Lucy’s Story – Chapter 98

Snippet from Lucy’s journal…

Lucy laying flat with a drooping, tired expression
“This is my ‘not funny, mom’ face”
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My mom is USUALLY very funny. But she really missed the marked this time.  Let me tell you what she did.  She came home one day and instead of coming into the house she went through the side gate and into the backyard. I mean what the heck?  The routine is for her to come into the house, sit on the floor with me, wrap her arms around me and whisper in my ear, ‘Oh Lucy, my girl, my girl, my girl!’  (As normal, my dad patiently waits his turn for some affection!)

Instead, she came in the back door and said, ‘Hi Lucy!  Come on out to the backyard.  I’ve got a surprise for you.  I hope you get a chuckle out of it.’  Well, you all know me and surprises, I love them!

So out I run!  And this is what I saw!

“…the dummy family…”
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A cat dummy, really, Mom, this is your idea of funny?  And THEN, she says to me, ‘Hey, Lucy, why don’t YOU name our new friend?’

I turned, looked at my mom and walked back into the house to find my dad!

‘Ok, Dad, we have a family of stupid mannequins living in the back yard and various dummy body parts growing out of the flower beds?  Now the stupid dummies have a dummy cat as a family pet?  Really?! When is it ever going to end? And to top it all off she wants ME to name it!’  I whined.

After just a few seconds my dad started to laugh and laugh.  In fact, he was laughing so hard he was crying and, well, he didn’t stop.  Oh, oh, I think maybe that dummy cat is one dummy too many!

‘Dad, get a grip, will ya? Dad!’

Till next time~

Don’t worry, folks, they’ll both be fine…eventually.  But, it looks like I’ll need some help with naming the kitty.  So, let’s have a ‘Name Lucy’s Kitty Contest!’  The winner will receive a $25 America’s Best Flowers gift card.  Please try and keep in mind Lucy’s attitude about the kitty and fellow backyard dummies.  Originality is important!  Deadline is Tuesday, July 28th.  Good luck!

Perennial of the Week – Echinacea, Russian Sage, Shasta Daisy, & Hollyhock

Echinacea 'Hot Summer'
Echinacea ‘Hot Summer’
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Echinacea 'Magnus'
Echinacea ‘Magnus’
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We have quite the selection of Perennials of the Week for you!   Talk about your plethora of colors, sizes and varieties!

Echinacea, also commonly known as coneflowers, are a great addition to any garden.  The ‘Hot Summer’ coneflower is quite an amazing flower.  The flowers first bloom yellow, then turn orange and then turn a vibrant red.  And this all happens within a few days.  What a talented flower!

The purple petals of the ‘Magnus’ coneflower will stand out in any garden.  In hot weather, light shade will enhance the rich purple color of the petals.

The coneflower is a low maintenance and versatile flower to have in your garden.  They add an eye catching display of color and are excellent for your fresh cut bouquet.

Russian Sage is a sun loving perennial that will provide your garden with a long and lovely season of bloom.  This plant grows in a bushy upright tuft of lacy and fragrant leaves and the combination of its grayish leaves and violet-blue flowers make it a true visual delight for your garden.  This easy to care for perennial works well as a border, a focal point in your garden, or as a light and airy addition to a shrub area.

Shasta Daisies
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The Alaska Shasta Daisy is one of the oldest and to this day remains one of the best varieties of daisies.   For three months this beauty will enhance your garden with brilliant pure white petals that will explode from its soft yellow center.  This perennial is 30-60 inches in height and spreads 24-30 inches and makes a great cut flower display.

The old-fashioned hollyhock is making a comeback!  Their flower stalks can reach a height of 9 feet and will add a wonderful vertical element to your yard.  These beauties need full sun along with moist, rich and well drained soil.  This is a very hardy biennial that will survive Wisconsin’s cold winters and hot, humid summers.

These four Perennials of the Week are in America’s Best Flower jumbo size containers. Stop on out and choose from this selection of specially priced perennials and receive 20% off.

Your neighborhood butterflies, bees and hummingbirds will be glad you did!

