Making Christmas

Newsletter 38 – Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Current Hours

Cottage Grove open
Open 7 days a week 9-5:30

Edgerton open
Mon-Fri 8:30-5:30, Sat 8:30-5, Sun 9-4

Lucy’s Story – Chapter 74

lucy laying in the yard next to a watermelon
"Just pretend that this watermelon is her, and the lawn is covered with leaves."
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I’m pretty sure that I’ve mentioned before that my mom is kinda techie sloooow.  She finally figured out how to change the date on her camera and, well, here we are again facing another techie stumbling block. 

It all started the other day.  We were in the backyard rolling in the leaves and hanging up clothes on the clothesline.  I bet you can figure out who was doing what here, right? 

Apparently, I was looking adorable (imagine that) so my mom took out her super duper fancy dancy phone out of her pocket and started taking pictures of me being one-with-nature amongst millions of sugar maple leaves in the back yard.

The word ‘selfie’ was thrown about and before you could say one of my favorite words ‘treat’ my mom was laying next to me in the leaves with her magic phone stuck in my face and telling me to smile.  Silly mom!

I just looked at her and said, “Hey Mom, there’s no need to TELL me to smile…I always smile when I’m with you!”

We really want to show you our funny ‘selfies’ but, umm we can’t quite figure out how to do that just yet….maybe next week? 

~Lucy

I totally understand how batteries feel because I’m rarely ever included in things either.

Holiday Decorating

It’s time to start thinking of your outdoor Holiday decorating.  While winter can be dark and dreary, there’s no reason not to liven up your front porch or doorstep with colorful holiday pots. An elegant arrangement can be created using a mix of evergreens, branches and birch poles and then adding some sparkle with our wide assortment of natural botanicals and dried stems and a bow.  Instead of fall colors, think bolder colors for winter.  Splashes of color mixed with green create alluring arrangements in pots to spice up your front entry in winter.

And how convenient for you, we just happen to have a wide selection currently in stock of dried botanicals for holiday decorating, both indoors and out.

Place the pots near your entry, on a porch or deck.  Use a variety of pot sizes.  Smaller pots may be used on a table or plant stand.  Large pots may be placed on either side of the front door.  If you have steps leading up to the porch, place either two large pots at the top of the steps or smaller pots on every other step.  Clay pots may shatter in the winter cold, so wood or plastic pots would be a better option.  If you are using ceramic pots, remember to always use a plastic liner in them so it is easier to empty the pots of their soil.  Here at the greenhouse we use sand in plastic liners as the base for our winter porch pots.

Holiday decorating can be easy AND fun!

A collage of our Winter Workshop
A collage of our Winter Workshop
See more images in our Gallery

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Bring your creativity and holiday spirit on out to our Winter Workshops!   

This is how it all works!

You may pre-register for any or ALL of our workshop events by sending Marty an email at abfrobbins@yahoo.com or call us at 608-222-2269.  All of our workshops are ongoing throughout the day between 9 and 3, so there is no need to sign up for a particular time slot, just the date. 

We want to have plenty of supplies for you to create your masterpieces, so pre-registration is appreciated, though not required. Walk-ins are always welcome.

Just went to an emotional wedding. Even the cake was in tiers.

Holiday Porch Pot Workshop

Saturday and Sunday, November 22nd and 23rd
Ongoing throughout the day between 9 and 3

A holiday porch pot with an evergreen pine surrounded by evergreen boughs, decorated with glittered pinecones, berries and a red ribbon
Make Something Beautiful this Holiday Season!
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Awe your family and friends this holiday season with beautiful festive porch pots!  Our holiday porch pot workshop is just one of our many ‘hands-on’ workshops we offer our customers.  It’s a creative, fun and easy way to decorate for the holidays. 

You are welcome to bring in your empty container from home or purchase one of ours.  Containers range from inexpensive plastic to high-end ceramic.  We will provide FREE sand for your container or liner.  (We recommend always using a liner in ceramic containers.)

We do ask that you purchase your porch pot supplies from us and not bring in ones from home or other suppliers. 

We offer bundles of assorted fresh greens as a base to start your container. Once you have arranged the greens, you can add to your container from our wide assortment of artificial picks and stems to accentuate your design.

Finished prices range from $35 to $150.  It all depends on how large, how full, and how dramatic you want your container to be.  

As with all our workshops, you do the actual planting.  Our experienced design staff will be on hand to assist with your design and arrangement.

If you can’t make it to one of our weekend workshops just stop out to the greenhouse from Monday through Friday, between 9:30-3:30 and do your own porch pot creation.  Please keep in mind that assistance will be limited outside of the workshop weekend hours.

Custom made Holiday Porch Pots!

America’s Best Flowers would be happy to custom make your Holiday Porch Pots.  To order please email Marty Robbins at abfrobbins@yahoo.com or call us at 608-222-2269.

More Holiday Freshness Coming Soon

Fresh roping, wreaths, spruce tops and bundled assorted greens will be arriving in a couple of weeks.

Again this year we will have locally grown Fraser/Balsam mix Christmas trees.  They will be harvested next week to ensure freshness. Our trees will be for sale the weekend before Thanksgiving.

Our Poinsettias are beginning to show color and will be ready for sale also the week before Thanksgiving.

It’s beginning to look like a colorful season ahead!

A magician was walking down the street and turned into a grocery store

Fresh Green Plants

Come on out today and check out our tropical foliage.  Choose from Christmas cactus, Norfolk pines, Chinese evergreen, dieffenbachia, crotons, peace lilies and more.  There is nothing like a fresh houseplant to add that special look and feel to any room in your home.  What a perfect take-along gift for all your upcoming holiday festivities.

