‘THE SAGE’-Klein’s Online Newsletter—NOVEMBER 2020
Klein’s Floral & Greenhouses
608/244-5661 or info@kleinsfloral.com


Holiday Decorating With Fresh Greenery
Our ‘Mad Gardener’ and ‘Houseplant Help‘ Are Ready for Your Questions
Flowers Enliven Dia de los Muertos
Spring Bulbs: Perennialize vs. Naturalize?
Plant Your Spring Bulbs Into Early December
Klein’s Favorite Seed, Bulb & Plant Sources
You Asked the Mad Gardener about Lisianthus Seeds
Plant of the Month: Dutch Hyacinths
Klein’s Favorite Tomatillo Recipes
Product Spotlight: Ornaments from Old World Christmas®
Notes from Rick’s Garden Journal—From October 2020
—Overwintering Mandevilla
—The Giant Klein’s Cactus Is Back!!
—Garden Journaling How-To’s
November 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


November is a perfect time to plant your spring bulbs and nothing could be more uplifting after a long winter than bulbs popping through the melting snow. Allow the Klein’s staff to share planting tips and ideas to keep those pesky squirrels from digging up those newly planted bulbs. And for indoor blooms, don’t forget a few hyacinths, paperwhites and amaryllis for indoor forcing. We carry a lovely assortment of forcing glasses, vases and decorative pottery. Forced bulbs make for an inexpensive and treasured holiday gift. Any bulb questions? Don’t forget our Mad Gardener @ madgardener@kleinsfloral.com!


A Reminder: Bulbs can be planted until the ground freezes . . . usually into early December.


You can contact Klein’s in-house indoor plant experts by emailing to Houseplant Help for sound information and advice regarding indoor tropicals, succulents, blooming plants and so much more.


For many years, customers’ indoor plant questions have been directed to Klein’s Mad Gardener (see below). Now you have the opportunity to contact our indoor plant experts directly. We’ve posted a link on our home page and in our contacts 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.


We reserve the right to leave correspondence unanswered at our discretion. Please allow 2-3 days for a response.


“Madison’s Firsthand Source for Expert Gardening Advice”


Ask any of your gardening questions by e-mailing them to us at madgardener@kleinsfloral.com. Klein’s in-house Mad Gardener will e-mail you with an answer as promptly as we can. We’ve also posted a link on our home page and in our contacts 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.


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.


Monday thru Friday : 9:00-6:00
Saturday: 9:00-5:00
Sunday: 10:00-4:00


November 1–Daylight Savings Time ends


November 2—Día de los Muertos


November 3–Election Day


November 11–Veterans’ Day


November 26–Thanksgiving Day (Store Closed)


November 27—Black Friday. Escape to Klein’s from the hustle and bustle of the malls and big box chain stores for a more relaxing and intimate holiday gift shopping experience. We not only carry merchandise for the gardener in your life, but many fun, interesting and unique gift ideas.


November 28—Small Business Saturday. In our appreciation for supporting our small and local business, Klein’s will give you a $20 gift card on future purchases (January 1-March 31) for all purchases of $100 or more.


November 30–Full Moon




For sheer selection of holiday greens for your decorating needs (and arriving mid-month), Klein’s should be your one and only choice. Klein’s will be offering greenery from no less than a half dozen different suppliers from throughout Wisconsin and covering all types of greenery, quality and price ranges. We have it all; pine boughs, spruce tips, kissing balls, door swags, wreaths, roping and decorative branches (dogwood, willow, winterberry etc.). Our wreath choices range from the simple to the elegant and sophisticated with everything in between. Choose from dozens of outdoor holiday ribbon–cut to measure–for creating the perfect bow to suit any decor.


Holiday Decorating With Fresh Greenery
By Karen Russ, HGIC Horticulture Specialist; George D. Kessler, Extension Forester; and Bob Polomski Extension Consumer Horticulturist, Clemson University.


Decorating the house with fresh greenery is one of the oldest winter holiday traditions. Evergreens have been a part of winter festivals since ancient times. Evergreens are used to represent everlasting life and hope for the return of spring.