Hollyhock, Double Yellow
Hollyhock, Double Yellow
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Hollyhock, Double Red
Hollyhock, Double Red
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Hollyhock, 'Crème De Cassis'
Hollyhock, ‘Crème De Cassis’
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Blooming Flower Jokes

Q: What were King Tut’s favorite flowers?
A: Chrysanthemummies!

Q: What did the lawyer say to the judge?
A: Iris my case!

Q: What did the doctor say after she gave her patient a shot?
A: I hope thistle make you feel better!

More Savings

Purchase two 4” or 5” perennials and get one of equal or lesser value free. There is no limit to this fantastic opportunity!  Don’t miss out on a chance to economically expand your perennial garden.

Buy 2 – 1 free
Buy 4 – 2 free
Buy 6 – 3 free
and so on…

This offer is good at both locations.

How do you keep a dog from barking in your front yard?
Put it in your backyard!

We’re Going to the Dogs!

A dog in a bathtub

America’s Best Flowers will be hosting fundraisers on Saturday, July 25, from 11-3pm to benefit both the Dane County Humane Society (DCHS) and Larz, the canine member of the Cottage Grove Police Department.

Tabby & Jack's Pet Supplies and Grooming

Bring those dirty dogs out to our 5thAnnual Dog Wash Fundraiser for the Dane County Humane Society. Tabby & Jack’s Pet Grooming Service will be here to trim those long canine nails. Complete the day with your four-legged-best-friend with a professional photo session with Talbot Photography.

Talbot Photography

All proceeds from the dog wash, nail trimming and photo session go directly to the DCHS.

A german shephard lying comfortably in the grass
Though he may look like just an ordinary dog, this dog is a public servant
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We are excited that Larz and his canine handler, Officer Tony Koratko will be here on Saturday, July 25, to meet and greet the public.

To help support our four-legged public servant, America’s Best Flowers will donate 5% of the total July 25 greenhouse sales to the Cottage Grove Police Department Canine Fund.

More tail wagging details about the dog wash and Larz, in next week’s newsletter.

A man follows a woman out of a movie theatre, who has a dog on a leash. He stops her and says, “I’m sorry to bother you, but I couldn’t help but notice that your dog was really into the movie. He cried at the right spots, he moved nervously in his seat at the boring parts, but most of all, he laughed like crazy at the funny parts. Don’t you find it unusual?”
“Yes,” she replied, “I found it very unusual. He hated the book!”

Art in the Garden

By Marty Robbins

Art in the Garden Vendor Information

This year’s Art In The Garden will be held on Saturday, September 12, 2015 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Setup and CHECK-IN begins at 7:00 a.m. You must be ready to sell by 9 a.m.

To participate this year, we will require a non-refundable registration fee of $25.00 for a single booth and $35.00 for a double booth. After you arrive and have your booth space set up, America’s Best Flowers will present you with a $20.00 America’s Best Flowers gift card (regardless of the booth size.)

To register, please either send us a check or stop by our garden center in Cottage Grove. A registration form will be at our Customer Service desk.  If mailing your check for a space, please include a brief note stating that it is for the Art in the Garden event.  Please include your phone number and email address for contact purposes. Please send your check to:

America’s Best Flowers
4311 Vilas Hope Rd
Cottage Grove, WI 53527

This is an art and craft fair!  We ask that the items you are selling be handmade or at least semi-hand made.

Vendors are responsible for their own tables, chairs, draping, displays, products and booth security. Art in the Garden will take place inside our main greenhouses. In the event of rain, some of our plastic roofs may leak. YOU WILL NEED TO PROVIDE PLASTIC DRAPING to cover your items/booth if rain is forecast. This is a rain or shine event.

Please dress accordingly. On sunny days the greenhouses can become quite warm by mid-day. Shoes and shirts MUST be worn at all times.

We have two booth sizes. The single booth is 6 ft. long. The double booth is 12 ft. long. ALL BOOTHS ARE APPROXIMATELY 6 ft. DEEP. A very limited number of 6 ft. long steel mesh top tables are available if you need a display table. Tables are on a first come first serve basis and you are responsible for covering the steel mesh top. Your display and products MUST fit with-in your designated area. After unloading your vehicle it must be moved to the designated parking area for vendors.

