Succulents Indoor/Outdoor Fun

Newsletter 18 – Thursday, July 21, 2011

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

July Savings Just for You

This morning on my way to work I was thinking about the newsletter and what might make for interesting reading.  While we prefer not to use it as a forum to announce sales, this time of the year it is one of the few ways we have of making sure you don’t miss out on special offers.  So I have to start off by telling you that this week we have reduced the price of all of our perennials by 20%.   Combine that with the 20% off trees, shrubs and roses and you have the perfect opportunity to invest in your landscape.   Landscaping leads the list in adding value to your property, returning 109% return on every dollar spent.  For more information visit America In Bloom.

Even better, we have additional savings available on all coral bells (heuchera). These shade loving, hardy perennials are grown for their colorful foliage.  We have several varieties currently in stock, many with ruffled leaves.  And at 40% off, this is the perfect opportunity to brighten all those shady corners of your landscape.


Because we still have such a great selection, lilacs are also 40% off.  Thinking about lilacs reminds me of Bonnie, my dear friend and co-worker who died this spring.  Every May, Margaret, from our perennial department, would bring in huge bouquets of lilacs for Bonnie’s desk.  It was one of the few times Bonnie would actually sit still, gazing at the beautiful blossoms and inhaling deeply.  For a few moments the incredible fragrance would transport her, I never knew where, but I did know it was to a calm and peaceful place.   If you plant a few lilacs this year, every spring you can go there too.

“Things turn out for the best,
for people who make the best of the way things turn out.”

John Wooden

Don’t Miss Our Succulent Workshop

This Saturday, July 23 from 10 to 4

Succulents in a Terra Cotta Low Bowl
Succulents in a Terra Cotta Low Bowl
Click for Larger Image

Whether on a sunny dining room table, in a hanging basket or potted around the yard, succulents are the newfound FUN plants for today’s consumers.  No longer limited to the gardens of the Southwest, gardeners are finding new and creative ways to use nature’s most durable plants.  Easy to care for, all you need to do is forget to water them.  They make perfect house plants as well as striking patio specimens.

Join us on this Saturday, July 23 for a Succulent Container Workshop.  Let us assist you in creating your own unique container.  We have a variety of containers for you to choose from or you can bring your own.  Soil and design help are free of charge.  Join our design team anytime between 10 and 4 in our container gardening area.  We’ll see you there!

Blessed are the flexible;
for they shall not get bent out of shape.

If anything can bend gardeners out of shape, it’s insects ravaging the foliage and blossoms of our plants.  Because we are remembering Bonnie this week, I’m reprinting parts of an article from a couple of years ago that she helped write.  Of all the garden pests, she hated earwigs the most. 


Earwigs on the sidewalk
Earwigs on the grass
Earwigs in the flower pots
Will soon be dead at last.


They’re back. The creepiest, crawliest, ugliest of them all. In the past three days I (Bonnie) have killed several of these miserable critters at home.  One even had the audacity to climb into my shoe.  Yuck!

Diatomaceous Earth is your number one weapon against these vile insects.  It is safe to use inside and out, as long as you follow package instructions.  A thin layer of this product in and around your pots, flower beds and foundation will go a long way to reducing the earwig population.

Earth-tone’s Bug and Slug Control is another wonderful product.  Simply scatter the bait granules on the soil around or near the plants to be protected. Bug and Slug is labeled for organic gardening.

Or pull out all the stops and try Bayer’s 3-in-1 Insect, Disease, & Mite Control, another great defense to rid your plants of earwigs. Great news – the same product also works for Japanese beetles.This insecticide is long-acting and easy to use.  Just follow label instructions and the creepy, crawlies will disappear.  This product is available in a 32 oz ready-to-use spray bottle, a 32 oz. ready-to-spray bottle that attaches to your garden hose, and as a concentrate.   Whichever method of application you prefer, come on out today and pick up a bottle, and your earwig and Japanese beetle troubles will soon be over.

