Lots of lovely gardens dot the Rim Country, but not everyone has a green thumb. For those would-be gardeners who have brown thumbs, attempts at gardening are pots of dirt with dead stems.
Steve and Bobbie Klavuhn are the salvation for the growing impaired. The couple opened Your Silk Garden in mid-June and have a wonderful assortment of life-like flowers, trees and decorative shrubbery to choose from.
"We sell the materials for customers to make their own pieces or we can do custom designs," Bobbie said.
"We do about 50-50," Steve said, with half their sales being materials for the do-it-yourselfers and the other half either arrangements from the floor or custom made.
Bobbie takes a couple of days to create a custom piece using materials in stock. If materials must be specially ordered, it takes her longer to create an arrangement. The shop's supplies come directly from importers with whom the couple developed relationships over the years.
Bobbie has been involved in all forms of floral and horticulture business for about 30 years. She had a live plant business, has done landscape design and for 18 years ran a wholesale silk plant business, working with interior designers and retail shops.
"I saw a need for artificials because we have so many empty-nesters and part-time residents," Bobbie said, adding that over the years she has seen artificial products become more realistic in appearance, helping customers extend the color themes of their homes into their floral accessories.
The most popular colors among her customers, Bobbie said, are rusty reds, golds and yellows.
"People are using deeper colors and getting away from the pastels," she said. The shop will start stocking fall and holiday materials in late September. In addition to the artificial flowers, trees and shrubs, Your Silk Garden carries home decor pieces.
"We have good quality materials and affordable prices," she said. "And we are very experienced in this business, though we're new to Payson."
The couple has owned property in the Rim Country for more than 20 years, but only built a residence six years ago.
"We've been trying to get up here ever since," she said.
Bobbie has lived in Arizona for 43 years, Steve for 34 years. Between them they have eight children, 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
The couple keeps the store open Wednesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The business has helped the Klavuhns integrate into the community. And when they are not working, one of their activities is the citizen leadership academy being offered by the town.
The shop is at 718 N. Beeline Highway. Call (928) 474-9576 or visit the website, www.yoursilkgarden.com for more information.