Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Look Back on 2010

With this being our first year as owners of The Secret Garden we had a lot of firsts this year.  We thought we would take a little time to look back over some of our favorite moments of 2010.

Some of our favorite things ~

We design so many pieces in a year it's hard to pick out just a few.  These are ones that have touched our hearts.

 50 Long stem roses in a vase ~ WOW!!  This was for a 50th anniversary.  We were amazed they all fit in the vase.  I bet her eyes are still twinkling after getting all of these.  We had a young bride in the shop at the time this picture was taken.  I took this bouquet over to her and said with a smile, "This is what you get for 50 years."   

The Race for The cure!  Being asked to create this balloon arch, and having Sheryl on our team to design the perfect thing.  Setting it up before the sun came up and knowing that it would be on stage to honor all of the survivors and the women who lost the battle.  We also made a balloon archway to kick off the race.  This is something I will not forget, it was a touching time.

Our first convention.  We attended a floral convention in March and came back to the shop with some great ideas.  We learned so much in the hands on classes and the business lessons.  It was an amazing and inspiring event.  Already looking forward to this year.  I will graduate and receive my ICPF, Illinois Certified Professional Florist certificate.  That is something I am looking forward to putting in the proud moments category next year!

Merchandising.  Selecting and creating with the new merchandise.  This year was filled with buying, buying, and yeah buying.  We brought in new gifts, containers, and more to bring our own touch to the store.  I have been told all along that the store will reflect our style and I can see that happening with every new box of treasures.  Luckily our taste and Carolyn's (the previous owner) blend well together.

Most Overwhelming Time ~

Our first Valentine's Day, though smooth, was still a bit overwhelming.  After weeks of preparation we pulled it off without a hitch, but we must admit a few more gray hairs can be seen.

Just a small sampling of the flowers we received.  All of them are processed with care and then arranged for our cooler.
The cooler was packed with deliveries and orders.  It was a true site to see.  We had roses and roses... and more roses!

The sales floor all decked out in red and white.  A beautiful site for sure!  Gifts, gift baskets, balloon wraps, and more, all ready for the big day.

And after it was all over just a few things remained.  It was so empty in that poor cooler.  Nothing but the few remaining flowers.

Proudest Moments ~ 

Like we said up top, this year was full of a lot of firsts.  Here are a few of our proudest moments.

My (Lori's) first Mache.  I know thinking of a funeral piece may seem like a morbid proud moment, but this one I did with just a little help from Carol.  It always feels good when you can say "I did that!".  This was one of those times.  Funeral pieces are a very important part of our business.  They are something we take great pride in because we are celebrating the life of a loved one. 

One of Michael's first creations all on his own.  He took some of the design techniques he learned in our classes and created this.  He took a sunflower with broken petals and transformed it into a beautiful focal point to this piece.  The colors and the flow of the arrangement showcase the talent he has inside.  We can't wait to see how he comes along this year and we know he will make a great designer!

Our "Traveling Kindness Bouquet".  When we came up with   stole this idea from Monday Morning Balloon Co. in PA we had no idea what doors this bouquet would open.  We started giving a small bouquet to a business with a card attached asking them to enjoy the flowers and pass them along.  This got us several "thank you" phone calls, letters, and even some new friends because of this idea.  It even earned us front page of the business journal!  What a great idea that we are going to carry forward into the new year.

 My first wedding bouquet.  I was pretty nervous about creating anything as special as a wedding bouquet.  When you take the thoughts and dreams of a woman and express it with flowers there is a bit of pressure.  But I was very pleased with the end result and I have heard she was too!

Proud of our team.  Our team has such amazing talent, ideas, and stamina.  These ladies can design until they drop and then keep on going.   They have embraced our ideas, some a little risky, and even helped us spread the word.  We are so proud to have them design for us.    It amazes us still today what they come up with.  They can take the most ordinary looking thing and transform it into the extraordinary.  Carol and Sheryl have had patience to train two novice owners, and do it with a smile.  Amy has taken off with the displays, signs, and even some designing. 

 I would say some of my proudest moments this year revolve around my evolving design abilities.  Taking flowers and just designing.  There is nothing like the feeling when someone picks out something you created from the cooler to give to someone they love.  That is the proudest you can get!

 None of this would be as exciting if it was not for our AMAZING team.  Carol, our shop manager who keeps a watchful eye over us.  Sheryl, a wonderful and creative soul who designs her heart out.  Amy, our "grunt" (her phrase not ours hehe), who is amazing with windows, signs, and talking me down from the ledge when I need it.  

