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Pratt greenhouse sprouts new branch

Fran Brownell
Pratt entrepreneurs Heather and Slade Giesen are now doing business from added greenhouse space in the backyard of their residence at 806 South Pearl. Daughter, Indy, was a special addition nine months ago.

What first took root as a backyard hobby adventure for Pratt plant-lovers Heather and Slade Giesen just over a year ago has blossomed into a full-fledged greenhouse business venture that is sprouting a new branch in Wichita as well.

“Because we had such positive feedback from the community last year, building this new greenhouse was a no-brainer,” said Heather, who switched her hobby to a full-time career, leaving her position as manager of Maurice’s in Pratt a month ago, to pursue their dream.

Heather also joined the ranks of motherhood with the birth of their daughter Indy on October 1, 2019.

Giesen Greenhouse is still located in the backyard of the Giesen residence at 806 South Pearl and plans are on track, Heather said, to open a GROW Giesen Plant Shop in Wichita in August.

Friends and family—including Heather’s dad Brad Applegarth, her grandfather Gary Applegarth and Slade’s dad Mike Giesen—provided helping hands to bring the vision to reality.

‘We’re a backyard boutique greenhouse with cactus, succulents, houseplants, featuring events, workshops and more,” Heather said.

“Our new greenhouse has increased our space for inventory and it’s functionable year-round so that we can sell our plants through every season,” said Heather, who keeps fans updated on happenings and hours via Facebook, Instagram and the business website.

“It's amazing being able to work with plants the way I am, connect with people in our community, connect with local artists and be a space they can have their work displayed,” Heather said. “It's truly my dream coming true. “

Heather said Giesen Greenhouse is specific to tropicals, houseplants, succulents, air plants, pots and soil and also features jewelry and pottery handiwork of local artists.

One of the features of Giesen Greenhouse Facebook site is “Artist of the Month,” currently spotlighting Emilie Steffen-Smith of Pratt, with her Good Ancestors Design creations.

“Good Ancestors Design is upcycled, vintage and handmade items,” Heather said. “Emilie is designing pieces specifically for our greenhouse for all things plants. She truly makes one-of-a kind items.”

Giesen Greenhouse is also a venue for other area artist vendors to display and sell their handiwork of plant-specific pieces designed to complement Giesen Greenhouse.

Current vendors are EZB Creations of Pratt by Emmalee Zeeli, with macramé designs to hold plants, Uniquely-Created by Kailey Hamm of Pratt with a display of clay earrings, Zinab Chahine of ctrl+z Jewelry of Wichita with handmade jewelry made from real plants and flowers and Rebecca McCray of Pratt with painted pots with plant-related sayings.

Heather who’s known to family and friends as “The Plant Whisperer” likes the moniker.

“Connecting people through a common passion of plants is important to me,” Heather said. “That is where my passion for plants and people comes in. I do not believe that a person has a black thumb or is unable to be a thriving plant parent.”

Heather said success in caring for plants has many factors including where a plant is placed and how much of little light and water is provided.

Successful plant parenting, Heather said, relies on plant education.

“Plants are not created equal. We must treat them as the unique beings that they are,” Heather said.

The Giesen Greenhouse Facebook site with 1,700-plus followers features a slide-show pictorial of the new greenhouse and provides contact information and the business website, www.giesengreenhouse.com, provides information about upcoming events.