Hi Edward

 

Summer is for the Dogs (and Cats)
Summer has come on strong these last couple of weeks and there are lots of outdoor activities happening. For those of you who have furry companions, you know this can be an enjoyable time to spend with your pets, but it is also is a time that presents a lot of potential dangers.
As we prepare at America’s Best Flowers for our 8th Annual Dog Wash Fundraiser on Saturday, July 21st, we thought it might be good to talk about some safety tips for your pets. Nothing could be more devastating than losing a pet in a preventable accident, so here are some common summer dangers:
Hot Cars: Heat stroke can develop within minutes in a hot car. On really hot days, it’s best to leave your pets at home. Here at America’s Best Flowers, we welcome your well-behaved, leashed dog, so please do not leave him or her in the car, regardless of temperature.
Hot Surfaces: When the sun is beating down on the asphalt or metal, these surfaces get very hot and can burn the paws of your pet. They can also increase your pet’s body temperature and lead to overheating.
Parasites: Ticks, mosquitoes and heartworm, all of these creepy-crawlies are a nuisance and danger to your pet. Make sure that you consult your veterinarian about appropriate products to use to prevent these common parasites before Fido or Fluffy become infested.
Sunburn: Yes, did you know that your pets can get sunburn? Their noses, ears and any exposed skin are vulnerable. Many well-intended pet parents shave their pets in the summer thinking that will keep them cooler, but this may do them more harm than good. And don’t just run out a buy the Coppertone or Banana Boat sunscreen and slather it on! Human sunscreen can contain hazardous ingredients for your pets and should not be used on your dogs or cats. Consult your veterinarian for a sunscreen that is doggy and kitty safe.
Barbeques: Bones, fatty and toxic foods, alcohol, charcoal and charcoal fluid all add up to disaster if you are not supervising your pet. Meat such as chicken and ribs have bones that can cause discomfort, obstructions or infection in your pet’s gastrointestinal tract. Common picnic foods such as salty snack foods, grapes and onions are all toxic to cats and dogs. Who would have known something as innocuous as grapes could cause kidney failure?
Fireworks: My brother and sister-in-law’s Golden Retriever, even though he was safely tucked away in his home, with all of the windows and doors closed, used to freak out at the sound of fireworks. Make sure your furry friends are safely tucked away when any sort of fireworks or loud noises are happening and that they are never near live fireworks.
Swimming: Who doesn’t love a dip in the pool or lake when it’s blistering hot outside? Most dogs and yes, even some cats like the water. However, that doesn’t mean they can all swim. Dogs are not necessarily blessed with the ability to “doggy paddle” effectively. If you are taking your dog or cat into the lake or pool, fit them with a brightly-colored canine or feline floatation device. Dogs and cats can get overexerted, overrun by waves or caught in an undertow or riptide while swimming and can drown if they are not properly supervised and fitted with a floatation device. If your pet has been swimming, make sure you rinse them off to remove any chlorine or other chemicals from his or her fur. Alright, how many of you right now are Googling “feline floatation device”? They really exist!
Lawn, Garden and the Great Outdoors: Summer is a time of gardening and mowing lawns, with many varieties of fertilizers, pesticides and pest repellents being used. A great many of these are toxic and potentially deadly to your pet if they are ingested. Keep fertilizers, insecticides, citronella, rodenticides, antifreeze and other chemicals locked away in a secure cabinet. Also, it’s always good practice to wipe down your pet’s paws when they come indoors.
Think your pet would enjoy being cooled down with a squirt from the garden hose? Make sure that the excess water in the hose hasn’t been sitting in the sun all day or you will scald your pet with the hot water coming out of the hose. And those little puddles that form around the yard and in the street after the rain or watering the garden, don’t let your pet drink from these as they can contain parasites, chemicals from the road and may have other things lurking in them. Always have access to fresh, clean drinking water for your pet.
Keeping your pets safe is not just a summertime concern. Many pets are angelic, never causing a “blip” on the trouble radar. Some have an uncanny ability to find trouble around every corner. If you have a Keiki, like I do, trouble hunts them down!
They grace our lives for such a short period of time, loving unconditionally, trusting completely. Do you and your furry companions a favor and take a few extra minutes to take some precautions to protect them and show them how much you love them. And join us Saturday, July 21st from 11:00-3:00 for our Dog Wash, benefiting the Dane County Humane Society.  We hope to see you here!

 

~ Betty
 BUY 1 Hanging Annual Basket Get 1 FREE
Free basket must be of lesser or equal value.

Not valid on previous purchases.

Available at Cottage Grove location only. 
Excludes houseplants and tomato baskets. No coupon necessary.
ALL PRE-PLANTED CONTAINER GARDENS
BUY 1 GET 1 FREE

 

Container Garden Blowout Sale!

Get instant impact for your front porch or deck this summer.

Offer expires July 11, 2018 Available at Cottage Grove location only.
Not valid on previous purchases. While Supplies last.
What do dogs do after they finish obedience school?
They get their masters.

