Scarecrow Days

Newsletter 29 – Thursday, September 30, 2010

An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.

H.L. Mencken

An Iris in Fall An Iris in Fall ( click for full size)

Today I walked into the office and found a vase filled with dark purple iris blossoms.  One sniff, and I was back in May, awash with the freshness of spring.  What a delight!  By now you’ve probably all guessed that my favorite flowers are iris, and that I keep track of my life by the number of iris seasons I’ve enjoyed.  To be treated to an extra one is, well, indescribable.  Iris in September, I feel myself living longer already.

Plant breeders have been working for decades to develop ‘reblooming’ iris, and the future looks bright.  There are new introductions every year.  Right now, we have Sugar Blues and Clarence in stock, and next spring we will once again offer a wide selection.

On bad movies: "Better films have formed atop day-old soup."


September 20 – October 9

Rain or Shine, every day from 10-4 you can come out to America’s Best Flowers and build your very own scarecrow! For a nominal charge, we provide the scarecrow kit and assistance.  Bring your own clothes or purchase ours at garage sale prices.  Whether you make a Packer or Badger fan, a cartoon character, or a scarecrow wearing bib overalls and a straw hat, you will have one of the best-dressed scarecrows in town!

A delightful activity for all ages, come with kids, with friends, with your spouse or by yourself, and plan to have a great time.  If you’d like to bring a small group, please call ahead to be sure we’re properly staffed – 608-222-2269.  Complimentary refreshments will be served on the weekends.

A bank president received a silver-plated vacuum flask for his birthday.
He put it proudly on his desk and waited for someone to notice.
At last, one of the tellers asked, "What’s that?"
After telling her all the birthday details, he said
“My wife says it keeps hot things hot and cold things cold."
"So what did you put in it?" she asked.
"Soup and ice cream."

Color Your Fall

If you haven’t seen our mums lately, plan to be amazed. The late season ones are coming in from the fields, and are they huge. The perfect answer for adding color to your fall landscape. 

By now you’ve probably got the message that all of our mums are BIG.  Now let me show you our Bushel of Mums, easily 3 feet across with hundreds of blooms.  Hands down the most spectacular mums I have ever seen.

Scarecrow Days Specials

Buy 1 or 2 Mums   Pay 9.99 each
Buy 3 to 9 Mums   Pay only 7.99 each
50% off all Perennials, Trees and Shrubs
Half off remaining summer annuals
35% off Fall Bulbs
3” fall annuals, regularly $1.99 now 3/$1.00
includes Pansies, Violas,  Flowering Kale & Cabbage
Best Value of All
Bushel of Mums regularly $39.99 now $24.99

He’s so meticulous he eats his alphabet soup in alphabetical order.

Mitch Murray

Pumpkins, Indian Corn, Gourds, Corn Shocks, Hay Bales!

We searched the county over for locally-grown products for your fall decorating needs.  The results are bushels of mini pumpkins and colorful gourds; deliciously sweet pie pumpkins, carriage-shaped ‘Cinderella’ pumpkins and carvers for Jack-O-Lanterns all the way up to 40 pounders.  We also found long, bright ears of Indian corn; bales of wheat straw straight from the field; and tall, full shocks of corn, netted for your convenience.

Save with bundles we’ve created just for you.  Autumn Bundle #1 priced at $19.99 includes one of our larger-than-life mums, a straw bale and a bundle of corn shocks.  Autumn Bundle #2 is our best value, with three mums, a straw bale and a bundle of corn shocks for only $29.99. All you need for your fall display is a pumpkin or two and a unique scarecrow built by YOU.

Once you have your fall display in place, send us a picture.  We will publish them randomly over the next few weeks.  This one was submitted by Jennifer.

“Waiter, I can’t find any chicken in the chicken soup."
"Well, you won’t find any horse in the horseradish either."

St. Vincent de Paul Food Drive

St Vincent De Paul

When you come out for mums, fall decorating needs, and scarecrow days, please bring along a non-perishable food item donation for St. Vincent de Paul Client Choice” food pantry  We are proud to support this organization whose emphasis is on providing for those in need within our own community.

A physicist, a chemist, and an economist are stranded on an island with nothing to eat. A can of soup washes ashore. The physicist says, "Let’s smash the can open with a rock." The chemist says, "Let’s build a fire and heat the can first."
The economist says, "Let’s assume that we have a can-opener."

Rules for Fall Gardening

I have to admit that this summer I’ve become an NCIS junky, watching faithfully night after night to find out another one of Special Agent Gibb’s 50 rules to live by.  Sometimes I struggle with what they mean, but there are two gardening rules that are so simple it seems silly to keep talking about them.

Rule #1
If you don’t plant bulbs this fall, you won’t have blooms next spring.


Rule #2
Rule #1 has NO exceptions.

