St Patrick’s Day

Newsletter 5 – Thursday, March 14, 2013

Yes, we are open for business!
Monday – Saturday


Happy St Patty’s Day!

This is no Blarney!

Oxalis 'Purple Shamrock'
Oxalis ‘Purple Shamrock’
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We have shamrocks!  But not your ordinary everyday green ones. America’s Best Flowers has big full pots of beautiful purple shamrocks (oxalis). Their pretty foliage and dainty flowers make them a good choice for containers, borders or indoor pots that you can enjoy long after St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone.  Stop out today and pick up a pot or maybe two, so you can take one along to your Irish gathering this weekend.

The Legend of the Shamrock

(as found online)

Long ago, when Ireland was the land of Druids, there was a great Bishop, Patrick by name, who came to teach the word of God throughout the country. This St. Patrick—for he was indeed a saint—was well loved everywhere he went. One day, however, a group of his followers came to him and admitted that it was difficult for them to believe in the doctrine of the Holy Trinity.

St. Patrick reflected a moment and then, stooping down, he plucked a leaf from the shamrock and held it before them, bidding them to behold the living example of the "Three-in-One." St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The simple beauty of this explanation convinced these skeptics, and from that day the shamrock has been revered throughout Ireland.

Moon Jokes

Paddy and Seamus have just opened a new restaurant on the moon.
It serves great cheese dishes, but the atmosphere is terrible.

Fantastic Opportunity for Non-Profit Organizations

There are still a few weeks left to take advantage of our fantastic fundraiser program. The America’s Best Flowers fundraiser program offers non-profit organizations the opportunity to keep 25% of the proceeds from the sale of our gift cards. 

Our fundraiser is quick, easy, and profitable.  Most organizations need only one person to run it.  We have also designed it to be time efficient.  Earn money for your organization in as little time as a couple of weeks, or even 1-2 days.  If your non-profit organization is in need of funds for electronic equipment, youth group trips, sports equipment or uniforms, or other necessary items, contact Shirley Cimino at either 608-222-2269 or  

America’s Best Flowers 2013 Shade Tree Program

Early spring is the perfect time to plant larger shade trees.  We are offering 4 popular varieties this year at a special price that includes free delivery and planting within 10 miles of our Cottage Grove location.  Trees must be pre-ordered and prepaid by April 1.  To take advantage of this offer, call us at 608-222-2269.

River Birch (clump form) 1½” diameter trunk– 12-14’ tall – $229.99

A native birch with very attractive, exfoliating bark varying from cinnamon brown to parchment.  Interesting effect in the winter.  Resistant to bronze birch borer.  Golden-yellow fall color.  Tolerates a wide range of soil conditions but prefers a slightly acidic soil.  40’ tall by 30’ wide at maturity.

Autumn Blaze Maple
Autumn Blaze Maple
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Autumn Blaze Maple  1½” trunk diameter – 12’ tall – $229.99

A hybrid cross of red and silver maple, with a more refined shape and incredible fall color.  Summer green leaves turn ruby red in fall, but the interesting thing is the underside of the leaves is pink.  This plant tolerates dry areas or areas that can be wet.  Very adaptable and fast growing.  Super fall color.  45’ tall by 35’ wide at maturity.

Skyline Honey Locust
Skyline Honey Locust
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Skyline Honey Locust  1½” trunk diameter – 12’ tall – $229.99

The most popular honey locust.  It’s upright, spreading branch angles give it a distinctive pyramidal form.  Has a strong, sturdy trunk.  Provides excellent filtered shade.  Yellow foliage in the fall – seedless.  45’ tall by 30’ wide at maturity.

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry
Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry
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Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry  1½” trunk diameter – 10’ tall – $229.99

An excellent, smaller tree with all-season interest.  Showy white flowers in spring followed by purple edible fruit in June.  Glossy blue-green leaves turn brilliant red-orange in the fall.  Smooth gray stems.  20’ tall by 15’ wide at maturity.

Congratulations Coach Bo Ryan!

Wisconsin Stainless Steel Gazing Globe
Wisconsin Stainless Steel Gazing Globe
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For the third time in his twelve seasons at the UW, Bo Ryan has been named the Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year!  Congrats go out to the entire team for another exciting season. 

Commemorate the season with a UW gazing globe.  Our 4 inch red stainless steel globe, with the motion ‘W’ is certain to add the Wisconsin spirit to any household.

Ready and Waiting

O’Callaghan was getting irate and shouted upstairs to his wife, ‘Hurry up or we’ll be late.’
‘Oh, be quiet,’ replied his wife. ‘Haven’t I been telling you for the last hour that I’ll be ready in a minute?’

New great products for you this year!

logo for Purple Cow Organics, LLC

Give your tomato plants a boost with Purple Cow Organics Tomato Gro (nope, it’s not misspelled!) This is an excellent product for use in the garden or added to your containers.  It is made from all natural organic ingredients (it does not contain manure.)   We carry it in convenient 12 quart bags.  One bag feeds about 16 tomato plants.  And it is made in Wisconsin!

Also, new this year, we have 6 quart bags of Purple Cow Organics Activated compost.  It’s a convenient size for both indoor and outdoor use for all your plants.

Return of the Cottage Grove Easter Bunny!

A cartoon bunny sitting on a pile of decorated easter eggs
Our Pink Easter Bunny will be here!
Don’t forget your cameras!

The Easter Egg Hunt at our America’s Best Flowers Cottage Grove location is Saturday, March 30, from 10:00 – 2:00 PM.  Rain or shine! 

