Newsletter 1 (3/22/2007)
We’re Back! And so is spring!
“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”
Many of our customers tell us, “I would love to have a beautiful garden (their goal), but…” complete with an appropriate obstacle … “I don’t know how to start, I don’t have the time, my budget won’t allow it, I don’t have a green thumb, etc….”. If this sounds like you, let America’s Best Flowers help. 2007 can be the year you see your beautiful garden become a reality.
America’s Best Flowers has workshops scheduled on a wide variety of topics to help you reach your goal. Below you will find a current list of events we have planned. We will be adding to this as the season progresses, so be sure to read it each week.
Please mark your calendar for our FREE Bulb Workshop on Tuesday evening, April 3. We are delighted to have Jan Vermeer from the Langeveld Bulb Company back with us again this year. Last spring the forty plus attendees were thoroughly entertained, as they learned from the ‘expert’ how to enjoy summer bulbs in new and exciting ways. There is no charge for the workshop, and you will receive a free dahlia bulb for attending. This is definitely an event you won’t want to miss.
America’s Best Flowers Upcoming Spring Events
1. Make a Spring Wreath - Saturday, March 24, 10 am. Create an indoor or outdoor wreath at our “Make and Take” workshop. Pre-registration required. $35.
2. Ask the Bulb Expert – Tuesday, April 3, 6 pm. Jan Vermeer of Langeveld Bulb Co will conduct a workshop and answer all your spring bulb questions. Attendees will receive a FREE dahlia bulb and there will be special pricing incentives.
3. Easter Egg Hunt and Free Photo with the Easter Bunny - Saturday, April 7. 10 am and 1 pm egg hunts and 11 am -2 pm photo opportunity. FREE 8X10 photo and CD images.
4. Spring Open House - April 14 &15 Complimentary hot dogs and popcorn.
5. Celebrate Earth Day - Saturday, April 21. Receive a FREE Black Hills Spruce seedling to plant for Arbor Day. Special children’s crafts and activities from 10-2 pm. Bring a white t-shirt to paint, and prepare to have fun!
6. Contain Yourself! - Saturday & Sunday, April 28 & 29. Create a container in our potting boutique, and receive free soil and assistance.
7. Herb Fest - April 28 & 29. Focus on herbs. Free recipes, herbal bread and dipping oil samples. Plant an herb container.
8. Rose Workshop - Sunday, April 29, 1 pm. Rose experts, Joan Schultz and Sharon Stickford, discuss roses and answer your questions.
9. Tomato Fest - May 5 – 9. Receive a free tomato with purchase.
10. Tomato Talk! - Saturday, May 5th, 10 am by Ed Knapton.
11. Salsa Saturday - May 5 Salsa tasting and recipes, Latin music, plant a salsa container and more! Winner of Salsa contest announced.
12. Make a Mother’s Day Basket - Tuesday, May 8, 4-8 pm Let us help you design an unforgettable gift for your mother this year.
13. Free Mother’s Day Geranium – May 10 – 14. FREE geranium for Mom with purchase ($3.99 value).
14. Ask the Expert - Vegetable Gardening Workshop - Saturday, May 19. FREE class on how to plant and maintain a successful vegetable garden by Brian Emerson.
15. Container Workshop - May 19 & 20. Design a container in our potting boutique, with FREE soil and assistance.
16. Outdoor Living and Patio Days - June 9 – 17. Front porch and deck decorating. Bring in a photo and we’ll offer assistance.
17. Perennials on Parade - Month of June. A different perennial is featured each week.
18. Breakfast on the Farm with Dad - Father’s Day, Sunday, June 17. FREE light breakfast and “Plant Dad’s Shoe” workshop.
19. Hosta Workshop - June 21, 6:30 pm. Class by Ed Shulz, President Madison Hosta Society.
“No matter how busy people are, most are never too busy to stop and talk about how busy they are.”
Garden Sense by Ilene Isenberg, perennial and nursery manager
Spring has sprung and we’re all itching to get out and get our hands dirty! Your tulips and daffodils are pushing their way skyward and buds on the maples and rhododendrons are looking plumper every day. Although the weather can still be uncooperative, there are ways to get into the ‘swing of spring’ in the garden.
Tidy up! If you’ve left tall grasses or flower stalks standing for winter interest you’ll want to trim them before the new growth begins. Prune away dead or broken branches from trees and shrubs. Wait to prune flowering shrubs until after they bloom or you’ll cut off this year’s flowers. Pull up or dig out those dandelions and other perennial weeds that have already made an appearance. If you take an extra moment to make sure you get most of the root, you won’t be fighting the same weeds later.
Pick up branches and rake the lawn, if it’s dry enough. Pull any packed layers of mulch from around perennials and emerging bulbs. Carefully watching for new growth, replace it surrounding them. Reposition landscape fabric that may have loosened. Be careful not to tromp around in your flower beds if it’s too wet because that will compact the soil.
Replenish and replace faded barks and mulches to freshen your landscape areas. Step back to admire your handiwork and dream. Imagine what new and exciting additions to your outdoor world you’ll find at America’s Best Flowers in 2007!
“Today’s mighty oak is just yesterday’s nut that held its ground.”
Pan Roasted Salmon with Fresh Mint Sugar Snap Peas
1 ½ T dry white wine
1 ½ T reduced sodium soy sauce
1 ½ T balsamic vinegar
1 t ground cumin
2 (6oz. each) salmon fillets, with skin
¾ lb. sugar snap peas, strings removed
¼ c fresh mint
2 T fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1 ½ T extra virgin olive oil
1 T reduced sodium soy sauce
¼ t each salt and freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
To make marinade: In medium bowl, whisk wine, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, and cumin. Add salmon-turn to coat, and allow to sit, skin-side up, while peas are cooking.
To make peas: In a saucepan, bring 1 qt. water to a boil. Add peas, and cook 10 seconds. Drain in a colander and run under cold water to stop cooking. Pat dry with paper towels.
In a bowl, whisk together mint, lemon juice, oil, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Add peas: toss to coat.
To make salmon: Heat large non-stick skillet, over medium high heat. Add salmon, skin side down, and partially cover skillet. Cook until skin is crisp and salmon is just opaque throughout, 3-5 minutes per side, depending on thickness.
Arrange salmon on a platter and spoon sugar snap peas around and on top. Serve with basmati rice.
From O Magazine, taken from “The Couple That Cooks Together”>
“One day a first grade teacher was reading the story of the Three Little Pigs to her class. She came to the part where the first pig was trying to accumulate the building materials for his home. She read, ‘…And so the pig went up to the man with the wheelbarrow full of straw and said, ‘Pardon me sir, but may I have some that straw to build my house?’’ The teacher paused, then asked the class, ‘And what do you think that man said?’ One little boy raised his hand and said, ‘I think he said… ‘Holy crap! A talking pig!’ The teacher was unable to teach for the next 10 minutes.”