‘Bundling’ Up for Fall

Newsletter 30 – Thursday, October 7, 2010

“To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind
Than to be hopelessly in love with spring.”

George Santayana

Fall is absolutely here.  What a great time of the year – after the heat – before the cold.  October is when the late season ‘Cheryl’ series of mums come into their own.  With names like Sparkling Cheryl, Golden Cheryl, Frosty Cheryl, Cool Cheryl, Spicy Cheryl and Regal Cheryl they provide a rainbow of color for your landscape.  Come celebrate fall with us.

Only 3 More SCARECROW DAYS!

Ends Saturday, October 9 at 4

Don’t miss out on this delightful activity for kids of all ages!  Whether you come with your family, with friends or by yourself we guarantee you’ll have a great time.  See the unique creations others have done.   For a nominal charge we provide the scarecrow kit and assistance.  Bring your own clothes or purchase ours at garage sale prices.  We build scarecrows from 10 to 4 daily, rain or shine. Complimentary refreshments will be served on Saturday. For groups please call ahead.  We also have a selection of pre-built scarecrows for sale.

Scarecrow Days Specials

Mums   9.99 ea
3 or more   only 7.99 ea
50% off all Perennials, Trees and Shrubs 50% Off
35% off Fall Bulbs
Pansies and Violas – 3/$1.00
includes Flowering Kale & Cabbage

Sleep is ne’er so sweet
As when the room is chill
And the blankets deep.

It’s Time to ‘Bundle’ Up

The cooler night temperatures have all of us searching for sweatshirts and jackets to bundle up in.  To keep in the spirit we’ve bundled special fall combinations just for you.  Autumn Bundle #1 priced at $19.99 includes one of our larger-than-life mums, a straw bale and a corn shock.  Autumn Bundle #2 is our best value, with three mums, a straw bale and a corn shock for only $29.99. Make quick work of decorating by combining your bundle and scarecrow with a few pumpkins, gourds and Indian corn.  Once you have your fall display in place, send us a picture.  We will publish them randomly over the next few weeks.

Last week we included a link to a picture on facebook, but many people couldn’t see the image because it asked you to login. Oops! If you were curious, here’s the link to Jennifer’s festive display.

“Where man sees but withered leaves,
God sees sweet flowers growing."

Albert Laighton

Just Beneath the Surface

The sweet flowers of spring are truly just beneath the surface of this year’s withered leaves.  They exist in so many forms.  Bulbs will burst into color with the first warm days. Seeds of the violets, daisies and so many more will sprout into next year’s flowers.  Swollen buds on the trees will open into life-giving green. Flowers will bedeck the forsythia, lilac and redbud.  And the reliable shoots of the perennials will rise again. To help your beds be ready for these miracles, a little fall clean up is in order.

One of our most common questions this time of year is about cutting back perennials. As long as your plants have green foliage to undergo photosynthesis, nutrients are still being sent to the plant.  Removing stems and leaves too early limits the amount of energy reserves the plant has going into winter. This energy fuels new growth in spring, so it is generally best to wait to remove top growth until it naturally dies back or until after a hard freeze. For marginally hardy plants, such as mums and lavender, it is better to leave old growth through the winter and remove it in spring. Stems can act as small windbreaks to accumulate snow and leaves, which insulate the crown of the plant.Another reason to leave top growth intact is the winter interest it provides. Many perennials, including cone flowers, heliopsis, astilbe, and most ornamental grasses, have relatively strong stems which provide interesting architecture, as well as seeds for wildlife.

Very hardy plants such as bee-balm, daylilies, hostas, and peonies are so durable that removing their foliage any time in the fall is no problem. Cleaning up and carefully discarding their leaves and stems can help reduce disease the following season. An additional layer of mulch can be used to help insulate all of your perennials from the freezing and thawing our harsh winters deliver.

As you clear out spent plants, it’s easy to see where you have space to add perennials and shrubs.  While you’re digging, it’s hardly any extra work at all to plant spring-blooming bulbs like alliums, crocus, daffodils, hyacinths and tulips.  Next spring you can enjoy these cheerful plants and know that you saved money in the process with our 35% discounts this week.

If you’re so smart, why haven’t you been on Jeopardy?

Apple Picking Can Be Fun!!

I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger.

Bonnie’s Kitchen

Don’t you just love pumpkin? I eat it year-round and try to put it in anything I can. Hopefully you will enjoy these recipes! Remember that we have really terrific pie pumpkins here at ABF. Making puree is quite easy, and well worth the effort. I make a lot and freeze it in 1 cup containers. It is especially good in soups, and of course, PIE!

Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin Bars This is one of my favorite pumpkin bar recipes. It’s from Paula Deen and is sooo yummy!
    Bars
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 2/3 c granulated sugar
    • 1 c vegetable oil
    • 15 oz. can pumpkin
    • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
    • 2 t baking powder
    • 2 t ground cinnamon
    • 1 t salt
    • 1 t baking soda
    Icing
    • 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
    • ½ c butter, softened
    • 2 c sifted confectioner’s sugar
    • 1 t vanilla
    Directions

    Preheat oven to 350°.  Using an electric mixer on medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and batter is smooth. Spread into 9X13” greased pan. Bake for 30 minutes.  Let cool completely before frosting. Cut into bars.

     

    To make the icing: combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars.


    Moroccan Vegetable Soup

    Featuring pumpkin- what else?
    • 2 T olive oil
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1 c peeled, chopped carrots
    • 1 c peeled chopped parsnips
    • 1 c canned pumpkin puree
    • 1 quart vegetable stock (I admit, I sometimes use chicken)
    • 1 t lemon juice
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • cayenne to taste*
    • ½ t dried cilantro
    Directions

    Heat olive oil in large pot. Stir in onions; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. 

    Stir in vegetables, pumpkin puree, and stock. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer until vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes. Add lemon juice, salt, pepper, and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Remove from heat and allow to cool. 

    Ladle soup in batches in food processor and blend until smooth (or use an immersion blender). If soup is too thick, thin with additional stock. Return pureed soup to the pot and heat through. 

    *The recipe does not call for cayenne, but it gives it some extra zip

    A screenwriter comes home to a burned down house.
    His sobbing wife is standing outside.
    “What happened, honey?” the man asks.

    “Oh, John, it was terrible,” she weeps.
    “I was cooking when the phone rang. It was your agent.
    Because I was on the phone, I didn’t notice the stove had caught o fire.
    It went up in seconds. Everything is gone.
    I nearly didn’t make it out of the house.
    Poor Fluffy is gone-“

    “Wait! Back up a minute,” her husband said.
    “My agent called?”

    SEE YOU SOON!!!
    Carol and Ed Knapton, owners of Americas's Best Flowers You’ll Love Your Garden … It’s Our Promise! May the Holy Spirit Guide You! God Bless
    Edward Knapton says Keep on Smiling!
    Sec – Treasurer Berry Hill Farms, Inc.
    DBA Americas Best Flowers Garden Center
    4311 Vilas Hope Road
    Cottage Grove, WI 53527
    608-222-2269 Fax 608-222-1234 Cell 608-698-5627