The Middle Season

Newsletter 15 – Thursday, June 24, 2010

"The seasons are what a symphony ought to be:
Four perfect movements in harmony with each other."

Arthur Rubenstein

The Middle Season

I learned something from a customer the other day. He had a cart full of beautiful plants and I commented to him that all he needed was for the rain to stop. His reply was "Oh, that’s okay, it’s just softening the ground for me." What a lesson! Blaming my less than stellar gardens (full of weeds and not a bloom in sight) on the weather is just an excuse. The rain has definitely been doing its part, now it’s time for me to do mine.

Even though it’s been warm for a while, summer did just start this Monday. There is plenty of time left to plant and enjoy the beauty only flowers can add to your outdoor living space. If you get your gardens in shape now, you can relax and enjoy them during those lazy days of summer to come.

"In June, as many as a dozen species may burst their buds on a single day.
No man can heed all of these anniversaries; no man can ignore all of them."

Aldo Leopold

A Rose Special Just For You

Pink Rose

One great way to add instant beauty, is to drop a fabulous tea rose into a ceramic pot and set it on your sunny deck or porch. With a bit of attention, your rose will give you color all summer long. You can cut a blossom or two, and bring their beauty and wonderful fragrance inside, too. From old standbys like Mr. Lincoln to new-to-us beauties like Clouds of Perfume we have something to please everyone.

Beginning today you can enjoy these beautiful roses for half the price. The special pricing is good on all hybrid tea roses regularly priced at $21.99. Hurry out today before your favorite colors are gone.

How does a flower get a boat across a lake?
It Rose

Container Care

In Less than Fair Weather

In rainy years, we often see containers suffering from lack of fertilization. It is very easy to forget to feed your plants when you don’t water them very often. During extended periods of rain, feeding is extremely important to replace the nutrients that the rain is leaching from the soil in your pots and hanging baskets. When you are in control of water, the rule of thumb is to fertilize every seventh watering. When you’re not, you should still try to get some feed into your pots about once a week.

One easy way to keep your plants well fed is to use Osmocote, which is available in granular form and as Pot Shots. Both are time-release formulations which dissolve slowly, providing a steady source of food. Here at the greenhouse we use a very dilute fertilizer solution every time we water in addition to applying granular Osmocote to many of our hanging baskets and mixed containers. You can do this, too. Just follow the directions on both packages. Think of the Osmocote as the protein in our diet and the dilute liquid food as the carbs. One digests (dissolves) slowly, providing a continuous source of energy, and the other is absorbed quickly for instant vigor. If your water soluble fertilizer doesn’t list an application rate for continual feeding, we suggest you mix it one-quarter strength. When you provide your plants a constant source of nutrients, they will provide you a constant supply of beauty.

Among the English language’s many puzzling words is ‘economy’
Which means the large size in toothpaste
And the small size in automobiles.

Perennial of the Week – ‘Garden Phlox’

Garden Phlox

If long bloom seasons, vivid colors, erect stems, and beautiful blossoms interest you, we suggest you give tall Garden Phlox a try. A friend from another greenhouse lists summer phlox on his PFP list. These Perennially Favorite Perennials are stalwarts of the summer garden, and are ready to burst into glorious bloom. Once their blossoms open, they fly out the door, so stop out today and pick up your favorite colors at special Perennial-of-the-Week pricing. Check out these favorite varieties:

Why do bees have sticky hair?
They use honeycombs.


Bug & Slug Control

Earwigs are just awful this year, and eating absolutely everything in sight, especially marigolds and hostas. They’re even in my (Bonnie’s) basement and gross me out. This morning Bev found one crawling around in her lunch box. Eeww, eeww, eeww! If you have a gross earwig story, we would love to hear from you. Email your story to and make the subject ‘My Gross Earwig’. Our employees will decide whose is the grossest, and the winner will receive a free sack of Bug and Slug[pdf] control.

We’re being inundated with phone calls about plants being eaten by something, usually slugs and earwigs, and what should folks do? Fortunately we have an answer for you. Espoma makes a super product called Earth Tone Bug and Slug. It’s the only bug and slug killer which can be used on and around lawns, vegetables, fruits, ornamentals and greenhouses. It will control cutworms, earwigs, sowbugs, pill bugs, slugs and snails and can be used for organic gardening. You simply scatter it on the soil around or next to the plants to be protected. If the ground is dry, wet it before applying the bait. It works best in moist soil with little or no standing water. It lures earwigs, slugs and snails from their hiding places on your plants. Ingestion of even a small amount will cause them to cease feeding immediately.

“As you get older, the pickings get slimmer,
But the people don’t.”

Carrie Fisher

Mark Your Calendars – Come out to our Cottage Grove location July 3 and 4 and receive free ice cream as we celebrate our nation’s Independence.

What do you call an eye doctor living on an island in Alaska?
An optical Aleutian.

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.

What kind of shoes do frogs like?
Open-Toad Shoes!

Upcoming Events

Sat, Aug 14
IRIS Divide and Swap

Starts at 10 AM. Bring a clump of Iris to divide and swap with others! Bring a knife, a sharpie pen and plastic bags.

Sat, Sep 18
Art in the Garden

9 AM – 4 PM Local artisans and crafters will be displaying and selling their merchandise

Now that short hemlines are back in fashion,
I dug an old miniskirt out of my closet.
I tried it on, but couldn’t figure out
what to do with my other leg.

Patricia Dunn

Bonnie’s Kitchen

This is good and a bit different. I use less of the ginger and a bit more cinnamon.

Pear and Ginger Cake

Recipe from Lakeview Lutheran Church Cookbook, submitted by Jack Koprowski.
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • 6 T butter, melted
  • 1 (29 oz.) can pear halves, packed in heavy syrup, drained, and syrup reserved
  • 1 (18.25 oz.) plain yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup reserved pear syrup
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 t ground ginger
  • ½ t cinnamon
  • Ice cream or whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350°. Place brown sugar and melted butter in the bottom of a 9X13 inch baking dish. Blend and spread into a thin layer. Cut each pear half into 4 slices and arrange in rows on top of sugar and butter mixture. Place cake mix, buttermilk, pear syrup, oil, eggs, ginger and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer until well combined. Pour batter over pears, smoothing it out with a spatula. Bake 43-46 minutes, or until springs back when lightly pressed. Remove and cool for 10 minutes.

Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.

Eating Strawberries

A farmer was driving along the road with a load of fertilizer.
A child playing in front of his house saw him and called,
“What are you hauling?”
“Fertilizer,” the farmer replied.
“What are you going to do with it?” asked the child.
“Put it on strawberries,” answered the farmer.
“You ought to live here,” the child advised him.
“We put sugar and cream on them.”

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