2007 Newsletter Archive

Newsletter 33: Thanksgiving

Newsletter 33 – November 20, 2007     


Gratitude is the memory of the heart.  – Massieu


The dictionary defines gratitude as a “kindly feeling because of a favor received; a desire to do a favor in return; thankfulness.”  By definition, I can safely say that everyone at America’s Best Flowers feels sincere gratitude to all of you who favor us with your business.  Our goal has always been to reflect that gratitude back to you with exceptional customer service.  For 2008 and beyond, we pledge to strive every day to be the type of business where the rendering of these ‘kindly feelings’ is business as usual.  We all feel very lucky to spend our days bringing “Beauty with God’s Help to You.”  From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for making it possible.


We take for granted the things we should be giving thanks for.


I asked people around me what they take for granted that they should give thanks for.  Answers I got included the obvious – spouse, family, friends, jobs, food, health, customers, God’s blessings.  Others were more personal.  I thought you might enjoy reading some of them – the leaves falling from the trees – the last bloom of my favorite rose – getting up every morning, that I can put my feet on the floor, that I can move my legs – my five senses – that my car will start – the chocolate bowl that’s never empty –laughter – my vision – the internet – hundreds of television channels to choose from – the public library full of books – fresh crisp air, green grass, and plenty of water for a hot shower.  And last, but not least “That spring’ll come back next April, bet your bottom dollar that next April there’ll be spring.”  and America’s Best Flowers will be here for you.

Plant seeds of kindness and harvest happy hearts. Anonymous



America’s Best Flowers is currently closed for the winter.  Our associates are taking some well-deserved time off, refreshing themselves.  We plan to send monthly newsletters throughout the winter to keep you up-to-date.  

We would greatly appreciate hearing from you, too.  Your input provides us ideas and information on how we can better help you.  Feel free to email – ed@americasbestflowers.com or write or call. 


Thrift is a wonderful thing.  I know that our children wish that my wife and I would practice it more..



Gift Cards from America’s Best Flowers are the perfect Holiday gift.  Even though our retail is closed for the winter, our Gift Cards are available by phone.  Give us a call at 608-222-2269 and we will be glad to take your order and mail the cards anywhere you would like. 

I asked my mailman why my letters were all wet – he said “postage dew”.



Every winter I pledge to do a better job taking care of my houseplants.  But with all the hustle and bustle, sometimes I go days without even giving them a look.  And when I do, I see wilted leaves with brown tips.  If they could speak, I’m sure I would get an earful. 

One way you can help your plants is to clump them together.  Plants like plants.  When they live in groups, the air around them is more humid.  For optimal plant health, you need to be selective about where this group will be.  While most foliage plants prefer a spot that receives indirect light, they cannot live where it is too dark. 

In the winter, the amount of light coming in our windows is greatly reduced because of the sunlight’s changing pattern.  When deciding where to put your plants, watch the conditions within your home on a sunny day.  You will not be able to find the perfect spot for each of your plants, but within a few days, you should be able to see where the conditions are most favorable.  Oftentimes, it is the southeast or southwest windows in a family room, living room, dining room, or kitchen that provides the best conditions for the majority of your plants. 

Once you decide where you want them, take a few minutes to clear the area and protect the furniture and/or carpet from moisture.  A good way to do this is with clear plastic saucers under each plant. Be sure these saucers are large enough to hold any overflow from watering.  Some plants, like orchids, are happier if you place their pot on a saucer filled with stones, which are covered with water, to keep the moisture levels higher.

As you move your plants into their new home, take a few minutes to remove brown leaves and spent blossoms.  If there is dust or white residue from fertilizer on the leaves, you can gently wash it off with a soft damp cloth.  Arrange your plants so that all of them will receive light. I generally put the tallest toward the outside of the space, and clump the smaller ones together in the middle.  Once they all have a spot, step back and take a good look.  You’ve just created a microclimate for your plants, right inside your home.  If they could talk, they would say, “Thank You.”


Make a nest of pleasant thoughts.



Even though we have closed for the season, everyone at America’s Best Flowers is busy planning for next year.  2008 will be filled with many special events, planned with you in mind.

