‘THE SAGE’-Klein’s Online Newsletter—DECEMBER 2018
Klein’s Floral & Greenhouses
608/244-5661 or [email protected]


Coming Soon: Our Popular 12 Days of Christmas Specials
Our ‘Mad Gardener’ Is Ready for Your Questions
How to Design an Outdoor Holiday Container or Porch Pot
What’s the Best Way to Clean Your Bird Feeders?
Klein’s Favorite Seed, Bulb & Plant Sources
You Asked the Mad Gardener About Fungus Gnats
Biological Mosquito Control Also Kills Fungus Gnats
Plant of the Month: Albuca spiralis ‘Frizzle Sizzle’
Klein’s Favorite Holiday Treat Recipes
Product Spotlight: Holiday Ornaments from Old World Christmas®
Notes from Rick’s Garden Journal—From November 2018
—Winter Bird Feeding Begins
—Winter Bird Feeding Begins, Part 2
—2019 Perennial of the Year: Stachys ‘Hummelo’
December in the Garden: A Planner
Gardening Events Around Town
Review Klein’s @: Yelp, Google Reviews or Facebook Reviews
Join Us on Twitter
Follow Us on Facebook
Delivery Information
Related Resources and Websites
Plants Harmful to Kids and Pets


WATCH FOR OUR POPULAR ’12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS’ SPECIALS. Each day from Wednesday, December 12 though Christmas Eve, Klein’s will feature a new item for holiday gift-giving, culminating on Monday, December 24 with all featured products on sale for last minute shoppers and bargain seekers. Visit our website or watch for emailed updates.


“Madison’s Firsthand Source for Expert Gardening Advice”


Ask any of your gardening questions by e-mailing them to us at [email protected]. Klein’s in-house Mad Gardener will e-mail you with an answer as promptly as we can. We’ve also posted a link to this e-mail address on our home page for your convenience. Your question might then appear in the “You Asked” feature of our monthly newsletter. If your question is the one selected for our monthly newsletter, you’ll receive a small gift from us at Klein’s. The Mad Gardener hopes to hear from you soon!


Sorry, we can only answer those questions pertaining to gardening in Southern Wisconsin and we reserve the right to leave correspondence unanswered at our discretion. Please allow 2-3 days for a response.


Please note that our Mad Gardener is not only an expert gardener, but can answer all of your indoor plant questions as well.


Holiday Hours
Monday thru Friday 8:00-7:00
Saturday: 8:00-6:00
Sunday: 9:00-5:00
Holiday hours run through Sunday, December 23


Christmas Eve, Monday, December 24—Open 8:00-4:00


Starting December 26:
Monday thru Friday : 8:00-6:00
Saturday: 9:00-5:00
Sunday: 10:00-4:00


New Year’s Eve, Monday, December 31–Open 8:00-4:00


Closed Christmas Day, December 25 & New Year’s Day, January 1, 2019


Early December–Order your beautiful poinsettias, blooming plants, designer gift baskets or custom-made centerpieces now for holiday gift-giving and guaranteed delivery. Early ordering ensures you top quality product for your home decorating and holiday party needs.


December 2–Hanukkah


December 12 thru December 24–Stop in and check-out our in-store specials for any last minute gift-giving ideas. We still have a fantastic selection of homegrown poinsettias, blooming plants, houseplants, decorations and more. Shop early for the best section and we’ll deliver anywhere in Madison or most of the surrounding communities.


December 15—Custom License Plate Sign Workshop. Valley View Rustic Creations is coming to Klein’s for a License Plate Sign workshop. Perfect for holiday gifting! Visit our website for details. Just show up. No advance registration necessary.


December 20—Wine & Design Workshop @ Klein’s. Join us and learn how to create your own holiday centerpiece. Visit our website for details. Advance registration is required.


December 21–Winter Solstice


December 22–Full Moon


December 25–Christmas Day (Closed)


December 26–Kwanzaa Begins (runs through January 1)


December 26The After Christmas Clearance Sale begins at 8:00! Everything ‘holiday’ must go! This is a great time to plan for this week’s New Years Eve party or to pick up some excellent bargains for next year’s decorating. Poinsettias are perfect for adding instant color to your late season holiday party and are gorgeous in fresh arrangements.


December 26 thru December 31–Order your New Years Eve centerpieces and custom designed arrangements early!


January 1, 2019–New Year’s Day (Closed)


How to Design an Outdoor Holiday Container or Porch Pot
Nothing says “Happy Holidays” and “Welcome” like an attractive arrangement of greens, branches, flowers, and other decorative items. Designing a holiday pot is not difficult, if you follow a few guides.


Get a nice container. It does not have to be expensive. You can choose cheap plastic pots that can be painted or covered with paper for a bright look. If you have an attractive, largish pot, use that one. You should also think about where your container will be placed. If you have a dramatic entrance to your home, you need a big pot — or maybe two or three of them. If your house is cozier, a smaller container will look best.


Choose your greens. The best holiday pots involve several kinds of greenery. You can buy mixed bundles or get greens from your yard. (Please do not take greens from public or private property without permission. Although yard waste dump sites can be a great source!!) You want a mixture of textures–short fir, pines with long needles, spruce. It’s recommended that a well-balanced container needs 4 to 5 kinds of greens, but 3 kinds looks fine.


Choose your extras. In addition to greenery, pick 3 or 4 extras, like flowers, twigs or berries. Again, no need to spend a lot of money. If you have a shrub with tall branches that needs trimming, cut a few. Don’t worry about mixing real and fake elements, either. If you’ve got some fake poinsettia flowers, add them to the mix. Extra ornaments? Sure. Get creative. Just don’t overdo it. If you have too many elements in your pot, it will look chaotic.


Do the math. Containers are all about proportion. For a pot to look “full enough,” the top of the display should be at least 1.5 times the height of the pot. But it can be more, and some designers suggest the top of the display be two times the height of the pot, plus the width of the pot (2H + W = Pretty). So, if your pot is 15 inches across and 12 inches high, the formula would be: [ (2×12) + 15 = 39]. The top point on the container should be about 39 inches above the container.


