Visit us at the Garden Expo

Newsletter 2 – Thursday, February 7, 2013

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

What’s the first sign of spring?

It’s the 2013 Midwest Garden Expo, of course!  Come on out to the Exhibition Hall, inside the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, and see what’s new for the 2013 gardening season.

Our large and colorful booth is located just inside the entrance across from the Wisconsin Public Television booth. 

Our experienced staff will be there to answer your gardening questions.  Even veteran gardeners have questions.  So, if you are a beginner gardener (aka greenhorn) don’t be afraid to ask questions.   We’d be happy to show you how quick, easy, fun and productive it is to plant and grow!

2013 Garden Expo

Friday     3 pm – 9 pm
Saturday     9 am – 6 pm
Sunday     10 am – 4 pm

The greenhouse will be closing at noon on Friday, February 8 and will reopen on Monday, February 11 at 9:00am. We are all going to be at the Garden Expo. Hope to see you there!

Blooming plants in February?

Our cyclamen have "Be Mine" written all over them
Our cyclamen have "Be Mine" written all over them
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You bet!  We’ll have African violets, kalanchoe and cyclamen.  Our lovely cyclamen plants, in a rainbow of colors, make a perfect valentine gift.  Or choose from a variety of succulents, including aloe vera, along with a variety of herbs and houseplants. 

Be among the first to see our new Hort Couture plants.  They are absolutely gorgeous!  

Primula 'Blue Zebra'
Primula ‘Blue Zebra’
Click for Larger Image

This is the Blue Zebra Primula

Under the Sea® 'Electric Coral' Coleus
Under the Sea® ‘Electric Coral’ Coleus
Click for Larger Image

Also, from the Hort Couture line is the Under the Sea line of sun coleus, with names like Hermit Crab, Lion Fish and Gold Anemone, to name just a few.  This is the dazzling Electric Coral coleus:

They will be sure to draw attention to your containers and gardens.

Are you planning a vegetable, herb or flower garden this year?

Bring your seed list to the Garden Expo or the greenhouse.  We’ll have a large selection of seeds at both locations for you to choose from.

Q: What do women use to stay young looking in the Arctic?
A: Cold cream.

Are you Edgerton area folks ready for Valentine’s Day?

Our Edgerton location, at 1101 N. Main St., not only has a beautiful floral shop, but a very talented and creative staff.  Give Robin, Terri or Katie a call at 608-884-8120 or 1-888-287-1411 and they’ll create a perfect Valentine’s Day bouquet for your very special person.  By the way, delivery service is available in the Edgerton area. 

Two confirmed bachelors sat talking, their conversation drifted from politics to cooking.
"I got a cookbook once," said one, "but I could never do anything with it."
"Too much fancy work in it, eh?" asked the other.
"You said it. Every one of the recipes began the same way –
‘Take a clean dish."

Fundraising Program

Do any of your school sports programs need new equipment or uniforms?  What about your school or church music programs?  Have you heard about America’s Best Flowers’ Fundraising Program?  We offer non-profit organizations the opportunity to keep 25% of the proceeds from the sale of our gift cards.  For example, if your organization sold $500 of our gift cards, which are available in any denomination, your organization would have raised $125.  It’s easy, it’s fun, it’s profitable, and we would be happy to come speak to your group and/or send you information.  If you are interested or have questions, please contact Shirley Cimino at

Our 2013 Newsletter

In 2013, you will receive our weekly on-line newsletter on Thursday rather than Tuesday.   The weekly newsletter will begin on March 7.

We Can Still Laugh at the Season

A young woman got lost driving in a New England snowstorm. A snowplow passed, so she started following it. After 30 minutes, the plow stopped, and the driver asked what she was doing. "My father always told me that if I got lost in a snowstorm, I should follow a plow," the woman said. "Oh," the driver replied. "Well, I’m almost done with this parking lot. If you want, you can follow me over to the next one."

Upcoming Events for 2013

It’s going to be a busy season for us at America’s Best Flowers.  Our Community Egg Hunt will be on March 30 this spring.  We’re going to have 10 container workshops this year along with several different types of gardening classes.   Our hope is that we have a little something for everyone.   We’ll have more details about our 2013 events in future newsletters.

