Have a Wonderful Easter Everyone!

Newsletter 15 – Thursday, April 13, 2017

Cottage Grove location open hours

Mon-Fri 9-6
Sat 9-5
Closed Easter Sunday

Edgerton location open hours

Mon-Fri 8:30-5:30
Sat 8:30-5:00
Closed Easter Sunday

Lady’s Story – Chapter 37

I haven't seen much of my dad lately.  He's been doing a lot of laundry.Yep, he lost the bet!I miss my dad!~Lady
Laundry hanging on the line in Lady's backyard, including several colorful dog-themed blankets“You know, it has been a while since I last saw him…when do we call in an amber alert?” Click for Larger Image

The Cottage Grove Easter Bunny

A cartoon bunny sitting on a pile of decorated easter eggsOur Pink Easter Bunny will be here!
Don’t forget your cameras!
The Cottage Grove Easter Bunny will be at our Cottage Grove location on Saturday, April 15, from 10:00-Noon.  Rain or shine!Bring the kids out for some fun and meet our Easter Bunny.While you are here why not pick up an Easter lily and pots of spring flowers to decorate your dinner table?Our Cottage Grove location will be accepting donations for the Cottage Grove Food Pantry.
Three marshmallow peeps with the text "Happy Easter my Peeps"

Lots of Pansy Faces and Viola Smiles at our Container Garden Make and Take!

Saturday, April 15, 12-4pm

Pansies in need of a good homePansies in need of a good home Click for Larger Image
Spring is finally here, and true to Wisconsin's nature the temperature has taken a stark dip. This kind of change isn’t for the weak, but only the toughest of spring bloomers, like pansies and violas. Once acclimated, they tolerate temperatures as low as mid-20s and they’ll smile and bloom right through cool weather.Come on out on Saturday anytime between 12-4 and create a sweet pansy and/or viola container garden that is capable of surviving our infamous spring weather.After you have shopped for your plants, flowers, and containers pick your spot in our designated workshop area and let the fun begin!If you've not exactly sure of what a 'Make and Take' is, please keep reading…

What’s a Make and Take?

Well, it's pretty much an opportunity to play in the dirt while creating a beautiful flowering container garden to take home.  You won't even  have to worry about making a mess 'cause we'll clean up after you!Come in anytime during the Make and Take hours.  After you have shopped for your plants, flowers, and containers pick your spot in our designated workshop area and let the fun begin!It’s a hands-on experience, so be sure to bring your garden gloves.  If you forget them, don’t worry, we have a wide variety of reasonably priced gardening gloves to choose from.  Our knowledgeable and friendly associates will be happy to assist you while you do the planting and will help with any and all plant or design questions.Feel free to bring in your own EMPTY and CLEAN containers from home or you may choose several from our wide and beautiful new selection of pottery.  To participate in our Make and Takes and receive FREE POTTING SOIL AND ASSISTANCE, a minimum plant purchase of $10.00 is required per container the day of the Make and Take.We do reserve the option to charge extra for potting soil for larger containers.
Q: How does the Easter Bunny keep his fur neat?

A: With a hare brush!


Lighten Your Load

If you are bringing in large containers please bring in 'non-biodegradable' packing peanuts, chunks of Styrofoam or Styrofoam egg cartons to help fill the bottom of your container.  We do not carry packing peanuts at our greenhouse. In addition to providing great drainage, it makes the container a whole lot lighter for you to transport back home and also, easier to rearrange in your garden if you want to change your outside decor.We do reserve the option to charge extra for potting soil for larger containers, so styrofoam can help you save there as well.
Q: How does the Easter Bunny dry his fur?

A: With a hare dryer?


Do you know?

To have a successful container garden there is some information that you’ll need to know beforehand.  Such as, where are your containers going to be located; in the sun, in the shade or a little of both?  Different plants and flowers have different needs.  Do you want to just water them and watch them grow or are you okay with periodically removing the dead blooms?  It is this kind of information that will allow us to help you choose the right plants and flowers for your situation.  Our container garden designers will be here to answer any and all of your questions.
Q: How does the Easter Bunny keep his fur shiny?

A: With hare spray!


Potato Salad Anyone?

