Hello Edward, 
As a company, we value the importance of sustainable living and being environmentally conscious. We continue to strive towards working with vendors and companies that share our same values and ideals. Last summer, while at one of the buying shows, we ran across a new company we think fits.

Think Outside is a company founded by a former jeweler, Aaron Jackson. While traveling in Zimbabwe, he witnessed local people creating metal sculptures by the side of the road. Being an artist and creator himself, he recognized the craftsmanship and skill required to create each piece.
 
Since then, he has built a global company using unskilled and limited skills people to craft unique pieces of art. Employing 300 people, Think Outside provides skills to their staff and earning potential throughout their lives. Their current location is in Vietnam.
 
If you are looking for truly unique garden art for yourself or to give as a gift, check out these hand-crafted, sculptures that are built from natural, recycled and sustainable materials. Many of the pieces are 100% constructed from 44 gallon drums. They use metal, wood, stone and rubber in their designs.

They have sculptures and furniture in collections such as ee-i-ee-i-o farmyard, sculpture and furniture. Conrad the Crab and Camilla the Caterpillar have joined us here at America’s Best. We also have a Florence the Flamingo Beverage Tub! Come on out and see these fun pieces of unique metal sculpture before they are gone!

What do you get when you cross poison ivy and a four leaf clover?

 

A rash of good luck! 

Is your non-profit organization in need of funds?

Click on the image for more information
America’s Best Flowers’ fundraising program is in full swing and runs through April 2, 2018.  We have designed it to be quick, easy, and profitable. In as little as 2-3 weeks or less, you can earn substantial money for your group.

For further details or questions contact Shirley at
abfscimino@yahoo.com 

It’s all about the gloves 

Spring is just around the corner and it’s time to get ready for all those garden chores waiting for you when the snow melts! We have a wide selection of the best garden gloves available, all competitively priced.

Our most popular ladies gloves are Bamboo Gardener with Natural Rubber Palms. They are made of 13 gauge bamboo rayon with a seamless, breathable knit liner. Available in small, medium and large, they are good for wet or dry conditions. They are also machine washable!


New this year, is the leather ladies Tuscany glove. They have natural leather palms and fingertips and a breathable Spandex backhand. Their soft, supple leather, when treated properly, is long lasting. You can wear them to protect your hands when using tools or pruners, but not to dig in the dirt or pick up rocks or gravel.

Also new for women this year is Womanswork’s cotton twill & Spandex gloves with synthetic leather palms. They have doubly reinforced thumbs and index fingers. The gloves have an elbow-length arm saver to protect against scratches, sunburn and insects. The cuff is elastic at the wrist and the arm saver has a pull cord to tighten the glove around the arm to prevent soil from getting in the gloves. These gloves are available in small, medium and large and are machine washable.

For men, we have two new Hestra waterproof, goatskin work gloves. The first, the Kobolt Czone II, is a multi-purpose, lined glove that is good for wind and wet weather work conditions where dexterity is important. It features a breathable, wind & waterproof membrane, a flexible goatskin palm with reinforced thumb and fingers, Spandex fabric backhand and a slip on elastic cuff.

The second, the Kobolt Winter Flex Czone II, is a cold weather goatskin glove with lightweight insulation and an adjustable hook and loop cuff. It features a breathable wind & waterproof membrane, a flexible goatskin leather palm with reinforced thumb & fingers, C40 Thinsulate insulation, Spandex fabric backhand and a Neoprene velcro cuff.

Whatever chores you have lined up, whether it is snow removal, construction, yard work or gardening, we have the gloves to protect your hands!

Oxalis- Shamrock

Looking for a touch of spring or an appropriate plant for Saint Patrick’s Day decorating? Oxalis regnellii, or the Shamrock plant, is a fun houseplant and it’s not just for St. Paddy’s Day! It has triangular, clover-shaped, green leaves that fold down at night and reopen when the light hits them again during the day.

It’s a small plant, growing 6-8 inches in height. Small, delicate, white flowers cover the plant in fall, winter and spring. Many people think the plant is lucky. It is credited with the arrival of spring and symbolizes rebirth.

Shamrocks need bright, indirect light in order to thrive. They can bloom for long periods if they receive adequate light and moisture. Plants purchased in spring will bloom until summer and then go dormant. Water the plant when the top 1 inch becomes dry. Fertilize the plant monthly while it’s actively growing. Use a fertilizer such as Miracle Gro All Purpose Plant Food at one-half strength.

Their foliage will turn yellow and droop after the plant blooms. It’s best to clean that foliage off as it dies back. Once the plant is dormant, withhold water and run it dry while resting. While the plant is dormant, it should be placed in a cool, low-light location.

The plant will remain dormant for 2-3 months. When new leaves begin to show again in autumn, begin to water the plant. Return the plant to a location with bright, indirect light. Oxalis grow from small bulbs, which are easy to divide when the plant outgrows the pot. Replant the bulbs 1″ deep in potting mix such as our Custom Potting Mix. Divide the bulbs when the plant is dormant.

We grow other types of Shamrock plants, too, such as Purple Shamrock and Iron Cross. The Purple Shamrock has 3 triangular, dark purple leaves and lavender flowers. If you are looking for a “four-leaf clover”, Iron Cross will fit the bill. It has dark green leaves with reddish-purple centers and pink flowers. Purple Shamrock has only a one month dormancy period, while Iron Cross is similar to the Green Shamrock with a 2-3 month dormancy period. Both of these will be available later in spring.

