Friday, October 29, 2010

First Ever Pumpkin Decorating Winner ~~

Drum Roll Please....... The winner of our first ever pumpkin decorating contest is:

Ashley Altevogt!!  Thank you Ashley for submitting your entry to us.   You have won one of our beautiful pumpkins all done up with fresh flowers and a $5.00 gift certificate.

Here is the beautiful pumpkin Ashley submitted to us:

The fun will continue next year, we hope to see more of everyones creative side.

Watch for our "Thankful" promotion that will be popping up here in the next few days.  If you want to be sure not to miss it subscribe to our posts over on the right hand side.  

Thanks again!  Have a fun and safe Halloween! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Creep on in for a Halloween deal

It's that time of year again.  Time for the ghosts and the goblins to trick or treat.      We have a nice selection of Halloween decorations that we are offering up to you for 50% off.  Now that is a nice treat without any tricks.

Hurry in sale ends October 30th, 2010.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Just Flowers ~ Just Order Takers

Well it happened again, someone ordered flowers from Just Flowers and they were unhappy with the results.  Monday afternoon our phone rang and it was Just Flowers wanting to know if we could fill an order for them.  See Just Flowers is an order taker and not a flower shop so they have to find local florists to do the work for them.  We found out what was needed and placed an order with our supplier.  The next day we unpacked the items, arranged the plants in a basket, and sent it over to the funeral home.  Wednesday morning my phone rang.  The sender of the order had arrived at the funeral home for the visitation on Tuesday and was unhappy with what they had seen on display with their name attached.

She asked me what the order had called for.  I explained that it asked for one azalea, one kalanchoe, and a mix of green plants.  It turns out she did not ask for those specific plants at all.  The picture on the website did not even show those in it.  We discussed the price of each plant and the cost of the basket and how we had come to send what we did.  She then asked the 64 million dollar questions, "How much money did they send you to fill my order?"  That is when she became shocked and upset.  It turns out that the company had taken 20% of her order before it was sent to me to fulfill.  Also the extra charges that they had charged her for delivery and so on had not been given to us to fill her order.  The result, frustration and anger for the sender.

I told her what I always tell the senders when they have this problem.  Always call a local florist, you will get the most for your money and you will get what you ordered.  Her response was, "They had more to choose from on their site".  I then explained that might be true, but because they are not real florists what the receiving florist has available will be the end result.  They can have a million pictures but if the florists in the town you are sending too do not carry those items you will not be able to receive those items.  

So to go the extra mile I offered to make her up something special to send to the family.  She was pleased with this but declined, she was going to the source of the problem and she was going to get a resolution.

I hope that she calls us in the future so that we can show her how wonderful it can be to order locally.  It always upsets me when a someone sending flowers is disappointed in the end result.  This is a negative feeling for not only them but for the entire florist industry.  

I will also take this moment to say use caution when ordering online.  I wrote a blog about figuring out who is a true local florist and who is an order taker in disguise.  

Some people may not be convinced just yet, dismiss this as the mad ramblings of a local florist.  Well the proof is right here folks, just check out these reviews.

Just Flowers Reviews

And they are not alone:
1800flowers reviews
From you Flowers
FTD Reviews
Teleflora Reviews

Before the busy holiday season I hope to continue this discussion and give you more insight on how this all works.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Fall Pumpkin Decorating Contest

First Annual Pumpkin Decorating Contest ~ Hosted by The Secret Garden.

It's no secret that we love fall here at The Secret Garden.  And we love pumpkins so it's only natural for us to have a pumpkin contest this fall.  Here is how it works.

Submit via facebook, email, or bring in the pictures to us at the shop and we will load post them for you.  

Deadline for submissions is October 28th, 2010.

The pumpkins can be carved, painted, or decorated in any way you wish.  We just want you to be creative and have fun!

Here is a beautiful painted pumpkin by one of our staff members Sheryl to offer up some inspiration:

We will then take all of the pictures and post them to this blog for all to judge.  The winner will receive one of our beautiful fall pumpkins to give as a gift or keep for themselves.  All contest participants will receive a $5.00 off coupon to be used on anything in the shop now through Thanksgiving.  So everyone wins a little something.

Don't wait till it's too late, get those pictures in today.  Good luck!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Changing of the seasons

For anyone who follows us on facebook or has made a visit to the shop, you know we love fall.   Fall is a season rich with color and scents.  We thrive in decorating and designing in the fall months.  But as the days creep by we know what is coming, the cold days of winter and the snow on the ground.  