Start with the greens. To build your container, start by putting potting mix in the container. Garden soil is fine. You want a fast draining material. Then, keeping in mind the angle from which your pot will be viewed, start building a base of greens. Don’t think about this too much. Just cut the greens to the size you want, and stick them in the pot. Start at the outside and move inward. Use several kinds of greens — remember, this is mostly about texture. The contrasting colors and shapes of the greenery provide interest and a substantial backdrop for the contrasting elements to come.


Add the exciting elements. Once you are satisfied with the scale, size, and texture of the base, add the exciting elements. We like red-twig dogwood branches for height and color contrast, but you can also add hydrangea blooms, curly willow or other tall branches, gorgeous red silk flowers, a ribbon wound through the greenery, or large pine cones. Berries, ornaments such as woven balls or metal or glass holiday ornaments, berries, spent flowers that still look nice, fruit — the only limits on what you put in your container are your taste, your budget, and your creativity. Make sure your pot has a focal point — a spot you look to right away.


Water the pot. Once your container is completed, water it thoroughly and set it outside to freeze. (In Wisconsin, no problem. In warmer climates, just set it out.) The water keeps the elements in the pot healthy and prevents them from blowing away. A container planting like this one can look vibrant and attractive a long time — up until March. You may want to change out some elements to change the theme from holiday to winter.



Lately I’ve noticed little black flies around the house, especially near my houseplants. My husband calls them fruit flies, but they look smaller to me. What are they and how do I get rid of them? Dawn


The harmless insects to which you’re referring are unappealingly called ‘fungus gnats’ and are very common pests in the homes of nearly all plant lovers. They are brought indoors by plants that have spent the summer outdoors or brought home with newly acquired plants. Eggs and living larvae can also turn up in newly purchased bagged potting mixes, though this is less common. Though they can be annoying and are harmless, they often indicate more serious underlying problems, namely overwatering, poor drainage or bad potting soil. Fungus gnats are most prevalent around moist decomposing organic matter such as bark, leaves, peat moss, etc. The flies themselves are breeding adults or females searching for a place to lay her eggs. In homes, they most often lay their eggs in the potting soil of houseplants. After the eggs hatch, the small white larvae most often feed on the fungus in the decomposing matter in the potting soil (though they can do damage to the roots of young or unhealthy plants). Generally, they cause no harm to established and healthy plants. The adults have been known to spread certain plant diseases, but this should be of little concern to the average owner of houseplants.


If possible, the easiest and safest means of control is to allow the potting mix to get rather dry between waterings. Fungus gnats require moist conditions to thrive. Never allow your plants to sit in a water filled saucer.


Placing a thin layer of fine sand over the soil surface has proven to be another means of control. Research has shown that the females have difficulty laying their eggs through the layer of sand. Once existing generations of eggs and larvae have reached adulthood, the populations drop quickly.


Sticky cards, available at some garden centers or online, are another means to control the adult population. The cards are coated with a pheromone that lures the adults and a sticky coating from which the flies cannot escape. They are most effective when laid directly on the soil but are a bright yellow and, therefore, not very attractive (especially with oodles of dead fungus gnats stuck to them).


And finally, Summit Mosquito Bits® (available at Klein’s), a popular biological control that kills mosquito larvae, was approved just last year for the control of fungus gnats and labeled as such. The active ingredient in Mosquito Bits® is a biological larvacide called BTI (Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis). BTI is a naturally occurring bacterium that’s deadly to both mosquito larvae and fungus gnat larvae.


(Note: For more information about Mosquito Bits® and fungus gnat control, please read the Natural News section of this newsletter below.)


Thanks for your question,
Klein’s Mad Gardener


. . . that a regular and thorough cleaning of your bird feeders is very important in preventing disease?


Preventing disease: What’s the best way to clean your bird feeders?
Feeding birds can be a great source of joy, but feeders can increase the risk of disease transmission in the birds we love if feeders are not cleaned adequately. What’s the best cleaning method to prevent the spread of disease? According to an article published in the March issue of The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, researchers at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania recently conducted a study to determine the most effective way to reduce levels of Salmonella enterica enterica bacteria on wild bird feeders.


The researchers gathered data from two sets of feeders: a set that had gathered debris from normal feeding activity and a set of unused, clean feeders. They applied cultures of Salmonella to the entire perch and seed well areas of each feeder and then measured the concentration of bacteria on the feeder. The researchers tested three cleaning methods: scrubbing feeders with soap and water, soaking them in a diluted bleach solution for ten minutes, and scrubbing them with soap and water followed by a soak in bleach solution. The feeders were tested again to determine how much bacteria remained.


The researchers found that all three cleaning methods reduced the amount of Salmonella on the feeders. However, in both feeder types, the two methods that involved a bleach soak were more effective in reducing Salmonella bacteria than simply scrubbing with soap and water. Additionally, they found that feeders with debris had more bacteria after cleaning than new feeders, regardless of the cleaning method used. Furthermore, the debris-laden feeders that received only the soap and water treatment still had enough Salmonella to risk disease transmission.


So what does this mean for bird lovers? We recommend that, at minimum, when you clean your feeders you soak or scrub them with a dilute bleach solution, rinse them thoroughly, and let them dry before adding bird feed. If your feeders have visible debris, be sure to scrub them as long as necessary to remove all visible debris before cleaning them. Remember that prevention is the key to avoiding the spread of disease and that you should regularly clean your feeders even when there are no signs of disease.



PRODUCT SPOTLIGHTEach month we spotlight some product that we already carry or one that we’ve taken note of and plan to carry in the near future. Likewise, if you would like to see Klein’s to carry a product that we don’t currently, please let us know. Our goal is to be responsive to the marketplace and to our loyal clientele. If a product fits into our profile, we will make every effort to get it into our store. In addition, we may be able to special order an item for you, whether plant or hard good, given enough time.


