Jack Bigej
Dee & Jack Bigej, with some help from Aaron, serve fresh Ice Applesauce at our 2016 Evening of Lights in Woodburn


  • ½ Cup of water
  • ½ Cup of sugar
  • 10 medium Ice Apples
  • nutmeg


Core and remove the seeds from 10 medium Ice Apples.

In a large microwavable mixing bowl, add water, sugar, and whole Ice Apples.

Microwave on high for 40 minutes, or until the Ice Apples are soft.

Using a potato masher, mash the Ice Apples by hand until they have reached the desired consistency.

Add nutmeg to taste and mix thoroughly.


Watch this captivating video of Purple People in Sherwood, as they transform our Seasonal House into a house for the Christmas season - just in time for Evening of Lights!


For sixteen years now, Al's has hosted a wonderful evening of holiday fun.  Our Evening of Lights is a holiday open house for all ages, with all the sights and sounds of the season.

Al's Barb and Judy at Evening of lightsAl's own Barb and Judy at our Evening of Lights event in 2013
The Bigej Family poses for the camera at our event in 2011
The Bigej Family poses for the camera at our event in 2011

It actually first started as an employee Christmas party at our Woodburn store.  Everyone brought holiday desserts to share, but when the lights were turned off, the greenhouses became magical.  Everyone exclaimed that we should share the beauty of the greenhouses at night with our customers.  And the Evening of Lights was born.

So now you can stroll through up to 20 designer decorated Christmas trees, each with it's own unique theme.  You can marvel at the trees festooned with unique ornaments, until one catches your eye!

Two people shopping from a designer Christmas TreeA gorgeous bird-themed tree from Christmas of 2010
Jack & Dee Bigej serve samples of Jack's famous homemade Ice Applesauce
Jack & Dee Bigej serve samples of Jack's famous homemade Ice Applesauce in 2014

Enter in the Season Greenhouse and behold the over 20 different varieties of poinsettias.  Al's entire 2016 Poinsettia Collection will be on display, so come see the decades of breeding that go into cultivating these beauties.

I wouldn't be a party without Al's exclusive Ice Apples.  These Fuji applies are out of Walla Walla, and are allowed to remain on the tree until after first frost.  The change in temperature caused the applies to send all their sugar  to their core, making them sweet and juicy.  Make sure to get a taste of our Ice Apple Applesauce from Jack and Dee Bigej (Jack is Al's son).

And finally, step into the Main Greenhouse to see the Rose City Garden Railway Society's Christmas train display.  Every child delights at the chance to push the button, and watch the train come through the tunnel.

A model trainModel Train courtasey of Rose City Garden Railway Society

Add in some food and drink, and don't forget the live music, and you've got a wonderful way to start off your holiday season.

Join us for this year's Evening of Lights!

Whether you keep your decorations simple or simply ghoulish, signage is an easy way to scare up some Halloween fun for your front porch.

rustic wood sign with Halloween pumpkin
tin Halloween signs

Welcome your trick-or-treaters with these fun rustic signs that light up for an eerie glow. Or go for a more contemporary look with these tin signs that twinkle when filled with lights from the back (lights sold separately).

wood pumpkin decor
wood pumpkin decor
wood pumpkin decor

Al's carries a frightfully large assortment of decorative pumpkins made with wood, tin, ceramic, or even textiles. If you prefer your pumpkins made of, well, pumpkin, we have a huge selection - and standard orange Grown By Al's pumpkins are only $1.99 each!

wood pumpkin decor
wood pumpkin decor
wood pumpkin decor

Of course, no Halloween look is complete without a few creatures that go bump in the night. Witches, skeletons, and black cats all come out to play on All Hallows' Eve

pink mums
a porch decorated with millet, corn stalks, and a pumpkin

Since Halloween is now the United States' second most popular holiday for decorating,after Christmas, of course, it’s time to think beyond simple black and orange. Start by using fall decorating plants such as millet and mums, and fall classics like hay bales and corn-stalks, but then add in those unmistakable Halloween touches that will delight your kids or grandchildren. Best part is, once the decorative creatures have retreated back to the crypt (aka, the storage box in your attic), the remaining autumnal themes will last through your Thanksgiving.

Perennials add color, texture and personality to any garden. Planting perennials in fall is a sure way to cut your spring workload in half. Your garden will take on a life of its own as the perennials continue to expand year after year.

woman gardening

We’ve covered Planting Clerodendrum and Getting Your Garden Ready for Fall. If you’re starting to wonder what you can’t plant in the fall, the answer is almost nothing.

We’re going to help you get a head start on spring by planting perennials in the fall. Perennials, those plants that return each year, provide a low-maintenance way to have a beautiful, colorful garden.

While fall is for planting, we still has a few tricks that will ensure your plants look their best in that first season.

Espoma Start!

Plant Fall Perennials in 8 Steps

  1. Start by preparing the soil. Dig out rocks, weeds and other debris.
  2. Dig a hole deep enough for the root ball and twice as wide.
  3. Gently remove plant from pot and gently loosen roots.
  4. Mix in 3 inches of compost or other organic matter.
  5. Remove the plant from its pot and loosen roots before planting. Place plant in hole and backfill the hole with a good quality garden soil.
  6. Water immediately. Cover the planting area with a natural mulch of bark or straw. Mulch keeps soil moist and protects new roots from freezing.
  7. Finish by adding an organic plant food such as Espoma’s Start!
  8. Water at least 1 inch per week until the ground freezes. This keeps roots growing and helps plants get established before winter dormancy.

Fall Perennial Plant Picks

  • Choose perennials that add color to your garden in early spring such as hellebore and astilbe.
  • Plant or transplant spring-blooming power-house shrubs such as rhododendrons and azaleas.
  • Choose pollinator friendly plants such as phlox, coneflower and aster. You can plant, divide or transplant.
  • Divide and replant hostas and daylilies.
  • Peonies should always be planted or transplanted in the fall. Plant 2 inches above the root ball.
  • Plant and transplant irises, Asiatic and Oriental lilies.
astilbe in bloomAstilbe
red azalea bloomsAzaleas
asiatic liliesAsiatic Lilies