Celebrate Earth Day Every Day!

Newsletter 16 – Thursday, April 20, 2017

Cottage Grove location open hours

Mon-Fri 9-7
Sat & Sun 9-5

Edgerton location open hours

Mon-Fri 8:30-5:30
Sat 8:30-5:00
Sun 9-4

Lady’s Story – Chapter 38

I was in the backyard the other morning (minding my own business, I might add) when I heard my mom say, 'Well, welcome back! I've been waiting to see you!'Ah, ok, I look around and, um, gosh, this is so hard for me to tellya…THERE WASN'T ANYONE THERE!Silently, I watch from waaaay back in the corner of the yard where it's safe…ya know what I'm saying?  Is my mom losing it or what?  Then it hits me!  She's talking to a plant!Shishhh, what next?  Well, all I can say is, she can talk to all the plants she wants; me, well, I'm going to stay as far away as possible when this happens. Are ya all with me on this?Then I hear the dreaded, 'Lady, come on over here. I've got an idea!'Yep, that's me with the plant my mom was talking to a few days ago.She thinks it would be fun to track the growth of her favorite plant by taking a picture of me with it on a weekly basis.Watching a plant grow, wow, sounds like a blast, huh?
“It’s like watching paint dry, except it never ends! Click for Larger Image
~Lady
Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.

Aldo Leopold

Join Us For A Fun Weekend At Our Greenhouse!


Container Garden Make and Take!

Saturday & Sunday, April 22-23
10-3:30pm

A pair of deck-railing planters filled to the brim with colorful flowers and foliage Click for Larger Image
There are infinite possibilities of plant combinations for creating a stunning container. If you’d like some help choosing plants or creating a design, come to a Make and Take! You get the enjoyment of planting and playing in the soil, while our helpful container experts are available to answer any questions you may have. They have the knowledge and experience to help you bring your vision to life!Here’s the procedure for our Container Garden Make and Take:1.    Sign in at the registration table located near the back of the main greenhouse.   You’ll receive a worksheet at this time which we will complete after your container is finished.2.    Shop for your plants, flowers, and containers.3.    Return to the registration area and 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 gardening gloves.  If you forget them, don’t worry, we have a wide variety of reasonably priced gardening gloves to choose from.We do ask that if you bring in containers from home, please EMPTY all soil from them before bringing them to our greenhouse.  To participate in our container workshops and receive FREE POTTING SOIL AND ASSISTANCE, a minimum $10.00 plant purchase is required per container the day of the container workshop.We do reserve the option to charge extra for potting soil for larger containers.
A moss basket with an attractive assortment of plants Click for Larger Image
Plans to protect air and water, wilderness and wildlife are in fact plans to protect man.

Stewart Udall

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 large containers.

Lawn Care Class

Saturday, April 22
11-Noon

Help! What can I do to fix my patchy looking grass?  Why isn't my grass lush and green? What am I doing wrong? What kind of grass seed should I use on my yard?These are all questions we get at our greenhouse.  We all want a luscious thick lawn to not only showcase our home, but to walk around barefoot in, right?If your lawn is in need of a little help or if you simply have questions regarding lawn care join us this Saturday, from 11-noon, and get the scoop from Donna, an expert in lawn care and grass seed.
A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken
Premium slow release fertilizers with micro nutrients and iron for enhanced performance. EARLY SPRING - Phase 1- Crabgrass Preventer - Fertilizes and also prevents crabgrass and other grassy weeds for up to 5 months. LATE SPRING - Weed & Feed - Also kills dandelions and other broadleaf weeds on contact. SUMMER - Insect & Feed - Also kills a broad range of damaging lawn insects on contact. FALL - Winterizer - Also contains sulfur to protect and strengthen grass for spring green-up. Click for Larger Image
Now is the optimal time to give your lawn some love!  We now carry the 4 Phase Bonide Lawn Care Program.  Bonide uses the highest quality turf grade fertilizer and weed control products on the market.  With 4 easy phases, you will have a lush green and weed-free lawn.  Save when you purchase the complete program!In addition to having the best ingredients on the market, Bonide offers a $15 mail in rebate when you purchase all four phases at once.  Also, there is a rebate on Crabgrass Preventer and Weed & Feed when you purchase separately.Stop in today to learn everything you need to know or click here for more information about the 4 Phase Lawn Care Program right now!
To succeed in life, you need three things:

a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.

Reba McEntire

Earth Day Celebrations

Saturday, April 22
10-2 p.m.

A tshirt with three handprints made to look like a treeLet your creativity run wild! Click for Larger Image
Hey, kids, have fun with our Educational Coordinator Deb Stevens on Saturday!  She’ll show you how to paint a T-shirt with your hands, yes, with your hands.  No paint brushes allowed!  Bring in your own T-shirt or buy one of ours for $4.00.  Deb will show you how to magically grow bean seeds without soil.  And, we’re saving the best for last, kids.  You can make seed balls, which is a Native American tradition, using terra cotta clay and compost!  You’ll make seed balls with Marigold seeds.(Pssst, don’t worry, moms and dads, the clay and compost will be in a plastic Ziploc bag. The kids will not be touching it.)
How do trees access the internet?

They log on.


Arbor Day Celebration

Saturday & Sunday, April 22-23

Spruce tree saplingsThese grow up to look like this, and someday like this
In honor of Arbor Day we are giving a free Black Hills Spruce seedling with each purchase while supply lasts.  We have families who have been getting their free tree for several years.  They tell us they have a little forest growing in their yards.  What a great opportunity to share the wonder of nature with your children.Limit one per family.  Cottage Grove location only.