Holiday Ornaments from Old World Christmas®
New this year to Klein’s comes a nice selection of holiday ornaments from Old World Christmas®. Amazingly popular, it’s been hard for us to keep many of their designs (especially the Badger themed ones!) in stock. Among the most popular Christmas ornaments in the country, Old Word Christmas® ornaments are perfect for holiday gift-giving and as stocking stuffers. You’ll find something for everyone! Watch for a much larger selection at Klein’s for Christmas 2019!


About Old World Christmas®
Old World Christmas is the premier brand of Christmas ornaments in the country. The founders, Tim and Beth Merck, a couple who shared a special love for Christmas, are credited with revitalizing the art of mouth-blown fine glass ornaments as a result of their reintroducing figurative designs to the United States in 1979.


Today, Old World Christmas offers the most extensive and best-loved collection with over 1,400 proprietary designs in styles ranging from traditional to whimsical. Our vast selection of finely crafted and affordable ornaments offers many choices to fit your personality or style. In addition we offer vintage style night lights.


Old World Christmas Creations
Each figurative glass ornament produced by Old World Christmas is hand crafted in age-old tradition using the same techniques that originated in the 1800’s. Molten glass is mouth-blown into finely carved molds made exclusively for Old World Christmas, before a hot solution of liquid silver is poured inside. The ornaments are then hand-painted and glittered in a series of labor-intensive steps to achieve the beautiful creations.


Our Commitment
At Old World Christmas our goal is simple: to offer the best in quality, design, and value. We promise to provide high-quality, traditionally designed, hand-crafted ornaments that are created with even more attention to detail than those produced 100 years ago. We are committed to excellent customer service, affordable prices, and fast, efficient shipping that is second-to-none.



NOTES FROM MY GARDEN JOURNAL–Tips and Observations from My Own Garden by Rick Halbach


ENTRY: NOVEMBER 1, 2018 (Winter Bird Feeding Begins)
This afternoon I spent much of my time setting up my winter bird feeding station on the north side of my house. During the summer months I remove nearly all of my bird feeders from the yard, save for one safflower platform feeder for cardinals, mourning doves, chickadees and house finches; a nyjer seed feeder for goldfinches and, of course a few hummingbird feeders. More extensive bird feeding during the summer months brings a lot of unwanted visitors to the yard (grackles, cowbirds and red-winged blackbirds). The feed spoils quickly in the summer heat and humidity and attracts nuisance insect pests. I usually wait for the arrival of the visiting white-throated sparrows in mid-October before I set up my winter feeders. Their arrival signifies that in short order, the rest of my winter visitors will follow: juncoes, red-breasted nuthatches, pine siskins and a variety of woodpeckers. The number of feeders in the yard jumps from perhaps 5 in summer to 25 during the winters months!


During the winter I offer, in addition to safflower and nyjer; oil sunflower, striped sunflower, shelled peanuts, ears of corn, millet and raw suet. The winter feeding station on the north side of the house is nestled in a grove of white pines and near the TV room window for close up observation. The station contains all types of feeders and at all levels, including feeders specifically designed for ground feeding birds. Every bird species has specific preferences for the type of feed and feeder used. In using the widest variety of each possible, I also ensure the widest variety of visitors.


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ENTRY: NOVEMBER 4, 2018 (Winter Bird Feeding Begins, Part 2)
Now that my bird feeders are all in place for the winter, it’s time to stock up on wild bird seed. Though Klein’s carries a nice assortment of seed and suet choices, I prefer to purchase my seed in economical 50 pound bags (available at Mounds Pet Food Warehouse, for example). I store the individual seeds and mixes in large metal garbage cans in the garage, not only to keep the seeds fresh and dry, but to prevent attracting rodents and raccoons. As for the suet, it seems the woodpeckers actually prefer the fresh suet I purchase from Woodman’s meat department. Because there are no seeds mixed into the suet, it’s completely ignored by squirrels, unlike processed suet blocks.


Below are a few of my top seed choices:


1) Safflower is my go-to seed choice and the only birdseed (other than nyjer) that I offer year round. In the summer it attracts chickadees, cardinals, house finches and mourning doves and their new offspring. It’s a no-waste seed doesn’t spoil easily.


Safflower is an annual flower seed favored by medium and large songbirds. Commercially, safflower is grown around the world, with the greatest production in Asia, Africa, and India.


While it looks like a white sunflower seed, safflower is actually a completely different plant. The white seeds are favorites of doves, titmice, and cardinals, though other songbirds will also feed on safflower seeds if sunflower seeds are not available. Safflower is generally more expensive than other seeds and may be mixed with sunflower chips or millet in premium mixes to be more affordable and appealing to more bird species. Because this seed has a somewhat bitter taste, it is usually neglected by squirrels and other wildlife, making it a good option if bird feeder pests are a problem.


Safflower can be offered in any feeder where sunflower seeds will fit, including hopper feeders, large mesh feeders, and open trays and dishes.


2) Nyjer is the only other seed I offer during the summer months to lure the beautiful goldfinches to the yard. Goldfinches are favorite year round garden visitors that I want to attract both summer and winter.


Nyjer seed is also called nyger or thistle seed and is a small, dark, elongated seed that is very lightweight.


This oil-rich, high-fat, high-protein seed originated in Africa and is a favorite for many small birds, including siskins, goldfinches, redpolls, and juncos. Quail and larger finches will often feed on the ground beneath Nyjer feeders, effectively cleaning up spilled seed. While Nyjer is more expensive than larger seeds, it is a good economic value because little is wasted.


Because this seed is so light, it is best to offer it only in feeders with small openings so it is not easily spilled or blown out of wider feeders. Tubes with small, narrow openings as well as metal or nylon mesh feeders are ideal for offering Nyjer to backyard birds.


3) Black oil sunflower seeds are the single most popular seed for different bird species. A key component of many birdseed mixes, black oil sunflower seeds, are also available without other seeds mixed in. These seeds are also often formed into seed blocks and cakes, often with whimsical shapes such as hearts, bells or wreaths for holidays.


