Garden Craft: Nothing but Flowers

A Tennessee artist turns landfill-bound plastic into blooming beauty.

By Therese Ciesinski


The Eco Flowers from Karvitz began as somewhat of a fluke.The Eco Flowers began as a handmade Christmas present. Karnitz’s sister is an avid gardener and passionate recycler. Karnitz wanted to create flowers her sister could enjoy in winter and knew she’d appreciate them even more if they were made from what otherwise might be cast off.

“I gave her a dozen flowers wrapped in a plastic bag. She loved them,” Karnitz says. “I had intended they be ‘planted’ outside so she could have flowers in the winter, but she put them in a vase and they stayed indoors. Once the gift was made, I thought I was done. But people were so intrigued; they kept asking, ‘What are they?’ My sister encouraged me to keep making them.”

Two other reasons Karnitz keeps making them are her sons, ages 4 and 6, who like to make art alongside their mother. Painting in oils requires toxic chemicals and solvents, substances Karnitz doesn’t want around her boys. The Eco Flowers are something they can safely help with. “They give me the straws from their juice boxes,” she says.