We must also thank all of you!  Our friends, supporters, facebook fans, and loyal customers.  Without you choosing us to help you express your feelings, thoughts, and ideas we could not do any of this.  You encourage us to be our very best.  You drive us in the right direction with your feedback, comments, and suggestions.  YOU are the reason we open the doors, throw on our aprons, and pick up our tools every morning.  We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for making our first year one to remember forever.


Monday, December 27, 2010


50% off all seasonal merchandise

December 27th - January 7th

50% off lowest marked price

Save on Christmas Containers, Gifts, Ornaments, and More!

Great selection and great prices!

Grab them while supplies last!

Stop in and visit us at:
1215 E. Pershing Rd.
Decatur, IL

Monday, December 20, 2010

Buy 1 Silk get your 2nd at 1/2 Off

It's that time of year... time to get your house ready for all of those holiday parties.  Well The Secret Garden can help.  We have a variety of silks ready to just grab and go.  We also have loose silks that you can create your own masterpiece with. 

December 20th - December 24th 2010

Buy one silk get a 2nd at 1/2 off

*half off item must be of equal or lesser value.

So stop in today at 1215 E. Pershing Rd.  and get yours while the selection is good.  Silks also make great holiday gifts, they can use them again and again. Headed to a party?  Remember the hostess deserves a gift too!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Top 5 Ways The Secret Garden can help you relieve holiday stress.

It's that time of year again, hustle and bustle, and no time to relax.  Well we decided to make a list of ways we can help you relieve that holiday stress.

5. Shorter Lines ~ Everyone hates those long holiday lines at the big box stores. Well because we are a smaller shop we offer shorter lines.  Most of our floral orders come over the phone or by the way of our website.  This eliminates lines for us most of the time.  Phone in your order and you will not have a line at all!

4. One on One Attention ~ Ever find yourself walking around helplessly in that big box store with no clue what to buy or where to find it.  Well here you will get that personal one on one service and we can help you find exactly what you are looking for.  We have ideas for just about everyone on your Christmas list.  

3.  One of a Kind ~ Looking for that hard to buy for person on your list?  Well we can relieve some of that stress.  We have not only great florals but unique, one of a kind gifts.  We can stock those stockings and trim that tree.

2. Built in Stress Relief ~ Flowers relieve stress and tension.  It's true read all about it here.  Buy yourself a small bouquet and set it out for you to see every morning and your days will be less stressful.  It's hard to not smile when you see our bouquets.

1.  Ease of delivery~  Around town or around the country we can get your gift delivered before Christmas.  We offer world wide shipping on all of our gifts and silk pieces.  As a Teleflora member we can have a local florist arrange and deliver to just about anywhere in the US.  

This is just a few of the ways we can help you relieve your holiday stress.  Stop in today and see what we can do for you.

The Secret Garden
1215 E. Pershing Rd.

A little bit country a little bit rock and roll

As you all well know it's Holiday decorating season.  It always blows my mind how the same piece can look so different depending on how it's decorated.  A simple sled inspired this post.  These two sleds, even though cute, looked a little plain.  That is until our designer Sheryl got a hold of them.

A little bit country: 

This "country" arrangement features winter greens, plaid ribbon, an apple, some candy canes, and some tan burlap style ribbon.  It gives the feel of an old fashion country Christmas.  You can see the sled being drawn through the snow on the way to Grandma's. 

A Little Bit Rock & Roll;

This piece features silver and gold.  The pine cones are even trimmed with touches of silver.  The silver pearls and silver branches give this piece a more contemporary look.  Under the silver are hints of gold on the branches.  White with silver ribbon and gold mesh ribbon surround a white bell.  This piece looks very upscale and trendy.  

See how the same piece can look very different depending on the accents.  So no matter how your home is decorated or what your style is we can create a piece for you.  

Take a few moments to stop in and look around.

The Secret Garden
1215 E. Pershing Rd. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Buy 2 Ornaments get one FREE!

Ornaments are a very personal gift.  They show the personality of the receiver as well as the giver.  You choose an ornament based on the likes and interest of the person you are buying for.  We have many ornaments to choose from.  A few are shown here in this blog.

These fun snowmen ornaments are ceramic and can be personalized just for you.  We can add them to an arrangement, wreath, or you can simply take one to give as a gift.  


This is a great time to find those stocking stuffers and gift exchange gifts.  

