We’re Fall-ing for You

Newsletter 23 – Thursday, August 25, 2011

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

No Bones About It!!!

Our clean dog day at America’s Best Flowers was a tail of success!  We thought we may have bitten off more than we could chew with our dog wash event, but we hit this one way out of the dog park!  Have you heard the expression ‘every dog has his day’?  Well, we’re going to make a ‘ruff’ estimate and say that close to one hundred dogs had their day on Saturday. Eighty four dogs were bathed, forty five had their nails clipped and twenty four were professionally photographed.  And then there were some dogs that just came to party! 

We are so very pleased to announce that America’s Best Flowers Dog Wash raised $1,042.73 for the Dane County Humane Society.  Our great friends at Tabby & Jack’s Pet Supplies and Grooming joined us for our fundraiser and trimmed nails, nails and more nails.  Tabby & Jack’s raised $484 for the Dane County Humane Society.  Talbot Photographer will notify us with his donation amount once all his picture orders are in.

Our thanks to all the dogs and owners who had a paw and hand in making our first annual dog wash fundraiser so successful.

You’re Invited

We would like to invite all dogs and their owners to join us for our presentation to the Dane County Humane Society.  America’s Best Flowers, Tabby & Jack’s and Talbot Photography are going to present the Dane County Humane Society with the total donation of $1,526.73 on Friday, August 26th at 1:30 at our greenhouse. Representatives from the Dane County Humane Society, Gayle Vinney, Public Relations Coordinator and Jody Wortsman, Fundraising Event Specialist will be here to accept our donation.

Rumor is there will be dog treats and dog prize drawings on Friday.

See you on Friday, we’ll have a howling good time!


What do you call a pickle that got run over on the highway?
Road Dill

Autumn Container Workshop

Saturday, August 27, 10-4

A display of our fall containers
Some of Our Fall Creations
Click for Larger Image

It won’t get any better than this…pick out your favorite mum, aster, add one or two of our perfect perennials, even a shrub and we’ll help you create a beautiful autumn container to showcase your home, deck or backyard.   Autumn, with it’s plethora of vibrant and sultry colors, is the time to appreciate our Wisconsin beauty.   Please join us Saturday, August 27th for our Autumn Container Workshop.  Let our expert gardeners, Sharon and Marty work their magic with you between 10 and 4 pm.  Bring in your own container or for a new fall look select a piece of pottery from our unique and stunning selection.   We’ll not only provide the soil…we’ll clean up the mess.  Over the years these workshops have become favorites with many of you.  Because of limited availability on some plant materials, we would ask that you give us a call to pre-register. 222-2269 or email ed@americasbestflowers.com

What’s the pickle’s favorite game show?
Let’s Make a Dill

It’s Iris Time

'Edith Wolford' Bearded Iris
‘Edith Wolford’ Bearded Iris
Click for More Info

What do Buckwheat, Cloud Ballet and Happenstance have in common?  They are three of the bearded iris that just arrived here at America’s Best Flowers.  Mid August thru early September is the perfect time to plant, move and divide iris.  Several weeks of nice weather remain allowing the rhizomes time to develop the strong root systems they need to produce their big beautiful blossoms next May.  Supplies are limited so don’t delay.  A little time spent in your garden this fall will result in years and years of gorgeous flowers.

With any purchase this week you’ll receive a free gerbera daisy (until we run out), so stop out today!

What does an agreeable pickle always say?
I relish the idea.

Art in the Garden

Local Artisans featured
Saturday, September 17, 9-3

They’ll be here before you know it!  The holidays.  That special time of year when we go out of our way to find something unique for that hard to shop for, friend or family member.  You know who we’re talking about, the person who has everything, except perhaps a unique artistic, one-of-a-kind creation.

Now you can jumpstart that search, at our 2nd Annual Art in the Garden event.  On September 17, from 9-3, our main greenhouse will be enhanced and transformed by the artistic creativity of over 30 Wisconsin artists, offering you the opportunity to find unique holiday gifts, or a little something special for yourself.  Items will include: jewelry, paintings, weavings, stone carving, pottery, leaf casting, woodworking, textiles, photography and much more!

In addition to the vast assortment of unique creative wares, you’ll be surrounded by the beauty, color and fragrance of fall flowers, and be treated to the smooth sounds of two popular local musicians, Bill Lockwood & Sam Verdeccia.

So mark your calendar for September 17, bring your shopping list or just set aside some time to stroll through our greenhouses and enjoy Art in the Garden. ~ Deb Meyer

Just a reminder – we are accepting registrations for this free event through September 3.  If you would like to display your work, please let us know.  222-2269.

What is the pickle’s most common sin?
He’s Green with Envy

Have you Heard?

Our radio ads on WMGN – Magic 98 (98.1 FM), WCHY (105.1 FM), and WMMM (105.5 FM) will fill you in on the latest and greatest happenings here at America’s Best Flowers.  Whether we are washing dogs, planting containers or building scarecrows, you can get the latest news at the push of a button. Tune in today.  And please, spread the word.  Your friends will be glad you did.

Find us on Facebook

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

What is a pickle’s philosophy of life?
Never a dill moment!