Seed PotatoesSeed Taters Click for Larger Image
Onion SetsOnion Sets Click for Larger Image
Our seed potatoes and onion sets have landed and they’re looking great! We have Russet Burbank, Red Norland, Red Pontiac*, White Kennebec, Golden Yukon, and Purple/Blue* seed potatoes and yellow, white, and red onion sets. *Note: Red Pontiac potatoes are only available at our Edgerton location and Purple/Blue potatoes are only available at our Cottage Grove location. All others are available at both locations.Cottage Grove – 608-222-2269
Edgerton – 608-884-8120 or Toll-free 888-287-1411

Q: Why didn’t the bunny hop!

A: No bunny knows.


Coming Soon – Lovely Lilacs

It is amazing to think about, but there are over 2000 named lilac varieties under cultivation on earth. Their range of color includes white, many shades of blues and purples, as well as pinks and magentas. While we carry only a tiny number of the varieties, these fragrant shrubs remain a customer favorite year after year.Two of our best sellers are Pocahontas and BloomerangPocahontas is a Canadian hybrid that blooms early.  Very dark purplish maroon buds open to single, dark purple florets.  This hardy shrub has highly fragrant blooms, and performs best with plenty of sunshine and good drainage.  Bloomerang has very fragrant, lavender flowers.  But the surprise comes from its recurrent blooms until frost, one of the few lilac varieties to do so.In our area, lilacs perform best in locations with full sun.  A large deciduous shrub, lilacs produce large flower clusters of small fragrant trumpet-shaped florets in late spring.  The fragrance of lilacs fills the air with a haunting sweet aroma. Enjoy this to the fullest by planting them near outdoor entertainment areas.Lilac blossoms make beautiful bouquets allowing you to bring the fragrance of the cut flowers inside.  Be sure to cut the stems early in the day when the flowers are just opening.  Because of their woody stems, you can prolong their vase life by cutting or crushing the stems before you put them in your vase.While lilac bushes are the focal point of your landscape when they bloom, they provide other benefits to your landscape, as well.  After the bloom period ends, the density of the heart-shaped leaves make a good screen or hedge.If deer are a problem in your neighborhood, lilacs are a good landscape choice.  They are not attracted to this hardy shrub.  Lilacs do, however, attract birds by providing them with a safe place to nest.  Butterflies also love the blossoms of lilacs.  They will spend more time feeding on your plants and spreading pollen around your garden if your lilacs are planted in an area protected from strong winds.

Corsages, Boutonnière, Flowers and Plants!

Princess Lily (Alstroemeria) CorsageA Princess Lily Corsage Click for Larger Image
Spring time and prom season go hand and hand!In my day, a girl didn't go to prom without a date, but yet guys went by themselves. How wrong was that?!Thank goodness, times have changed!  Now-a-days many young people go together in a casual group.   They still get all dolled up, (Wow, that term just dated me, didn't it?) in suits, tuxes, gowns or sassy dresses.Yes, many things have changed, but yet flowers seem to pass the test of time, don't they?  A wrist/pin corsage or boutonnière remains an essential part of the prom 'dress code.'Stop at either of our locations to order your prom flowers or just give us a call.To order flowers or plants for delivery, for any occasion, just contact us at either our Cottage Grove location at 608-222-2269 or www.americasbestflowers.net or our Edgerton location at 608-884-8120 or 1-888-287-1411 or www.edgertonfloralandgarden.com.Please keep in mind that flower and plant selection may vary between our two locations.

It’s Bulb-a-licious time at our Greenhouse!

Click for Larger Image
Our summer bulbs have arrived!  Stop on out to get the best selection of gladiolus, lilies (Asiatic & Oriental), dahlias, elephant ears, tropicanna cannas, Peruvian daffodil, and Cape lily. You'll be amazed with the varieties we have!Wouldn't a variety of bulbs in an Easter basket make a great Easter gift idea?
Q: Where does the Easter Bunny eat breakfast?

A: IHOP


Dane Buy Local

Dane Buy Local
America’s Best Flowers has been a proud member of Dane Buy Local, a non-profit organization that helps promote small businesses in the Dane County area for years.  For more information on the Dane Buy Local organization we encourage you to visit their website www.danebuylocal.com.
Q: Why shouldn’t you tell an Easter egg a joke?

