Hello Edward, 


For over 20 years America’s Best Flowers has been a part of the Garden Expo. We are all just getting a bit excited that spring is around the corner! The first sign of spring here at America’s Best Flowers is the hustle and bustle of getting everything ready for the  Wisconsin Garden Expo. Getting ready for the show definitely takes dedication and tons of work. We have an amazing and dedicated team that unpacks and organizes every item to ensure we deliver only the very best. Just to name a few things, we will have new bird feeders, home accessories, ferns and succulents. Be sure to check out the brand new items we ordered especially for the expo. 


We love seeing your familiar faces during this three-day event. Stop on by and say hello. The garden expo celebrates the latest trends in gardening, landscaping and edibles. If you are looking to get out of the house and rejuvenate your spirits, the garden expo is the place to be. 

Get ready for spring as you walk through the expo and find all sorts of fabulous items for your garden. There are also tons of fun and informational workshops you can attend to learn from experts in the horticultural world. If you have not been to the expo, we highly suggest you grab a friend and head on over there on February 9-11 and get your spring fix! We can’t wait to see you there!

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

Why don’t oysters give to charity?
Because they’re shellfish.

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 

Primula 
If the bleakness of winter is getting you down, we have just the answer to brighten up your home! Primula, also known as Primrose, present cheerful flowers in bold colors. Some are solid colors. Some are bi-colors, with white being the second color. Still others have dark yellow centers. You can find them in white, yellow, pink, red, blue, rose, peach, orange, purple and lavender, so you are sure to find a color that pleases. Their attractive leaves are dark green and crinkly. If that isn’t enough, they are also wonderfully fragrant!


Primrose are lovely houseplants that can survive for more than just the spring, with a little care. Provide them with bright, indirect light. They like to grow in moist conditions, but root disease is one of the things to watch for with this plant. Because of that, when indoors, allow the soil surface to dry before watering the plants.

Native to moist woodlands, they like to be kept cool. Avoid south or west windows where it may be too warm. Ideally, they like to be grown at 50-70 degrees. You can keep them happy with high humidity created in the kitchen, bathroom or by placing them on a pebble tray filled with water to just below the bottom of the pot.


Fertilization of Primrose should occur no more than monthly and only when the plants are not in bloom. We recommend Miracle Gro Pour and Feed Liquid Plant Food. No mixing is required, 
just apply directly to the soil.

Once the plant is done blooming, it can be moved outside for summer in a shady, moist location. Allow it to remain outdoors until just before frost and then it can be moved indoors again. There are many kinds of Primrose, but the florist type are not generally winter hardy in Wisconsin.  
Come visit us at the WHA Garden Expo. We will have a wide assortment of these spring beauties on display there. We will be in booths 532-537 and 600-605. We hope to see you there!

A different kind of Jellybean

If you are not familiar with Jelly Bean Rugs, it may be time to become acquainted! We just received our Spring 2018 shipment and we have over 40 designs, 14 of which are just being offered for the first time by Jelly Bean! Merlot Valley, Tomato on a Tile, Blossoming Strawberries, Flamingo Friends and Hibiscus Garden are just a few of the new offerings we will have this year.






Each rug measures 21″x33″ and comes in two styles. The standard Jelly Bean rugs, which are the majority of what we carry, are made of 100% polyester, with a 100% polyester backing. These can be used indoors or outdoors. Care of these is easy; just throw them in the washing machine. Use cold water and wash with like colors. No bleach. Put them on a line to dry.

If you are at the cabin, on a boat or anywhere else where a washing machine is not available, then the Home and Garden series of Jelly Bean rugs are for you. These are made of 100% polypropylene with a 100% polyester backing. Just drag out the hose to wash these! Spot clean with mild detergent. Hang on a line to dry. You can vacuum these, just use the floor setting and no beater bar. We have 3 designs: Daisies and Stripes, Colorful Palms and River Run.
We will have our full collection at the WHA Garden Expo, so if you would like to get your hands on one of these soon, that’s the place to go! 

Floral notes
from Cottage Grove
Alstroemeria, commonly called the Peruvian lily or Lily of the Incas,is a South American 
genus of about 50 species of flowering plants. The alstroemeria flower is symbolic of wealth, prosperity and fortune. It is also the flower of friendship and devotion. The many different colors of this flower make it an excellent choice as an accent flower for floral bouquets. They have a long vase life of two weeks as a cut flower.
Alstroemeria plants are a great addition to the annual flower garden (zone 6). The roots of the alstroemeria plants form tubers, which are a form of storage roots. These tubers allow the plant to store up nutrients and water for times of need. Plant them in full sun in a well drained soil and add a light application of fertilizer to the planting hole. Cut off old flower stems with a bypass pruner to keep the plant blooming through out the summer.

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.
Customer Service Associates: Cottage Grove and Edgerton Locations

We’re looking for Customer Service Associates with strong customer service skills and a willingness to learn. General plant knowledge of common annuals, vegetables and herbs is needed. Positions include some watering and plant maintenance. These are seasonal, full time or part time positions.

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.

Office/Administrative Assistant: Cottage Grove Location

Our veteran Administrative Assistant, Bev, ran off and got married last August (we’re all very happy for her, but we miss her!). So, we’re in need of someone with strong office skills: filing, answering phones, mailing and preparing reports. This position will also perform accounting functions, balancing cash drawers, counting receipts and preparing bank deposits. It is a permanent part time position to start, working to permanent full time for the right person. Future duties would include accounts receivable and/or accounts payable. Experience with databases is a plus. Must be proficient in Word and Excel.

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 
and allow 30-45 minutes to complete the application.

Why was the cucumber mad?
Because it was in a pickle!
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!
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!


Summer Bulb Care
Instructors: Lori & Chris

Saturday, February 24    

If you have questions on how to plant bulbs, where to plant them and how to care for them, then this FREE informative class is for you. Our experts will give you tips and tricks for planting a variety of bulbs. 

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


Easy and Delicious Zuppa Toscana 
in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker 

I asked for and received an Instant Pot for Christmas.  I wanted to see what all the buzz was about with this “fast” cooking appliance. This was the first recipe I tried in my Instant Pot.  
It was easy to cook and tasted wonderful.  
I’m looking forward to cooking more soups, stews and other recipes.   Chris B.
 

Ingredients

* 2 Tbs olive oil
* 1 medium onion, diced
* 1 lb ground mild Italian sausage
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 3 large russet potatoes, unpeeled and sliced into 1/4-inch slices.
* 6 cups (1 1/2 quarts) chicken broth
* 1/4 cup water
* 2 cups fresh kale, chiffonade (a preparation of shredded or finely cut leaf vegetables, used as a garnish for soup.)
* 3/4 cup heavy cream or half and half (or milk if you want to decrease calories a bit)

Instructions

1. Using the “saute” function of the Instant Pot, heat the olive oil. Add onions and cook until they begin to become translucent.
2. Add the Italian sausage, crumbling up into smaller pieces and cooking until browned.
3. Add garlic and allow to cook just until fragrant, about a minute.
4. Drain off excess grease, if desired.
5. Add potato slices, chicken broth and water.
6. Lock the lid into place and set to “sealed.”
7. Cook at high pressure for 5 minutes using the Manual setting.
8. When cooking is complete, allow a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, followed by a quick release.
9. When pressure valve has dropped, remove the lid and add kale to the pot. The heat from the soup will wilt the kale as you stir.
10. Pour in cream or half and half (or milk), stirring to combine.
Makes about 6 servings.
Recipe lightly adapted from This Old Gal


SEE YOU SOON!!!