Kileen’s Garden Boutique
In case you haven’t noticed, succulents have been all the rage for the past year or so. A necessity born out of California’s drought, this trend is both practical and pretty. But of course, I’m not here to just talk to you about plants. I hope you know by now that it’s gotta be something special if we’re going to write about it on FresYes.
Kileen’s Garden Boutique first caught my eye at the Old Town Flea Market last month when I saw succulents planted in upright wooden crosses. Owner Kileen Alvidrez wasn’t just selling succulents – she and her husband, Shane, are making works of art with what they call living birdhouses, living words and more. Now they’ve expanded and are even holding planting parties to help women make these unique creations themselves.
It all started with Kileen’s grandmother, who was an avid gardener. Kileen found the idea for a living birdhouse while reading a magazine at her grandmother’s house. Shane, who is a landscape artist, was already making birdhouses to sell at home shows, so he made one that Kileen could plant succulents in. It turned out so well that they decided to start selling them at the home shows they went to. The idea started to grow as Kileen and Shane planned their wedding, which happened in October of last year. They used planted letters and other items as part of their decorations.
“He did an arbor with driftwood with the letters LOVE,” Kileen said. “And that was like the backdrop for our ceremony.”
Since then, Kileen and Shane have been selling their succulent pieces (and selling them fast) at events like the Fresno and Visalia home shows and the Old Town Flea Market in Clovis, as well as other shows around the state. They have officially started operating Kileen’s Garden Boutique out of their home, a lush garden paradise that Sean and Kileen have been, of course, renovating and landscaping themselves.
The couple also loves to cook and have combined their passions by hosting planting parties at their house. You can gather a group of your girlfriends and book an event for a bridal shower or just a chance to relax. Shane and Kileen will cook brunch, lunch or dinner – whatever works for you – and Kileen will help you with a succulent project of your choice. Prices start at about $25 per person for lunch and $40 for dinner, plus the cost of the project you choose.
“I really like the planting parties,” Kileen said. “I think it’s a lot of fun just getting women together and giving them that opportunity just to connect.”
If you’re like me and thinking right about now that this isn’t for you because you have more of a black thumb than a green one, you should know that succulents are among the easiest plants to take care of. Kileen says they “kind of thrive on neglect.” The key is to make sure not to overwater them, and let them have just a bit of sunshine to grow (not too much direct heat, or they’ll burn). They also won’t grow bigger than the pot where they are planted, so no worries about one suddenly bursting out of your wooden heart!
Kileen and Shane also make custom pieces for clients for gifts or special events. They’re currently working on centerpieces for an August wedding, as well as a bridal bouquet and boutonnieres that incorporate succulents. Shane can also create cement planters and plaques with special quotes and phrases, and Kileen likes to plant in garden fountains for even bigger works of art.
Kileen’s Garden Boutique will be at the Fresno Home Remodeling & Decorating Show on July 15-17 (which, by the way, there’s a great deal on tickets for at the Fresno Bee’s Dealsaver site right now). You can also buy a limited selection of pieces at Three Graces boutique in River Park. You can check out Kileen’s Facebook page to see more of her work, and contact her directly at email@example.com to request a custom order or book a planting party.
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