Watch Out for Flying Dirt

Newsletter 6 – Tuesday, April 10, 2012

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


Are You Ready to Plant?

Dirt will be flying this weekend!

Are you a first time gardener or maybe a hesitant-to-try-something-different gardener?  Relax!  We’ve all been in your gardening shoes at one time or another.

On Saturday and Sunday, April 14 -15, from 10 – 4 PM we would love to show you the basics of gardening.  Let’s plant some herbs and vegetables together. We will use both established plants and seeds, so you’ll see both methods. It’s going to be a fun and relaxing way to learn the joys of gardening. 

You’ll take what you learned home with you and in no time at all you’ll be able to impress your family and friends with recipes made with your very own home-grown herbs and vegetables.  Plus, straight from your yard beautiful flowers for your centerpiece.

Remember, 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. 

Looking for that perfect grass seed?

Capital City Parks is a popular, versatile mixture that includes three species of cool season grasses.  It’s formulated to perform well in sun and light shade areas and in a wide range of soil types.  With its strong disease resistance and excellent wear tolerance you’ll be rolling in your sod-quality lawn in just a short period of time.  Stop in and pick up a bag or two.

A word from Marty on what’s new for spring.

By Martin Robbins

We have Crossandra.  Grow this tropical plant in containers and you’re sure to get compliments.  It’s a great performer for hot sunny spots.  It produces clusters of frilly orange flowers all season long with shiny dark leaves.  When frost threatens, bring it indoors and grow as a houseplant!

We can’t leave out Potunia Papaya.  This is a unique orange petunia that works beautifully to spice up the color combos of your containers.  A great complement to salmon and orange geraniums.

Q. What do a ball, a salad and a coin have in common?
A. They are all tossed.

Reminder – Don’t throw away those lilies.

After the blooms begin to fade and die off, don’t throw them away.  Plant them in your yard.  Lilies will grow and bloom in your garden for years to come. 

Wait until all chances of a frost have passed and transplant your lily in your garden.  Plant it in full sun, in somewhat of a rich soil and in a well-drained area.  In the fall, apply bulb fertilizer or blood meal on top of the soil and carefully work it in without disturbing the bulbs.  Cover with mulch in colder climates to protect the bulb from freezing.

Don’t panic if your lily doesn’t come back until the second year after it is transplanted.  Sometimes bulbs have been forced to bloom and need a year to recover and return to its normal cycle.

Nice parachute. Never opened. Used once.

Don’t forget to mark your calendar

America’s Best Flowers has a full season of events scheduled.  This season we are having 10 container workshops.  You make the mess and we clean it up!  Our hope is that we have a little something for everyone.  For a quick review of our schedule of Upcoming Events just add to your favorites.

Open house: Body Shapers Toning Salon. Free coffee and doughnuts.

Say what?

Have you ever heard a particular word and ask yourself ‘huh, what?’ 

It happened to me the first time I ever heard the word Hosta.  

I asked the person to repeat the word and still I didn’t get it.  Then to try and pronounce a word that you don’t get in the first place is, well, embarrassing or hysterical…that, of course, depends on whether or not there are witnesses. 

That word just wouldn’t roll off my tongue.  After some thought, I decided that maybe planting a Hosta or two would help me with the pronunciation of this strange word.  That was 26 years ago and after counting my 86 beautiful Hostas yesterday I feel fairly confident that I’ve got it.  Just don’t make me say it in a hurry.

Finally, why is it some people pronounce words beginning with the letter ‘h’ with a silent ‘h’ and others pronounce it with a ‘ha’ sounding ‘h’?

`til next week,
    ~ Shirley

Upcoming Events

Sat, Apr 14 – Sun, Apr 15
Herb Container Workshop

10am – 4pm Free soil. Let us show you how to plant and design an herb garden.

Sat, Apr 14 – Sun, Apr 15
Vegetable Seed Starting Workshop

10am – 4pm Free soil. Buy your seed packets and seeding trays and we provide the soil. Get a jump on spring!

Sat, Apr 14 – Sun, Apr 15
How to Plant a Veggie Garden Ongoing Class

10am – 4pm Drop in and ask your questions!

Sat, Apr 21 – Sun, Apr 22
Open House

Free hot dogs and popcorn from 11am to 3pm. Come see all of our new beautiful plants.

Sat, Apr 21 – Sun, Apr 22
Universal Saw & Tool Sharpening

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

Fri, Apr 27 – Sun, Apr 29
St. Vincent de Paul’s ‘Pick-A-Pack’ Event

Come out and donate a $1.99 pack of tomatoes or Lady Bell peppers for their gardens. The veggies will be used for their Community Food Pantry. For every 4 pack sold, America’s Best Flowers will donate $.50 towards the SVDP gardens.

Find us on Facebook

Our fan club is growing. Please become a fan on Facebook, and invite your friends.

An elderly woman died last month. Having never married, she requested no male pallbearers. In her handwritten instructions for memorial service, she wrote, ‘They wouldn’t take me out while I was alive, I don’t want them to take me out when I’m dead.’

Our Kitchen

By Bev Wilson

This recipe was born from the need to use a package of thawed chicken breasts.   As I cut and cooked, I told Jim I didn’t know what I was making, but hoped it would be good enough to eat.  And it was – so good that Jim decided the gravy was the best he had ever had.

Start your meal with an appetizer given to me by our youngest granddaughter – Ants on a Log.  Microwave a package of your favorite steam-in-the-bag vegetables.  Open a can of pineapple slices and serve them with gingersnaps for dessert.  Another job well done. Enjoy!!

Bev’s Herb Chicken with Mushrooms

Bev’s Herb Chicken with Mushrooms

  • 3 large chicken breasts cut diagonally into thirds
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, sliced very thinly
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 t dried thyme crushed or 1 T fresh
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • 8 oz mushrooms – cut into quarters
  • 3 baking potatoes – cut into 1” cubes
  • 1 c water

Start with a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid.  Spray pan well with non-stick vegetable cooking spray.  Heat over medium heat. 

Place garlic single layer in pan and allow to brown a bit. Gently pour oil over garlic, swirl to spread throughout pan.  Add chicken pieces.  Season well with thyme and pepper.  When golden brown, turn pieces.  Spread mushrooms and potatoes evenly over the chicken, add water. 

Cover and continue to cook until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove chicken and vegetables to a serving bowl with slotted spoon, leaving broth in skillet. 

Mix 1 T cornstarch in ¼ c water to make slurry.  With whisk, stir slurry into boiling broth to thicken, adding slowly as it may not take all of the slurry to reach desired consistency.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  If more gravy is desired, add an additional cup of water and a chicken bouillon cube to broth in skillet and bring to a boil before adding double mixture of slurry. Taste before you add salt.

Serves 4

Ants on a Log

  • Celery stalks cut into 3- 4” pieces
  • Peanut butter, creamy or chunky, whichever you prefer
  • Raisins

Fill celery with peanut butter.  Top with several raisins (ants).

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