed pine, cedar and copper are a few of the materials that Skip uses for his creations.  What a perfect holiday gift for that bird lover in your life!   

Note:  If you want to shelter or feed the birds, but don’t think you can because there aren’t any trees in your yard, hang a birdhouse and/or bird feeder from a single or double shepherd’s hook.  It’ll be a European type of lodging for the birds.  Nothing fancy, just the essentials.  The birds will appreciate it!

Birds need your help in the winter!

Black-Capped Chickadee
Black-Capped Chickadee
Click for Larger Image

Our Edgerton location carries the following varieties of bird feed:

  • Thistle
  • Black sunflower 
  • Wild bird mix
  • Premium wild bird mix
  • Safflower
  • Fine sunflower chips
  • Cracked corn
  • Wild finch plus
  • Cardinal food
  • Spring mix
  • Chickadee blend w/fruit
  • No waste
  • Woodpecker

Prices vary depending on type of bird feed. 

If you’d like to order bird feed and pick it up at our Cottage Grove location please give us a call at 608-222-2269.  We’ll have it ready for pick up within 2-3 days.

Fresh and Natural Gifts and Decorating ideas

  • BOXED AMARYLLIS: Boxed gift set complete with bulb, soil and container, choice of 3 colors.  (One box shopping!)
  • PETITE LUCKY BAMBOO: Small bamboo stakes in colorful assortment of ceramic containers.  (Adorable!)
  • Decorated and undecorated fresh wreaths made at our own floral shop in Edgerton.  (Yes, America’s Best Flowers is in Edgerton now, too!)
  • Roping, 10’ and 25’ lengths (Perfect for your holiday decorating.)
  • Bundled greens, assorted greens in 2.5 pound bundles. (More freshness for your holiday decorating.)
  • Cyclamen, Christmas Cactus and Norfolk Island Pine trees in small and medium sizes.  (A lovely gift of nature for the holidays.)

Decorated Holiday Mesh Ribbon Wreaths

These wreaths are perfect for indoor or outdoor decorating. Made by the talented staff at America’s Best Flowers!

Winter reminders

  • Before the ground freezes water those evergreens one last time.  They’ll need it to survive the demands of the winter wind and sun.
  • To protect your trees, shrubs and roses from rodent damage put wire screen around them.
  • Bring your terra cotta pots indoors.  The harsh winter weather can cause pots to crack and flake.

America’s Best Flowers Holiday Hours

Our hours for the month of December are 9am-5pm except for the following dates:

  • Sunday, December 16 – 9am-3pm (We are closing early this day for our staff Christmas party.)
  • Monday, December 24  (Christmas Eve) –  9am – 1pm 
  • Tuesday, December 25 to January 1 – Closed

We will reopen on January 2, 2013.

Christmas Cheer

As it was coming up to Christmas a young boy is praying upstairs while his mother sits by him and his dad and grandma are downstairs.
He prays "Lord I pray for a train set, a remote control car, and A NEW BICYCLE!!!”
"You don’t have to shout dear", says the mother "God’s not deaf."
"I know" said the little boy, "but grandma is."

Employment Opportunities for teenagers 16 years old or older

We have openings for several hard working teenagers!  Do you know a teenager that can work 12 – 14 hours a week beginning in February?  As the season progresses hours could increase per week.   Job responsibilities include moving plants from one location to another throughout the greenhouse, lifting up to 20 lbs on a regular basis and up to 50 lbs on a semi-regular basis, and various job duties as assigned.  

It might be the perfect fit for that teenager in your life.  We have several teenagers that have worked at America’s Best Flowers for 3 or 4 seasons.

If interested please give us a call at 608-222-2269. 

Check out the news from our good friend Jodi at the Dane County Humane Society…

Hot off the Presses! Purchase your Dane County Humane Society 2013 “Make Your Pet a Pin-Up” Calendar!