Black oil sunflower seeds have a high oil content that appeals to the majority of bird species, including cardinals, chickadees, sparrows, finches, titmice, woodpeckers, grosbeaks, and jays. As a smaller type of sunflower seeds, black oil seeds are also more economical because a single bag will contain more seeds than a similarly sized bag of striped sunflower seeds. Bird gardeners can also grow black oil sunflower seed during the summer months and birds will strip the seeds from the flower heads when the plants mature.


These sunflower seeds can be offered in a wide variety of feeders, including hoppers, tube, or mesh feeders with wide openings and open trays and platforms. If seed is sprinkled directly on the ground, any ground-feeding birds will enjoy the feast.


All that being said, sunflower seeds are also a favorite of squirrels, chipmunks and raccoons. Protecting the feeders is a must in that they will destroy feeders to get at the seeds. In addition, due to their high oil content, seeds spoil quickly during the summer months.


4) Peanut rejects, both shelled and in the shell, are favorite of mine for attracting some of the most beautiful birds to the garden; including red-bellied woodpeckers, hairy woodpeckers, bluejays, red and white-breasted nuthatches. Because none of my neighbors offer them, peanuts are a HUGE attraction at my feeding station. It seems the different bird types all wait in line for their turn at the peanuts. Though expensive, the price is the entertainment the peanuts provide.


Information source: www.thespruce.com


* * * * *


ENTRY: NOVEMBER 28, 2018 (2019 Perennial of the Year: Stachys ‘Hummelo’)
I read today in one of my gardening magazines that Big Betony, Stachys ‘Hummelo’, has been selected as the 2019 Perennial of the Year. Though Klein’s has carried ‘Hummelo’ for many, many years in the springtime, it’s only recently that this ‘perfect’ perennial is getting the attention it deserves. I’ve had a few clumps of this lovely, carefree betony near the front of my mixed perennial beds for a number of years now and can personally attest that all the accolades that this plant is receiving are true!


2019 Perennial Plant of the Year ‘Stachys Hummelo’
The Perennial Plant Association has awarded the title Perennial Plant of the Year® 2019 to Stachys ‘Hummelo’. Stunning in massed plantings, and popular with designers, this late June-July bloomer is as trouble-free and dependable as it is eye-catching.


Selected and introduced by famed German grower Ernst Pagels in the late 1990’s, this perennial further gained popularity as it was used by renowned designer and plantsman Piet Oudolf in some of his signature works. “Hummel” means “bumblebee” in German – appropriate, as Ernst observed many pollinators visiting the flowers. The cultivar name also honored Ernst’s close connection to Piet and his nursery and home at
Hummelo, Netherlands.


Stachys ‘Hummelo’ and related cultivars go by the common name of betony or woundwort. Stachys is in the mint family (Lamiaceae) with its characteristic opposite leaves and square stems. The genus also includes lamb’s ear – Stachys byzantina – known for its woolly silver leaves. However ‘Hummelo’ features basal rosettes of ovate, glossy, bright green leaves. Tiny, two-lipped, rose-lavender flowers appear in dense spikes atop mostly leafless flowering stems, rising well above the foliage to 1 ½ to 2 feet tall in summer. Clumps will spread over time to form a dense ground cover. It is valued for its crinkled foliage and long display of prolific flowering spikes.


As previously noted, Stachys ‘Hummelo’ received the highest rating out of 22 Stachys taxa in a comparative study by Richard Hawke, Plant Evaluation Manager of the
Chicago Botanic Garden. Exceptional qualities included reblooming without deadheading, no observed reseeding, and outstanding uniformity.


The nomenclature of ‘Hummelo’ is not straightforward. Some resources, such as the Naamjilst and IPNI refer to monieri as the specific epithet (some sources spell it as
monnieri). Many others list it as Stachys officinalis ‘Hummelo’, including the Royal Horticulture Society, Missouri Botanical Garden, and Allan Armitage’s Herbaceous Perennial Plants: A Treatise on Their Identification, Culture and Garden Attributes.


Additional synonyms include Stachys macrantha ‘Hummelo’. The World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, published by The Royal Botanic Gardens, and the Euro+Med PlantBase describes S. monieri as a “misapplied name” for the species in general and Betonica officinalis as a basionym (original name given a taxon). To further the confusion, a number of European nurseries now list it as Stachys pradica ‘Hummelo’. Regardless of nomenclature, we all agree Stachys ‘Hummelo’ is an outstanding plant!


KLEIN’S RECIPES OF THE MONTHThese are a selection of relatively simple recipes chosen by our staff. New recipes appear monthly. Enjoy!!


Not just for family and friends, but for customers and Klein’s staff alike, it’s routine for owner, Sue Klein, to arrive at work in the morning arms loaded with trays and pans filled with holiday treats; sometimes requiring more than one trip to the car. Oftentimes, Sue works into the wee hours of the night preparing family favorites to share with all of us. Here a few of her favorite recipes she’d like to share with you this holiday season. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!!


MARSHMALLOW FUDGE—“A favorite of my family that I used to make with my Mom, Joyce, for our Holiday Open Houses for many, many years!”
3 cups sugar
1 stick butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 (12 ounce) package semi sweet chocolate chips
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract.


Grease a 9×13-inch pan. Mix sugar, margarine, and evaporated milk in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring mixture to a full boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until melted and thoroughly combined. Beat in marshmallow creme, walnuts, and vanilla extract. Transfer fudge to the prepared pan and let cool before cutting into squares.


CORNFLAKE CLUSTERS—”A favorite recipe from my aunts, Delores and Marge.”
1 (11 ounce) package butterscotch chips
1 cup creamy peanut butter
Corn Flakes (4-6 cups)


In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butterscotch chips and peanut butter together. Remove from stove and stir in cornflakes. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheets. Chill to harden.


PEANUT BUTTER CUPS—“Another favorite recipe from my mom and her sisters, Delores and Marge.”
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Reese’s mini peanut butter cups, unwrapped


Preheat oven to 375º. Cream butter, peanut butter and sugars. Beat in egg. Add vanilla and mix well. Sift flour and dry ingredients together and blend in. Chill. Shape into 1″ balls and put in ungreased mini muffin tins. Bake 8-10 minutes. Press in peanut butter cup. Let sit a few minutes and remove from pan.


