When I was growing up, I spent as much time as possible outdoors. As a small child, I collected leaves and flowers and pressed them. I collected caterpillars and bugs. When I was in about 3rd or 4th grade, my parents gave me a microscope, so I could observe closer anything I collected.
My parents limited my brothers and myself on how much TV we could watch, so we all learned to entertain ourselves outdoors. We explored at the neighborhood park, in
Pheasant Branch Conservancy and at my grandma’s or aunt’s and uncle’s farms, when we went there.

 

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Today, kids and adults have a wonderful resource for exploring, learning and connecting with nature and it is right here in Monona! The Aldo Leopold Nature Center, located at 330 Femrite Drive, is a non-profit educational and resource center whose mission is to engage and educate current and future generations, empowering them to respect, protect and enjoy the natural world.
If you haven’t been to the Aldo Leopold Nature Center, now is the perfect time to check them out. Friday, October 26th, from 5:30-7:30, they are having their Fall Fest: Creatures of the Night. This is a family night filled with fun, spooky activities. The event is free and open to the public.
Aldo Leopold was a steward of the land who, among other things, taught the importance of connectivity and respect for nature. The Aldo Leopold Nature Center provides kids and adults the opportunity to experience both, in an environment that provides support staff and resources to make those experiences meaningful and memorable.
In the Foreword of his book, A Sand County Almanac, which I personally think everyone should read, Aldo Leopold says, “There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot.” I’m one of the “Cannot”, are you?

~Betty

ALL Perennials, Trees, Shrubs
Fruits and Asparagus
 80% 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.
Dieffenbachia 
As one of the most common houseplants, nearly everyone recognizes a Dieffenbachia. Their upright habit and leaves of green, yellow and cream make them perfect for brightening up any indoor space. Plus, they are easy to grow, so what’s not to love about this plant!

Dieffenbachia, or Dumbcane, are available in many leaf patterns from mostly all green leaves to speckled, splotched or somewhat striped. Because they are native to Mexico, the West Indies and South America, they like to be warm, ideally between 65 and 75 degrees. Keep plants out of cold drafts.

They also benefit from high humidity. Provide supplemental humidity with a room humidifier, placement near a kitchen or bath or by placing plants on pebbles in a tray of water. Grow plants in bright, indirect light for them to thrive. However, they will tolerate lower light conditions, too.
Water Dieffenbachia when the soil is dry down to about 1″. Plants do not like to be wet, so error on the side of being too dry rather than too wet. If you see yellowing of the lower leaves and/or leaves dropping off, you may be overwatering. Feed plants during the growing season, once per month with Miracle Gro All Purpose Fertilizer. Always read and follow the directions on the label.
Plants obtain their common name, Dumbcane, because of the fact that the plant sap causes irritation and burning in the mouth and throat if consumed, so keep children and pets away from these plants.

Their ease-of-care and adaptability makes them one of the top green plant choices. For those reasons and because Dieffenbachia have air-purifying capabilities, they make a great addition to a home or office.

Offer good while supplies last. Offer not valid on previous purchases.

Why do hummingbirds hum?

Because they don’t know the words.

Birdfeeder Care

As we work our way deeper into Fall, it’s time to get those bird feeders filled and start feeding our feathered friends! If you find that you are in need of a new feeder, we have a good selection of high quality, durable bird feeders that will last.
We have thistle seed feeders for feeding finches and window feeders, so that you can see the visiting birds up close. To stymie the squirrels, we have Classic Brands Squirrel X Feeders that feature weight-closing ports. When a squirrel stands on the perch, which is spring-loaded, the ports close with its weight. Not looking for anything so complex, we have simple hopper feeders that will hold sunflower, safflower, wild bird blend and other larger seeds.

 

Place your bird feeder in an area that is safe from predators and minimizes the chances for window collisions. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, every year an estimated 100 million birds are killed by window collisions. Actually placing the feeder within 3 feet of the window is the safest place or more than 30 feet away from windows, next to an area of shelter such as evergreens. Not too close though, as predators, such as cats, can hide in these shelters, too.
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Common birds you may see at your feeders this fall and winter would be chickadees, juncos, cardinals, bluejays, nuthatches and woodpeckers. Once you start feeding, keep those feeders filled, as the birds come to rely on it. There can be a lot of gratification in feeding the birds, especially in winter, knowing that you help in their survival.

Want to know more about what to do with an injured bird or a baby that’s fallen out of the nest, visit the Madison Audubon Society’s webpage: https://madisonaudubon.org/injured-birds/

 

Did you know that both of our locations will once again be participating 
in the Petal it Forward nationwide event?

 

The Power of Flowers
On Wednesday, October 24, America’s Best Flowers will be joining hundreds of florists across the country celebrating Petal It Forward!
America’s Best Flowers employees will be out and about giving away bouquets of flowers to people we meet. We will hand out 2 bouquets to each recipient, one to keep and one to give away! This way everyone will experience the joy of receiving flowers, but also the delight in giving flowers to someone else.
Keep your eyes peeled for our flower and smile ambassadors!

 

Floral Notes
 
We know that nobody likes to think about Christmas too early, but here in the greenhouse, we can’t help but plan for it months ahead of time.  Whether it’s ordering product for our holiday porch pot workshops or pre-ordering vases and fresh trees and greens.
 