Southerners have been decorating with greenery since colonial days, although the custom was not common in the Northern United States until the 1800s. Churches were decorated elaborately with garlands of holly, ivy, mountain laurel and mistletoe hung from the roof, the walls, the pews, pulpit and sometimes the altar. Lavender, rose petals and herbs such as rosemary and bay were scattered for scent. Homes were decorated in a simpler fashion with greenery and boughs in the window frames and holly sprigs stuck to the glass with wax.


Today, decorating for the holidays with fresh greenery is more prevalent than ever. Greenery such as cedar, ivy, pine and holly add a fresh look and natural scent to our homes.


Gathering Greenery
The first and often the best place to look for holiday greenery may be in your own landscape. Greenery gathered from your own garden will be fresher than any that you can buy. You may also have a variety of unusual greenery that would be difficult to find for purchase.


When gathering live greenery from your shrubs and trees, remember that you are actually pruning the plants. Consider carefully which branches to cut and which ones to leave. Distribute the cuts evenly around the plant in order to preserve its natural form.


Many different kinds of greenery can be used for holiday decorations. Pines, firs and cedars are good to use for indoor decoration since they dry out slowly and hold their needles best at warm interior temperatures. They may last for several weeks if properly treated and cared for. Hemlock, spruces and most broadleaf evergreens will last longer if used outdoors.


Decorating Safely
Dried evergreens can become flammable when in contact with a heat source such as a candle flame. Make sure that any wreaths, roping and garlands that you bring indoors are as fresh as possible. Check needles by bending them. They should be flexible and not break. Avoid greenery that are shedding or that have brown, dry tips.


Before bringing the greenery inside, soak them in water overnight to rehydrate them.
Never place fresh greenery near heat sources, such as space heaters, heater vents or sunny windows. Be careful of wreaths used on the front door, if there is a glass outer door that receives direct sunlight. Keep greenery away from candles and fireplaces. If you use lights near your green arrangements, make sure that they stay cool, and if outside, that they are rated for exterior use.


Check your decorations every couple of days for freshness. If greenery are becoming dry, either replace or remove the dry portions. Make sure to discard dry greenery away from the house or garage to prevent a further fire hazard.


Safety for Children & Pets
Some popular plants used in holiday decorating can present poisoning hazards for small children or pets. Poisonous berries are found on holly plants, yews, mistletoe, ivy plants, Jerusalem cherry, bittersweet and crown of thorns. The pearly white berries of mistletoe are particularly toxic. Keep all these plants out of the reach of children and curious pets.


Keeping Greenery Fresh
–Use clean, sharp cutters to cut branches and immediately put cut ends into water until ready to use.
–Crush the ends of woody stems to allow the cutting to take in more water.
–Keep greenery out of sunlight.
–Immerse greenery in water overnight before arranging. This allows the cuttings to absorb the maximum amount of moisture.
–Allow the foliage to dry and then spray it with an anti-transpirant, such as Wilt-pruf, to help seal in moisture. Note: Do not use anti-transpirants on juniper berries, cedar or blue spruce. The product can damage the wax coating that gives these plants their distinctive color.
–Keep completed wreaths, garlands and arrangements in a cool location until use.
–Display fresh greenery and fruits out of the sun and away from heat.
–Plan to replace greenery and fruits throughout the holiday season if they become less than fresh.


Decorating With Greens
Many different types of decorations can be made with fresh greenery. Some traditional types are garlands, swags and wreaths. A number of different types of forms can be stuffed with sprigs or branches to create topiaries. Kissing balls are an unusual alternative to the usual mistletoe sprig.


A variety of wreaths and garlands are readily available commercially. Undecorated ones can be dressed up with contrasting live greenery from the yard for a personal look.


In addition to the more commonly used evergreens, consider using other plant parts such as berries, dried flowers, cones and seed pods to give color and texture interest. Some possibilities include:
–Holly berries
–Hydrangea blossoms
–Lotus seed pods
–Magnolia pods
–Nandina berries
–Pine cones
–Reindeer moss
–Rose hips
–Sweet gum balls
–Wax myrtle berries
–Fruits such as lemons, limes, lady apples, seckel pears, kumquats and pineapple.


