• Laurel Contributor

Home & Garden Specialties

by Luke Osteen

When you step into Oakleaf, it’s something of a calculated fall down the Rabbit Hole. There’s a brightness to the place, and a sense of life and its myriad promises, a touch of whimsy, and an undeniable playfulness.

Part of that is the sensory presentation that greets visitors – the brightness of the fresh cut flowers, the subtle blending of floral and herbal scents, the earthy musk of sheet moss, the sublime garden art that pops up throughout the gallery.

And of course, part of it is owners Kirk Moore and Don Fry. They’ve cultivated that warmth and playfulness that’s so apparent upon the first step into Oakleaf. Oh, and there’s a French Bulldog who ambles through the place like a floor manager, and she will be noticed.

Kirk is a garden designer and historian, but that was really just a launching pad for a career that’s taken him to projects for Colonial Williamsburg, The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, and ultimately into homes across America. His television show, “American Gardener,” on QVC was, for years, a popular source for garden requisites and ornaments. Kirk was also a garden and lifestyle correspondent for ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

But this new course that he dreamed up with his partner Don was propelled the duo’s course into unexpected directions. Oakleaf has become the go-to floral designer for elegant weddings around the Southeast. Their partnership with Old Edwards Inn to provide the destination resort with event styling expertise has proved fruitful for both parties (that wonderful smell that infuses OEI’s rooms is Oakleaf’s Fragrance Mist).

And somehow along the way, Don and Kirk have managed to open new Oakleafs (Oakleaves?), including a pair of magnificent galleries in Atlanta and, next month, a store in Asheville.

But that’s not all for this energetic partnership. Over the past 20 years, they’ve designed proprietary tools and garden accessories for big names like Smith & Hawken, Takashimaya, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Armed with the courage that comes from decades of business success, Kirk and Don have unveiled their own line of garden tools and implements. Each piece is handcrafted and designed with Oakleaf’s signature practicality and graceful lines.

If you’d like to see these new garden tools and the remarkable treasures that Kirk and Don have gathered for your home and garden, you really need to stop in – 133 South Fourth Street (halfway Up the Hill) in Highlands If you need help planning the floral needs of your wedding or special event, you can visit, or call the Highlands shop at (828) 526-8000. Of course, if you just can’t make it to Highlands, and you just can’t call during regular business hours, visit them online at oakleafstyle.com.

The Laurel Magazine

Laurel Magazine is a monthly magazine guiding you where to shop, play, dine, and stay in Highlands NC and Cashiers NC.

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