Please call 222-2269 or e-mail me at, with your booth size choice NO LATER than August 21st, 2015. Your registration fee will be required to reserve your booth no later than August 25th. If we have not received your fee by then your booth space will not be held.

Upon request we will provide vendors with flyers for advertising.  Please stop at our greenhouse and pick up a supply to post in appropriate places. Please be sure you receive permission before posting them.

Items deemed inappropriate by our management to sell in a family atmosphere will be and can be excluded at any time. There is NO SMOKING or firearms allowed on our property.

Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.  We look forward to working with you as we strive to share your creativity with our community.

Artist Pablo Picasso surprised a burglar at work in his new chateau. The intruder got away, but Picasso told the police he could do a rough sketch of what he looked like. On the basis of his drawing, the police arrested a mother superior, the minister of finance, a washing machine, and the Eiffel tower.

40% Off Furniture & Rustic Wood Planters

40% Off River Root Wooden Constructions
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40% Off Outdoor Furniture
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Add some pizzazz to your outdoor entertainment area with a few of these charming pieces of lawn furniture and rustic wood planters.  All benches, tables and chairs and rustic wood planters are 40% their original price. Each piece of the furniture is treated with a baked-on powder coated finish.  The cushions are made with an indoor / outdoor material.  To ensure years of enjoyment bring the cushions indoors in the off season.

This offer is valid at the Cottage Grove location only and is only good while supplies last and is not valid on previous purchases.

Save Big On LittleThings

40% off Everything in this Display
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Whether you have a fairy garden or have been thinking about creating one, this week is a great time to take advantage of our 40% off sale on select metal fairy garden accessories.

Send Irene your gardening questions!

America’s Best Flowers wants to help you succeed in your gardening efforts. If you have gardening questions send an email to Irene, at  Irene will get back to you promptly. Let America’s Best Flowers be your go-to greenhouse for answers.

Upcoming Events

Sat, Jul 25
5th Annual Dog Wash

11am-3pm – Bring your wonderful dirty dogs out to our garden spa for a bath and nail trim. Benefits the Dane County Humane Society.

Sat, Jul 25
2nd Annual Fund Raiser for Cottage Grove Police Dog “Larz”

Cancelled Larz is unfortunately not available for a visit this year. The rest of the festivities continue unimpeded.

Sat, Aug 8
Customer Appreciation Day at the greenhouse!

11am-2pm Enjoy a FREE brat/hot dog & corn-on-the-cob served by the Cottage Grove Historical Society. Cottage Grove location only.

Sat, Aug 22
Flea Market

9am-3pm – Rain or Shine

Sat, Sep 12
Art in the Garden Craft Fair

9am-3pm Talented artists display and sell their unique items.

Sat, Sep 19
Flea Market

9am-3pm – Rain or Shine

Q: What side of a peach is the left one?
A: The uneaten side.

Our Kitchen

It’s such a great time of the year.  Warm summer temperatures have finally arrived, flowers bloom everywhere, fireflies add sparkle to the night and peaches are in season. While I think the very best way to eat one is to wrap it in a paper towel and bite away, they make the most incredible desserts.  This recipe is from Sharon’s family cookbook.  I shared her Peaches & Cream Pie earlier this year.  For a really ‘peachy’ dessert, you might like to serve both. Enjoy!

Spiced Peach Sundaes

  • ¼ c (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 T packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • ½ t ground cardamom
  • 1/8 t ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ pounds ripe peaches, pitted, cut into 1/4” thick slices
  • ½ gallon vanilla ice cream
  • Whole pecans, toasted, for topping
  • Sweetened whipped cream, for topping

Melt butter in a heavy large skillet over medium heat.  Add brown sugar, spices and vanilla, stir to blend.  Add peaches; toss gently to coat.  Cook until sugar mixture melts and peaches are tender but do not fall apart; tossing occasionally, about 5 minutes.

This can be made 8 hours ahead.  Cover and chill.  Re-warm over low heat before using.

Place 2 scoops ice cream in each of 8 bowls; spoon peach mixture over ice cream, dividing equally.  Top with whipped cream and pecans, if desired.