The Last Dollar Days

Newsletter 27 – Tuesday, September 4, 2012

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

Bye-Bye Orange Dollar$

Don’t lose out…

America’s Best Flowers’ VERY LAST Orange Dollar Day$ starts this weekend, Saturday, September 8 and runs through Sunday, September 16.  This will be the last opportunity to use the ABF Orange Dollars

Dig out those ABF Orange Dollars from the glove compartment of your car, the bottom of your purse, the back of a kitchen drawer, your safe deposit box, or wherever you may have stashed them and use them starting this Saturday. 

This season we replaced the ABF Orange Dollars with America’s Bonus Bucks.  We would like to remind everyone that although the new America’s Bonus Bucks can be used anytime, they will expire at the end of the year. 

Your ABF Orange Dollars and your America’s Bonus Bucks (yes, you can combine them during dollar days) may be used for up to 50% off your purchase, tax excluded, of course (we can’t leave out Uncle Sam!)

There are no restrictions on what you can buy.  If it’s in stock you can buy it.  Have you been thinking about changing up your landscape a-little-here-or-a-lot- over-there with a new plant, tree or shrub?  Perhaps you’ve had your eye on one of our beautiful pieces of pottery…gotcha thinking now, don’t we?  


A Pathway Lined with Fall Mums
A Pathway Lined with Fall Mums
Click for Larger Image

The glorious days of autumn (or fall) are here and our mums are ready to pop with color!  America’s Best Flowers has mums galore; our fields are overflowing with 4,000 early, mid and late blooming plants in more than 30 shades of white, yellow, gold, bronze, red, burgundy, lavender and purple.  Our mums are grown outside (to make them hardier) in a 2 gallon container and are twice as big as what you will find elsewhere.  You have to see them to believe how full and lush and bursting with blooms they are.  We think you’ll agree we grow the most beautiful mums around. 

Not only did the hot, hot summer help our mums, but our Asters are pretty amazing this year too! 

Tips for Success with Fall Mums

In this climate, mums are generally considered annuals. Whether you pop them into a container or basket, or set them on your porch, they will provide immediate color and bloom for a long period.  Our plants are so full of bloom, that they do require a lot of water, so be sure to keep them evenly moist.  They don’t like to dry out or sit in water.

If you want to try to establish mums as perennials, plant them as soon as possible in a sunny, well-drained location.  They don’t do well in our heavy clay soils, so incorporate peat or compost when planting them.  A protected spot away from cold, drying winter winds also helps survival.  Plant them deeper than they are growing in our pots.  Remember, to survive, they have to develop roots at or above the first set of branches before the ground freezes.

Do not cut back dead plants until next spring.  Research at Iowa State University shows leaving stems and foliage results in better winter survival.  Apply a loose winter mulch after the ground freezes.  Straw, shredded bark, pine boughs and even snow are good winter mulches.  It’s important to remove the mulch carefully in the late spring. And remember mums are heavy feeders, so apply all-purpose fertilizer (per package instructions) from late spring until mid July.

Job Change
I quit my job at the helium gas factory.
I refuse to be spoken to in that tone.

Your Fall Bulbs are waiting for you!

September is the time to plant bulbs for next spring’s bloom. Our fall bulbs have arrived. Tulips, daffodils, crocus, hyacinth, allium and more are just waiting for you to take them home.  Bulbs are an investment in the future and a great way to use your Orange Dollars.

When you plant your bulbs is the perfect opportunity to dig in a generous amount of plant food. It’s your only chance to get the nutrients the bulbs need for maximum flowering directly under the bulbs in the root zone of your plants.  This year we are featuring Espoma Bulb Tone and Bone Meal.

Art in the Garden

Featuring Local Artisans
Saturday, September 15, 9am-3pm

Our 3rd Annual Art in the Garden event is right around the greenhouse corner. 

Over 30 talented Wisconsin artists will be at our greenhouse displaying their unique creations.  Some of the items available include: jewelry, paintings, weavings, stone carving, pottery, woodworking, textiles, photography and much more!

Remember to mark your calendar for our 3rd Annual Art in the Garden event on Saturday, September 15, from 9-3.

Scarecrow Days are coming

Hey, all you Girl Scout and Boy Scout Troop Leaders, Big Brothers’, Big Sisters’ and Mom and Dads.  Looking for something fun to do?  It’s almost scarecrow time at America’s Best Flowers.  We have been busy getting ready, searching out hats, clothing and accessories so you can create your own one-of-a-kind scarecrow.  We will be stuffing straw from 10am to 5pm seven days a week, beginning Saturday, Sept. 22 and running through Saturday Oct. 13.  This is a fun after-school adventure, ideal for groups of all ages.  There is a nominal fee for the scarecrow kit and garage sale prices on the clothing, but you are welcome to bring your own outfit.  Plan ahead and mark your calendars to come on out!  Bring your group out and have yourself a hay-day!

For groups of 5 or more, please call ahead 608-222-2269.  This will allow us to plan ahead and have enough staff available for your group. 

