Two new floral, plant stores open in Marion

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Tamara Christensen (left photo) of Plantations, and Denise Matz (left in right photo) and Wendy Youk of Aunt Bee?s are enthused about their new ventures. Plantations focuses on floral art while Aunt Bee?s emphasizes landscaping needs. Click to enlarge.

With the arrival of spring, two new horticulture businesses have sprouted in Marion?s retail business district.

Plantations, owned and operated by Tamara Christiansen at 420 E. Main, celebrated its grand opening March 21.

Aunt Bee?s Floral, Garden Center & Gifts, owned and operated by Wendy Youk, is having its grand opening today, April 4, at 1201 E. Main.


Christiansen, 35, expects you to notice a difference in styles, ?something more eclectic,? when you walk in to her floral shop next door to Shelter Insurance on Main Street.

Christiansen said she has been in graphic arts most of her career, and is excited about approaching floristry as a new art form, something dimensional almost like sculpting.

?We?ll have a different look, a more imaginative type of creation,? she said. ?We won?t do just the basic old bouquet. We?ll rev it up a little.?

Christiansen is a lifetime resident of Marion County, the daughter of Don and Betty Stenzel, who live northeast of Marion Reservoir, and the wife of Gary Christiansen at Durham, who feeds cattle.

She and her employee, Darla Gore, who last worked as a florist in Marion for Shirley Jo Hett, also want to provide Marion with a more unique offering of potted plants. If you want a bamboo plant, Plantations will be a place to get one.

?It will be something different?with a unique feel to it,? she said.

Meanwhile, at Aunt Bee?s, Youk, 39, is thrilled to be in her new floral shop, but she can?t help shed a tear, too, because the shop is the fulfillment of a dream she shared with her father, Irvin Brunner.

Aunt Bee?s is in the former Main Street Floral buildings on East Main east of Carlson?s Grocery.

Brunner died before realizing this retirement dream, Youk said. He and his wife, Tudy, moved their construction company from the Ramona area, where Youk grew up gardening with him, to Marion.

She still has a family advantage in her new business, she said, because her husband, Justin Youk, manages the golf greens for Marion Country Club. He will advise her on carrying a much-extended line of lawn and garden chemicals and merchandise.

She also plans to carry bedding and vegetable plants, and grass seed.

Also working for Youk is Denise Matz, who has 32 years experience as a florist in Marion.

?I started just out of high school,? Matz said.

Youk, who is eager to start floral design work for customers, may be recognizable to them from her former employments at State Farm Insurance and Central National Bank in Marion.

She said she selected the name ?Aunt Bee?s? for her business because it is easily recognized, and remembered from the old Andy Griffith television show.

But, she said, she and her father were such frequent shoppers for plants grown by Margie Stroda that Stroda has suggested she might have named her shop, ?Margie?s Fault.?

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