Garden Craft: Nothing but Flowers

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

By Therese Ciesinski


The final product of one of Karvitz's artistic efforts.Karnitz has found a way to see past plastic’s dubious reputation to create something that actually celebrates the colors, textures, and shapes of things that people throw out.

“I’m trying to make beauty out of garbage,” she says. “I’m not trying to change people’s opinion on plastic, but just get them to think differently about things. We get used to thinking, ‘This is this and it can’t be that because it’s this’—that a milk jug is just a milk jug. But it doesn’t have to be.”

Even a family of four can drink only so much milk, so friends, neighbors, and local businesses help keep Karnitz supplied with material. “‘Can I have that?’ is now my signature phrase,” Karnitz laughs. “And nobody likes going to the supermarket with me, because I spend so much time looking at all the plastic containers.”

Keep Reading: Learn How to Make Twist-Tie Flowers

Images: Thomas MacDonald