 

This first picture shows from right to left white, red and pink poinsettias as they currently look on October 13.

 

 

One sure sign that the Christmas season is just around the corner, is the changing color of our poinsettia crop. Poinsettias are started in July and grown at our Edgerton location.
We are now starting to see some color show, as the daylength gets shorter.  Poinsettia flowering is triggered by a critical amount of darkness.  As our days start to get shorter in the fall, the flowering is triggered and the plants begin to color up.
Our Poinsettias growing happily in our Edgerton location

 

The part of the poinsettia that has the color is called the bract. They are often referred to as the flower of the poinsettia, but the flower is actually the cluster of yellow balls in the center of the group of bracts. These are called cyathia. Before long our greenhouses will be bursting with the colors of Christmas.

 
Bulbs:
After a killing frost, lift and store tender bulbs such as cannas, dahlias, caladium, colocasia, tuberous begonias and gladioli. Refer to our blog page for more information on digging and storing each. Click here to learn more
Plant spring-blooming bulbs such as daffodils, hyacinth, tulips, alliums and crocus. Mulch after planting and apply pest repellant such as Bonide Repels All or Plantskyyd.
Trees and Shrubs:
Now is the time to consider applying fertilizer to trees or shrubs that have not received any fertilizer this year or have had any issues such as stunted growth, disease, insects, failure to flower, failure to leaf out or undersized fruit. We recommend Espoma Tree Tone be used in the Fall, after the leaves fall, but before the ground freezes.
Shred fallen leaves to use as mulch on your perennial beds after the ground has frozen hard.
Apply hardware cloth around any tree trunks that sustained rabbit and/or rodent damage in previous years. Use hardware cloth that is 1/8″ to ¼” mesh. Encircle the trunk and extend it up at least 20″-30″ above the ground. Bury the hardware cloth in the ground 2-4″. Apply a repellant such as Repels All or Plantskyyd.
Continue to water newly planted trees and shrubs, especially evergreens, up until ground freezes.
Annuals and Perennials:
After a killing frost, remove annual plant material from your garden and containers.
Cut your perennials to the ground after a killing frost. Keep some for winter interest and cover for wildlife.
Collect any dried material for winter decorations- peppers, strawflowers, coneflowers etc.
Once the ground freezes hard, mulch your perennial garden.
Winterize your aquatic garden. Remove any tropical water plants and cut off all foliage and flowers. Tubers can be stored in an indoor aquarium at 55 degrees or in moist sand at 55 degrees.
Herbs, Fruits and Vegetables:
Harvest pumpkins before a killing frost.
Cut back any remaining herbs and bring them indoors to use fresh or dry.
Apply a heavy mulch over leeks, beets, cabbage, broccoli, kale, carrots and turnips to continue the harvest into early winter.
After a hard frost, remove all dead plant material from the vegetable garden.
Rototill 1 to 2 inches of composted manure or other organic material into your garden soil.
Remove any fallen fruit from your garden and yard.
Fall is the perfect time to add lime to your garden if needed. Have a soil test done to see if lime or other amendments need to be made. UW Madison provides soil tests. Visit their website HERE for information.

 

General Garden:
Houseplants and tropicals should be moved indoors. Read our blog for advice on steps to take before “Bringing Plants Indoors”.

Keep your compost pile active by adding layers of green material and brown dried material, with small amounts of soil, fertilizer and moisture. Turn the pile regularly.

Clean and sterilize containers before storing over winter.

Winterize water fountains and garden hoses. Add a deicer to your bird bath.

 

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) 
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We’re looking for a Part-time floral designer 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 prefered.

Position includes some customer service, watering and plant maintenance.

 

 What do you call a crate of ducks?

A box of quackers.

Mark your Calendars!!!
Like us on Facebook to keep up to date with the latest!
Scarecrow Workshops
 
Saturday and Sunday, October 20 & 21, 2018 
10 am – 4 pm
Build a Birdhouse
Saturday, October 27, 2018
1 pm – 3 pm
 
Cost: $29.99
Pre-pay and pre-registration is required.
 
Create a wonderful refuge for your feathered friends.
 
Holiday Porch Pot Make and Take
 
 

November 17 & 18, 2018
Saturday  9am – 3 pm
Sunday  10 am – 3 pm

 

November 24 & 25, 2018
 
Saturday  9 am – 3 pm
 
Sunday 10 am – 3 pm 
December 1 & 2, 2018
 
Saturday  9 am – 3 pm
 
Sunday  10 am – 3 pm
 
All classes are only available at our Cottage Grove location.
To reserve your spot please call (608) 222-2269 to register.

 

 Recipe
 
Morning Glory Muffins
  • 2 cups (260g) whole wheat flour (measured correctly)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup (35g) ground flax (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (64g) unsalted chopped pecans, such as Diamond of California
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (85g) honey
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable, canola oil, or melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup (60g) smooth applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) orange juice or pineapple juice (I prefer orange)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (75g) raisins, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
  • 2 cups (260g) shredded carrots (about 4 large)
  • 1 cup (140g) shredded/grated apple (about 1 apple)

Let’s head on over to Sally’s Baking Addiction. Click here to find out how all these ingredients come together to make these muffins.

 

SEE YOU SOON!!!