Upcoming Events

Sat, Aug 20 – Sat, Aug 27
Dog Days of Summer

Kicks off with a dog wash on the 20th, then continues with dog-themed giveaways the rest of the week. Donations go to Dane County Humane Society

Sat, Aug 27
Autumn Container Workshop

10am – 4pm Free soil and assistance. Create a beautiful container in our potting shed and we’ll clean up the mess. Bring your own pots or buy one of ours.

Sat, Sep 10 – Sun, Sep 18
Fall Dollar Days

Redeem your collected orange ABF dollars for up to 50% off your total purchase.

Sat, Sep 17
Art in the Garden

9am – 3pm Local artisans and crafters will be displaying and selling their merchandise. Please note that the artists will not accept Orange Dollars.

Sat, Sep 24 – Sun, Oct 16
Scarecrow Days

10am – 5pm Make your own scarecrow and we’ll clean up the mess. Family fun!

Sat, Nov 19
Winter Porch Pot & Wreath Workshop

10am – 4pm Please call ahead to register 222-2269.

What does the non-believing pickle say?
You’re gherkin my chain

Our Kitchen

Growing up in rural Iowa, it was common for the farm kitchen to be filled with the vinegary fragrance of pickled vegetables. Whether it was bread and butter pickles, pepper relish, or beets, the aromas promised a winter of good eating. One of my mom’s favorites was pickled beets. She and my Aunt Betty often worked together filling mason jars with these brilliant red delicacies. Here is the simple recipe they used. Because we had chickens on our farm, hard-boiled eggs would often find their way into a few jars. So pretty to look at and delicious to eat. Remember the jars with eggs have to go in the fridge.

Pickled Beets

This recipe is enough for about 10 pounds of beets (3 to 4 beets per pound depending on size), which will make around 10 pints of finished product. If you have pickling liquid left, store in fridge for the next time.
Pickled Beets

    Pickling Liquid
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 2 cups white vinegar
    • 2 cups water
    • 2 T mixed pickling spices
    • 1 t ground allspice

    Wash beets thoroughly and cut off tops (save for cooked greens), leaving 2 – 3 inches attached to prevent excessive bleeding. Do not cut off root.  Heat a large pan of water to boiling.  Add beets, being sure they are completely covered, and boil gently for 30 – 45 minutes depending on size of beets – until almost fork tender.

    While beets are cooking, heat the above ingredients for the pickling liquid together and allow to simmer on back of stove.  If you want to add hard boiled eggs, boil in a separate pan until just done – 6 to 7 minutes for large, and peel.

    When beets are done, drain off cooking water – be careful it’s really hot and contact with any surface may stain.  I do this in a large strainer in the sink.  Then I peel the beets under cool running water to prevent burning my hands.  It is a good idea to wear disposable gloves to keep your hands from turning red.  Cut larger beets into halves, quarters or eighths, depending on their size.  Small beets can be left whole.  Fill hot sterilized jars with beets, or a mixture of beets and eggs – 2 – 3 eggs per pint or 4 – 6 eggs per quart.  Shake jar and press down with your fingers to settle beets well.  Cover with hot pickling liquid to ¼” of top.  Seal with 2 piece canning lids.  Jars with eggs should be allowed to cool a bit and then placed in refrigerator.  The longer storage of jars, process in a hot water bath by placing jars in the rack of a large canning pan, and filling with enough water to cover the jars by 1 inch.  Bring to a boil and boil for 15 minutes.  Refrigerate jars after opening.

    If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers
    How many pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick?

    Most people would say more pickled peppers than anyone could eat, But those people have not tasted the pickled peppers that my ‘mom-in-law’ made. We use these peppers in many ways. Perhaps our favorite is thinly sliced atop a pizza, or maybe it’s Jim’s special recipe for the bluegill we catch in the spring, or simply sliced atop our favorite sandwich. Whichever way you use them, I guarantee that once you try them, you’ll make them again and again. Banana peppers are available all year long at the store, so you can make 1 or 2 jars at a time whenever you want

    Helene’s Simple Pickled Peppers

    Helene?s Simple Pickled Peppers

    Heat vinegar to boiling. Thoroughly clean sweet banana peppers, if you like some heat add a few jalapenos. Cut stems about 1/2” long. Pack into hot sterilized jars, quarts work best. Pour boiling white vinegar over peppers leaving ¼ inch headspace. Tap jars on counter to release air bubbles. Seal with 2 piece canning lids. Store in the refrigerator. For longer storage, process in a hot water bath by placing jars in the rack of a large canning pan, and filling with enough water to cover the jars by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, and boil for 15 minutes. Refrigerate jars after opening.

    When can you put pickles in the door?
    When it’s ajar.

    Dilly Beans

    Although my mom never pickled green beans, after I left home I was introduced to them by an avid gardener friend. Unfortunately, I misplaced her recipe along the way but I have found one online at inthegardenonline.com, which provides easy-to-follow instructions complete with how-to pictures. If my memory serves me, this is very similar to the way she used to make them. Be sure to store in the refrigerator. If you have a favorite pickling recipe, please email it, along with a picture of the finished product, if you have one, to ed@americasbestflowers.com. I may include it in future newsletters.

    What do you call a pickle from the southern backwoods?
    A hillbilly dilly.

    What do you call a pickled cucumber who runs back and forth?
    A willy-nilly dilly.

    What did the pickle’s wife say when he came home late
    and said he was stuck in a jar?
    That’s a crock!

    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