What a coincidence, we just received an assortment of ceramic pottery for houseplants!

Ongoing Miniature Garden & Terrarium Workshops!

Weekends Now thru November 16 10am – 3pm


So many possibilities!
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Bring your own pot or use one of ours!
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Think small and inside the pot every Saturday and Sunday, through November 16, at our Miniature Garden and Terrarium Workshops.  Join us, from 10 am to 3 pm, for a journey to our miniature world. Create your very own terrarium or miniature fairy garden just as you’ve seen in the glossy home and garden magazines!

Captivating, Christmas miniatures, little gazing balls, tiny bird baths, skeletons, ghosts, petite fairies, small stepping stones, diminutive garden arbors, and miniature fences are just some of the treasures we have waiting here to help you realize your vision. Choose from our wide selection of tiny, live plants to bring your miniature wonderland to life.  Bring your own pot or purchase one here. Soil is free, and design assistance is always available!

Choose from our large selection of succulents and miniature garden plants and garden accessories to create your very own one-of-a-kind terrarium or miniature garden.

We know life is busy so if you are unable to make it to a weekend workshop you are welcome to come in and create your special miniature garden anytime during the week.  Groups are welcome at any time but please call ahead for groups of 5 or more to make sure we have adequate staff.

Clear the Bench Sale – Now 80% Off!

Starting Thursday, November 6, our remaining outside inventory of perennials, trees and shrubs will be 80% off.  Take advantage of our selection while it lasts.  Now is a great time to pick up the perennials, trees and shrubs you’ve had your eyes on all season. 

This sale applies to existing stock only (no special orders), and no warranty is included with this sale.  All sales are final. 

This 80% sale does not apply to previous purchases.  Annuals and tropicals are not included.

I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then, it hit me.

Spring Bulbs!

Plant a promise now and save 30%

Planting bulbs is like planting a promise that Spring will be here again and things will grow and bloom and be beautiful. Fall is the only time you can make it happen.  Plant now and be the absolute envy of your neighbors next spring! Tulips, daffodils, crocus, hyacinth, allium, and more are waiting for you and at 30% off you can afford to plant your whole yard.  Excludes amaryllis and paperwhite bulbs.

This sale does not apply to previous purchases, or to Amaryllis or Paperwhite bulbs (because we just got them in!).

Easy Money for Your Non-Profit Organization!

Is your non-profit organization in need of funds?  America’s Best Flowers fundraising program begins this fall on October 1 and runs through April 1, 2015.  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. 

What else makes our fundraiser so special?

1.    Your group gets 25% of the total value of the America’s Best Flowers gift cards they sell!
2.    Our gift cards are valid at both our Cottage Grove and our Edgerton locations!
3.    America’s Best Flowers gift cards NEVER EXPIRE!

Offer your customer that perfect gift to give for the holidays or any occasion.  To help promote your fundraising efforts be sure to advertise that an America’s Best Flowers gift card may be used to purchase items for the coming holiday season.  We will have beautiful poinsettias, Christmas trees, decorated and undecorated fresh wreaths, holiday hanging baskets, Grab and Go Porch Pots, and much more for your holiday decorating needs.  Many non-profit groups have told us that ‘America’s Best Flowers gift cards almost sell themselves!’ 

How do you get started?  One way is to take orders for our gift cards.  Your customers make payment directly to your group.  Submit your completed order to us and we will process it.  One check, from your organization, for payment of 75% of the total order will be due when you pick up your gift cards.  Another way is to purchase, in bulk, several different denominations of gift cards to sell at your organization’s activities.  One check, from your organization, for payment of 75% of the total is due when you pick up your bulk order.  Some groups do it both ways! 

All holiday orders must be placed with us on or before Monday, December 15.  The cards will be available for you to pick up in a few days time.  Your orders may be submitted weekly, or all at one time.  If you need a gift card after December 15 just give us a call and we will make arrangements with you.

Learn more about our fundraising program by visiting our websitewww.americasbestflowers.com or email me at abfscimino@yahoo.com.

Let’s work together to make this your best fundraiser ever!

Upcoming Events

Sat, Oct 18 – Sun, Nov 16
Miniature Garden Container Workshops

10am-3pm Every Weekend – FREE soil and assistance. Create your own miniature garden. Bring in your own containers or buy some of ours.

Sat, Nov 22 – Sun, Nov 23
Holiday Porch Pot Workshop

9am–3pm – Pre-Registration Appreciated

Sun, Nov 30
Wreath Workshop

9am–3pm – Pre-Registration Appreciated

Sat, Dec 6
Holiday Centerpiece Workshop

9am–3pm – Pre-Registration Appreciated

Our Kitchen

This is Judy’s recipe. She brought in samples and they were delicious.  Sweet and slightly spicy.  Nice smooth flavor.

Autumn Cake Loaf

  • 1 ½ Cups Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ½ Cup butter
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ Cup Pumpkin
  • ¾ Cup Chocolate Chips
  • ½ Cup Chopped Walnuts
Glaze
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp cream or milk
Directions

Grease loaf pan.  Preheat oven to 350 deg. Cream butter, gradually add sugar, beat until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla, blend in eggs; beat well.  Add dry ingredients, alternately with pumpkin, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.  Stir in chips and nuts.  Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until cake springs back in center when touched. 

Cool 15 minutes in pan. Remove and cool completely.  Add glaze to top. 

Glaze:

Combine ½ cup powdered sugar, 1/8 tsp nutmeg and 1/8 tsp cinnamon.  Blend with 1 to 2 Tbsp cream or milk until the consistency of glaze. 

*Can be made without the chocolate chips and walnuts if desired

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