Bring the kids out for a day of fun and meet our Easter Bunny.  We’re going to have chickens and bunnies for the kids to giggle over. 

While you are here why not pick up an Easter lily and pots of spring flowers to decorate your Holiday table?

America’s Best Flowers will be closed on Easter Sunday.

Do we have your (email) address change?

Please let us know if any of your contact information (home address, email or phone number) has changed and we will update our files.  We want you to continue receiving our weekly on-line newsletter and make sure the postman delivers the special offers that we extend only to our loyalty customers by mail.

Lucy’s story – Chapter one

We met nine years ago…on-line.  I was searching the Dane County Humane Society website for a best friend…four-legged best friend, that is.  

In my mind’s eye, I could see her.  A 2-4 year old, medium sized 50 to 70 pound adult female dog.  It did not matter what the breed was.  It did not matter if she had long or short fur.  It did not matter if her fur was curly, or straight.  The only thing that did matter was she could not be an all black dog.  I have never wanted an all black dog.  Why, you ask?  It is simple, ‘eyes are the window to the soul’ and you cannot see the eyes of a black dog!       

I knew she was out there, somewhere.  Even though the humane society had pictures of some great looking dogs that day, she was not one of them. 

On the humane society website I noticed a link to a rescue organization called Angel’s Wish.  I hit the link and that, my friends, is where I first saw her and my heart melted.   

Coming next week – Chapter two

`til next time,
    ~ Shirley

The Reunion

An Irishman, Kevin, and an American, Clint, are sitting in the bar at Cork Airport supping Guinness.
‘I’ve come to meet my brother,’ says Kevin. ‘He’s due to fly in from Chicago in an hour’s time. It’s his first trip home in 40 years.’
‘Will you be able to recognize him?’ asks Clint.
‘I’m sure I won’t,’ responds Kevin, ‘after all, he’s been away for a long time.’
‘I wonder if he’ll recognize you?’ questions Clint.
‘Of course he will, ‘replies Kevin. ‘Sure, an’ I haven’t been away at all.’

Upcoming Events

Sat, Mar 30
Community Egg Hunt

10am – 2pm – Rain or Shine! FREE candy! Children 6 and under. Bring your camera and have your picture taken with the Easter Bunny. Accepting items for the Cottage Grove Food Pantry.

Sat, Apr 6 – Sun, Apr 7
Herb Container Workshop

10am – 4pm – FREE soil and assistance. Create an herb container garden. Bring in your own containers or buy some of ours.

Sat, Apr 13
Make & Take Terrarium Workshop

10am – 4pm – FREE soil and assistance. Create your own terrarium. Bring in your own terrarium container or buy one of ours.

Sat, Apr 13 – Sun, Apr 14
Universal Saw & Tool Sharpening

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

Sun, Apr 14
Make & Take Miniature Garden Workshop

10am – 4pm – FREE soil and assistance. Create your own miniature garden. Bring in your own containers or buy some of ours.

Sat, Apr 20 – Sun, Apr 21
Open House & New Plants

We have your all-time favorite plants plus our new line of Hort Couture plants!

Our Kitchen

By Bev Wilson

I can still hear my Mom’s proud proclamation of her Irish, English and Dutch heritage whenever anyone asked where she hailed from. Combine that with the almost pure English blood from the Wilson side of my genes and you get, well, me.  Now while English people are known for their quiet, reserved nature; and the Dutch for a very logical, some call it cold, approach to life; the Irish tend to be talkative, inquisitive about people and places, helpful, and good company. So even without the red hair, I’m claiming my ‘Irishness.’ And what better way to celebrate those roots at St. Patrick’s Day, than with a yummy Irish Crème Chocolate Cake.

If you prefer a non-alcoholic version, simply substitute Bailey’s Irish Crème Coffee Creamer for the liqueur, or try the chocolate cupcake recipe that could be made with their Irish Crème flavored coffee creamer, instead of the chocolate one, at the Bailey’s Coffee Creamer website.  Whichever one you choose – enjoy!

Chocolate Irish Crème Cake

  • 1 dark chocolate fudge cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 C Irish cream liqueur*
  • 2/3 C water
  • 1/2 C oil

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a 9 x 13 cake pan with nonstick vegetable spray.

In a large mixing bowl mix all ingredients together on low speed until combined.  Beat 2 minutes on medium speed scraping bowl occasionally.  Pour into pan.  Bake 35 – 40 minutes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Set pan on rack.  Cool completely.

* For a non-alcoholic version, substitute Bailey’s Irish Crème Coffee Creamer for the liqueur.

Irish Crème Frosting

  • ½ c butter at room temperature
  • 3 ¾ c powdered sugar (1 pound)
  • 6-8 T Irish cream liqueur*, different brands vary a bit in thickness
  • green food coloring (if desired)

In small bowl, cream butter until fluffy with electric mixer.  Add powdered sugar 1 C at a time, alternately with 2 T liqueur, beating well after each addition.  Repeat until sugar is gone, adjusting amounts as you go, to reach desired spreading consistency.  If desired, add food coloring a few drops at a time, beating well until you get the color you want.

Decorating options could include the little shamrock sprinkles from the grocery store or plastic decorations from the variety store.  Or hand cut your own from paper and glue them to popsicle sticks. If you choose to make your own, don’t let green construction paper touch your frosting or the dye will bleed.

* For a non-alcoholic version, substitute Bailey’s Irish Crème Coffee Creamer for the liqueur.

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