2018 – Newsletter 18 Update on Sally & Marty / PLUS we’re talking blueberries YUM!

2018 – Newsletter 18 Update on Sally & Marty / PLUS we’re talking blueberries YUM!

You Are Here: Home / 2018 Newsletters / 2018 – Newsletter 18 Update on Sally & Marty / PLUS we’re talking blueberries YUM!

Hello Edward,

 

 

Sally Update

 

We want to express our gratitude to all of you who have expressed concern about Sally and continue to ask how she’s doing. We thought we’d provide you with an update on her because we know you care!

 

Sally continues her rehabilitation in the comforts of a nice, cozy home. My parents have adopted her permanently. I tried to get my two males to accept her, but it was obvious from the start, Keiki was not going to let that “girl kitty” into the family. I really miss having her, but knew I had to do what was best for her. She couldn’t live in my basement or on my 3 season porch year-round.

 

Of course, our America’s Best staff all miss Sally. Her persistent need for attention, her following us around everywhere and demanding to be petted, held, talked to and cuddled are all things we miss! She made a visit to the garden center a couple weeks ago to see everyone. She was happy to see her ABF family! There were lots of belly rubs. And yes, they were for Sally, not the staff!

 

Sally recently had to visit Dr. Diane at Token Creek Veterinary Clinic to have her splint fixed because it had dropped down a bit on her paw and it was no longer in place. She’s very mischievous and despite the doctor’s instructions not to run, climb or jump, she still does these things. With that, her little splint got out of place.

 

Dr. Diane got her all set again and now we just wait until this Friday when they are going to x-ray it and see how it has healed. If everything looks good, she’ll get to have the splint taken off! If not, she’ll have at least two more weeks with it. We’re all hoping she will get her freedom on Friday. Keep your fingers (or paws) crossed!

 

~Betty
 
 

What did one blueberry say to the other blueberry?
If you weren’t so sweet, we wouldn’t be in this jam!

 

Our Pick-A-Pack weekend for
Saint Vincent de Paul
was a success once again this year!

 

Thanks to your generosity, we contributed 921 packs or 3684 plants for their Lacy Pantry Garden. Those vegetables will be used to stock the shelves of their food pantry, benefitting our friends and neighbors in need. From the bottom of our hearts, we THANK YOU for making our 2018 Saint Vincent de Paul Pick-A-Pack weekend a success!

 

Where’s Marty?

 

Many of you have noticed that one of our familiar faces around the garden center isn’t around as much. Marty, our Retail Manager, has worked for America’s Best Flowers since April of 2010. With him, he brought his insight regarding garden accessories and art and helped to build our pottery and garden art line. The container workshops that we hold on weekends in the spring were developed with his, as well as other’s expertise. Over the 8 years he has been here, he has helped to build America’s Best Flowers into a destination garden center known for unique garden art, beautiful containers and excellent customer service.

 

With him, Marty also brought his ability to connect with people. Over his time with us, he has come to personally know many of you, our customers, recognizing you not just by face, but by name. For many of you who shop here year after year, he can even recite what your preferences are and what you have bought in the past! Because of this, now that he’s not around as much, you all have noticed!

 

Marty has earned and has decided to take a well-deserved “semi-retirement”. He’s been working with us on a part time, limited basis this spring. We certainly value and appreciate every minute he is able to give us! However, by his own request, he’s going to be taking the summer off. He has a lot of projects, boating and fishing to do, you know!

 

 

Eagle River calls him, so we must let him go. He has promised to return for emergencies, special projects etc. If he’s in the store when you stop in, please wish him well and a much deserved, “Thank You”, for helping to make America’s Best Flowers the best garden center in Dane County (yes, we’re biased)!

 

Creeping Phlox

 

In early spring, you may look around and wonder what those luxuriant carpets are of pink, lavender and blue. You see them growing in rock gardens, on hillsides, from crevices and
in woodland gardens as a groundcover. Generally planted in large masses, these pastel flowers form a carpet of dazzling color!
These perennials have needle-like foliage, growing 4-6″ in height. They are very adaptable, growing in full sun to partial shade in most soil conditions. Ideal conditions are full sun and moist, but well-drained soils. Fertilize plants in the early spring when new growth begins.
We recommend Espoma Garden Food. Always read and follow label directions. This encourages new growth and flowering.

In the searing heat of summer, plants may require supplemental watering to prevent scorching, especially those in rock gardens. Plants can be sheared after the spring bloom

in order to maintain good habit. This also promotes new growth and rejuvenation of the plants.
Creeping Phlox is easy to divide, so you can make more Creeping Phlox. Dig the plant up, including the root ball. Cut through the center of the plant and divide it into sections. Replant. This also helps to keep plants healthy and looking good.
Creeping Phlox makes a wonderful addition to a Butterfly Garden, Deer Resistant Garden
or as a groundcover. Its beautiful carpet of color is a spectacle to see. We have Creeping Phlox in all colors. Stop out and get yours today!

Blueberries:

Blueberries have many healthful properties and for this reason they have been increasing in popularity in home gardens. Many people have been hesitant to grow them because of the requirement for the soil to be acidic. However, with the development of the Bushel and Berry series of compact plants that can be grown in containers, growing blueberries is now easier.