PEPPERMINT CRUNCH DARK CHOCOLATE COOKIES—“Discovered on Pinterest a few years back. My kids say I must add it to my annual Christmas goodies.”
1 box Betty Crocker Dark Chocolate Cake Mix (15.25 oz.)
1 bag Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips (10 oz.)
1/2 cup canola or vegetable Oil
2 eggs


Preheat the oven to 350º. Combine cake mix, eggs, and oil in large mixing bowl, and beat well. Stir in Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips. Chill dough in refrigerator for 20 minutes. Drop onto ungreased non-stick cookie sheet in rounded balls. Bake for approx. 8 – 9 minutes (or until done).


MAGIC COOKIE BARS—“A favorite of our grower, Jamie.”
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)


Heat oven to 350º. (325º for glass dish). Coat 13×9-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray. Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press into bottom of prepared pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly with chocolate chips, coconut and nuts. Press down firmly with a fork. Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Cut into bars or diamonds. Store covered at room temperature.




Biological Mosquito Control Also Kills Fungus Gnats
Summit Mosquito Bits® (available at Klein’s), a popular biological control that kills mosquito larvae, is now also approved for the control of fungus gnats. The active ingredient in Mosquito Bits® is a biological larvacide called BTI (Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis). BTI is a naturally occurring bacterium that’s deadly to both mosquito larvae and fungus gnat larvae.


Fungus gnats can infest potted plants, and the insects can be difficult to control. Fungus gnats lay their eggs in the potting soil of houseplants and container plants, and the larvae live in the moist potting mix. In the larval stage, the fungus gnat maggots can cause plant damage by eating plant roots. After about two to three weeks, the fungus gnat maggots pupate to become the tiny black adult gnats that often take flight in a cloud of insects when a potted plant is moved.


To control fungus gnats, simply shake the granular Mosquito Bits® onto the potting soil in houseplants and other container-grown plants. Mosquito Bits® can also be mixed with potting soil prior to planting. When the plants are watered, the BTI in the Mosquito Bits® will be released. After subsequent watering, the BTI is washed below the soil surface. Fungus gnat larvae feed on the BTI and die.


The BTI in Mosquito Bits® also provides an extremely fast and effective way to quickly kill large populations of mosquito larvae. When spread on standing water where mosquitoes breed, Mosquito Bits® granules release a biological mosquito larvicide at the water’s surface. As the Mosquito Bits® settle in the water, hungry mosquito larvae eat the Bits and die.


Mosquito Bits® can be used in virtually all standing water, including ponds and water gardens, rain barrels, roof gutters, bird baths, flower pots and saucers, tree holes, unused swimming pools, old automobile tires, animal watering troughs and wherever water collects. Mosquito Bits® are also effective in grassy or marshy areas and where the mosquito population is extremely dense and a quick kill is needed.


Just sprinkle one teaspoon of Mosquito Bits per 25 square feet of water surface area or one tablespoon per 75 square feet. Mosquito Bits® will kill mosquito larvae for seven to 14 days. Additional applications of Mosquito Bits should be made in seven- to 14-day intervals for continued mosquito control.





ALBUCA ‘FRIZZLE SIZZLE’ (Albuca spiralis)
Also called corkscrew albuca, spiral albuca, slime lily, helicopter plant, curly albuca and sticky corkscrew lily, look no further than ‘Frizzle Sizzle’ if you are searching for an unusual plant to bring enjoyment and whimsy to your gardening endeavors?


Albuca ‘Frizzle Sizzle’ has thick, tightly curled leaves on short stems that arise from an underground bulb. Fragrant yellow flowers appear in spring on flower spikes that are adorned with10-20 blooms per spike. The blossoms have a light vanilla fragrance.


Klein’s currently has a number of ‘Frizzle Sizzle’ albuca in stock so shop early before they run out! Needless to say, they’d make a fascinating holiday gift for the plant lover in life.


Albuca ‘Frizzle Sizzle’ does best in full sun. You’ll want to let the soil dry out between waterings. One of the best things about this distinctive and eye-catching plant is that there are no pest or disease problems with ‘Frizzle Sizzle,’ making it an ideal home garden plant.


Albuca spiralis is a native of South Africa and is a member of the asparagus family of plants.


Keep in mind, when Albuca ‘Frizzle Sizzle’ sends up its flower stalks in spring, it often causes the tips of the leaves to brown. This is a natural occurrence. If you don’t want this to happen, simply remove the flower stalks as soon as they start to grow to prevent leaf tip browning.



For neighborhood events or garden tours that you would like posted in our monthly newsletter, please contact Rick at (608) 244-5661 or [email protected]. Please include all details, i.e. dates, locations, prices, brief description, etc. Events must be garden related and must take place in the Madison vicinity and we must receive your information by the first of the month in which the event takes place for it to appear in that month’s newsletter.


Olbrich Garden’s Holiday Express:
Flower & Model Train Show
December 1 thru December 31


All aboard for Olbrich’s Holiday Express!


Large-scale model trains wind through a holiday scene overflowing with hundreds of poinsettias and fresh evergreens.


During the show, members of the Wisconsin Garden Railway Society come from all over the state to show off their large-scale model trains. You may see a bullet train, steam train, Santa train, circus train, or freight train, depending on the day.


Admission for Olbrich Botanical Society members is free. Admission to Olbrich’s Holiday Express for the general public is $6 for adults, and $3 for children ages 3 to 12. Children 2 and under are free. Admission to the tropical Bolz Conservatory is included.


Olbrich’s Holiday Express is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Olbrich will close at 2 p.m. on December 24, and will be closed all day on December 25 and January 1.


Olbrich Botanical Gardens
3330 Atwood Ave., Madison
608/246-4550 or www.olbrich.org for details.


Holiday Concert Series at Olbrich Gardens
Warm up the winter day with festive holiday music during Olbrich’s Holiday Concert Series.