Preserved leaves such as ivies, mahonia, eucalyptus, boxwood, beech, camellia, oak and rhododendron are useful and long-lasting as holiday decorations.


Source material from: www.clemson.edu/extension/


I’m wondering if you sell lisianthus flower seeds? I buy my mom a flat of plants every year for Mother’s Day and she has a friend who cannot find them in the state she lives in. Mom would love to send her some seeds. Vicki


Hi Vicki,
I’ve never seen lisanthus seed sold on retail racks. They are very difficult to germinate and grow, so I’m assuming that may be part of the reason. Germination is very erratic and requires very specific temperatures and moisture for success.


Another reason could be that lisianthus seed needs to be started in late December and through January, therefore, before retail racks show up in stores and garden centers. Sown any later, they won’t bloom until the very end of summer as their growth is extremely slow at the beginning.


That said, seeds are available directly from seed companies, i.e. Johnny’s Select, Parks, etc., for cut flower growers and gardeners who want a larger selection than garden centers often offer.


By the way, Klein’s receives our lisianthus as starter plugs during February. They are among the first plugs we receive for transplanting. Lisianthus needs that much lead time to become salable sized plants by the springtime.


Thanks for your question,


. . . that certain flowers are inherently linked with our Latin community’s Dia de los Muertos?


Flowers Enliven Latino Holiday Honoring Dead
By Maureen Gilmer for the Tribune News Service


Every year, the traditions of Dia de los Muertos are spreading beyond the Southwest. Popular in Latino communities, it is a commemoration of loved ones who have died in an annual blending of Aztec and Spanish spiritual traditions. The pageantry, color, animated skeletons and sugar skulls lend a family-friendly festive atmosphere that laughs at death with flowers. This made it popular with local artists inspired by this three-day celebration at the end of October over Halloween, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.


This age-old tradition is focused on flowers that are displayed everywhere during the holiday, but mostly on home altars dedicated to family members who have passed away. If you want to create the same feel at home, for a party or gathering, knowing exactly which flowers to use is key to authenticity.


Marigold: The popular bedding marigold originated in Mexico as a wildflower. Breeding resulted in the much larger flowers we know today. It was known before Cortez as cempasuchil (sempa-suchi), then later flor de muerto due to the potent scent of both flower and foliage. The aroma was thought to be recognized by the dead, luring them to the family home with scattered marigold petal pathways. The scattered petals are important to the marigold presence, allowing you to tell a story and naturally scent the room as the oils evaporate.


Red Amaranth, Cockscomb: This decorative form of amaranth, a pre-maize grain, is used only in its blood red form. It is a remnant of the war god Huitzilopochtli, to whom Aztecs honored their dead at his altar, with amaranth cakes in pre-Columbian times.


Gladiolas: Not native to Mexico but widely grown for their long blooming wands of brightly colored flowers, gladiolas are the tallest flower in these compositions. Most often set back to flank an altar, they gradually open over many days in water as the more short lived annuals begin to lose their beauty.


Calla lily: From southern Africa, these white lilies became the signature of Diego Rivera, the most famous Mexican muralist. The flowers proved ideally adapted to much of tropical Mexico and are present in home gardens, so they naturally become part of these celebrations. They are essential for all parties involving a Frida Khalo theme, which is a popular crossover celebration during this time.


For those not familiar with the details, there are three nights of celebration in the Mexican tradition. It is believed the dead wander on these nights to briefly commune with the living. Their graves are prepared with these flowers. Families sit by graves late into the night illuminated by candles. It is fun and festive and sad all at the same time. It is a healthy way of remembering with flowers.


Each of the three nights differs in its focus. The first night is Oct. 31, commemorating children who died the previous year. The second night, Nov. 1, is for family members who died recently, often parents. The third is more general for all who have passed and for ancestors generally.


What defines the holiday is creating an offrenda, or altar, in the home, which is often the focus of contemporary party decor. The altar is where you lay out vices the dead love such as tequila, candy and cigarettes. They’re lured with food, too, favorite dishes and fruit. Everything is decorated with flowers, marigold chains and petals raining down overall.