Oxalis are easy to care for and easy to grow plants and for that reason make great houseplants. We have Green Shamrock plants available for a Saint Patrick’s Day gift or to decorate your own home. Why not bring a touch of Irish into your world this spring?

Floral notes
 THINK SPRING!!!!!
If the winter doldrums have you down, stop at one of our floral 
shops and pick up a beautiful bunch of tulips!  What a great reminder 
that spring will soon be here. Cut tulips do not require flower food
in the vase water, and it is important to keep an eye on the water 
level in the vase, as they will drink a lot of water as they open.

There are certain cut flowers that we do not always have in stock
on a regular basis in our flower shops. This can be due to 
availability or higher costs.  If you are ever looking for things like 
peonies, calla lillies or stargazer lillies, it would be best to call us 
as far in advance as possible. This will allow us to check on 
availability and pricing, and order them in for you.  
 

Edgerton 
Cottage Grove

Employment Opportunities

Do you enjoy helping people? How about working with flowers and in the dirt? 
If so, we may have the perfect job for you. 
We are looking for a few good people to join our team.
Customer Service Associates: Cottage Grove and Edgerton Locations

We’re looking for Customer Service Associates with strong customer service skills and a willingness to learn. General plant knowledge of common annuals, vegetables and herbs is needed. Positions include some watering and plant maintenance. These are seasonal, full time or part time positions.

Retail Cashier: Cottage Grove Location

We are in need of a couple of great people to operate our Point-of-Sale system to efficiently and accurately take care of our customers. Minimum requirements are the ability to practice patience at all times and a perpetual smile. These are part time, seasonal positions- April until June.

Office/Administrative Assistant: Cottage Grove Location

Our veteran Administrative Assistant, Bev, ran off and got married last August (we’re all very happy for her, but we miss her!). So, we’re in need of someone with strong office skills: filing, answering phones, mailing and preparing reports. This position will also perform accounting functions, balancing cash drawers, counting receipts and preparing bank deposits. It is a permanent part time position to start, working to permanent full time for the right person. Future duties would include accounts receivable and/or accounts payable. Experience with databases is a plus. Must be proficient in Word and Excel.

Grower/Biological Control Technician: Cottage Grove Location

Do you have a horticulture background? We are searching for the right candidate to take over the responsibility of Grower for our operation. We are approximately 2 acres under cover and grow almost all of our own product. Pest control is done primarily through monitoring and release of biological controls. Minimum requirements are a two year Horticulture degree and ability to pass the State Pesticide Certification exam. This is a full time, permanent position.

Please apply in person Monday-Saturday 9:00 AM- 5:00 PM 
and allow 30-45 minutes to complete the application.

Why were the strawberries so upset?

Because they were in a jam. 

Upcoming Events 2018 – Mark your Calendars!!!

2018 will be full of new workshops and informational classes for you to attend. 
Like our Facebook page to keep up to date with the latest!



Small Space Gardening
Instructors: Marty & Betty

Saturday, March 10, 11am – 12pm

 

Do you live in an apartment, condo or just 
have limited space for a garden, then

this free informative workshop is for you. Marty and Betty will guide you in plant selections for small spaces whether you are growing edibles or flowers. 




Did you know you could plant in a pallet? They’ll show you how to prep your pallet and get it ready for planting. Gain knowledge and tips on how to keep your plants healthy and looking their best. Informative handouts will be available to all attendees.
  


Straw Bale Gardening
Instructor: Steven

Saturday, March 17, 11am – 12pm
This free class was a popular one last year! You definitely want to reserve your spot.
Steven has a wealth of information when it comes to straw bale gardening.
Whether you are thinking of starting one or you already have a straw bale garden and are just searching for kindred spirits to discuss tips and tricks, this is where you need to be!

Learn how to grow beautiful veggies, herbs and flowers without using traditional soil!

Growing Herbs and Plant an Herb Garden
Instructor: Josh 

Saturday, March 24, 11am – 12pm
Herbs have so many benefits and the best thing is you can grow them yourself!
Plant a container herb garden during this workshop.

Josh will be discussing growing herbs in your own garden or containers. 
He will give you tips and tricks on how to use them around your home, 
from enhancing your dishes in the kitchen to cleaning your home. 
10 Houseplants That Clean Air / Houseplant Re-potting Workshop 
Instructor: Barb

Saturday, March 24, 1PM – 3PM 

Bring in your houseplants and Barb will give you tips on how to re-pot them and how to care for them during their transition. She will also share her tricks on how to keep your houseplants healthy and happy in your home. 

All classes are only available at our Cottage Grove location.
To reserve your spot please call (608) 222-2269 to register.

Sausage & Cannellini Bean Soup

Ingredients

 

  • 3 Italian turkey sausage links (4 ounces each), casings removed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini or white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup white wine or additional reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 bunch escarole or spinach, chopped
  • 4 tsp. shredded Parmesan cheese
  •     

    Directions

     

    1. Cook the sausage and onion in a large saucepan over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.


     

    2. Stir in the beans, broth, water, wine and pepper. Bring to a boil. Add escarole; heat through. Sprinkle with cheese. Yield: 4 servings.


     

    Recipe from Taste of Home

    SEE YOU SOON!!!