Flower business owner receives hall of fame honor

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Flower business owner receives hall of fame honor

File photo Ed Knapton of America’s Best Flowers shows off a sampling of the flowers available at the Cottage Grove business. He and his wife have been operating the greenhouses for more than 40 years. View all 2 images in gallery. “How can you explain love?” asked Knapton, owner of America’s Best Flowers. “I just love the feeling you get when you see people’s faces when you give them flowers. “It is the part of job I love the most. The smiles people have. The stories they tell you are amazing. People just seem to want to tell you their stories, and I love to listen to them.” Knapton’s career and contributions to many industry boards paved the way for his upcoming induction into Wisconsin Green Industry Federation Hall of Fame (WGIF), on March 17. “I was not expecting this at all,” Knapton said. His long-term colleagues who have seen his contributions to his industry at the local, state and national levels are quick to disagree. Knapton is currently vice president of the WGIF. He was also a former president of the Commercial Flower Growers, and in 2005, he was awarded the WGIF Distinguished Service Award. He also was elected the American Nursery and Landscape Association senator from Wisconsin in 2005. Knapton’s garden center in Cottage Grove also made the Today’s Garden Center magazine’s Revolutionary 100 in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011. “It takes extreme dedication and sacrifice to not only be involved in the day-to-day running of one’s business but to also make the commitment to serve in all of these capacities,” wrote Betty Bless in her nomination letter. “I’ve come to know Mr. Knapton as my mentor over the last two years, and I know he serves for the purpose of making our industry stronger and better.” Bless is an employee of America’s Best Flowers and served on many of the boards with Knapton since 1989. “It is well-deserved,” WGIF Executive Director Brian Swingle said. “He has a wealth of knowledge, and he has given back to the industry. He is an industry leader.” Since creating America’s Best Flowers with this wife, Carol, Knapton now has about 100,000 square feet and 19 greenhouses locally, with a second location in Edgerton, with seven greenhouses. Knapton always loved planting things and playing with dirt but decided to major in mechanical engineering at UW-Madison after four years of service in the Coast Guard. His senior year, he switched majors to his true love – horticulture. “I don’t think I could enjoying talking to engineers all day at work,” he said. But people who work with flowers? Those people Knapton can talk to all day. In June 2017, he was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer. “It is terminal,” he said. “It (the cancer) is all over.” His cancer is in his pelvic area, ribs and bones. Knapton is receiving treatment with the goal of slowing the cancer growth and preventing it from going into his soft tissues, such as his […]