Due to how late this holiday falls in the year, it’s difficult in colder climates to harvest much out of the garden. The big marigolds and cockscombs are not often carried by florists, either. The key is to place your flower order well in advance of the celebration. And don’t forget extra marigold blossoms to tear into individual petals, scattering laughter with hot color to lure your loved ones home for one special night of the year.


Source: Wisconsin State Journal @ host.madison.com/


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®
Amazingly popular, it’s been hard for us to keep many Old World Christmas® 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! Check out our online store @ kleinsfloral.com/product-category/christmas/ornaments-christmas/ to order yours today for in store or curbside pick up.


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: Originally from OCTOBER 20, 2017 (Overwintering Mandevilla)
As gardeners, we all learn something new nearly every day!


One of the most common questions I get in the fall is whether one can and how to overwinter that precious mandevilla that graced a garden trellis this past summer with its vigorous twining vines and huge typically pink or red blooms. It’s really quite easy to overwinter this tropical beauty in any home. Until today, however, I had always told customers to cut the vines off to about 10-12”, place it in a bright location near a south or west window or patio door and treat it essentially as a houseplant through the winter months; pruning any new growth lightly about March 1.


But today, while paging through the latest issue of Garden Gate magazine, I learned that one can store a mandevilla over winter in a completely dormant state—especially useful when space and/or pests are an issue. They advised the following:


First cut the vines to the 10-12” as advised above. Wash the remaining stems thoroughly to remove all pests. Move the potted plant into a cool basement, root cellar or heated garage that stays above freezing all winter. A temperature around 50ºF is ideal, although anywhere between 45º and 60ºF is fine. Because you want it to go dormant, supplemental light is not necessary and should be avoided. Water it only occasionally and only so it doesn’t dry out completely. Do not fertilize. About March 1, move your plant to a lit and warmer location, if desired, and begin watering and fertilizing as usual to promote new growth and earlier flowering in the summertime. Move the plant outdoors only after nighttime temperatures are above 55ºF.


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ENTRY: OCTOBER 20, 2020 (The Giant Klein’s Cactus Is Back!!)
We recently repotted and today just moved our very old and very large “Klein’s cactus” back into the retail showrooms, after a long hiatus in the back greenhouses, due to the demolition of our old greenhouses three years ago. It’s taken a number of years to recuperate; first from over-harvesting of cuttings, and then from a small tornado that hit the property in October of 2017 (https://www.weather.gov/images/mkx/images/madisonsptornadopath.PNG), knocking the cactus to the ground and breaking off a few of its primary “arms”. Now healthy (but still a bit misshapen), this night bloomer, bloomed more heavily this season than any previous years. Neglect and stress probably contributed to this floriferous summer.


Before its reappearance today and for the past 3 1/2 years, Klein’s shoppers have been asking about the cactus’ whereabouts. Reportedly the cactus stood guard at the main entrance of the old greenhouses for decades. Many older customers remember it from when they were children. We believe a small version of the cactus was brought back to Wisconsin on a trip to the southwestern U.S. shortly after Klein’s bought the original greenhouses in 1913.


The monstrous cactus is a night blooming cereus. We haven’t identified the exact species. The giant white flowers open sometime during the night and are usually spent by 9:00 the next morning. Only the first people to arrive at the store in the morning ever get a chance to see it bloom. In years past, we’ve usually had it bloom twice per year, depending on when cuttings are harvested, how and when it’s been watered and what temperature it’s being kept at. As a rule, we used to harvest cuttings only when the cactus reached the roof of its old home. In its new home, that may never happen again as the greenhouse roofs are twice as tall. There may be no need to make cuttings in the future.


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ENTRY: OCTOBER 26, 2020 (Garden Journaling How-To’s)
Via Barnes & Noble, I received my new 2021 “garden journal” in the mail today. I began garden journaling when I bought my home and started my gardens in 1986. Rather than a true garden journal, my current journal of choice is the spiral bound Sierra Club engagement calendar available at most bookstores and online. It offers plenty of space for daily entries and for adequate note-taking. It’s always lying open somewhere on the counter so I can make entries throughout the day.


