OUR PRESENTING SPONSOR
Oakleaf Highlands is the source for all things botanical....rare herbs and perennials, fresh flowers, signature containers, listed garden art, antique ornamental, and requisites for the well-appointed garden. Garden designer and historian Kirk Moore has worked on significant projects for Colonial Williamsburg, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, Historic Savannah Foundation and countless private clients. His television show, "American Gardener", on QVC was, for years, a popular source for garden requisites and ornaments. Moore was also a garden and lifestyle correspondent for ABC's "Good Morning America" television show. For more than 20 years, he and his partner, Don Fry, have developed product collections for major retailers- Smith and Hawken, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Takashimaya, among others.
In 2008, Moore and Fry began a relationship as ombudsmen for event styling at Highlands' Old Edwards Inn & Spa. Their eponymous shop on 4th Street in Highlands is the "go to" place for anything "garden and floral". In 2014, Oakleaf opened an outpost in Atlanta at 2395 Peachtree Road, where all their wonderful signature products and choice antiques, garden ware, and home goods can be found.
GET TO KNOW KIRK MOORE
Tell us about your artistic journey. What brought you to florals and inspired your passion for them?
I was a lucky young fellow. My mother was artistic, and my father was a forester and lover of nature. They taught me to listen for the rhythms of nature. There were always garden flowers in the big white ironstone pitcher on the kitchen table. I remember white cardboard shirt boxes filled with damp Spanish moss and exquisite Camellia blossoms being taken to friends or flower shows. My love of flowers and all things botanical and beautiful is not forced— it is a natural as breathing. It’s in my DNA.
What is it that you love about the south?
Born on the edge of the Okefenokee Swamp, had pet alligators, learned to swim in the historic St. Mary’s river, spent summers at my mother’s family farm feeding baby Hereford calves, romping with my aunts pet deer, picking/shelling/cooking butter beans before lunch. You could catch me eating heirloom tomatoes— heirloom before it was cool, because my uncle saved seeds that his grandfather cherished— in the garden with red juice and seeds decorating my t-shirt! Learning that garden pea seeds need to be planted on Valentines Day. Have designed exemplary gardens in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Love meeting people and after five minutes know we have five friends in common. I was born in the south, studied in the south, worked in the south and God willing will be buried in the south.
What is the meaning behind Oakleaf and how did you get it started?
A landscape architect, working on historic site projects and then seeing the need for appropriate garden requisites and ornamenta for said projects, my partner, Don Fry, and I started designing and developing collections for the home and gift industry. We created wonderful product stories for Smith&Hawken, Restoration Hardware, and Anthropologie. A chance encounter with a major “style influencer” opened the opportunity to develop a concept show for QVC called “American Gardener”, selling primarily American-made products that would appeal to the traditionalist. That led to me being a garden lifestyle correspondent for “Good Morning America”.
The next rock in the stream was a small shop on the 7th floor of Bergdorf Goodman, selling home and gift items made from my heart and the hearts of dear creative friends. So ahead of its time! I was literally “stolen” from Bergdorfs by the nice people at Takashimaya! I helped create the Garden Shop there, sourcing amazing pieces of garden art for the Fifth Avenue store! Quite a gig for a kid from South Georgia! So funny! The only person there who didn’t have a thick Japanese accent was me, fresh from the family farm in South Georgia! People kept asking me to say “yes m’am” just to hear my Georgia brogue!
I love how the stream has brought me back to a magical place in the south.
Who inspires you in your work?
My parents continue to be my biggest inspiration.
What is the most special part about the Highlands area to you?
When a person’s profession celebrates the glories of nature, Highlands is an amazing party place to live and work! Seasons, mountains, lakes, and waterfalls. A theatre of glorious botanicals in four acts!
The best part of Highlands are the people I have had the honor of meeting and knowing. Friendships grow in Highlands as freely as dahlias and Joe Pye Weed.