Spireas

Flaming Mound Spirea Click for Larger Image
Anthony Waterer Spirea Click for Larger Image
The spirea is a small to medium sized shrub that is easy to grow, low maintenance and produces cascades of flowers in spring and summer.  How perfect is that?  They are used often as hedges and in perennial gardens.  Any variety of a spirea is just an all-around wonderful shrub. We are featuring the Anthony Waterer, Dakota Goldcharm, Flaming Mound, Renaissance, and Gold Flame, in 3-gallon size containers this week.
Q: Why do hummingbirds hum?

A: Because they don’t know the words.


Featured Products Corner Hummingbird Feeders & Hummingbird Nectar

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Why buy them now? Hummm?  Hummingbirds come back to our area the middle of April, so this is a perfect time to either get your feeders out OR to purchase one, two, or three of them and fill them up with sweet nectar.  Don't let these charming little creatures do a fly-by past your yard in search of food somewhere else.We have a wonderful collection of hummingbird feeders in a variety of  sizes and very cool designs.  In fact, we even have a petite size hummingbird feeder to add to your hanging baskets or container gardens. Did you know hummingbirds hover in mid-air by rapidly flapping their wings 12–90 times per second? They can also fly backwards!  These are just a couple of the amazing acrobatics these tiny birds use to captivate our attention. 
Click for Larger Image
The Friends of Flight, Hummingbird Nectar, Red Powder Concentrate nectar is made from 100% sucrose.  It comes in a convenient pouch that is easy for scooping and measuring. Use the handy mixing guide found on the bag to mix the exact amount of nectar needed for your feeders. There’s no boiling required with this powder concentrate which makes it super quick and easy to prepare. If you make extra nectar, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Friends?!You and I are friends

You laugh, I laugh

You cry, I cry

You scream, I scream

You run, I run

You jump, I jump

You jump off a

bridge, I’m going to

miss you buddy:)


Corsages, Boutonnière, Flowers and Plants!

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Spring time and prom season go hand and hand!   Stop at either of our locations to order your prom flowers or simply 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.
Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.

Jules Renard

Employment Opportunities

Are you looking for a short-term seasonal job?   Do you enjoy people, flowers and dirt?  If so, we may have the perfect job for you.  We are looking for a few good people for Customer Service duties.  Plant knowledge is preferred for these positions.These job opportunities would be from approximately now thru mid-June.  We are in need of candidates who can work weekends and several days during the week.  The total number of hours per week could be between 24 – 40 hours. Other job duties could consist of stocking and cleaning plants, sweeping floors, corralling run away shopping carts.


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.


America's Best Flowers has an immediate opening for an experienced Perennial Manager.This person must have a broad knowledge of a variety of perennials, trees and shrubs which includes the basic care and maintenance required for our Wisconsin environment.  Duties include but are not limited to assisting retail customers, taking care of greenhouse inventory, unloading and properly documenting plant shipments. Schedules fluctuate on a weekly basis thus week days and weekends are required. This is a forty hour per-week position. Physical stamina is a must.  This position requires you to be able to lift and carry up to 50 pounds and to work in all weather conditions. 


If you are interested in any of these employment opportunities please email Betty Bless at abfbettyb@gmail.com or call 608-222-2269.

Upcoming Events

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.
Sat, Apr 29 Straw Bale Gardening (11-Noon)
Pre-Registration Appreciated
Q: What did one slice of bread say to the other slice of bread

when he saw some butter and jam on the table?

A: We’re toast!


Our Kitchen – By Bev Wilson

What a lovely weekend we spent with Jim's daughter and her family on Lake Eau Claire.   It was so wonderful to catch up with our college age grandsons and their younger sister.  Like all family weekends, there was lots of food – too much food, as my scale reminded me when I returned home.  But was it ever good.  The other grandma cooked, baked and cooked some more for all of us.  My favorite dish of the weekend, if you don't count the pecan pie, was this Caramel French Toast she made for us on Sunday morning.  So delicious!  This is a make-ahead overnight casserole that just needs to be popped into the oven in the morning.  It will bake while you cut up some fruit to serve with it, set the table and brew the coffee.  The maple syrup makes the caramel sauce divine.  Enjoy!Sue told me this recipe is easy, as long as you understand the steps in its preparation. She also told me it doesn't work with just plain white grocery store bread, as it becomes soggy.
 

Sue’s Caramel French Toast

• 3/4 c butter, melted• 1 1/2 c brown sugar• 1/4 c maple syrup (or Karo)• 3/4 – 1 C walnuts or pecans• 10 slices of good bread (remove crust if you like), she used artisan• 4 eggs• 2 1/2 cups half & half• 1 Tablespoon vanilla• 1/2 t salt• 3 T sugar• 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon• 1/4 cup melted butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Spray the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 baking pan.If using nuts, toast nuts for a few minutes on a cookie sheet in the oven or in a skillet.  Watch closely so they don't burn.  Toasting brings out a rich, nutty flavor.Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan.  Add brown sugar and maple syrup.  Stir until well mixed.  Pour mixture into the bottom of your baking pan.  Sprinkle toasted nuts evenly over syrup mixture.In a large mixing bowl with a flat bottom, whisk together eggs, half and half, vanilla and salt.   Soak bread in egg mixture and place in pan.  You may have to cut some slices in half to get them to fit.  Bread will be 2 layers deep.Pour any remaining egg mixture over bread. Stir sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl.   Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon mixture over the top of bread slices.  Drizzle melted butter evenly over bread.  Cover with plastic wrap or foil.  Refrigerate overnight.Remove from refrigerator and allow to warm up for half an hour.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes, until puffy and browned.  Remove from oven.  Place a jellyroll pan or cookie sheet with sides over top of pan.  Flip pans together.  Allow to sit with baking pan over the French toast for a few minutes to allow caramel to run over French toast.Remove baking pan and cut into squares.  Serve with additional warm maple syrup, if desired.
SEE YOU SOON!!!