Garden Journaling
by Pamela Hubbard, Penn State Master Gardener @ extension.psu.edu


As a passionate gardener I believe that one of the keys to success is keeping records of your gardening endeavors. To this end, a fun and useful winter activity is to start a garden journal.


A garden journal is your own personal diary of what happens in your garden, starting with the planning in January through putting your garden to bed in October. It provides a place to keep together all information, plans and notes about your garden. Your journal can be as simple as a composition book or as elaborate as a creative scrapbooking endeavor. I’ve tried several methods and developed a few tips for effective garden journaling.


Begin by choosing the type of journal that would best work for you. Consider if you want to record simple details or your gardening story.
  • For simple details you can use notebook paper, a composition book or notecards. Just be sure to date each page or card. I used this method for years until I felt the need to be more organized (I couldn’t always find what I was searching for) therefore switched to calendars.
  • I prefer a monthly calendar with a large square for each day and a desk calendar with a page for each week. I use the former to record seed-starting activities and the latter for more detailed notes.
  • If you want more room to write, there are some beautiful dedicated garden journals available in bookstores. They often contain graphs for sketching and planning, calendars without dates so the journal can be used any year, space to record your thoughts, charts for recording information like flower purchases and blooming times, and information pages with gardening hints for each month.
  • Using a computer is a fast way to record what is going on in your garden; it is faster than writing your journal by hand. If this method is for you it has the benefit of being able to add digital photographs right into the document, size them to meet your needs, and easily delete and replace them. Like many gardeners around the world, I write an online gardening blog that records my gardening journey in photographs, but that method is not for everyone. Just try to write something each month, remembering to include the date and year in each entry. Save your entries and print them when you have completed a year.
  • Keep the printed pages in a three-ring binder for future reference. Place tabs in the binder to mark the years. I like to save plant tags but too often they disappear and I can’t remember names of plants. Adding photo sleeves for plant tags solves this problem. Also, your binder is a good place to keep gardening information from newspapers and magazines.


What to Record
  1. Vegetable garden information: As new seed catalogs arrive, begin by making an inventory of the leftover seeds from previous years and list the new ones you need to order. Plan your vegetable garden on graph paper at this time and add it to your journal. It’s important to note where you planted vegetables last year so that you can rotate vegetables in the same family. For example, do not follow tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant or peppers with each other or you will encourage soil-borne diseases and pest outbreaks.
  2. Landscape beds: Draw a rough sketch of each landscape bed indicating its plantings. Show the places where you plan to add flowers and shrubs in the coming season and mark their names. At the beginning of the season, record planting dates; add plant tags or seed packets. You may want to list flower colors, bloom times, plant heights and growing requirements.
  3. Seasonal landmarks: Record the dates of each year’s seasonal landmarks: weather patterns, when the first spring flower bloomed, arrival of butterflies and hummingbirds, the first and last frost. Also, note when pest problems appeared and what you did about them.
  4. Regular gardening activities: Document your gardening activities such as soil preparation, watering, mulching and fertilizing. Identify areas that receive too little or too much water. Record when you harvest vegetables. Note garden successes and needed improvements. Your journal will help identify where in your garden different types of plants thrive.
  5. Budget: A journal enables you to keep track of your garden expenses. It may be useful to record the nurseries and catalogs you used. If possible include the receipts and note the purchase dates.


How to Use the Information in Your Journal
The information in your journal becomes an invaluable reference to review at the end of the year or to look back on over the years. You can identify where different types of plants thrive, obtain a greater understanding of landscape characteristics such as microclimates and check that you have ‘the right plant in the right place.’ I record high and low temperatures and rainfall amounts; in midsummer if a plant isn’t doing well I look back to see if weather was a factor. As you review past journals you will see patterns in your garden. By looking at photographs over the years, I noted the decline of a beloved climbing rose, Rosa Blaze Improved, and decided this year I will remove it and replace it with a clematis. While I’m sad at losing the rose, I have the fun of choosing a new climbing plant. My journal helps me plan for the future; it is a tool to prevent repeated mistakes. My journal becomes especially valuable as my memory needs more help.


Now is the time to plan for the new garden season; it is the perfect time to begin a garden journal. Keeping a garden journal can give you a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. Choose a method of journaling that suits you and have fun! Happy journaling!


