Welcome Back, Spring!

Newsletter 5 – Thursday, March 19, 2015

Current Hours

Cottage Grove location open

9am – 5pm, Monday through Saturday
We are currently closed on Sundays.

Edgerton location open

Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:30pm, Sat 8:30am-5pm, Sun 9am-4pm

Lucy’s Story – Chapter 83

Snippet from Lucy’s September 2014 journal…

There are so many things my mom is really, really good at, BUT there is one thing she just can’t quite get the hang of…SELFIES!

She has been TRYING for sooo long to take the perfect selfie of her and me. I finally get what ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ means! 

‘Cause as you can see, from just these few pictures (and these are the best ones) that it’s just not happening.  

I love my mom and I don’t want to hurt her feelings…does anyone have any suggestions on how to gently tell her it’s time to give it up?

Till next time!


Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.

Groucho Marx

Bring Spring Inside!

By Judy Calvin

You’ve asked and we have them.  Beautiful planted pots, in assorted colors, are starting to bloom here at the greenhouse.  Hurry in for best selection and enjoy them now for yourself or for a friend.

Freesia is among the most popular fragrant flowers having a sweet, citrus scent and bell-shaped blooms.  They are excellent cut flowers.  The 7th wedding anniversary flower; in the language of flowers, freesia are said to symbolize innocence and friendship.

"The happiness of that afternoon was already fixed in her mind,
and always would the scent of freesia recall it to her mental sight,
for among the smells of the roses and violets and lilies and wall-flowers,
the smell of the freesia penetrated, as a melody stands out from its
accompaniment, and gave her the most pleasure."

Hugh De Sélincourt in The Way Things Happen

New Products Corner

Ceramic Birdbaths

By Marty Robbins

No garden is complete without a birdbath. Give your backyard feathered friends a welcome summer gathering spot. Water is one of the most important things birders can add to their backyard to attract birds. All bird species need water, and adding water features to your yard will quickly attract feathered friends.

Birds need water for two reasons: drinking and preening. Water helps keep a bird’s body cool both from the inside and outside. Birdbaths can also remove dust, loose feathers, parasites and other debris from a bird’s plumage. Offering water in your backyard will attract more birds than just food sources, since birds that would not normally visit feeders can be tempted by water. Any water is an improvement on a dry backyard.

We currently have a large selection of sizes and colors available at both our locations. Some designs are available with locking tops while others can be secured with our birdbath adhesive.

A clean birdbath is essential to prevent the spread of disease. Pick up a jar of our Birdbath Scrub to remove mold, dirt, water lines and organic stains. It’s all natural and environmentally friendly. Our Birdbath Cleanse product breaks down sludge, stains and bio-film. It is safe on any surface, all natural and environmentally friendly, and is safe for birds, pets and humans. Both our Birdbath Scrub and Cleanse products are made in Wisconsin.

A birdbath would make a perfect Mother’s Day, Easter or birthday gift.

Amish Humor

Sign behind an Amish carriage:
"Energy efficient vehicle. Runs on grass and oats.
CAUTION: Avoid exhaust!"

We make seed planting easy!

Some of the Flower and Vegetable Seed Starter Kits
Everything but the seeds, water and sunlight!
Click for Larger Image

To help with your seed planting project, we have two types of seed starting trays available from HSU, a Wisconsin based company. 

The Flower and Vegetable Seed Starter Kit is filled with HSU Professional Potting Soil.  The Organic Seed Starter Kit filled with Organic Rice hull Potting Soil.

Both are a 32 cell insert and watering tray. Just lightly moisten the soil, pop in 1-2 seeds in each cell, in the depth directed by the seed package, and cover with soil.  Place in sunny, warm area.  Mist with water to keep soil moist.  Stand back and watch them grow. Then transplant when and where appropriate.

While supply lasts, take advantage of our $1.50 off coupon, on the purchase of two seed starter kits.  This coupon is good through March 31, 2015 and is available at both of our locations.

The healthiest way to gamble is with a spade and a package of garden seeds.

Dan Barett

Coming Soon …
Seed Potatoes and Onion Sets

We are expecting to have our seed potatoes and onion sets in by Wednesday, March 25th.  To be sure they have arrived; we ask that you call ahead.  Following are the phone numbers for both of our locations: 

Cottage Grove – 608-222-2269
Edgerton – 608-884-8120 or Toll-free 888-287-1411

Hippity Hop … the Bunny’s on Her Way!

Mrs. Bunny wants to remind you of the Easter Egg Hunt at both of America’s Best Flowers’ locations, Saturday, April 4, from 10 – 2pm! Rain or Shine (it’s an indoor egg hunt!) 

Again, this year, at both of our locations, we will be accepting donations for local food pantries during our Easter Egg Hunt. 

Our Cottage Grove location will be accepting donations for the Cottage Grove Food Pantry. Our Edgerton location will be accepting donations for the Edgerton Outreach Food Pantry.

New Feature for our Newsletter: Employee of the Week

By Judy Calvin

Ed & Carol Knapton

Beginning today and in the weeks to come we will be featuring one of our dedicated staff.  You will understand why we are so proud to have them working for us.  So with that said, we felt it is only fitting to begin with the owners of America’s Best Flowers.

Ed and Carol Knapton began their Journey together in 1970.  They started a U-pick vegetable farm in 1977 located in Marshall, Wisconsin, which evolved into a U-pick strawberry farm.  With their love and knowledge of flowers they decided to begin growing flowers and selling retail to local residents in the area.