A: It might crack up!


Employment Opportunity

Are you looking for a short-term seasonal job?   Do you enjoy people and flowers? We have a position available for a Greenhouse Production Associate.  The Greenhouse Production Associate is responsible for all aspects of plant maintenance including but not limited to: watering, moving, shipping, and disposing of all plants while maintaining the quality standards of America’s Best Flowers. Physical stamina is necessary for this position.We are in need of candidates who can work weekends and several days during the week.  This is a 40 hour per week position.If you are interested in either of these employment opportunities please email Marty Robbins at abfrobbins@yahoo.com or Betty Bless at abfbettyb@gmail.com.
Chicken Easter: One chicken holding a basket filled with colored eggs is saying to another chicken, "Close your eyes and I'll hide the kids again."

Upcoming Events

Sat, Apr 15 Community Egg Hunt – Cottage Grove (10-Noon)
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 15 Colorful Pansy Make & Take Container Garden (12-4pm)
FREE soil, slow release fertilizer and limited assistance with a minimum
$10 purchase per container (see store for details). You create a beautiful container garden in our greenhouse and we’ll clean
up the mess. Bring in your own EMPTY pots or buy some of ours.
Sat, Apr 22 Lawn Care Class (11-noon)
Learn from a grass seed expert!
Sat, Apr 22 Earth Day Celebration – (10-2pm)
Free children’s activities. Bring a white T-shirt (or purchase one from us) to paint, make seed balls, plant flower seeds and more.
Sat, Apr 22 – Sun, Apr 23 Arbor Day Celebration
Receive a Free Black Hills Spruce with purchase, while supplies last.
Limit 1 per family.
Sat, Apr 22 – Sun, Apr 23 Container Garden Make & Take – (10-3:30pm)
FREE soil, slow release fertilizer and limited assistance with a minimum
$10 purchase per container (see store for details). You create a beautiful container garden in our greenhouse and we’ll clean
up the mess. Bring in your own EMPTY pots or buy some of ours.

Our Kitchen – By Bev Wilson

We had a birthday around here last week.  Our new manager, Betty Bless, celebrated another year here on earth, probably best if I not tell you which one.  When asked what her favorite cake is, she answered without a moment's hesitation, "banana with chocolate frosting."I had never made a banana cake with chocolate icing before, so I went home to my trusty Cake Doctor Cookbook by Anne Byrn, which I believe should be on the shelf in every kitchen where cakes are baked even once a year, and found the following recipe. It is actually from her second volume – The Cake Doctor Returns, but if you are only going to buy one, get the first one, there's a banana cake in it too.I topped the cake with Ms Byrn's Fluffy Chocolate Frosting, which is the best frosting there is, and the result was delicious.  We thought you might like to try it.

A Better Banana Cake

• 1 pkg plain yellow cake mix• 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (I used 1)• 2 medium size ripe bananas, peeled and mashed (1 generous cup)• 1 cup milk or water (I used skim milk)• 1/2 cup vegetable oil• 1 t pure vanilla extract• 3 large eggs

Directions

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray 2 – 9" round cake pans.Place cake mix and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.  Stir together.   Beat eggs in a small bowl. Add to large bowl along with mashed bananas, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat with electric mixer on low speed until the ingredients are mixed.  Stop machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed.  Pour into pans and bake 30-32 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched in the center.  Cool upright on wire racks for 10 minutes, invert onto rack, cool a few more minutes until cake releases from pan, remove pan and allow to cool completely.

Fluffy Chocolate Frosting

• 8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature• 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder• 3 cups confectioners’ sugar• 1/3 cup milk• 2 t pure vanilla extract

Directions

Place the softened butter and cocoa powder in your mixer bowl and beat on low speed until the mixture is soft and well combined.  Stop machine, add confectioners' sugar, 1/3 c milk and the vanilla.  Beat on low speed until frosting lightens and is fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. If frosting is too thick or thin, add more milk or confectioners' sugar a little at a time.Place one cake onto plate.  Spread with frosting.  Top with second cake. Frost the top.  Spread remaining icing around sides. Sprinkle with chopped nuts if desired.
SEE YOU SOON!!!