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


A few weeks back, one of our coworkers at Klein’s brought in a huge bag of excess tomatillos from her garden for the taking. Within two days the bag was emptied!


Tomatillos aren’t baby tomatoes. Even though the Spanish name translates to “little tomato,” they are something else entirely. These little fruits are native to (and largely grown in) Mexico, but have been adopted by American farmers due to their resistance to disease. Tomatillos, sometimes called husk tomatoes, look like green, unripe tomatoes with a dry, leafy husk that wraps around the outside. The color of the fruit is a beautiful bright green, which fades a bit once you cook them.


Tomatillos have a slightly more acidic, slightly less sweet flavor than ripe and unripe tomatoes. Overall, the flavor is more vegetal and bright, and the interior texture is denser and less watery. Prepping a tomatillo is pretty straight forward. The husks can be easily removed with your hands and discarded. You’ll notice a sticky film on the surface, which will come off with a quick rinse under warm water. From here, you decide what you want to do with them. If you want to keep the flavor bright and play up their bracing acidity, use them raw. If you want to mellow out that acidity a bit and access the fruit’s deeper, more savory qualities, cooking them—whether you’re roasting or grilling them whole or chopping them for a sauté—is the move.


Roasted tomatillo salsa is great. Raw tomatillo salsa is tangy and also great. But tomatillos are good for more than salsa. You can keep the sauce train running by pureeing them into creamy sauces and curries, or add them into vinaigrettes for more acid. They can also sub in for a tomato when sliced thinly, layered over some ricotta, drizzled with olive oil, and eaten on toast. You can grill them with onions for steak side, incorporate them into bean-heavy chili or posole, or braise them with chicken for a saucy stew. Source: bonappetit.com


TOFU TOMATILLO STEW—Amazing flavors fill this vegetarian selection from Martha Stewart Living.
1 lb. tomatillos, quartered
1 onion, quartered
3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1 cup packed cilantro
1 jalapeño, halved, seeds removed fro less heat
3 TBS. vegetable oil
Coarse salt and pepper
2 cups vegetable broth
1x 15 oz. can white hominy, drained and rinsed
16 oz. extra firm tofu, drained and cut into 1” cubes
2 TBS. taco seasoning
lime wedges, tortilla chips, cilantro leaves and chopped onion for serving


Preheat broiler. In a blender or processor, combine tomatillos, onion quarters, garlic, cilantro, jalapeño, 1 TBS. oil, 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper; puree until smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan; simmer over medium heat until darkened slightly, about 10 minutes. Stir in broth and hominy; simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes more. Season to taste.


Meanwhile, pat tofu dry; toss on a rimmed baking sheet with the remaining 2 TBS. oil and taco seasoning. Broil, stirring a few times, until a golden-brown crust forms on the tofu in places, 15-20 minutes. Serve the stew topped with the tofu, cilantro and chopped onion, with lime wedges and tortilla chips.


TOMATILLO SALSA—From the Food Network
1 lb. whole tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 small onion, quartered
1 serrano pepper, halved lengthwise, keeping seeds for added heat
3 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch cilantro, stems separated from the greens
coarse salt
Juice of 1/2 to 1 lime


Combine the tomatillos, onion, serrano, garlic, cilantro stems and 1 tsp. salt in a medium saucepan. Add enough water to just cover the tomatillos and bring to a boil on medium high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook 15 minutes until the tomatillos are tender. Allow to cool a bit, then transfer the solids with a slotted spoon to a blender or food processor, reserving the cooking liquid. Add the cilantro leaves and puree until smooth, adding a few TBS. reserved liquid if the salsa is thicker than desired. Allow to rest 30 minutes to meld the flavors. Add the lime juice and season to taste. Serve with tortilla chips or as a condiment. Makes 3 1/2 cups.