Mixed Spring Bulbs

Every April, we have people coming in to buy bulbs of the daffodils and tulips they see blooming in their neighbors’ yards.  Sadly we have to tell them they will have to wait for fall.  Unfortunately, when fall comes it slips their minds until the next spring, and so on and on and on.  America’s Best Flowers can help break the cycle!!  We have an excellent selection of spring-blooming bulbs including tulips of all sizes and colors, bright stately daffodils, fragrant hyacinths, extravagant allium, and early crocus in a rainbow of colors, all at a 35% savings!  Stop out today and let us help you choose bulbs to give you bloom all spring!

When is soup musical? When it’s piping hot.

Moving Plants Inside

Our fall has been so mild, our plants have been able to enjoy a longer than normal period outside. But things are changing and it’s definitely time to prepare your tropicals and houseplants for their move inside.

Begin by moving sun-loving plants into the shade for a week or so.  This gets them used to lower light conditions similar to what you have in your home.  A couple of days before you plan the final move in, submerge the entire pot in a bucket of lukewarm water for a few hours.  Any insects or other creatures in the soil will drown and/or float to the top of the water. Remove and let drain.

A day before bringing them in, hose them down with a strong stream of water to blow off any insects that may be on their stems and leaves.  Allow to dry and then spray with insecticidal soap

 or Espoma 3n1 Disease Control, being sure to spray tops and bottoms of the leaves, stems, and trunks. Allow to dry completely before bringing inside.  Alternatively, you can apply Bonide Systemic Houseplant Insect Control per container instructions.

Finally, move your plants indoors to a well-lit area, away from heat sources and drafts.  Tropical plants will lose leaves after their move.  Place a saucer under each pot to catch excess water.  You won’t need to water until the soil begins to dry out.  When you do, cut back on fertilizer, using half strength in the fall, and then plain water for November, December, and January.  When the days start to lengthen in mid-February begin feeding with half strength until mid-April when you can once again increase to full strength.

How do you make gold soup?
With 22 carrots.

The Alzheimer’s Color Test

These are the things we’re supposed to do to remove the cholesterol around our brain and try to slow down Alzheimer’s Disease. A great test, do it until you get 100%!  It takes an average of 5 tries to get to 100%. Follow the directions!  It’s harder than it seems, it should be!  A brain waker-upper for today! Have fun!

Find us on Facebook

Our fan club is growing. Please become a fan on Facebook, and invite your friends. Help us get one thousand fans and surprises will await you when you visit our page. We’re almost halfway there so please spread the word!

“Yes, I know fish is brain food, but I don’t care much for fish.
Isn’t there some other brain food?"
"Well, there’s noodle soup."

Bonnie’s Kitchen

It’s that time of year when soup is so very appealing. And when it’s got seafood in it, that’s my kind of soup! Here are two of my faves. And I’ll even throw in a surprisingly easy “Meat Soup” for those of you who don’t like seafood.

Scallop and Artichoke Soup

From Lacy’s, in London Serves 4-6
  • 1 pkg. frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
  • 4 T butter
  • 2 T flour
  • 2 cups chicken both
  • ½ lb. fresh scallops, chopped (I use more)
  • salt to taste ( I add a smidgen of cayenne, as well)
  • 1/8 t lemon juice
  • 1 cup heavy cream*

Saute artichokes in butter for a few minutes; add flour and blend well. Add chicken stock and simmer until artichokes are tender. Puree mixture in blender. Return to low heat and add chopped scallops. Heat until scallops are no longer opaque. Add cream and lemon juice. Heat to serving temperature. Do not boil.

*Substituting half and half, or milk, does not enhance the taste of this soup. It NEEDS to be rich!

Shellfishly Good Clam Chowder

From “Presenting Boston” 1976 Equally good as a main course or as a prelude to dinner. Yields 8-10 cups
  • 1-2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 bottle clam juice
  • 12 oz. minced clams, reserve liquid
  • 6 oz. whole clams, reserve liquid
  • 4 large raw potatoes, pared and diced
  • 2-3 T butter
  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 cups medium or heavy cream

Saute onion in butter in a deep kettle or Dutch oven until transparent. Add the bottled clam juice plus the liquid from the clams. Add potatoes and cook until the potatoes are just tender. Add remaining ingredients and bring to the boiling point. Refrigerate overnight to let flavors marry. Heat before serving.

Sausage and Bean Soup

Serve with black bread and German wine on a chilly evening. Serves 4
  • 10 ¾ oz can black bean soup
  • 10 ¾ oz. can bacon and bean soup
  • 2 soup cans water
  • 1 lb. hot pork or Italian sausage
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • Worcestershire sauce to taste
  • Tabasco to taste
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, mashed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped

Break up sausage meat in a large skillet and cook until browned and crumbly. Drain and set aside. Brown the onions, peppers and celery in the sausage drippings. Set aside. Pour the soup and water into a large saucepan and heat. Add remaining ingredients and season to taste. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

A restaurant customer ordered a bowl of vegetable soup.
After a couple spoonfuls, he saw a circle of wetness
under the bowl on the tablecloth.
He called the waitress over and said, "It’s all wet down here.
The bowl must be cracked."
The waitress said, "You ordered the vegetable soup, didn’t you?"
"Yes," he replied.
"Well, maybe it has a leek in it."

Milton Berle

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