Winter walks with Lucy

We do our best to protect Lucy from the bitter cold when we take her for walks.  Yes, I know she is a dog with a thick coat of fur, but the pampered pup has very delicate paws. (Please, no snickering.)  On a few very cold walks in the past she has stopped mid-step and held one of her very cold paws up in the air so that we can wipe the ice off of it and hold her paw in our hand to warm it up and then she’ll proceed on the walk until it happens again.  Now do you get the picture?

As a result, Lucy has a winter wardrobe.  She has a purple dog jacket for outer gear (which she looks fabulous in, I might add!)  And she, also, has black dog booties, which is where the challenge comes in.  She has no problem wearing her very striking purple jacket, but when it comes to the booties, by the look in her eyes it’s almost like she is trying to say ‘Are you kidding me?  I’m a dog and dogs don’t wear booties!  Cool purple jackets yes, booties, no.’  

Then the struggle begins.  Hubby gently, but firmly holds Lucy in place while I wrestle with 4 dog paws, 4 dog booties and Velcro.  Phew!  It’s exhausting being a doggy mom at times.    Mission is accomplished and out we go.  Sweet Lucy high-tails it to the deepest snow bank she can find and then gleefully jumps out of it wearing only 2 of the 4 ‘Guaranteed to stay on your dog’s feet with Velcro straps’ booties.   

So, guess who the dummy is searching in the snow bank for the 2 missing ‘Guaranteed to stay on your dog’s feet with Velcro straps’ dog booties? 

Did I mention that Hubby decided not to join us on the walk?

`til next time,
    ~ Shirley

Upcoming Events

Fri, Feb 8 – Sun, Feb 10
Garden Expo
Sat, Mar 2
Vegetable Gardening Class

10-11am Learn how to grow your own vegetables

Sat, Mar 30
Community Egg Hunt

10am – 2pm – Rain or Shine! FREE candy! Children 6 and under. Bring your camera and have your picture taken with the Easter Bunny. Accepting items for the Cottage Grove Food Pantry.

Sat, Apr 6 – Sun, Apr 7
Herb Container Workshop

10am – 4pm – FREE soil and assistance. Create an herb container garden. Bring in your own containers or buy some of ours.

Sat, Apr 13
Make & Take Terrarium Workshop

10am – 4pm – FREE soil and assistance. Create your own terrarium. Bring in your own terrarium container or buy one of ours.

Sat, Apr 13 – Sun, Apr 14
Universal Saw & Tool Sharpening

10am -4pm – Get those tools ready for easier gardening.

Our Kitchen

By Bev Wilson

Valentine’s Day is a wonderful time to try something a little different.  In an attempt to come up with something new, my sister and I went to the grocery store to see what we could find.  We came up with a super easy-to-do, fun and fruity dessert.  This recipe can be made ahead, stored in the refrigerator and brought out as a surprise, or set it up as a do-it-yourself bar.  Whichever way you choose, everyone will love these delicious cookie pizzas. 

Valentine Fruit Pizzas

Valentine Fruit Pizzas

  • 1 package Pillsbury Ready to Bake sugar cookies – 24 count (see photo)
  • 1 tub strawberry cream cheese
  • 1 can mandarin orange slices, drain well, pat sections dry with paper towel
  • Strawberries, sliced
  • Blueberries
  • Kiwi, peeled and sliced

Preheat oven to 325.  Cover 2 cookie sheets with aluminum foil.  Spray lightly with non-stick vegetable spray (Pam).  Recipe makes 8 six-inch cookies.

Place 3 pieces cookie dough 2 inches apart on one end of cookie sheet forming a triangle.  See photo. 

Using your fingers, shape dough into a heart, taking care not to allow the curved edges at the top to touch, creating an exaggerated dip – See photo. 

Cookie will be about 5 inches across and high and slightly less than one-quarter inch thick. Repeat on other end for second cookie.  Depending on size of your cookie sheet, you may be able to do three.  Be sure to leave 2 inches between cookies.

Bake 8 – 9 minutes, until edges are browned and cookie is set.  Remove pan from oven.  Allow to cool completely before removing from foil. 

To assemble, spread cream cheese on cookie and arrange fruit to your liking.  See photo.

This recipe is extremely flexible.  Any of the sweet flavored cream cheeses could be used, or just add a little sugar and vanilla to plain. Fruit can be mixed and matched depending on your preferences.  The dark cream cheese in the photo is Kraft’s Dark Chocolate Indulgence.  Even though I love decadent chocolate, I actually preferred the strawberry-flavored one.  Chocolate syrup could be drizzled on the top.

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