In April, our Spring Open House will feature FREE kid’s activities, hot dogs and popcorn.  Other spring events will include our annual Herb Fest, a special Earth Day Celebration, Mulch Madness and Container Workshops.  

The first Sunday in May is our annual “SALSA SUNDAY,” when we celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Latin music, free samples of  chips and salsa, and a Salsa Container Planting workshop. We will give away a $50 gift certificate for the best salsa recipe.

Special Mother’s Day activities and free classes on vegetable and perennial gardening will continue throughout the season, along with our Make and Take Workshops and children’s activities.  We also promise you many exciting surprises.

Our goal is to hold events that are interesting and helpful to our customers. If you have ideas for events, please let us know.  You can email us at ed@americasbestflowers.com or call 222-2269.


Blessed are those who give without remembering and take without forgetting.

Bonnie’s Kitchen

This may sound strange, because of the Savoy cabbage, but it is fabulous. It’s from Tyler Florence on the food Channel, who is one of my “fave” chefs!

The Ultimate Potato Gratin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1 head Savoy cabbage, cored, cleaned, and shredded

1 (2 inch) piece slab bacon, thinly sliced

2 T unsalted butter

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper

½ bunch fresh chives, finely chopped to ¼ cup

2 pounds baking potatoes, unpeeled and thinly sliced (about 1/8 inch), see cook’s note*

2 ½ cup heavy cream

2 cups grated Parmesan

Preheat oven

Finely shred the cabbage. Cut the bacon into ½ inch chunks. Place a small skillet over medium heat and fry the bacon, until crisp. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon butter to bacon fat in frying pan.  When it has melted, add ½ the garlic and give it a quick stir with a wood spoon to soften. Add the cabbage and coat it with the butter. Slowly let it wilt. Add the bacon. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove from heat and add most of the chives, reserving a little for the garnish.

Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9X13 inch ovenproof casserole dish. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, 1 ½ cups of cream, 1 cup of Parmesan, and the remaining garlic. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Using your hands, place a layer of potatoes in the casserole dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan and repeat with two more layers. Spoon the cabbage mixture on top and spread it out evenly over the potatoes. Top it off with 2 more layers of potato and Parmesan. Pour the remaining 1 cup cream over the dish. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.

Cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 1 hour. Remove foil and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh chives.

*Cooks note: Slice the potatoes immediately before using them so they don’t turn brown.


Turkey and Cranberry Pizza

This is a great way to use up some Thanksgiving leftovers in something other than a casserole! It comes from Ocean Spray.

16 ounce Boboli pizza crust

16 ounce can Ocean Spray Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

¾ cup sliced green onion

8 ounce package shredded Monterey Jack cheese

¼ pound leftover turkey, cut into thin strips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place Boboli on an ungreased baking pan. Spread cranberry sauce evenly over Boboli. Sprinkle with green onion and cheese. Top with turkey.

Bake for 10 minutes or until heated through and cheese has melted.

When I make this, I sprinkle with onion and turkey and some chopped fresh basil, and THEN top it with cheese. I also bake at 400 degrees.


A mother’s four-year old daughter was attending her first performance of the Ice Capades.  She was so mesmerized that she wouldn’t budge from her seat, even during intermission, watching the activity while the ice was cleaned.

At the end of the show, she exclaimed, “I know what I want to be when I grow up!”

The mother envisioned her daughter swirling on the ice in another 15 years, starring in the Ice Capades.

She was brought back to earth when the daughter continued, “I want to be a Zamboni driver!”




May the Holy Spirit Guide You!  God Bless
Edward Knapton says Keep on Smiling!
President 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
https://www.americasbestflowers.com/home.htmlAlso President of The Commercial Flower Growers of Wisconsin  http://www.cfgw.org/ an Organization that is a division of the six group Wisconsin Green Industry Federation (WGIF) a 3 Billion dollar industry with over 4700 businesses and over 43,000 employees in Wisconsin
Senator Representing Wisconsin members of the American Nursery and Landscape Association – ANLA
Also Board member of Garden’s Beautiful Garden Centers
Also member of legislative of Committee of WGIF
Also Board Member of (WGIF) Wisconsin Green Industry Federation

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