Hello Edward,


My mom’s sick.  She says she’s got a bunch of gunk in her head. My dad laughed the first time she said that and told her, ‘I’ve been telling you that for years!’ (Ahhh, he didn’t laugh very long, if ya know what I’m saying.) 

She’s been sleeping a lot, drinking lots and lots of warm stuff.  And, well, me and my dad have been doing our best to stay out of her crabby way…whoops, sorry, that just kinda slipped out.

One day she went into that really, really small room of the house, you know, THAT room that everyone closes the door to when they go in, but this time she didn’t shut the door. My dad looked in and said, ‘Ohhh, yuck, that makes me gag every time you do that!  Come 
here Lady, and look at what your mom is doing.

‘What?!  Are you crazy, out of your mind, Dad?  I KNOW what happens in that room and there ain’t no way, no way I’m going near that room!’

My dad said, ‘Lady, it’s ok.  It’s not that.  Just come in here and watch this.’

I trust my dad so it can’t be that bad, right? So, I slowly walk over to the door and peek in. 

What the heck…?  There was my mom leaning over with this Aladdin’s lamp like thing stuck in one side of her nose.  I kid you NOT!  She was pouring water into her nose and then the water was coming out the other side of her nose. I looked up at my dad…he looked down at me and we both gagged, then, well, it we both started laughing and we just couldn’t stop.   

THAT door slammed shut!

Later,
Lady

Hey, if you want to send my mom a get well wish at abfscimino it just might make her feel a tad bit better (and maybe, just maybe a little less crabby!)
  If fruit comes from a fruit tree, where does chicken come from?
A Poul-tree ! 

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 1, 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 

Wisconsin Garden Expo
FEBRUARY 9-11, 2018
fri: 12-8pm | sat: 9am-6pm | sun: 10am-4pm
Exhibition Hall, Alliant Energy Center | Madison, Wisconsin

Come see us there! Booth Numbers 523-537 & 600-605

Garden Expo is presented by Wisconsin Public Television and UW-Extension-Horticulture as a fundraiser for Wisconsin Public Television.

You can purchase your tickets here

Sempervivum 

Sempervivum is probably one of the most recognized succulents. Most people know it by its common name, Hens and Chicks. Sempervivum literally means “lives forever” because these plants grow and propagate so easily. There are over 3000 named varieties of Hens and Chicks, mostly grown for outdoors in either containers, rock gardens or beds, but some can adapt to growing indoors in containers, too.


Hens and Chicks are a diverse group of succulents with many leaf colors in shades of green, red, purple, black, blue, and white with “cobwebs”. Their color even changes with temperature, sunlight exposure, maturity of the plants or other factors.

They range in size from ¼” to 5″ in diameter. Their texture can be described as wooly, satin, velvety, fringed, tufted or spider-webbed. Hens and Chicks also display a myriad of forms such as rosettes, artichoke-like, tight balls and stone-like types. They are a succulent collector’s dream, as there are so many truly unique varieties one would want to possess!

Care for Sempervivum is similar to other succulents. They should receive bright, indirect light. Full sun is okay in Spring, Fall and Winter, but protect them from full sun in summer. They are drought-tolerant and the surest way to kill them is to overwater them. Allow the top 2-3″ of soil to thoroughly dry in between thorough waterings.

Fertilize your Hens and Chicks during the summer months, at one-half the recommended strength. Miracle Gro Succulent Plant Food or Bonide Cactus Plant Food are what we recommend for use on succulents. These plants thrive in soils and situations where other plants can’t grow and can do best in shallow soil or even cracks and crevices in walls.

The “hen” or the mother plant will produce “chicks” or the baby plants. The baby can begin to produce more babies after only one season. Each individual plant generally only lives for 3 years. After 2 years of producing chicks, it sends up a flower stalk before it dies. However, because these plants are such prolific “chick” producers, they are able to form mats fairly easily and quickly.

If you are looking for a fun group of succulents to grow, Sempervivum are it! With their varied colors, forms and textures, you are sure to find one (or two or three or four…) you’ll love!

Chinese Evergreens 

Chinese Evergreens or Aglaonema are very popular houseplants because of their tolerance of low light conditions and poor indoor ventilation. NASA rates them as one of the top 10 air-purifying houseplants, so if you are looking for a plant to improve air quality in your home or office, this plant may fit the bill.

Chinese Evergreens are native to tropical, shady areas. They are easy to grow and tolerant of most indoor conditions. Provide them with bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight, as this will scorch the leaves. The silver-leaved varieties, which are the most common available, are the most tolerant of low light. Because of their tolerance of low light conditions, they do not need natural sunlight to survive. They can be perfectly happy under fluorescent lighting.

Plants should be allowed to become moderately dry between thorough waterings. This means that the top 1″ of the soil should be dry before it is watered. Never leave water sitting in the saucer, so dump any excess water from the saucer.

Fertilize at one-half the recommended strength, when the plant is actively growing in March-September. Use a fertilizer such as Miracle Gro All Purpose Liquid Indoor Plant Food, which is easy to use and economical.

Because these are tropical plants they like to be kept warm. Chinese Evergreen, though, seem to be a little more sensitive to cold temperatures than other tropical houseplants, so keep them between 65-80 degrees. Temperatures below 60 degrees or cold drafts caused by air conditioners or being in front of a door or window, are not good for these plants. High humidity, which they love, should be maintained in their indoor environment.

These are slow-growing plants, so they should not require frequent re-potting. They do not like to be wet, so it’s actually better to keep them in a pot that runs a little on the small side, which allows them to dry out more quickly. If flowers form, it’s best to trim them from the plant. They are not showy and only deplete energy the plant needs to sustain its foliage. Keep your furry family members away, as these are considered toxic to both cats and dogs.


