As I write this, I’m sitting along the shore of Lake Erie. Barb, our Retail Manager, Chris, our Customer Service/Commercial Account Manager, Spike, our Edgerton Store Manager and I are on our last buying trip of the year. One of our largest distributors has their annual buying show in Cleveland.

When I first started working for America’s Best Flowers, I thought, Cleveland!? Why would anyone purposely go to Cleveland?? But, if you’ve never been downtown, it really is a very nice city. Our show is at the Huntington Convention Center and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is only a couple of blocks from there. I won’t make it to the Hall of Fame this time,
but hope to get there one day.

I’ve been told that there are Cleveland Browns fans in the world, although for the life of me, I cannot understand why! You have to admire their resiliency though. The Browns’ stadium is a couple of blocks from the convention center and the ballpark where Cleveland’s Indians baseball team plays is a short distance, too. They have a nice aquarium and science museum, as well as many other places to visit.

The Huntington Convention Center was built with sustainability in mind. The 390,000 square foot structure was built below grade with a green roof and features water-efficient landscaping to reduce water consumption. The extensive plant life and soil also function to efficiently filter stormwater. You can walk off the sidewalk onto the roof of the convention center and never even know you are on top of a building!

As we sit by the lake, enjoying the cool breeze coming off the lake, we can’t help but notice the neglected planters beside the shore. Someone went to the effort to plant these large containers, but seem to have forgotten to come back and provide water and maintenance. It’s a shame because they could have been beautiful, if treated right. It’s a harsh reminder that it takes more than throwing pretty plants in a pot to make it look outstanding. Plants need to be tended to and nurtured in order to become their best.

Much conversation surrounds these planters, as well as the others we saw on our trek to the lake. We saw a beautiful wall of coleus and sweet potato vine, one of the most stunning we’ve seen, and that created a “kodak moment”.

Eventually, our conversation shifts around to the lake itself. Spike is a fisherman and Barb asks him if he would eat fish coming out of that lake. Spike says he’s always wanted to ice fish there, for walleye (another thing I will never understand-ice fishing!), but that he’s not sure he would be able to eat them, so he doesn’t go.

What a sad state for our environment that we hesitate to consume fish and shellfish from our freshwater lakes and rivers. Instead of months of neglect, like those planters along the lakeshore, our predicament is created by years of neglect.

Cleveland is beginning to do their part to try to rectify this with the construction of buildings, such as the convention center, designed to catch stormwater runoff and filter it before it’s dumped into the lake. This mitigation helps to slow down and prevent heavy metals, chemicals and other pollutants from entering the lake.

We can all do our part by maintaining efficient septic systems, using phosphorus-based fertilizers and cleaners sparingly, retaining natural vegetation, installing a rain garden(s), minimizing the amount of impervious structures you have, so that rainwater leaches into the
soil.

If we all do these things, if we nurture our environment, we can slowly restore those natural areas and waters that are in trouble, so that they once again become sanctuaries of abundant flora and fauna.
~Betty
ALL Perennials, Trees, Shrubs
Fruits and Asparagus
 40% OFF

Limited quantities on hand. Call store for details.

Quantities limited, while supplies last. This is available at both locations.
Not valid on previous purchases.
Scarecrows
This Saturday, September 22, at our Fall Festival, customers can get an introduction to our scarecrow-building workshop. For a few hours, we will have our workshop set up for anyone who would like a chance to build their very own scarecrow.
This fun workshop is a family-friendly event, suitable for kids (and parents) of all ages.
Scarecrows of all shapes and sizes can be created. They can be scary, whimsical or ordinary, whatever your heart desires!
Scarecrow creations from previous years
Scarecrows date back thousands of years and were first used by the Egyptians to protect their wheat fields along the Nile River. Since that time, many incarnations have been used by Native Americans, Greeks, Romans, Japanese and Europeans to protect their crops. In some places, humans or “bird scarers” were used to deter birds and animals by walking through the fields and making noise.
In some areas, though, there were not enough people to dedicate to this task, so farmers began building dummies, shaped like people, to place in their fields instead. Since the development of more mechanical means to deter birds, the scarecrow, as an agent of fright, has passed.

