Hello Edward,

 

Although we have not quite yet reached “Spring”, the vernal equinox that’s due to occur on Tuesday, March 20th at 12:15 PM EDT, we have officially declared it Spring at America’s Best Flowers.

 

 

 

If you are looking to renew your spirits, there’s nothing quite like the experience of being in the warm greenhouse when it’s still cold outside (and a little bit of snow still on the ground makes it even better). That feeling you get walking into the warmth from cold outdoors, along with the sunshine, cannot be replicated anywhere!
On Sunday, I saw my first two Robins of the season. I heard the Sandhill Cranes go overhead, their distinctive call easy to hear through our open greenhouse roof. Yes, it was warm enough this past weekend for the roof to open! I love this time of year in the greenhouse and wish everyone was as lucky to work in such a beautiful, lush environment!

 

 

Some would say we’re a unique group, maybe even odd, but we love the smell of DIRT! Our production crew has been busy planting for many weeks now. The greenhouses are filling up quickly. Soon we will be asking, “Where are we going to put all of these plants?!” Somehow, we always find the space.
 
Here are the top ten signs that Spring has arrived at America’s Best Flowers:
10. Six runs of benches are loaded up with plug trays waiting to be planted. That’s about 60,000 plugs for the production crew to plant- this week and more to come!
9. We’re going through an average of 240 cubic feet of soil each day planting containers, pots and hanging baskets.
8. The main aisle is lined with pallets of new product, waiting to be checked in, priced and placed out for sale.
7. Holy Pottery! We have pottery in every imaginable color, style and size and more continues to arrive. We carry pottery by seven different companies, so we’re sure to have something for you.
6. We’re busy sowing herbs and vegetables. We start over 125 different varieties of our own herbs and vegetables from seed. This is in addition to 100 other herb and vegetable varieties we grow from plugs.
5. There are plants in almost every one of our greenhouses now. That’s 19 separate houses and our main greenhouse, all with green plants.
4. We have our perennial, tree and shrub orders placed and waiting to be shipped.
3. Our postcards with coupons are in production. Watch our newsletter for mailing dates!
2. Isaac has declared it Spring by wearing shorts in the greenhouse- see, it is warm!
1. And the number 1 sign that Spring has arrived at America’s Best Flowers: Ed has starting wearing a new America’s Best Flowers hat for the year!
So, if you need a renewal, a sign that Spring is upon us, stop out and feel the warmth, smell the dirt and experience the joy at America’s Best Flowers!

 

What season is it best to go on a trampoline? 
 
Spring time 

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

Rubber Plant

 

This houseplant is popular not only because of its unusually dark green, almost black leaves, but also because of its ability to remove toxins such as formaldehyde from the air. A member of the genus Ficus, it requires a bit of attention in order for it to thrive in your home, but it is worth the attention. A happy Rubber Plant can grow to be 100 feet tall in its native
environment! However, most attain a height of around 4-6 feet indoors.

 

Ficus elastica or Rubber Plant requires bright light throughout the day. If it’s kept in a
location which is too dark, it will lose its leaves. Avoid areas that are drafty such as those
near air vents, opening doors or large windows where it may be cold. If the plant is too cold,
it will also lose its leaves. It can be a bit sensitive, so once you find a place where it’s happy, it’s best to leave it there.
Rubber plants should be placed in a warm, humid environment. While actively growing, keep the plant moderately moist using water that has warmed to room temperature. Cold tap water is a shock to the roots and can harm the plant. While the plant is not actively growing in the winter, reduce the amount of water you are providing it. Yellow leaves are generally an indication that the plant is being over-watered.
Fertilize Rubber Plants once a month with a general purpose fertilizer while the plant is actively growing. We recommend Miracle Gro Indoor Plant Food. Always read and follow the label directions. When the plant is resting in the winter, discontinue fertilizing until actively growing again.
It’s important to keep the leaves clean, so periodically wipe any dust and grime off with a
sponge. These plants benefit from being transplanted into larger containers as growth occurs. Failure to do so can cause root damage and may stunt the growth of the plant. It is best to transplant in pots that are no larger than 1″ in diameter than the previous pot.

 

With a little care and nurturing, Rubber Plants can live for a very long time indoors. Their air-purifying capability makes them a great choice for your home or office.

 

 

Grow Tunnel

 

 

 

 

If you’re starting your own herbs, vegetables and flowers indoors this spring, you will want to acclimate them to the outdoors before setting them out permanently. They will need to be
“hardened off”, so that they can survive the sun and temperatures outdoors. Gardman makes a product that makes this process simple!

 

The Gardman tunnel is a fleece material over a metal frame. All you need to do is spread the tunnel out and insert the wire ends into the ground to keep it in place. The ends cinch tight to close off the ends of the tunnel. If you want to check on your plants or take them out for a short period of time, the sides can be easily lifted to access your plants and for ventilation.

This tunnel protects your plants from frost and insects. It creates a calm, protected growing
environment for your plants. It’s easy to put up, take down and store. The Gardman fleece tunnel can help you to be successful with your homegrown herbs, veggies and flowers and
should be one of your gardening accessories this Spring.

 

 

Easter Lilies


Lilium longiflorum is a native plant of Japan. It was brought to the United States by a World War 1 soldier in 1919. He took it to his home on the southern coast of Oregon in his suitcase.

Easter lilies are no more difficult to grow than other lilies, except that the plants we buy at Easter time have been forced into bloom and will require some extra care. Display your plant in bright, but indirect sunlight. Protect your lily from drafts and heat sources.
Remove the yellow anthers from the center of the flower. This helps to extend the life of the bloom. Water your lily only when the soil becomes dry to the touch, and don’t leave it dry for an extended period of time.
If the lily pot is in a decorative pot cover, be sure water is not accumulating under the pot.
More plants die from over watering (killing them with kindness) than under watering.
You can plant your lily outdoors after all danger of frost has passed. Plant in a full sun location. Plant the bulb at the same depth as it is in the pot, then add two inches of mulch. The original leaves and stems will start to turn brown. Cut the old stem back to a healthy green leaf. New growth should soon emerge from the base of the plant. Top dress the soil with bulb fertilizer or bone meal, and work into the soil around the bulb.
Be patient. It may take a couple years to build up enough energy to set flower buds. Easter lilies naturally bloom in June/July so don’t look for flowers next Easter.

 

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.
Part-time Floral Designer:  Edgerton Location
 
We’re looking for a Part-time floral designer with strong customer service skills and a willingness to learn. General knowledge of floral design, is needed. Positions include some customer service, watering, plant maintenance.
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.

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 
Sunday 10:00 AM- 5:00 PM
and allow 30-45 minutes to complete the application.

 

Name a bow that can’t be tied.

A rainbow

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!
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.

 

Sesame Noodles 

 


 

Ingredients:

 

1 package of linguine pasta (16 ounce)                6 tablespoons of sugar

 

6 garlic cloves, minced                                          6 tablespoons of safflower oil

 

6 tablespoons of rice vinegar                                6 tablespoons of soy sauce

 

2 tablespoons of sesame oil                                 6 sliced green onions

 

1 teaspoon of toasted sesame seeds                   2 teaspoons of chili sauce

 

Directions:

 

Boil pasta until al dente, drain. Place in a serving bowl.

 

While pasta is cooking, bring a saucepan to medium heat. 
 
Stir in the sugar, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, chili sauce and safflower oil.

 

Stir continuously while bringing to a boil.

 

Once sugar is dissolved, pour the sauce over the linguine and stir to coat. 
 
Use the sesame seeds and green onion as a garnish.

 

 

SEE YOU SOON!!!