Their attractive silver-green leaves and adaptive nature make Chinese Evergreen a wonderful plant. Whether you are a beginner looking for an easy-to-grow houseplant or someone just looking for a plant to brighten up a space in your home or office, Chinese Evergreen are a great choice. 

Feeding our feathered friends
 
Bird feeders come in different forms and sizes. There are feeders for different species of birds, feeders that will help deter unwanted guests to your feeder and feeders that are pretty and decorative.  

The first feeder pictured is squirrel proof and can deter those clever little rascals from emptying your feeders before the birds get to it. 
It deters them by closing the feeder when they try to sit on the perch, their weight keeps the feeder door closed.

If Orioles are what you are trying to attract to your yard, then you will want to use one of these Oriole feeders. The bright orange color of the Orioles matches the feeders that attract them to your yard. They like grape jelly and the same sugar water that you would use in hummingbird feeders. If you are lucky enough to have Orioles feed at your yard, consider yourself very lucky, for these elusive birds can be picky. If you are just getting started attracting them, then patience is a virtue 🙂 remember slow and steady wins the race.

Hummingbirds are another big favorite for bird feeding enthusiasts. These tiny winged birds are just a marvel to see as they take a sip out of your feeder. We have a variety of hummingbird feeders and the common thread that runs through them is the color red. That’s because hummingbirds are drawn to the color red because they see that color more vividly than humans. The nectar that you have in your feeder does not have to be red and actually people warn against adding red dye to your feeder. While red nectar has been popular in the past, studies have shown that the dye stays in hummingbird’s system long past when the nectar has been metabolized, and it is still unknown what damaging impact high concentrations of artificial dyes may have on these tiny birds. Natural flower nectar, after all, is clear, and it is only the red on surrounding flowers that indicates the food source to hungry hummingbirds.

That is just a small portion of the bird feeders that we carry. If you have any questions about the different feeders and what to use for the type of birds you are trying to attract, just give us a call at either of our locations and we’ll help find the right feeder for you.

Floral notes
from Edgerton

Does someone you know have a recital, graduation or some other special event coming up?  What better way to show your pride in their hard work than giving them flowers. Stop in to either of our floral shops and we will put together a beautiful presentation bouquet just for that special occasion.  You can pick the colors you would like and we will wrap it in cellophane and tie a matching bow on it for you.  And don’t forget if you are in a hurry, you can always call ahead and we will have everything ready for you when you walk in.

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.
Positions are seasonal; full time or part time. This job opportunity would be from approximately mid-April thru mid-June. We are in need of candidates who can work weekends and a few hours during the week.
Job duties could consist of working on the production line, assisting customers, working on the cash register and/or watering, stocking and cleaning plants. If you would like to take the opportunity, please give us a call at 608-222- 2269.
Why did the cabbage win the race?
Because it was ahead!
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!
 
Make a Terrarium Garden
Instructors: Margaret & Kayla
Saturday, January 27, 2018, 1pm-3pm
Pre-registration is appreciated 


Choose from a selection of terrariums as you design your miniature world.

A variety of miniature plants and accessories will be available. Price will depend on materials chosen for your terrarium.
Create a Log Succulent Planter
Instructor: Chris B. 
Saturday, February 3, 2018, 10 am-12pm and 1pm-3pm
Pre-registration is recommended

Work with succulents as you create this fun and decorative living piece of art. 
Prices depend on materials you choose. You’ll have your choice of nature inspired containers on a first come, first served basis.

Pictured  approx. 10 1/2  x  5 1/2  log planter w/ succulents $39.99

NOTE: this workshop is filling up fast! 
If you are interested please call now to get your name on the list!




Growing Berries in your own Backyard
Instructor: Ed 

Saturday, February 17, 2018, 11am-12pm

There’s nothing like having sweet berries right from your own garden,
whether you are thinking of planting Raspberries, Blueberries, Strawberries, or Blackberries. Hey, if you’re feeling up to it, why not grow them all! 
During this free informational class, experts will answer all your questions, from where to plant berries, to how to care for them and the list goes on. 

Can’t you just picture it right now … walking into your garden and picking a plump sweet blueberry right from your own yard. The rewards are definitely sweet!  Pre-registration is appreciated. Call 608 222-2269 and we can add your name to the list!

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

   Cajun Jambalaya

I found this recipe in the Cooking Light Magazine.  I make it in a glass baking dish for easy cleanup.  In a pinch I use frozen green bell pepper and canned diced tomatoes.  
I like to add a bit more Cajun seasoning too.  Chris B.




 Ingredients: 
  • 1/2 lb raw shrimp, 26/30 count, peeled and deveined, tail on
  • 4 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 all-natural, low-sodium turkey sausage, sliced
  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, stem and seeds removed and discarded, diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1 1/2 medium vine-ripe tomatoes, cored and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp salt-free Cajun seasoning
  • 1 cup all-natural instant brown rice
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  •  
 Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, toss together all ingredients (except cooking spray of course), mixing well until combined.
  3. Prepare 2 foil pouches. Spray each piece of foil with cooking spray. Divide mixture evenly among both pieces of foil and seal.
  4. Place pouches on a baking tray and slide onto middle rack of preheated oven for 25 minutes or until rice and proteins are fully cooked. (NOTE: When cooked, rice will be soft and proteins will be firm and opaque.) To test for doneness, carefully open 1 pouch and taste a few grains of rice from the center of the pouch. If necessary, close pouch and return to oven for 5 more minutes.
  5. Carefully open pouch and pour mixture into a large serving bowl; serve immediately.
      

SEE YOU SOON!!!