Category Archives: Social Media

Decorated Pumpkins

Decorated PumpkinIt all began with my Mother’s 85th birthday in early October. She has macular degeneration and would rather stay close to home now.

Since I am in Birmingham and she is in Wisconsin, unfortunately, with this a busy time in the garden shop business, getting together on her birthday doesn’t happen anymore.

But she is on Facebook. I decided a couple of years ago to get her a Nook that she could use to listen to audio books, thinking it would be a perfect way to open her world. It also allows her, through Facebook, to see pictures of the garden shop and my garden. It has been a joy for her, and I’m thrilled!IMG_0285

So, with this in mind, I decided to decorate a pumpkin for her birthday and put a picture of me holding it on her timeline as her birthday gift from me. I’d seen lots of pictures of succulents on pumpkins (more on that later), but I wanted something bright and happy from me to her on her milestone day.

IMG_0445I chose a bright orange jack-o-lantern pumpkin, glued some cut flowers of gomphrena and mums to it along with a couple of okra pods, added  a few succulents, and tucked moss around the edge. I even cut a couple of tiny hosta leaves. Voila, the birthday pumpkin was born.IMG_0444


A few days later a customer came in with a picture of the aforementioned succulent topped pumpkins. They’ve been everywhere the last few years, in magazines and various places on line.

Easy to do but requiring lots of cut succulents, I’d stayed clear of getting into the making of them. I dutifully tried to emulate the white pumpkins in her picture with the succulents we had on hand.



When they were finished, I set them on the display steps up front, where people could see them, and decided to make a few more. Here’s how they turned out. We had a few more orders that day as people saw them!

if you’d like to make a succulent topped pumpkin, choose a pumpkin and have fun! Any kind of moss can be used. I chose green sheet moss, gluing it to the top of the pumpkin.IMG_0413


Purchase or take cuttings from succulents you might have growing in your garden or pots and simply glue them to the moss. Succulent experts advise misting the cuttings once a week.

It’s also fun to add other decorative elements like the okra pods I used on my Mom’s pumpkin. Try tiny pinecones, acorns, and more to add interest. It’s only limited by your imagination!

If you’re in the area, and would like us to decorate a pumpkin for you, stop in and place an order!

By Kris Blevons


A New App From Dr. Allan Armitage!!! It’s A Keeper!

562252I’m usually the last person anyone wants to ask about apps for personal devices, but this one is definitely special. Dr. Allan Armitage is well known in horticultural circles as being the authority on annuals and perennials,  and developed and maintains the Trial Gardens at UGA where new plants from throughout the world are evaluated for heat and humidity performance. His bio is extensive, and you can take a look at it on the app,  but suffice it to say he’s received many, many awards for teaching, writing and research.

Dr. Allan Armitage’s app, “Armitage’s Greatest Perennials & Annuals”, is a tool we at Oak Street Garden Shop have wanted to provide for a long time. We strongly recommend it for all our customers, because it provides easy-to-read information on many of the plants available in our shop.

The app is written with the home gardener in mind. Dr. Armitage suggests the best variety for hundreds of plants, and backs up his recommendations with years of personal experience, entertaining videos, and stunning photos.

A “deer browsing” rating is provided for almost every species as well, a tool in and of itself that is of immense value in this area of the country.

Armitage’s Greatest Perennials & Annuals is essentially a small reference book in your back pocket. It’s updated regularly, and best of all, costs only $4.99. A spectacular value! Simply go to your App store, and  search “armitage”.  Voila!

Dr. A says:

  • Works on all Android and iproducts – tablets and smartphones
  • Includes over 70 genera, approx 350 photos
  • Annuals, perennials covered are for all temperate climates
  • Why they make my list (many do not)
  • Hints for success
  • Deer browsing rating
  • My top picks
  • Videos on nearly all genera selected
  • Constantly updated

Happy New Year!

And here's something we can all look forward to!  Happy New Year!

And here’s something we can all look forward to! Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone! Our sale continues on holiday items as we take time now to clear out the old and make way for the new – it feels good to clean house! We know as your cherished holiday decor is packed away, the tree taken to be recycled, and greenery dispatched to the curb, the house can seem a bit empty, especially without all the finery of the holidays..

To help fill those open spaces, we are offering our large houseplants (10″ pots and larger) at 50% off – not a bad deal to add a little fresh foliage to your home for the new year! We have dracaenas, spaths, aralias, fiddle leaf figs and more. Not sure what you might need? Swing by and take a look anyway – there may be something just right for your home or office!

We’ll of course continue to fill the greenhouse with blooms and foliage through the winter, so don’t hesitate to stop in, even if you just need a greenhouse “fix”.

On the social media front we hope you’ve “Liked” us on Facebook and are following us on Twitter, but we’re also very excited to tell you the web page will be getting a major makeover this year too…we’ll keep you posted!
Finally, our winter hours are 9am-5pm Monday-Saturday…hope to see you soon!