CHILE RELLENOS PIE–Chile Rellenos without all the mess, but all the flavor. Good for company! Excellent for a buffet table! Variations include adding small chopped cooked shrimp or chopped cooked crab to the filling for an excellent brunch dish. Monterey jack cheese may be used instead of Mexican-style cheese. From allrecipes.com
4 large eggs eggs
½ cup milk
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 pinch salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
2 dashes jalapeno sauce
1 cup shredded Cheddar-Monterey Jack cheese blend
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles
1 tomatillo, diced
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie


Beat the eggs. Combine with milk, cilantro, bell pepper, spices, cheese, chiles, and tomatillo. Pour filling into the pie shell.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 to 50 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool to room temperature. Garnish each individual piece of pie with a dollop of sour cream and drizzle with your favorite salsa! Serves 6.


2 TBS vegetable oil
2 lbs. boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 yellow onion, diced
2 tsp. kosher salt, or to taste, divided
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. ground coriander
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
10 fresh tomatillos
3 medium jalapeños, seeded
1 poblano chile pepper, seeded
6 cloves peeled garlic
½ cup packed cilantro leaves
1 bay leaf
2 ½ cups chicken stock, or as needed
1 ½ lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered
freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup sour cream
pickled red onions (optional)
1 TBS. chopped fresh cilantro


Heat vegetable oil in a pot over high heat until it’s nearly smoking. Add pork shoulder cubes in a single layer. Let sear until brown on one side, 4 to 5 minutes. Mix and turn pieces over and brown on the other side, 4 to 5 minutes. Add onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring until onions turn translucent, about 4 minutes. Add oregano, cumin, coriander, and cayenne. Stir and cook until seasonings get fragrant, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low.


Remove paper husk from tomatillos and rinse. Cut into quarters. Place in blender with garlic, jalapeño pepper, poblano, cilantro, and chicken broth. Pulse on and off until pieces start to break down. Then blend until mixture has liquefied, about 30 seconds. Stir sauce into the meat mixture. Add 1 teaspoon salt and bay leaf. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low to maintain a slow but steady simmer for about 1 hour. Add potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper. If mixture has reduced to where potatoes are not immersed, add more broth to cover. Simmer until meat and potatoes are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.


Garnish individual servings with a dollop of sour cream, some pickled red onions (if desired), and cilantro leaves. Serves 4.




Spring Bulbs: Perennialize vs. Naturalize?
Many gardeners treat these two terms as though they are synonymous. Although they are not quite the same, both will get better every year.


Perennialize means that the bulb will grow and rebloom for several years. New bulbs will be formed, increasing the size of the clump and eventually may benefit from dividing.


Naturalize means that the flowers also set seed, multiplying somewhat more quickly. Bulbs to naturalize are ideal for ground cover or to fill large open spaces.


There are also certain varieties that fade after the first year, requiring replanting every one to three years. These are usually cross bred and hybridized bulbs and will NOT state “good for perennializing” or “good for naturalizing” on the package..


Here is a starter list of bulbs well suited to perennialize or naturalize, either type is generally good for gardening, but to truly naturalize bulbs, make sure you get something well suited.


Bulbs for perennializing:
Allium ‘Purple Sensation’
Allium schuberti
Allium ‘Globemaster’
Crocus chrysanthus
Most Daffodils
Darwin Hybrid Tulips – multiply very rapidly
Asiatic Lilies


Bulbs for naturalizing:
Crocus sieberi
Most Daffodils
Muscari (Grape Hyacinth)
Scilla siberica
Wild Tulips
Wood Hyacinth


Most bulbs will require full sun to bloom well, but some will take partial shade. Choose varieties suited to the planting site. If you are in region that experiences high winds, choose a short variety to minimize breakage.


A Reminder: Bulbs can be planted until the ground freezes . . . usually into early December.





Dutch or Garden Hyacinths (Hyacinth orientalis)
Though usually short-lived in the Wisconsin garden (generally 3-5 years), hyacinths are among the most versatile of our spring bulbs. They are easy-to-grow, come in a huge array of colors (in shades of purple, blue, red, pink, magenta, white and even orange and yellow), make great indoor cut flowers in floral arrangements, are super easy to force in both soil and water, and on top of all that, they’re among the most fragrant of all flowers.


