San Diego Life: The Flower Girls

Unconventional Planters

For most people, a teakettle is something you use to boil water. Right? And cowboy boots are used to cover your feet. 




Not for San Diegans Bette Childs and Joanie Espy. To these self-described “retired ladies of a certain age,” nearly any inanimate object you could name is an ideal candidate to be … a plant container.


Childs and Espy will drill a hole in just about anything they can get their hands on and fill it with dirt and plants that might range from hydrangeas to succulents and beyond.


They call themselves “The Flower Girls.” They met about 30 years ago when both were working as educators. As Childs watched her son succeed as a wholesale grower in North County, she decided to purchase some plants to start up a hobby. 


That hobby turned into a profitable business. 


The two women now participate in garden shows all over San Diego and Orange County, and they help plan floral arrangements for weddings. After 10 years of hard work, The Flower Girls have produced hundreds of plant containers, and have people calling from all over for gardening advice.


Their clientele consist mostly of middle-aged women, and the biggest seller has been the cowboy boots. Childs says they’ve planted and sold about 100 boots, but the containers can be anything — from a soap dish to a rocking chair.


The Flower Girls no longer feel the need to post pictures online or keep a website updated. They’ve gone low key — but they’ll still dish out advice to anybody who asks.


Their passion for flowers is still in bloom. “People don’t realize that when you get a plant, you do have to pay some attention to it,” says Espy. “It’s real, it’s alive.”


To contact The Flower Girls, call 760-753-1984.    — Melissa Rauch

Categories: Lifestyles