Stop in and see us today at
1215 E. Pershing Rd.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ever wanted to tour our shop but live to far away or can never find time to stop in? Well it's time to step inside The Secret Garden. We have created a short video that lets you walk through our shop without leaving the comfort of your home. We hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Santa's Britches

Santa is making his list and checking it twice.  Hope he does not go looking for his britches just yet, we borrowed them for this arrangement. 

We love creating for the holiday, not only in fresh but in silk flowers as well.  These adorable little Santa britches would look so cute decking someones halls.  The pants are made of felt and have bright white cuffs.  A black belt and red felt suspenders just add to the charm.  We have filled the britches with Christmas greens, berries, a few ornaments, and holiday cheer.  

We can create a custom silk just for you as well.  Stop in and see us at
1215 E. Pershing Rd in Decatur and see what we can create for you.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Free Gift with Purchase Week ~

In the spirit of giving we are offering a free gift with your purchase this week.  This is just a small token of our appreciation for choosing The Secret Garden for your holiday shopping.  Here are the details.

  • December 6, 2010 to December 11, 2010
  • Spend $20.00 at The Secret Garden and receive a free gift with purchase.
  • Valid in store only.
 So what's inside???  We can't say.  It's a surprise.  We can tell you that it sure is cute and you will be the envy of all your friends by having one.  Okay that last part may be a bit of a stretch, but we assure you it is very cute!

So stop in and see us at:

1215 E. Pershing Rd.

Want to keep up on all of our promotions?  Check us out on facebook, or sign up on our promotions page for email updates!

Friday, December 3, 2010

December Highlights

It's official ~ The Holiday season is here.  The greens have arrived and the store smells fantastic.  Now is the season for sights, sounds, smells, and so much more that make you feel so warm inside (even when it's not outside). 

This holiday season we hope to be your one stop shop for all of your decorating and gift giving needs.  From our large assortment of silk wreaths to our tree trimmers, from fresh flowers to potted plants, we have it all.  

Now I know, our building is a little deceiving ~ 

It does look awfully small ~ but remember sometimes big things come in small packages.   If you want to see a sampling of what we offer you can see one of our albums on facebook.  

To entice you to try us out this holiday we have come up with weekly specials that will make any scrooge say "ho ho ho!"  

If you need a weekly reminder just head over to our promotions page follow us or subscribe to our feeds.  If you want to keep up on the daily deals, great products, and more follow us on facebook.  You can never tell what we will be up to there.  

Remember we offer 3 great ways to shop:
In Store
1215 E. Pershing Rd.
Decatur, IL
By Phone
Or Online

Also, forget the long lines at the post office, we now offer shipping on all silk and gift items.  As a member of the Teleflora network we can also have your flowers and plants delivered by a local florist.  

It's Poinsettia Time!  Can you believe it?!?!  We offer several different choices when it comes to our poinsettias.  We have one stem and two stem plants.  Foil wrap, in a basket, or one of our beautiful holiday tins.  Just let us know what you would like and we would be happy to do it for you.   If you would like some poinsettia care advices read our article on our care and handling page.  

Our holiday grave saddles are on the move.  We have several styles available still and can always custom create one just for you.  This is a great way to pay tribute to loved ones that we will miss this holiday season.  

Well that looks like about everything we have going on right now.  Remember to order your holiday centerpieces early to avoid that last minute rush.  

The Holiday Season is Upon Us

 It's that time again.  Time to trim those trees and light the lights.  Here at The Secret Garden we have the Christmas spirit in full force.  The greens have arrived and it smells SO good in our cooler.  We love to just take in the scents of the seasons and get inspired.  

This design was created by our designer Sheryl.  She fell in love with the snowflake charms the day they arrived and found a clever way to attach them to the red cube.  Then she really got in the holiday spirit and went for the winter greens.  Adding a single red rose, some white button mums, berries, and mini red carnations.  Then all around she added silver sparkles to really give this design some "Holiday Charm".

We presented this design to our friends on facebook and they have named it "Holiday Charm".  We have it listed in our "local favorites" section on our website for the world to see.

So if you ever need a good dose of holiday spirits come on in to the shop.  1215 E. Pershing Rd. is the address.  We will let you smell the greens!

PS.  Check out our promotions page for weekly specials and great deals this holiday season.  We also have some great care and handling tips to help those poinsettias last and last.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Poinsettia Care

Here are some care and handling tips for your holiday poinsettias.  

Moderately bright light is best, but poinsettias will tolerate low light.  High light areas like windows should be avoided, the direct sunlight can scorch the tender leaves and petals.