Upcoming Events

Sat, Jul 23
Plant your Own Succulents Workshop

10AM – 4PM Select from our wide variety of easy to care for succulents and create your own indoor container. Free soil and design assistance.

Sat, Aug 6
Customer Appreciation Day

11am – 3pm Free Pizza for our loyalty customers

Sat, Aug 20 – Sat, Aug 27
Dog Days of Summer

Kicks off with a dog wash on the 20th, then continues with dog-themed giveaways the rest of the week. Donations go to Dane County Humane Society

Sat, Aug 27
Autumn Container Workshop

10am – 4pm Free soil and assistance. Create a beautiful container in our potting shed and we’ll clean up the mess. Bring your own pots or buy one of ours.

Sat, Sep 10 – Sun, Sep 18
Fall Dollar Days

Redeem your collected orange ABF dollars for up to 50% off your total purchase.

Sat, Sep 17
Art in the Garden

9am – 3pm Local artisans and crafters will be displaying and selling their merchandise. Please note that the artists will not accept Orange Dollars.

Find us on Facebook

Our fan club is growing. Please become a fan on Facebook, and invite your friends.

What did the fisherman say to the card magician?
Pick a cod, any cod!

Our Kitchen

Oh how we love all the good foods in life. This time of year they surround us. With farmers’ markets and produce stands open every day, the availability of seasonal vegetables and fruits has never been better. Last week Little Bev – that’s right, there really are two of us here – made a special lasagna for her vegan brother. As we often do with leftovers, she brought me a serving. Yum, yum, yum. We think you will enjoy this. For a non-vegan approach, simply substitute regular cream cheese and mozzarella. This recipe is from Vegetarian Times, the July/August 2010 edition.

Zucchini-Quinoa Lasagna

Zucchini-Quinoa Lasagna

  • 2 large (2-3 in diameter) zucchini, cut lengthwise into 12- ¾ in thick slices
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 c low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 c quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • ½ c tomato sauce
  • ¼ c finely chopped onion
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ c fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • ¼ c fresh parley leaves, chopped
  • 1 T nondairy cream cheese, such as Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese, optional
  • 1 25 oz jar marinara sauce
  • ½ c shredded nondairy cheese, such as Daiya Mozzarella, optional

Preheat oven to 400.  Place zucchini slices on bed of paper towels.  Sprinkle with salt, cover with paper towels, and let stand to release moisture while preparing quinoa.  

Bring broth, quinoa, tomato sauce, onion and oregano to a boil in a saucepan.  Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 25 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat, and stir in basil, parsley, and cream cheese, if using.

Spoon 1/3 cup marinara sauce over bottom of 8 inch square baking dish.  Blot remaining moisture and salt from zucchini slices, and lay 4 zucchini slices over marinara sauce in pan.  Spoon half of quinoa over zucchini, and cover with 1/3 cup marinara.  Repeat with 4 more zucchini slices, remaining quinoa and 1/3 cup marinara.  Top with remaining 4 zucchini slices, remaining marinara, and shredded cheese, if using.  Bake lasagna 30 minutes, or until zucchini is tender and top is bubbly.

Mr. Crow

Mr. Rabbit
Mr. Crow and Mr. Rabbit

Mr. Rabbit was walking down the road
when he spotted a crow at the tiptop of a very tall tree.

He shouted, “Good Morning, Mr. Crow.”

Mr. Crow shouted back down, “Good Morning Mr. Rabbit.”

Mr. Rabbit shouted up, “Whatcha doin’ today?”

And the answer shouted back down was,
“Absolutely nothin’ Mr. Rabbit, absolutely nothin’ and lovin it.”

Well, that sounded pretty good to Mr. Rabbit,
So he shouted back up, “Do you think I could do that too?”

Mr. Crow shouted back down, “I don’t see why not!”

So, Mr. Rabbit lay down on the side of the road
and began doing absolutely nothing.

In 30 minutes a fox came along and ate him.

The moral of the story is:
You can get away with doing absolutely nothing,
But only if you are really high up.

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