There is nothing worse than running short on time just before a large holiday party. Searching for a suitable gift for the hostess can often fall to the bottom of the list when getting ready. So Al's has a couple of suggestions that will please even the most discerning hostess.

a white and magenta Christmas cactus bloom

For the Traditional Hostess

Hailing from our friends in Mexico, the Christmas Cactus makes an ideal gift because it will bloom throughout the holidays, but can still be enjoyed for months afterwards.

a display of blooming orchids

For the Stylish Hostess

Nothing says style quite like orchids. Their exotic color combinations and long lasting blooms will have your hostess remembering your thoughtfulness for months to come.

an airplant

For the Hip Hostess

Succulents and Tillandsia are still the rage! These popular plants are easy to display, and even easier to care for.

close-up of a unique shooting star hydrangea bloom

For the Unique Hostess

When something truly unique is required, the Shooting Star Hydrangea is definitely one of a kind. You won't find this at your local grocery store. Plus, they can be planted outside come May!

an array of tropical antheriums and bromeliads

For the Tropical Hostess

For the hostess that would really rather be laying on a beach somewhere, Antheriums & Bromeliads are the perfect gift. They will bring lasting memories of the warm trade winds and sandy beaches.

So if you're invited to a big Holiday party, or just stopping in to enjoy a piece of pie, make sure to not show up empty handed.

It's time to spray your fruit trees. These important preventative measures reduce your workload come springtime. With these simple steps, properly caring for your fruit trees is as easy as 1-2-3!

an apple orchard in fall
bottles of Horticultural Oil and Liqui-CopMonterrey Horticultural Oil and Liqui-Cop are available at Al's.


Spray your fruit trees in the fall with copper fungicide and horticultural oil as soon as all the leaves have dropped. This helps control bacterial blight, leaf curl, and other fungal diseases that can overwinter, as well as insects and their eggs.


Spray a second time in winter with copper fungicide and horticultural oil around the end of December.


Apply the final dormant spray application around mid-February. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's directions on label.

Steps to success

  • Always remove any remaining leaves or fruit from your trees.
  • Clean up any fallen leaves or branches from around your trees, as these can harbor bacteria and insects.
  • Choose a dry, cool day above 40° - we don't want the rain washing away your hard work!
  • Spray from the ground to the top of the bare tree, ensuring that all branches are covered
  • Prune tree to promote good structure and help increase air circulation. Be sure to sanitize pruning equipment prior to and after pruning to help prevent the spread of disease.
  • Congratulate yourself on a job well done!

When decorating for Thanksgiving, you probably don’t think of poinsettias. But you may be surprised to find out there are special varieties that work just great for dressing up your bountiful Thanksgiving table. I’m sure thankful for the broad spectrum of varieties available. Here are a few of our favorite poinsettia picks for fall

An Orange Spice Poinsettia surrounded by fall gourds


a Cinnamon Star Poinsettia by a bale of hay

Cinnamon Star

The peachy pink bracts on this variety are speckled with slightly darker pink dots, making it look as though they have been sprinkled with cinnamon.

a Gold Rush Poinsettia next to fall decor

Gold Rush

This beauty is absolutely irresistible, with unique tear-drop shaped bracts in warm golden-pink colors that vary in tone from plant to plant.

a bright Orange Spice Poinsettia

Orange Spice

Rich true orange bracts and it’s narrow lancelet shape provide increased interest, as Orange Spice is the only true orange poinsettia available.

Here's a look at what it takes to transform the Sherwood entrance into a holiday haven.


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!