Hyacinths were introduced into Europe from southwest Asia and the Middle East in the 16th century where they were widely grown in the countries around the Mediterranean. Later in France hyacinths were used in perfumes. From there they moved north into the Netherlands which is far-and-away the largest hyacinth bulb producer in the world. Thought to be members of the lily family, hyacinths were recently recategorized as members of the asparagus group of plants. Bulbs are planted in the fall and bloom mid-spring. Blooms are 8-12” tall and are densely packed with small, fragrant florets. Many people have an allergic reaction when handling hyacinth bulbs so gloves should be worn when planting as a precautionary measure.


Hyacinths are easily forced indoors for winter blooms. Bulbs should be planted snugly, with their growing tip just below the soil surface in a 6-8” pot. Water well and keep moist but never soggy. Unlike tulips or daffodils which require 12 weeks, hyacinths require only a 10 week cooling period (40º) in refrigerator or cold (but not freezing) location at which time sprouts will be about 1-1 1/2” tall. Move to a bright location and blooming will begin in about 2 weeks.


Hyacinths can also be grown in hyacinth glasses. Simply place a single bulb in the bowl at the top of the glass. Fill the glass with water until it barely touches the bottom of the bulb. Place in your chosen cool location. Because they take up little space, the refrigerator is best. Add water as needed. After 10 weeks, white roots should have filled the water in the glass. Move to a sunny windowsill and enjoy the fragrant blooms in a few short weeks. Klein’s currently has an assortment of both clear and colored glasses. Forced hyacinths make for a beautiful, inexpensive and personal holiday gift.


For neighborhood events or garden tours that you would like posted in our monthly newsletter, please contact Rick at (608) 244-5661 or rick@kleinsfloral.com. 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.


***Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, nearly all garden tours and garden/plant related events in the Madison area have been cancelled or postponed until further notice.***


NOVEMBER IN THE GARDEN-A checklist of things to do this month.
**Although the average first frost date for Madison is about Oct. 6, killing frosts have occurred as early as September 12 (1955). Be aware of quick weather changes this time of year. Be prepared to cover tender plants at any time.
___Visit Olbrich, Rotary or Allen Centennial Gardens and note plants of fall interest for
spring planting and best selection.
___Put up all bird feeders and fill daily as needed. Begin feeding raw suet.
___Make water available to the birds. Begin using a de-icer as needed.
___Dig new beds now! It’s easier now than in spring when super-busy.
___Continue planting spring bulbs till the ground freezes.
___Plant bulbs for forcing and put in a cool location for 10-12 weeks.
___Stop feeding houseplants and cut back on watering.
___Continue planting deciduous shrubs and trees until the ground freezes.
___Clean up stalks and leaves of annuals and vegetables, preventing viruses and pests
for next year’s garden.
___Continue harvesting brussels sprouts, kale, greens and root crops.
___Cut perennials back to 4-6”, leaving those for winter interest.
___Make notes in your garden journal for changes, improvements, etc.
___Mow the lawn at shortest setting for last mowing of the season.
___Ready lawnmower and tiller for winter. Prep the snowblower.
___Keep gutters clear of leaves and debris.
___Clean empty pots and containers for winter storage.
___Purchase marsh hay and rose protection. Wait till the ground freezes to apply.
___Wrap trunks of susceptible trees to protect from rodents.
___Visit Klein’s—The poinsettias are just about ready. Look for end of the season savings on all remaining spring bulbs.


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


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.


—Our employees prep the store inside and out for the upcoming holidays.


—Wreaths, roping and pine boughs arrive mid-month from northern Wisconsin.


—Violas, hardy annuals and herbs continue to arrive for next February’s Garden Expo at the Alliant Energy Center (cancelled in 2021 due to COVID concerns. Look for a virtual version being planned).


—Most plant material has been ordered for the 2021 growing season. We order early to ensure you best selection in spring.


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 madgardener@kleinsfloral.com. 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 jamie@kleinsfloral.com
Accounts, Billing and Purchasing—Kathryn Derauf kathryn@kleinsfloral.com
Delivery Supervisor & Newsletter Coordinator—Rick Halbach rick@kleinsfloral.com
Owner, Floral Designer & Purchasing—Sue Klein sue@kleinsfloral.com


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