Monthly Archives: August 2023

Preparing Your Winter and Spring Gardens

Big news – we’re all set with fall and winter seeds at Oak Street Garden Shop. With the recent heat wave, I’m sure we’re all longing for the cooler weather of fall. I’m here to tell you that now is the perfect time to be thinking of your fall garden!
The real key is getting fresh seeds to get your garden off to a strong start. That’s why I like to buy my seeds in the late summer/early fall and hold on to them until the right time to sow.
First we want to consider what plants we want growing in our gardens. Whether you’re looking for flowers like poppies and bachelor buttons, or crops like kale and spinach we have a large variety here to choose from.

Check out our video on preparing for your Winter and Spring gardens.

If I want vegetables to harvest in the fall, sow those in September and October. This ensures that our vegetables are ready for a fall harvest in November. Seeds that do well in this season include kale, lettuce, carrots, mustard, spinach, and more. It’s a perfect excuse to incorporate more greens into your diet leading into Thanksgiving.
Spring Flowers
For blossoming flowers in early spring, plant them November-January depending on when you have the most time to dedicate to your garden. Flowers like bachelor buttons, poppies, larkspur, orlaya, and sea holly are what we can see blooming in the spring. We sow these seeds in the winter so that by the time spring rolls around the plants already have a strong start and are ready to bloom.
So there you have it, gang. Fresh seeds and a game plan – we’re all set to make our winter and spring gardens bloom with beauty.
– Kris

Faux Pumpkins Offer Some Real Gorgeous Fall Decor!

Faux Pumpkin decor

Faux Pumpkin decor

Fall is almost here (wish it would hurry up) and we’re all ready to finally start putting up our fall decor! And nothing says fall quite like pumpkins. We have our faux pumpkins in stock and I’ve already made a few arrangements that I’m very excited to share.

Our variety this year includes some cool tones to test out with your fall garden. Arrange them individually, group them, or incorporate them into decorative baskets.

I’ve paired some with succulents and dark green plants to complement the colors and just love how they turned out! If you want some color contrast instead, I really like the look of them with grape vine reeds, faux bittersweet and artichoke.

Style them with live plants and add them to your fall garden, or pair them with faux elements to make a cute seasonal table setting! As always, we love to see how creative you guys are with these. Come visit and pick up your own pumpkin then tag us on Instagram and Facebook so we can see your creations!

– Kris

Cosmos & Marigolds: Go-To Fall Blooms

Colorful Cosmo flowers in a field

Cosmo flowers in a field

Ready to give your garden a fall facelift? Well, you’re in luck. The crew and I recently did a video on these fall beauties – they are not only super easy to care of, but are absolute CHAMPS in pots and garden beds alike. Here’s a little more information and a few tips to jazz up your garden this season.

Cosmos: Bringing Mexico’s Magic Right to Your Backyard

Okay, so let’s talk cosmos. These beauties are native to the meadows and scrubs of Mexico, but they’re now flaunting their vibrant colors all over South and Central America. The colors range from sunny yellows and oranges to dreamy pinks, whites, and even a deep maroon – they’ve got it all.

Po-tip? Get them some good sunshine and make sure the soil drains well. And DO NOT FORGET to snip off those old blooms. It keeps them looking fresh and encourages more of those lovely petals to pop up. I know it’s a little bit of work, but trust me; you’ll thank me later.

Marigolds: The Jack of All Trades in the Garden

And then, it’s over to the marigolds. These little sunbursts come in all sorts of shades – we’re talking orange, red, gold, and even white. And they really do light up just about any space they’re in. Whether in pots or planted in the ground, they aren’t fussy, just make sure they don’t sit in waterlogged soil.

DO deadhead your marigolds, like with cosmos. When you remove spent blooms, the plant will produce more buds, and boom – more color.

If you don’t want to deadhead your marigolds, it’s fine – it doesn’t necessarily hurt anything, but I don’t believe you’re getting as much out of the plant that you could. Up to you. (But I tell everyone to do it, so there you go.)


All About Cosmos and Marigolds This Fall

As summer waves goodbye and fall starts to roll in, we can’t help but fall head over heels for the warmth and color that cosmos and marigolds bring to the garden. Whether you are newbie gardener or a seasoned pro, marigolds and cosmos won’t let you down. Cheers to a colorful fall! 🍂🌼

– Kris

Staying Safe in the Garden: Beat the Heat

Hot temperature gauge with sweating cartoon sun.

Hot Weather Clip Art drawing (Vector cliparts) clipart,hot,weather,sun

So, with the sun cranking up the heat and heat advisories doing their rounds in the Southeast, I wanted to talk about keeping safe while working outdoors.

Many dermatologists insist on proper sun protection. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause lasting damage to your skin, ranging from sunburn to more serious conditions. Sunscreen is your best friend here. I make it a habit to apply sunscreen generously and frequently, even if I’m working in the shade.

Let’s talk clothes, folks. Light long-sleeved shirts, those cool wide-brimmed hats, and sassy sunglasses – they’re not just for looking cute. I like to pair a breathable long sleeve shirt with light pants and a wide-brimmed hat to keep my sun exposure minimal and protect my skin while keeping cool.

Also, know that it is super easy to get dehydrated fast while in your garden. The sun, the heat, and physical activity can and will drain you fast. I keep a water bottle nearby all the time. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love those refreshing breaks to sip and soak in the garden view?

By the way, if you’re more of a visual learner like me, I’ve got a cool video to share. Check out my insights on staying safe in the garden!

Remember, staying cool in the garden isn’t just about the plants – it’s about you too. And trust me, that balance between creating a gorgeous garden and looking out for yourself? It’s the real craft sometimes. So get out there and savor your green haven while staying sun-smart.

– Kris

Grammatophyllum: Be the Tiger Queen (or King) of Your Garden

Image of grammatophyllum orchid

grammatophyllum orchid

Grammatophyllum are a favorite here at Oak Street Garden Shop! If you’re seeking a distinctive and tropical plant for your green space, I highly recommend these orchids. These are some of the largest orchids you can buy and they do well in warm and slightly humid climates like what we have here in Birmingham.

Grammatophyllum, also known as Tiger Orchids, are native to the Philippines and Southeast Asian countries. During the summer, Grammatophyllum orchids thrive outdoors and in greenhouses in warm and humid weather. To ensure their well-being, provide them with filtered shade and lots of moisture.

As the seasons transition to winter, bring them indoors but be sure to ease up on their moisture. They do well on pebble trays that add moisture to the air around them. They also prefer fish emulsion and more organic fertilizers.

Here’s a fun fact: In 1851, at the great exhibition at Hyde Park in London, a Grammatophyllum weighed in at 2 tons! Don’t worry, most don’t get that large. What we can say with certainty is that these beauties look great just about anywhere, and we love to see what you do with them.

Learn even more!

– Kris