Moderately moist soil is preferred.  Water thoroughly when soil surface feels dry to the touch.  Drain excess water in saucer at base of pot to prevent root rot and protect furniture.

Moderate temperatures are ideal.  60 to 70 degrees in the daytimes and 60 to 65 degrees in the evenings.  Avoid excessively hot or cold areas.

Long-lasting poinsettias will benefit from periodic applications of fertilizer, used according to manufacturer's directions.

Key tips for success.  Bright light, but not direct light, and cool night temperatures will help delay flower bud drop and will maintain brightly colored bracts.  

So as you can see proper care will help keep your poinsettia lasting longer and insure it looks beautiful on Christmas morning.  As a florist we will insure that we take good care of your poinsettia before it even arrives at your door.  We will monitor the water, light, and temperatures for you.  Not to insult the big box stores but when you see them sitting in the doorway and the pots are dry you know that they are not receiving the proper care.  You may pay a little more at a florist for your poinsettia but you will get more in return.  Remember the old saying, "you get what you pay for."?  Well in this case that is 100% true.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Crackling Wick Candles ~ Warm Your Home This Season

Introducing our Crackling Wick candles by Time & Again.  These scented candles with a comforting sound make a great gift.  The wick is made of natural wood and is lead free.  Guaranteed to give hours of burning pleasure.  Crackling Wicks provide a crackling sound when burned and they release a rich scent from the candle. Our Crackling Wick Candles are 11.85 Oz. They come in a beautiful glass jar.

November 27th - December 4th
Buy one get one 50% off
Our entire selection of Crackling Wick Candles.

Our Holiday Scents Include:
Christmas Memories
Twinkling Garland
Christmas Angel
Holiday Tree
Jingle Berries

Each week we will have another great special so stay tuned to either our promotions page or our facebook fan page.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Trim a Tree Sale ~ November 22nd - November 27th

It's that time again, time to dig out all the ornaments and decorate that tree.  
We want to make trimming the tree cost you less this year by offering you this great deal!

Buy one get one 50% off on all Trim a Tree items.

November 22nd - November 27th

This includes ornaments, garland, bows, and more!  We have a wide variety of ornaments to choose from to make your tree one of a kind this year. 

We also custom make tree toppers and bows for trees and wreaths.  

Come see our selection of ribbon and get your topper ordered today. 

 We will be closed for Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday.  We will reopen on Saturday for Small Business Saturday.  Stop in and see how we have transformed the store into a winter wonderland.

We would love the opportunity to serve you this holiday.  

1215 E. Pershing Rd.
Decatur, IL 62526

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cornucopia's ~ Fall is passing us by

I think we may have mentioned before that we LOVE fall.  When we start filling cornucopias we know that fall is almost past.  But we have Christmas colors, and Christmas greenery to fill the store with scents and joy very very soon.  

So we offer up this cornucopia of fall flowers to you and yours this Thanksgiving season with joy in our hearts.  What a beautiful centerpiece for the table this Thanksgiving.  We will fill your cornucopia with mums, carnations, roses, and fall leaves.  Berries and greenery accent the beautiful fall colors.

Call us to order yours today 217-875-9038 or stop by and visit us at 1215 E. Pershing Rd.

Our First Ever Friends & Family Event!

We would like to invite you to our first ever Friends & Family event. The event will take place November 18th through November 20th here at The Secret Garden. You are invited to shop and save during this event and, if you like, invite your friends and family to do the same.

This is the perfect time to shop early for Christmas and book your holiday centerpieces, mantle pieces, and wreaths. We will showcase our holiday designs... along with our fall merchandise. You can browse the shop for gifts, ornaments, or silk pieces for holiday time. Remember, Thanksgiving is just around the corner from this event so be sure to order your centerpiece or table top floral decorations.

During the event the more you buy the more you save. Here is how it works:

Spend up to $50.00 and save 10%
Spend up to $75.00 and save 15%
Spend $100.00 or more and save 20%
*excludes sale priced merchandise.

This is just our way of saying thank you for allowing us to service all of your floral and gift needs throughout the year. We look forward to seeing you and being your florist for years to come.

We will also have a drawing for a pair of “Air Choice One” round trip tickets to your choice of St. Louis or Chicago. These vouchers must be used by December 31, 2010 so they would make a great gift for the Holidays.

18th & 19th ~ 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
20th ~ 9:00 am ~ 2:00 pm 

Hope to see you here!

The Secret Garden Owners & Staff
1215 E. Pershing Rd.
Decatur, IL 62526


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