Just before the coronavirus curtain came down, I was set to introduce — or reintroduce — my Noozhawk readers to the newly inspired destination garden and gift shop, Botanik, in Summerland.
Owner Molly Hutto had been working since the first of the year to build a small greenhouse and pergolas to better show off her merchandise.
“The greenhouse creates another room in the garden,” she said. “I wanted to create more intimate destinations for clients to wander through, trying to leverage the full experience of Botanik.”
The store at 2329 Lillie Ave. has a tradition of always re-creating and refreshing its interior and exterior. And, for decades, customers like me have enjoyed exploring all the nooks and crannies in “this old house,” discovering unique and timeless treasures for our homes and plants for our patios.
Everything at Botanik is charming and inviting with breathtakingly beautiful orchids in unique containers, candles, books, vases, furniture, pillows and throws.
Outside, you’ll find gardens of succulents and herbs, lush greenery, fountains, outdoor furniture and floor coverings, aged terra cotta pottery and more classic neutral pottery.
“I tend to stick with classic, simple pieces for the store,” Hutto explained. “Lots of textures and layers. I like adding in a bit of old found accessories to bring life and history into design.”
Hutto started her retail career at Botanik in 2001, and eventually bought the place from former owner Erin Taylor in 2015. It was an easy transition, and she and her enthusiastic team continue to create moments and designs for the store together.
Although the COVID-19 restrictions turned Summerland into a ghost town, the newly opened Sweet Wheel & Flowers has heralded a bit of a rebirth for the community.
During the quarantine, Hutto says, she’s kept herself busy by listening to music while working in her garden and preparing for a new future.
Botanik qualified to reopen its outside area last week with masks and other public health precautions, but it’s refreshing to see some semblance of the familiar return to Summerland. For Hutto and her fellow merchants, that day can’t come soon enough.
— Judy Foreman is a Noozhawk columnist and longtime local writer and lifestyles observer. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.