Enjoy festive holiday music with a concert in the Evjue Commons. Concerts are at 2 p.m. each Sunday in December. Suggested donation is $2.


December 2
Mark Lint’s Dry Folk—Acoustic Rock. Mark Lint has released over a dozen albums of songs with witty lyrics and melodies you’ll remember. Mark Lint’s Dry Folk delivers these songs with visceral acoustic noises and pretty harmonies, featuring Iris Hutchings (vocals) and Ken Keeley (bass) from Madison’s Getaway Drivers, hand percussion by Jim Turk, and many special guests.


December 9
MaR & PS—Latin Jazz & Funk-Inspired Harmonies. Drawing from their Hispanic roots, the Peguero Sisters (PS) bring Latin fusion to each song they write and perform. Recently recording their second album, “A Different Love”, PS decided to band together with local jazz artists Matt and Rissel (MaR) for their second album as well, titled “REFLECTIONS”. As a singular entity, MaR & PS bring their audiences novel and fresh arrangements to old jazz favorites, as well as writing original and personable music.


December 16
Suzuki Strings—Youth Violins. Since 1990, Suzuki Strings of Madison has provided children of all ages quality, comprehensive musical instruction through the violin. By helping to foster a positive environment and working relationship between the teacher, child, and parent, students learn the tools for success and well-being that last a life time. Suzuki Strings of Madison offers children of all ages musical instruction on the violin using the Suzuki method.


December 23
Tom Kastle—Folk Singer, Actor and Singer/Songwriter. For years, Tom Kastle traveled the world, collecting and performing maritime songs and stories and captaining sailing ships on the Great Lakes. These days, his passions are even more diverse and include theatrical projects, from musicals to Shakespeare, a recording of original songs based mostly on traditional fiddle tunes, film projects, like Francisco Torres’ Delight In the Mountain, and television, where he hosted a short documentary that was nominated for an Emmy Award. Recent performances include playing Hagrid and musical director for Harry Potter & the Pet Rock (Mercury Players Theater), the title role in Henry IV (Part 1) (Madison Shakespeare Company), and Frosch in Die Fledermaus (Madison Savoyards).


December 30
The Twa Dogs—Celtic Folk Music. The Twa Dogs perform traditional Celtic folk music on whistle and accordion. Their original all-acoustic arrangements include toe-tapping jigs and reels along with heartfelt ballads. The Twa Dogs combine classical music training with a love of folk music and a casual, down-to-earth approach to performance. Named after a poem by Robert Burns, The Twa Dogs means simply “the two dogs.”


Olbrich Botanical Gardens
3330 Atwood Ave., Madison
608/246-4550 or www.olbrich.org for details.


Rotary Botanical Gardens’ Holiday Light Show
December 6-9, 13-16, 20-23 and December 27-30


Experience the magic of over 500,000 twinkling lights at the 2018 Holiday Light Show and with an extended route. In addition to being a beloved community and regional event, the Holiday Light Show serves as a major fundraiser for Rotary Botanical Gardens and creates significant economic impact to the Janesville area.


FREE shuttle service to make getting to and from the show easier. Visitors can park at Dawson Field (920 Beloit Ave.) beginning at 4:15, catch the shuttle and be delivered right to the front door of the Gardens. After you’ve enjoyed the show the shuttle will return you to Dawson Field.


Doors open 4:30 pm. Last ticket sold 8:30 pm.
Admission is $5 for those aged 2 & up.


Tickets available at the door or online at Holiday Light Show


Rotary Botanical Gardens
1455 Palmer Dr., Janesville, WI


Winter Herbal Remedies
Sunday, December 9, 10:00am to 12:30pm
Willy Street East Community Room


Instructor: Linda Conroy
Fee: $25 for Owners; $35 for non-owners


Join Linda Conroy in this fun and useful class to make a winter herbal kit. Included will be hand-rolled throat lozenges, a simple herbal syrup (oxymel), an ointment for soothing dry skin and/or lips and an herbal steam blend. Recipes, instructions and a list of herbs for supporting and promoting health through the winter months for use will be included.


Payment is required at registration; please register by stopping at the Willy East Customer Service desk or by calling 608-251-6776.


Willy Street Co-op East
1221 Williamson St.
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 251-6776 or www.willystreet.coop


Family Walk: Our Feathered Friends
Sunday, December 9, 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.


Because birds are easier to spot when leaves are off trees and shrubs, this is a good time for youngsters to learn about them. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.


University of Wisconsin Arboretum
1207 Seminole Highway
Madison, WI 53711
608/263-7888 or arboretum.wisc.edu for details.


Living Ornaments Workshop
Thursday, December 13, 5:30-7:00
D.C. Smith Greenhouse, 465 Babcock Dr., Madison


In celebration of the holiday season, join us to create your own whimsical living ornaments featuring Tillandsia. Tillandsia, otherwise known as air plants, are ephiphytes. Ephiphytes evolved to grow in the canopies of trees, and derive their nutrients and water from the air around them. With little care, these plants can continue to grow and thrive for many years. Perfect for your own collection or as gifts for friends, this fun workshop will include supplies to make three (3) ornaments. You can make additional arrangements for $12/each.


$40 ($32 Members)


Allen Centennial Gardens
620 Babcock Dr. on the University of WI campus, Madison
608/576-2501 or allencentennialgarden.org for details.


Family Walk: Winter Birds
Sunday, December 16, 1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m.


Chickadees, nuthatches, blue jays, and other birds spend the entire year here. Some species consider our area “south for the winter.” Prepare for the Christmas bird counts on this informative walk. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.


University of Wisconsin Arboretum
1207 Seminole Highway
Madison, WI 53711
608/263-7888 or arboretum.wisc.edu for details.


Family Walk: Conifers
Sunday, December 30, 1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m.


Learn about some of the Arboretum’s cone-bearing trees—including pines, spruces, and firs—how to distinguish them from one another, and their ecological importance. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.


University of Wisconsin Arboretum
1207 Seminole Highway
Madison, WI 53711
608/263-7888 or arboretum.wisc.edu for details.