With success came the decision to enlarge their operation.  The land on Vilas Hope Road became available and the operation moved to that location.  Over the years it has grown to become what it is today, with 2 acres of greenhouses to enjoy.  Their love of plants has evolved into finding the best varieties available for area gardeners to be successful with their gardens, thus the name ‘America’s Best Flowers’.

The only thing they love more is their lovely family: a wonderful daughter and son-in-law and three gorgeous grandchildren.

Happy Gardening!

I have Contacts

A policeman pulled a female driver over and asked to see her license.
After looking it over, he said to her, “Lady, it stipulates here on your license that you should be wearing glasses.”
“Well, I have contacts,” the woman replied.
“Look lady, I don’t care who you know,” snapped the officer. “You’re getting a ticket.”

America’s Best Flowers Fundraising Program

America's Best Flowers Gift Card
Their garden will thank you!
Click for Larger Image

Spring has finally arrived! There is till plenty of time for your non-profit organization to participate in our easy and fabulous fundraiser program!

Non-profit organizations earn 25% of the proceeds from each gift card they sell.  For example, if your organization sells $500 of our gift cards, which are available in any denomination over $10, your organization would earn $125.   

Please contact us if your non-profit organization is in need of funds for things such as (but by no means limited to):

  • local charities, (i.e. food pantry)
  • church mission trips,
  • new equipment or uniforms for your school sports program, or school band or orchestra.

America’s Best Flowers gift cards may be used at both our Cottage Grove and Edgerton locations. 

If you are interested or have questions regarding our easy and profitable program, please contact Shirley at abfscimino@yahoo.com.

It’s Time to Bid!

Text: "Wisconsin Green Industry Federation Online Auction; March 17 - March 31; biddingforgood.com/wgif"

The Wisconsin Green Industry Federation Online Auction has started and will run through March 31st, 2015. This organization will be auctioning off a number of useful, fun and unique items from many different companies. 

America’s Best Flowers will also have a number of great items for you to bid on.  Check out their website at http://www.biddingforgood.com/wgif.


A couple was celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.
At the party, everybody wanted to know how they managed to stay married so long in this day and age. The husband responded “When we were first married, we came to an agreement to share. I would make all the major decisions, and my wife would make all the minor decisions.”
“But do you know what I just realized?”
“In 60 years of marriage I don’t think we have ever needed to make a major decision.”

Has your email address changed?

If your email address has changed please remember to let us know by either calling us at 608-222-2269, sending us an email at abfbev@yahoo.com or just let us know the next time you are at the greenhouse.

Upcoming Events

Sat, Apr 4
Community Egg Hunt

10am-2pm – Indoor – Rain or shine! FREE candy! For 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 11 – Sun, Apr 12
Terrarium & Miniature Garden Container Workshop

10am-3pm – FREE soil and assistance. Create your own terrarium or miniature garden. Customers may bring in their own EMPTY containers, but all accessories must be purchased from America’s Best Flowers.

Sat, Apr 18 – Sun, Apr 19
Spring Flower Show

9am-6pm We have your all-time favorite plants plus a few new ones for the season and a HUGE selection of new pottery.

Sat, Apr 18
Herb Container Workshop

10am-3pm – FREE soil and assistance. Create your own herb garden. Bring in your own EMPTY containers or buy some of ours.

Sat, Apr 18 – Sun, Apr 19
Universal Saw & Tool Sharpening

9am-3pm Get your tools ready for easier gardening.

Sat, Apr 25
Earth Day Celebration

10am-2pm Free children’s activities. Bring a white T-shirt to paint, make seed balls, plant flower seeds and more.

Our Kitchen

The inspiration for this recipe came from one I found in the bookRed Velvet Cupcake Murder by JoAnne Fluke, one of many light-hearted who-done-it’s she has written.  Because I can never leave a recipe alone, I’ve made several changes over time.  The following is our favorite version.  We really like the mild heat from the chilies and cheese.  I know there are a lot of ingredients, but together they make a tasty dish indeed. 

Chicken Tetrazzini Casserole

  • ½ lb thin spaghetti
  • 8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 med onion, cut into quarters and sliced very thin
  • ½ c celery, sliced very thin
  • ½ c red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 3 T butter
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced thinly as for stir fry
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ t onion powder
  • ¼ t garlic powder
  • 1 c frozen petite peas
  • 2 cans (4.5 oz ea) diced green chilies
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • ½ c chicken broth, or ½ c boiling water and ½ t bouillon powder
  • ½ soup can milk (2% or whole is best)
  • 2 C grated pepper jack cheese

Preheat oven to 350.

Break dry spaghetti into thirds. Cook per package instructions in salted water, drain, rinse and return to pot.  Set aside.

While spaghetti cooks, sauté vegetables and garlic in butter in a large skillet until tender. Add to spaghetti in pot. Stir.

Cook chicken in same skillet in a little olive oil.  Season with salt, pepper, onion and garlic powders.  Sauté just until chicken is no longer pink, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, cook peas in microwave according to package instructions.

Add chicken, peas, green chilies and 2/3 of cheese to spaghetti. Stir.

Mix soup, chicken broth and milk together in same skillet. Pour over spaghetti mixture and stir well.

Pour into greased 9 x 13 baking dish.  Top with remaining cheese.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned.

Serve with a crisp green salad.  Enjoy!

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