Enjoy throughout the year the “Make Your Pet a Pin-Up” calendar that showcases the good looks, fun-loving spirit, gentleness and goofiness of our local animal population. This calendar will make sure you don’t miss those important dates and makes a great gift for special people in your life. You can order the calendar on-line at For more information, contact Jodi at (608) 838-0413 ext. 118 or

Finally, a bed of one’s own!

Lucy has several comfortable places to snooze in the house.  As a matter of fact, there is a place for her to ‘relax’ in every room of the house.  It’s a small house, so don’t go shaking your head in disbelief (or maybe you should).  In the kitchen she has a rug by the heat vent and one under the kitchen table.  In the living room she has two small thick quilts by the heat vent and pretty much the same in the bedrooms, but no actual dog bed per se.  And she has never once complained about it!     

Now, when having an adorable pet in the family, one naturally gravitates to the pet section of any and all stores that one happens to be in, right?  Are you with me on this?

If you’re nodding your head in agreement, it’s pretty safe to say that you’ll understand this…I wasn’t looking for one…it just sort of happened. 

While shopping last week, I was casually walking down an isle that had dog bowls and such on one side, and dog beds on the other.  What caught my eye was the statement on a tag that read ‘Orthopedic Pet Bed’.  Lo and behold, here was this dog bed with a 5” thick egg crate foam mattress. 

The tag also read:

  • Comfort & Support
  • Relieves pressure points
  • Additional support for Bones & Joints
  • Promotes Restful Sleep

It was a miniature black, soft corduroy covered dog bed in the shape of a sofa, without legs.  The 6“ high back and connecting side arms wraps around 3 sides of it.  I’m thinking, good golly; wouldn’t this be great for Lucy’s arthritis?   Lucy loves it!  And it didn’t take her very long to figure out how to use it…imagine that! 

Once again, full disclosure here…the new bed works great all day long and all evening long, but when it comes to actual bedtime?  The pack is together, Hubby and me with Lucy nestled smack dab in the middle.  I’m not sure, but I have my suspicions that she is hinting for her very own pillow…really?  Have we let this go too far?   

Ahhh, that’s life with Lucy and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

`til next week,
    ~ Shirley

The Perks of Being Over 50

1. Your supply of brain cells is finally down to a manageable size.
2. Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can’t remember them either.
3. You sing along with elevator music.
4. Your joints are more accurate meteorologists than the national weather service.
5. You have a party and the neighbors don’t even realize it.
6. People call at 9 PM and ask, "Did I wake you?"
7. People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.
8. Things you buy now won’t wear out.
9. You enjoy hearing about other peoples operations.
10. You get into heated arguments about pension plans.
11. You can eat dinner at 4 P.M.
12. There is nothing left to learn the hard way.
13. You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge.
14. You quit trying to hold your stomach in, no matter who walks into the room.
15. Your eyes won’t get much worse.
16. Your investment in health insurance is finally beginning to pay off.
17. You can’t remember who sent you this list.

Upcoming Events

Sun, Dec 9
Holiday Centerpiece Workshop

9am – 3pm Pre-registration required

Our Kitchen

By Bev Wilson

I love all-in-one recipes.  This one has been a staple in my kitchen since my kids were small.  35 years later, my son still asks for it.  Feel free to adjust seasonings to suit your taste.  It’s a delicious way to get veggies onto the dinner plate.  Hope your family likes it as much as mine.

Cabbage Bake

  • 1 ½ lb very lean ground beef
  • ½ t salt
  • ¼ t black pepper
  • ½ t onion powder
  • 1 t dried parsley
  • 3 carrots, sliced thinly
  • 1 medium onion, quartered, and thinly sliced
  • ¼ head cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 large potatoes, cut into 12 wedges each, longwise
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 8 oz Colby cheese sliced

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray 9 x 13 metal pan with non-stick vegetable spray.  Press meat into pan to make a thin layer. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, onion powder and parsley.  Layer ingredients in order given, keeping carrots in a single thickness, and separating onions and cabbage into loose pieces.  Spread soup evenly over potatoes.  Cover with foil.  Bake 45 minutes. Add cheese slices, bake 15 more minutes. 

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