Dane County Holiday Farmer’s Market
Saturdays, November 17 thru December 22, 7:30-noon
Monona Terrace


The Holiday Dane County Farmer’s Market is located in the majestic Monona Terrace. This bustling market features more than 60 vendors and is your one-stop shop for all of your local food needs for the holidays!


For details visit www.dcfm.org


DECEMBER IN THE GARDENA checklist of things to do this month.
___Mulch perennials to protect from the cold and prevent heaving.
___Purchase marsh hay and rose protection. Wait till the ground freezes.
___Mulch roses by mounding soil and wrapping, rather than using rose cones.
___Keep bird feeders full. Clean periodically with soap and water.
___Make water available to the birds. Begin using a deicer as needed.
___Plant bulbs for forcing and put in a cool location for 10-12 weeks.
___Plant bulbs until the ground freezes.
___Prep lawnmower for winter storage and snowblower for weather to come.
___Mark driveways and sidewalks with stakes.
___Finish garden cleanup to make spring easier and prevent pests.
___Do any last minute raking to prevent smothering delicate plants or beds.
___Spread fireplace ashes over beds to amend the soil.
___Make sure clay pots are stored inside and dry to prevent cracking.
___Place your used Christmas tree in the garden for added wildlife protection.
___Have trees trimmed–it’s often times cheaper and easier to schedule.
___Inspect stored summer bulbs like dahlias, cannas and glads for rotting.
___Stop feeding houseplants and cut back on watering.
___Inventory last year’s leftover seeds before ordering new ones.
___Make notes in your garden journal for changes, improvements, etc.
___Wrap trunks of susceptible trees to protect from rodents.
___Visit Klein’s—it’s green, it’s warm, it’s colorful—it’s always spring!


Some of our very favorite seed and plant sources include:


For seeds:
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds @ www.rareseeds.com or 417/924-8887
Burpee @ www.burpee.com or 800/888-1447
Harris Seeds @ www.harrisseeds.com or 800/514-4441
Johnny’s Select Seeds @ www.johnnyseeds.com or 207/861-3901
Jung’s Seeds @ www.jungseed.com or 800/247-5864
Park’s Seeds @ www.parkseed.com or 800/845-3369
Pinetree @ www.superseeds.com or 207/926-3400
Seeds of Change @ www.seedsofchange.com or 888/762-7333
Seed Savers @ www.seedsavers.org or 563/382-5990
Select Seeds @ www.selectseeds.com or 800/684-0395
Territorial Seeds @ www.territorialseed.com or 888/657-3131
Thompson & Morgan @ www.thompson-morgan.com or 800/274-7333


For bulbs:
Brent & Becky’s Bulbs @ www.brentandbeckysbulbs.com or 877/661-2852
Colorblends @ www.colorblends.com or 888/847-8637
John Scheeper’s @ www.johnscheepers.com or 860/567-0838
McClure & Zimmerman @ www.mzbulb.com or 800/883-6998


For plants:
High Country Gardens @ www.highcountrygardens.com or 800/925-9387
Logee’s Greenhouses @ www.logees.com or 888/330-8038
Plant Delights Nursery @ www.plantdelights.com or 912/772-4794
Roots and Rhizomes @ www.rootsrhizomes.com or 800/374-5035
Wayside Gardens @ www.waysidegardens.com or 800/213-0379
White Flower Farm @ www.whiteflowerfarm.com or 800/503-9624


Note: To receive every possible seed, plant or garden supply catalog imaginable, check out Cyndi’s Catalog of Garden Catalogs @ www.gardenlist.com. Most catalogs are free and make for great winter reading!


BEHIND THE SCENES AT KLEIN’SThis is a sneak peek of what is going on each month behind the scenes in our greenhouses. Many people are unaware that our facility operates year round or that we have 10 more greenhouses on the property in addition to the 6 open for retail. At any given moment we already have a jump on the upcoming season–be it poinsettias in July, geraniums in December or fall mums in May.


—We’re prepping the hundreds of poinsettias and holiday plants that go out for orders each day. After choosing the most gorgeous plants, we need to foil, bow and sleeve each order before loading into our vans for delivery to Madison’s homes, businesses and churches.


—Tropicals for next summer sale continue to arrive. Our tropicals (such as bougainvilleas, bananas, colocasias, alocasias, etc.) arrive now so we are able to get the best selection and are able to offer you substantial sized plants next summer.


—Hundreds of herbs for windowsill culture are thriving in the sunny, warm greenhouses . We have chosen only the best assortment for indoor growing and winter harvest. Choose from rosemary, lavender, parsley, thyme and more.


—We continue to plan and prepare for Wisconsin Public Television’s Garden Expo at the Alliant Energy Center in February by sprucing up display pieces and potting up thousands of violas, primrose, cineraria, etc. for sale at the show. This is Klein’s biggest annual event and our most important advertising.


Have our monthly newsletter e-mailed to you automatically by signing up on the right side of our home page. We’ll offer monthly tips, greenhouse news and tidbits, specials and recipes. . .everything you need to know from your favorite Madison greenhouse. And tell your friends. It’s easy to do.


THE MAD GARDENER–“Madison’s Firsthand Source for Expert Gardening Advice”
Ask us your gardening questions by e-mailing us at [email protected]. Klein’s in-house Mad Gardener will e-mail you with an answer as promptly as we can. The link is posted on our home page and in all newsletters.


We can only answer those questions pertaining to gardening in Southern Wisconsin and we reserve the right to leave correspondence unanswered at our discretion. Please allow 2-3 days for a response.




Follow Klein’s on Facebook where we post updates and photos on a regular basis.


Join Klein’s on Twitter where we post company updates and photos on a regular basis.


We offer a 10% Off Senior Citizen Discount every Tuesday to those 62 and above. This discount is not in addition to other discounts or sales. Please mention that you are a senior before we ring up your purchases. Does not apply to wire out orders or services, i.e. delivery, potting, etc.