 

 

However, they have remained a part of fall fare and tradition for many who use them as fall decorations. In the English village of Kettlewell, each summer they have a Scarecrow Festival in which scarecrows adorn every nook and cranny of the village. These scarecrows are inspired by historical, political, popular or cultural figures such as Queen Victoria, David Bowie or Donald Trump.
Build your inspiration this Saturday from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM or Saturday and Sunday, October 13th and 14th and 20th and 21st from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM. Don’t worry if you’ve never made a scarecrow before, our staff will be there to assist!
When asked how he was feeling, what did the pumpkin say?

I’m vine, thanks for asking.

 Pumpkins
White, blue or orange. Warty or smooth, large, medium and small, pie or carving.
No matter your pumpkin desires, we have what you need for fall decorating or making that pumpkin pie.
We have received our first pumpkins of the season at our Cottage Grove store and they are going quickly. All of our pumpkins are grown by small growers, washed and dried before they are put out for sale. If you are looking for small gourds, we also have those for sale.

 

Looking for a fun crop to grow next summer? If you have plenty of space, try growing pumpkins. We carry over a dozen different varieties of pumpkin seed available starting with the WHA Garden Expo February 8-10, 2019. In the spring, we also carry a variety of 3″ potted pumpkins plants, including pie pumpkins.

 

thanksgiving_decoration.jpg

 

Stop out and pick up your pumpkins, gourds, mums, asters and other fall decorations. Our staff can provide you with advice on how to get your home looking fantastic for the fall season or join us Saturday, October 6 for our Fall Decorating class.

Floral Notes 
As we slide into the fall, it becomes one of my favorite times of the year in the floral shop. The colors of flowers available during the fall are stunning. Blends of yellows, oranges, red and brown make for vibrant arrangements.

Sunflowers are readily available in the fall and come in all sorts of sizes and colors. Add some grasses or wheat and you have a wonderful fall arrangement. Call or stop into either of our 2 floral shops and place your order today. 

Employment Opportunities
Do you enjoy helping people? How about working with flowers?
If so, we may have the perfect job for you!
Part-time Floral Designer (Edgerton) 
and 
Full-time Floral Designer (Cottage Grove) 
 
florist-woman-sale.jpg

 

We’re looking for Part-time and Full-time floral designers with strong customer service skills and a willingness to learn. Use your artistic abilities and knowledge of design 
to create floral arrangements for various occasions.

One year previous floral design experience is required; 4 years preferred.

Position includes some customer service, watering and plant maintenance.
Why do pumpkins sit on people’s porches?

They have no hands to knock on the door.

Mark your Calendars!!!
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Art In The Garden and Fall Festival
Saturday. September 22, 2018
9 am – 3 pm

 

Stroll among the flowers and foliages as you enjoy a variety of items created by local artists. This is always a great event to help you get started on your holiday shopping. We also have activities for young and young at heart!

 

We will have a kids’ coloring contest, fall pumpkin arrangement workshop,
build your own scarecrow and more! Join us for some great fall fun!

 

 

Ask the beekeeper all about bees 11 am – 1 pm  
Bill Stickford will be here to answer any questions you might have about raising honey bees. We will have a limited supply of Bill’s honey for sale during Art In The Garden. This is local honey at its best. Get yours before it’s all gone!

 

 
Cute as a Pumpkin Workshop  11 am -12 pm
Cost: $20.00
Time to get a jump on your fall decorating! 
Get those creative juices flowing and create a fall arrangement to take home with you. Pre-registration and Pre-Pay is required. 
Call us at 608 222-2269
 
 
 
 
 
Build Your Own Scarecrow 10 am – 3 pm 
Come with the family and build your very own scarecrow!
Prices vary depending on accessories chosen.

 

 

Fall Wreath Make and Take
Saturday, September 29, 2018
10 am – 12 pm
Cost: $40.00
 
Create this autumn welcome wreath during this fun fall workshop!
Pre-pay and pre-registration required

 

 

Fall Decorating Tips and Tricks
Saturday, October 6, 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.

Recipe

We are very lucky that we have a lot of great bakers around here at America’s Best Flowers and some great treats are shared around the office weekly, YUM!
Chris baked up a batch of these a couple of weeks ago and they were a big hit! 
We thought we’d share the recipe with all of you!

 

 

INGREDIENTS
 
Shortbread Base:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
Apple Filling:
  • 3 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Topping:
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted or room temperature to cut in.
Let’s get the directions at www.soberjulie.com and mix up the ingredients to make these amazing bars!

SEE YOU SOON!!!