A Sunday School teacher asked her little children, as they were on the way to church service, “And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?”
One bright little girl replied, “Because people are sleeping.”

Seedy Information

The best time of year to renovate or overseed your lawn is late summer and early fall.  The soil is warm compared to spring which hastens germination and there is less competition from broadleaf weeds since most near the end of their growth cycle.  Summer heat and drought are past so it’s easier to maintain soil moisture.  Plus trees are losing leaves, which mean shady areas are more open.  We have Capital City Parks Grass Seed which is a premium mix of Bluegrass, creeping Red Fescue and turf-type perennial Ryegrass.  It thrives in full sun to light shade.  It is available at America’s Best Flowers in 5 lb. and 20 lb. bags.  Also available is Woodland Shade which is formulated for light to dense shady lawns.  This grass seed mix has Fescue and perennial Ryegrass and is available in 20 lb. bags.

Proper Pronunciation

I bought a pint of Häagen-Dazs ice cream at the supermarket.
As the cashier rang it up, I asked, “How do you pronounce that?”
Speaking slowly and distinctly, he said,
“Four dollars and seventy-nine cents.”


America’s Best Flowers wants you to succeed, so if you have gardening questions send an email to our Operations Manager, Al Lunde, at Al will get back to you promptly. We want to be your go-to-greenhouse for answers.

Walking with Lucy

Lucy went to the vet for her wellness check up and vaccination update last week.  Dr. Sara asked how Lucy has been and I mentioned that she’s slowing down quite a bit.  Dr. Sara checked her reflexes and thoroughly examined her and said that it appeared that Lucy has some arthritis going on in her spine.  Ouch, that makes an awful lot of sense, as I will explain.

Lucy has the run of the house, plain and simple.  And if she wasn’t such a perfect dog this would not be allowed, but she is, so she does.   During the evening she would get up on the couch, between Hubby and me, and soak in the love.  She hasn’t been doing that for a while.  We thought maybe it was due to the hot weather.  But it appears the she just wouldn’t jump up on the couch because it hurt to do so. 

Dr. Sara talked with us about different options and due to Lucy’s sensitive tummy we are going with the more holistic approach rather than medications.  Did you know that acupuncture and chiropractic care are options for pets?  Dr. Sara said it’s important to keep Lucy moving, so we have started our mornings and ended our evenings with leisurely short walks.  It’s a nice way to start and end the day with our best four-legged friend. 

As far as getting up on the couch?  Well, the three of us put our heads together and found a foot stool that will enable Lucy to get up, ever so slowly, on the couch and back to soaking in our love.     

`til next week,
    ~ Shirley

Lost and Found

The teenager lost a contact lens while playing basketball in his driveway. After a brief, fruitless search, he gave up.
His mother took up the cause and within minutes found the lens.
"How did you do that?" he asked.
"We weren’t looking for the same thing," she explained.
"You were looking for a small piece of plastic. I was looking for $150."

Upcoming Events

Sat, Sep 8 – Sun, Sep 16
The Last Dollar Days

Come in and use your orange dollars. This is the last chance to use them before they expire for good.

Sat, Sep 15
Art and Craft Fair

9am – 3pm

Sat, Sep 22 – Sun, Sep 30
Autumn Sale
Sat, Sep 22 – Sat, Oct 13
Scarecrow Days

10am – 5pm Seven days a week. Come in and make your own one-of-a-kind scarecrow!

Sat, Oct 6 – Sun, Oct 7
Universal Saw & Tool Sharpening

10am – 4pm Sharpen your tools for fall or spring yard work.

Sat, Nov 17 – Sun, Nov 18
Porch Pot & Wreath Workshop

9am – 3pm Pre-registration required

Our Kitchen

By Bev Wilson

Delicious, hollowed-out tomatoes.
Delicious, hollowed-out tomatoes.

In spite of the crazy weather, the tomato crop is still in full swing for most gardeners.  By now, you may be looking for a new, creative way to eat them.  I think we’ve found it.  Little Bev’s friend Al’s, soon-to-be daughter-in-law, provided the following stuffed tomato recipe.  What a fun way to eat a BLT! Enjoy!!

  • 4 garden fresh tomatoes, 3-4 inches across
  • ½ pound bacon or more if you like
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups plain restaurant-style croutons
  • Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise

Fry bacon in skillet until crispy.  Drain on paper towels. Reserve drippings. Preheat oven to 325.

Cut ½ inch off the tops of the tomatoes and scoop out insides, leaving a shell.  Reserve pulp for another use.

Mix croutons and crumbled bacon together in a bowl.  If desired, drizzle with some of bacon drippings to add more bacon flavor.

Place tomatoes in a foil-covered baking pan.  Spoon a heaping teaspoon of mayo into bottom of each tomato.  Next spoon in a layer of croutons, another teaspoon of mayonnaise, more croutons and end with mayo. 

Bake for 25 minutes.  To serve, place tomato on plate and top with a generous handful of finely shredded lettuce.

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