Plastic flower pots and garden edging can now be recycled as part of the City of Madison’s rigid plastic program. Flowerpots and edging must be free of dirt and can be placed in your green recycling bin. For more information call 267-2626 or visit www.cityofmadison.com/streets/recycling/plastic.cfm



Klein’s Floral and Greenhouses delivers daily, except Sundays, throughout all of Madison and much of Dane County including: Cottage Grove, DeForest, Fitchburg, Maple Bluff, Marshall, McFarland, Middleton, Monona, Oregon, Shorewood Hills, Sun Prairie, Verona, Waunakee and Windsor. We do not deliver to Cambridge, Columbus, Deerfield or Stoughton.

Current delivery rate on 1-4 items is $7.95 for Madison, Maple Bluff, Monona and Shorewood Hills; $8.95 for Cottage Grove, DeForest, Fitchburg, McFarland, Sun Prairie, Waunakee and Windsor; and $9.95 for Marshall, Middleton, Oregon and Verona. An additional $3.00 will be added for deliveries of 4-10 items and $5.00 added for deliveries of more than 10 items. For deliveries requiring more than one trip, a separate delivery charge will be added for each trip.


A minimum order of $25.00 is required for delivery.

We not only deliver our fabulous fresh flowers, but also houseplants, bedding plants and hardgoods. There may be an extra charge for very large or bulky items.

Delivery to the Madison hospitals is $5.95. Deliveries to the four Madison hospitals are made during the early afternoon. Items are delivered to the hospital’s volunteer rooms and not directly to the patients’ rooms per hospital rules.

There is no delivery charge for funerals in the city of Madison or Monona, although normal rates apply for morning funeral deliveries to Madison’s west side (west of Park St.). Our normal rates also apply for funeral deliveries in the surrounding communities at all times. Although we don’t deliver on Sundays, we will deliver funeral items on Sundays at the regular delivery rate.


Morning delivery is guaranteed to the following Madison zip codes, but only if requested: 53703, 53704, 53714, 53716, 53718 and Cottage Grove, DeForest, Maple Bluff, Marshall, McFarland, Monona, Sun Prairie, Waunakee and Windsor.

We begin our delivery day at 8:00 a.m. and end at approximately 3:00 p.m. We do not usually deliver after 4:00 unless specific exceptions are made with our drivers.

Except for holidays, the following west-side zip codes and communities are delivered only during the afternoon: 53705, 53706, 53711, 53713, 53717, 53719, 53726, Fitchburg, Middleton, Oregon, Shorewood Hills and Verona.

During holidays (Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc.) we are able to make morning deliveries to all of the above areas. We are not able to take closely timed deliveries on any holiday due to the sheer volume of such requests.

It’s best to give us a range of time and we’ll try our absolute hardest. Orders for same day delivery must be placed by 12:30 p.m. or by 2:30 p.m. for Madison zip codes 53704 and 53714.


DEPARTMENT HEADS: Please refer all questions, concerns or feedback in the following departments to their appropriate supervisor.
Phone: 608/244-5661 or 888/244-5661


Horticulturalist & General Manager–Jamie VandenWymelenberg [email protected]
Accounts, Billing and Purchasing—Kathryn Derauf [email protected]
Delivery Supervisor & Newsletter Coordinator—Rick Halbach [email protected]
Owner, Floral Designer & Purchasing—Sue Klein [email protected]


University of Wisconsin Extension
1 Fen Oak Ct. #138
Madison, WI 53718


Plant Disease Diagnostics Clinic
Dept. of Plant Pathology
1630 Linden Dr.
Madison, WI 53706


Insect Diagnostic Lab
240 Russell Labs
1630 Linden Dr.
Madison, WI 53706


U.W. Soil and Plant Analysis Lab
8452 Mineral Point Rd.
Verona, WI 53593


American Horticultural Society


Garden Catalogs (an extensive list with links)


Invasive Species


Community Groundworks
3601 Memorial Dr., Ste. 4
Madison, WI 53704


Madison Area Master Gardeners (MAMGA)


Wisconsin Master Gardeners Program
Department of Horticulture
1575 Linden Drive
University of Wisconsin – Madison
Madison, WI 53706


The Wisconsin Gardener


Allen Centennial Gardens
620 Babcock Dr.
Madison, WI 53706


Olbrich Botanical Gardens
3330 Atwood Ave.
Madison, WI 53704


Rotary Gardens
1455 Palmer Dr.
Janesville, WI 53545


University of WI Arboretum
1207 Seminole Hwy.
Madison, WI 53711


University of Wisconsin-West Madison
Agricultural Research Center
8502 Mineral Point Rd.
Verona, WI 53593


Children may find the bright colors and different textures of plants irresistible, but some plants can be poisonous if touched or eaten. If you’re in doubt about whether or not a plant is poisonous, don’t keep it in your home. The risk is not worth it. The following list is not comprehensive, so be sure to seek out safety information on the plants in your home to be safe.
•Bird of paradise
•Bull nettle
•Castor bean
•Chinaberry tree
•Deadly nightshade
•Dieffenbachia (dumb cane)
•Glory lily
•Holly berry
•Indian tobacco
•Lily of the valley
•Mescal bean
•Morning glory
•Mountain laurel
•Night-blooming jasmine
•Poison ivy
•Poison sumac
•Water hemlock


Below is a list of some of the common plants which may produce a toxic reaction in animals. This list is intended only as a guide to plants which are generally identified as having the capability for producing a toxic reaction. Source: The National Humane Society website @ http://www.humanesociety.org/
•Autumn Crocus
•Black locust
•Carolina jessamine
•Castor bean
•Chinaberry tree
•Christmas berry
•Christmas Rose
•Common privet
•Corn cockle
•Cow cockle
•Day lily
•Delphinium (Larkspur)
•Dutchman’s breeches
•Easter lily
•Elephant’s ear
•English Ivy
•European Bittersweet
•Field peppergrass
•Horse nettle
•Jerusalem Cherry
•Lily of the valley
•Milk vetch
•Morning glory
•Poison hemlock
•Rosary pea
•Sago palm
•Skunk cabbage
•Star of Bethlehem
•Wild black cherry
•Wild radish
•Yellow jessamine