Japanese Beetles 
They’re baaaaccckkkk! These ugly, destructive beetles have begun popping up in people’s yards and gardens. It’s time to be proactive and think about control for this year and prevention for next year. Want to learn more?  Click Here

Garden Phlox

 

Most people recognize this hardy garden favorite. It’s been the backbone of many perennial borders, cottage gardens and cutting gardens for ages. Garden Phlox have clusters of flowers covered in copious quantities of fragrant blooms in colors including white, lavender, pink, rose, red and bi-colors. Much work has been done to bring powdery mildew resistant varieties to the market, so there are lots of wonderful varieties available such as ‘Katherine’, ‘David’, ‘Lizzy’, ‘Grenadine Dream’, and ‘Orange Perfection’.
Garden Phlox should be planted in full to partial sun. They do best in full sun, so consider planting them in an area that gets 6-8 hours of sunlight a day. Plants benefit from the addition of some compost to the soil prior to planting, which will aid in moisture retention. Garden Phlox are not particularly drought tolerant, so be sure to provide plenty of moisture, about 1″ per week. Place plants so that they have plenty of air circulation. When watering the plants, try to keep the foliage as dry as possible. Both of these things will help prevent powdery mildew.

Garden phlox attract pollinators such as butterflies, hummingbirds and other birds. They are deer resistant and if you have Black Walnut trees, you can plant Phlox near them because they are juglone tolerant. Phlox make great companions for other perennials and grasses such as Astilbe, Clematis, Daylilies, Joe Pye Weed, Lilies, Meadowsweet, Monarda, Rudbeckia, Switchgrass and Yarrow.

Providing long summertime bloom, Garden Phlox is a staple for any perennial garden. The profusion of fragrant flowers can be cut and enjoyed for days, giving this garden favorite a long lasting impression.

 

All Garden Phlox are 20% off this week. Applies to our Cottage Grove location only. See store for details. Offer not valid on previous purchases and only on in-stock items. While supplies last.

 

Zinnia
 

 

Zinnias are the garden workhorse. They have bold, beautiful colors. They attract pollinators. They are low maintenance and they are drought and heat tolerant. What more could you ask for from your summer annuals?

 

 

Zinnias should be planted in well-drained soil, in full sun. Try to water them only in the morning or early afternoon, so that the foliage is dry going into evening. Plant them so that they have plenty of air circulation around them. Doing these two things will help to prevent the one issue they can have, powdery mildew.

 

 

 

 

Zinnias make wonderful, long-lasting cut flowers. Their strong, sturdy stems hold up the big blooms. Before placing in a vase, strip all but the most noticeable leaves. We grow Magellan series, a short, fully double variety growing 12-16″ in height, as well as Dreamland, growing 8-16″ in height, with 3″ blooms.

 

Either variety will create a dazzling display of brilliant color in your garden or containers. If you haven’t tried Zinnias before, why not try them this year? We carry individual pots and mini gardens of Zinnias that are full of color. It’s a flower we’re confident you’ll fall in love with this summer and will continue to grow in years to come!

 

 
Floral Notes
SUNFLOWERS

 

 

 

Sunflowers are just coming into bloom here in our greenhouse. Their bright, yellow petals and brown centers scream summer. Sunflowers lift everyone’s spirits like no other flower .
There is so much more to sunflowers than meets the eye. They are beautiful, stunning and stately, but they are also rich in history and meaning. Sunflowers symbolize adoration, loyalty and longevity.

 

Annual sunflowers can have either large seed heads or small seed heads, but perennial sunflowers only have small seed heads. Annual sunflowers will bloom the same year when grown by seed, but perennial sunflowers grown by seed will not bloom for at least two years.
Tips to keeping sunflowers fresh in a bouquet.
1.)   Water the sunflower plant well a few hours before you cut them.
2.)   Pick the flowers early in the morning.
3.)   Cut the flower stems at an angle.
4.)   Put cut flower stems in water immediately.
5.)   Change the water in your bouquet every day.
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.
Lead Maintenance Technician: Cottage Grove Location
 

 

Are you gifted with the ability to fix almost anything?
Do you love the challenge of problem-solving? Like working outdoors?
We are looking for a Lead Maintenance Technician to handle the maintenance and repairs of our greenhouse systems, buildings, vehicles and equipment. This person is also in charge of all grounds maintenance, as well as assisting with greenhouse production. If you like diversity in your day-to-day and are mechanically gifted, this job is for you!

 

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. Position includes some customer service, watering and plant maintenance.
 
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.

 

Why do dogs bury bones in the ground?
Because you can’t bury them in trees!
Upcoming Events 
2018 – Mark your Calendars!!!
2018 is full of new workshops and informational classes for you to attend. 
Like our Facebook page to keep up to date with the latest!
Perennials: Drought Tolerant Plants
Saturday, July 14, 2018
10 am – 11 am
8th Annual Dog Wash 
Benefiting Dane County Humane Society
Saturday, July 21, 2018
11 am – 3 pm
 
Create a Tropical Plant Paradise 
Saturday, July 28, 2018 
10 am – 11 am
 
 
Shrubs for Birds and Wildlife 
Saturday, August 4, 2018
10 am – 11 am
All classes are only available at our Cottage Grove location.
To reserve your spot please call (608) 222-2269 to register.

 

 

 
Chicken Ranch Mac and Cheese

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:
3 cups elbow macaroni uncooked                   3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour                       1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper                                        1 cup 2% milk
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese              3/4 cup ranch salad dressing
1 cup coarsely chopped cooked chicken         1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
 ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

 

Topping:
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs                      10 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
 2 tablespoons butter, melted                            1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
 
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°. In a 6-qt. stockpot, cook macaroni; drain and return to pot.
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth; gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Stir in cheeses until blended. Stir in dressing.

 

Add chicken and sauce to macaroni, tossing to combine. Transfer to a greased 13×9-in. baking dish.

 

Toss bread crumbs with melted butter; sprinkle over macaroni. Top with bacon. Bake, uncovered, 30-35 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Sprinkle with parsley.

 

 

SEE YOU SOON!!!