Blueberries grow best in moist, well-drained soils, high in organic matter. They cannot tolerate “wet feet”, so be sure that the location is in a well-draining site. The soil pH must be between 4.5 and 5.0. Blueberries grown in containers still have the same requirements for soil, however, it’s easier to monitor and amend the soil in a container. Plant in a container that is at least 16″ in diameter.
Plant the berries in full sun, where they will receive 6-8 hours a day. Less than that will result in reduced or non-existent berry production and/or reduced quality of the berries. Plants should be spaced 3-4 feet apart in the garden.
Fertilize with an acid fertilizer each spring and fall, such as Espoma Holly-tone or Espoma Soil Acidifier. Always follow package instructions for fertilizer application and be careful not to over-fertilize. Make gradual additions of acidifier so as not to stress the plant.
Apply 2-4 inches of mulch over the roots of blueberries. This helps with weed control, retains moisture, keeps the roots cool and adds to the organic matter content of the soil over time. Apply new mulch each year to keep 2-4 inches of mulch on the plants at all times.
Blueberries do not ripen evenly, so they should be picked at least once a week. Ripe berries are a uniform blue throughout. Harvest the berries only when they are dry and store at 32-35 degrees for up to two weeks. Mulch plants before winter. If growing plants in containers, move the containers to an unheated garage or bury the pots in the ground and mulch over them.
Want to learn more about raising blueberries and other berries, check out our blog

Floral Notes
Memorial Day Remembered
As some of you may have noticed, before entering our doors, the outside front area is adorned with different attributes that display and reflect the beautiful nature of our business. Amongst all the statuary, whimsical lawn art and colorful flowers and plants, are rows aligned with silk cemetery flowers, in an array of different colors and styles, including Red, White and Blue!
As the 3-day Memorial weekend swiftly approaches, there will, no doubt, be gatherings of family and friends across the country celebrating the holiday weekend with lots of food, fun and laughter. That happiness and freedom, however, is a product of the real reason for the holiday, which was originally known as  “Decoration Day”. Graves were decorated with flowers and flags to pay tribute and respect to all the sacrifices made by men and woman who  fought and died for the freedoms and liberties Americans hold so dear.
Memorial Day is a time to remember that the American way of life is not free, but rather has been purchased by the lives and blood of so many who have sacrificed for us to live free and happily today.
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.
Part-time Floral Designer:  Edgerton Location
We’re looking for a Part-time floral designer with strong customer service skills and a willingness to learn. General knowledge of floral design is needed. Positions include some customer service, watering, plant maintenance.
 
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.

 

What do you call blueberries playing the guitar?
A jam session.
Upcoming Events 2018 – Mark your Calendars!!!
 
2018 is full of new workshops and informational classes for you to attend. 
Like our Facebook page to keep up to date with the latest!

 

All Hands In!!
Come plant up a pot in our greenhouse and leave the mess behind!!

 

How it works: You bring in your own empty container or purchase one from our vast collection on hand. Pick out the flowers you like for your container and America’s Best Flowers provides you with our secret soil blend, slow release fertilizer and guidance with planting, if needed. You leave with a beautiful creation to take with you and best of all, leave the mess behind!!

 

 

 

 

In recognition of Armed Forces Day & with Memorial Day weekend coming soon, we will have red, white and blue flowers on hand for you to create a one-of-a-kind, unique container. If red, white or blue doesn’t suit your fancy, we certainly have lots of other colors from which to choose! Just bring in your own EMPTY container or
purchase one from us and let the fun begin!!

 

Rabbit and Deer Prevention for your Yard
Saturday, June 2, 2018
 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Those cute and lovable bunnies and deer sometimes can be a nuisance. Join us as our expert talks about which plants are rabbit and deer resistant, as well as control options 
you can use in your garden. 
 
 
Attracting Hummingbirds to your yard! 
Saturday, June 2, 2018
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
 

Do you want to know which perennials will attract hummingbirds?

 Join us in our perennial department as we discuss which

flowers and shrubs attract these gorgeous birds.

 

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

 

  

Blueberry Jamboree

 

 

Ingredients
Blueberry Topping:
 
3-1/2 cups fresh blueberries, divided
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon plus 1-1/2 teaspoons water
3/4 teaspoons lemon zest
Crust:
3/4 cup butter, unsalted
2 cups flour
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
Filling:
 
2 cups heavy whipping cream
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature and cut into chunks
2 cups powdered sugar

 

Instructions:
  1. In a large pan combine 1-1/2 cups blueberries, sugar, and brown sugar. Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly. Stir until sugar is combined and blueberries start to pop and come to a boil.
  2. Dissolve cornstarch in water. Add the cornstarch/water mixture in the pan with the blueberries and stir until the mixture becomes thick.
  3. After it has thickened, remove from heat and add the remaining 2 cups of blueberries, then add in the lemon zest and stir in gently.
  4. Cool to room temp or refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. Grease a 9×13 inch glass pan. For the crust, melt the butter and stir in the flour and pecans.
  6. Press crust evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Cook at 325 for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Let crust cool to room temperature.
  7. For the filling, whip the heavy cream and set aside.
  8. In another mixing bowl beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar together until smooth, then add the whipped cream in with the cream cheese mixture and combine. Spread over the cooled crust.
  9. Spread the blueberry topping over all. Let set in the fridge for about an hour.

Source: sixsistersstuff

 

SEE YOU SOON!!!
 

What Our Customers Say About Us

  • Another pleasant and profitable day at America’s Best Flowers flea market yesterday. The staff, the vendors and the customers are all just as the name implies the best.

    - Bobbie J.
  • Bring your own pots to this place and set up in a potting work station. You can use their soil and expert advice to make your purchase selections… Fun to do with kids.

    - Melle.
  • Awesome place, always friendly and helpful. Beautiful choices for plants!

    - Catherine C.
  • Everything was beautiful today, enjoyed my time there shopping!

    - Deb V.M.
  • Kudos to the crew at ABF for green houses filled with beautiful flowers & creative gardening elements.

    - Deb M.
  • Love this place and the great flowers and wonderful staff… They helped me pick the plants and they built the basket for me right on the spot. The rest of my plants look great too.

    - Julie A.