We have several fall designs that are just for our local customers.  Our live pumpkins are so popular we hope we have enough for everyone that wants one.  Make sure that you get your orders in soon so you get the one you need.  

We are also making room for Christmas, yes we know it's early.  With our custom silk wreaths and centerpieces we have to get them out early so that everyone can see our wonderful designs.  This means that all fall merchandise is 20% off through the end of October.  

Come in soon and be sure to ask for your coupon good for 25% off any regular priced item November 1st, 2010 through November 13th, 2010.  

Time is running out to help raise money for Breast Cancer Research.  We are donating 10% of your total order to find a cure through the end of October.  So make sure to say "Think Pink" when you make any purchase in store, on the phone, or online.  

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fall into savings

It's that time of year.  Time for the leaves to change, the temperatures to drop, and the sales to begin.  We are having our first ever fall sale.  All of our fall merchandise is now 20% off.  The sale runs through October 31st 2010.  Hurry in for the best selection.  All Silk arrangements including wreaths and centerpieces are included.


This time of the year family gathers around tables and tv's.  Now is the time to  get your home decor.

Our fresh arrangements and plants are not included in this sale.

Stop in and see what we have to offer.

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

Fall is here!

Here at The Secret Garden we love fall.  We love the rich colors, wonderful smells, and cooler temperatures.  Fall is such a pretty time of year and with the beautiful flowers in our cooler we get inspired. 

This design has been around year after year but our customers call to request it every year.   Created in a real live pumpkin this fall arrangement is sure to please.  Decorated with fall mums, red carnations, and fall leaves this pumpkin makes for a great centerpiece.  What a wonderful gift to send to the office, nursing home, or hospital. 

Call to order yours today, only available while supplies last.
Or stop in and see us: 
1215 E. Pershing Rd.
Decatur IL 62526

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Where does the time go.

Wow ~ Where does the time go.  I was just sitting here relaxing by the computer and noticed that this blog has been badly neglected.  I thought to myself... now what would the 31 day bloggers say about that!  So it is time to breath new life into the blog.

This page was set up to be a newsletter of sorts.  It would should have weekly updates and links to the other tabs you see above.  I wanted to showcase wedding work, talk about the industry, and so much more!  So why has this fallen by the wayside???  Well to be honest business is good and life is crazy.

Last month I started my ICPF classes.  This will give me fancy letters after my name and make me a Illinois Certified Professional Florist.  These classes focus on design principals as well as the business side.  I have enjoyed the first 6 classes and have gotten some great ideas and insight.  You may even see a few of these ideas pop up around Valentine's day, or sooner.  

Homecoming, weddings, funerals, and more.  This last month has been a whirlwind of events that are both joyous and somber.  That is the life a florist, you get tears of joy and tears of sadness all in one.  It makes you appreciate your own life changing moments even more.  

But alas homecoming has passed and now we rev up for the holiday season.  Gone are the bouts and corsages, income the wreaths and centerpieces.  I can't wait!!

So now I will go back to my challenge notes and make a new set of lists and charts so that I can return to the wonderful and fun filled, world of blogging! 

More updates to come!

Think Pink ~ October 2010

The Secret Garden invites you to THINK PINK this October.  For the entire month of October we will donate 10% of your purchase to Local Breast Cancer Research if you say "Think Pink" at the time of purchase.

How it all began:  Back in May of 2010 we were approached by the Susan G. Komen Race for The Cure Decatur branch.  They were about to celebrate a milestone year of racing in Decatur.  They wanted a balloon arch and a balloon sculpture for the event.  We jumped at the chance to support this local cause.

After that event we started to think of other ways we could help.  We decide that because we always encourage people to "say it with flowers" we would do the same.  We came up with 3 arrangements and our fans on facebook helped with the names.  

Then we wanted to take it a step further.  For the people that just want to support the cause but may not be in need of flowers just yet.  So "Think Pink" was brought into the mix.  This lets anyone purchasing anything at our shop support the cause.   You can come in and purchase any item, say "think pink" and we will donate 10% to local breast cancer research.

So in walk the flamingos, okay really then came in a box marked "plastic livestock" but you get the idea.  These were perfect!  The Decatur Memorial Foundation provides the big, and small, pink birds and we sell them on their behalf.  You see them in lawns all over town and it really shows the communities support for this great cause.

They have really taken over the shop:

So this year instead of the traditional fall window we decided to strut our pink.  The pink ribbon from "The Race" and the march of the flamingos is on!  You really need to drive by and check this out, it looks so much better in person.

So remember friends to Think Pink at The Secret Garden all month long!


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