Karen Boyce, who runs a Plant Nanny business, enjoys a Friday afternoon of preparing flowers for display at a southern Carroll home.
Karen Boyce, who runs a Plant Nanny business, enjoys a Friday afternoon of preparing flowers for display at a southern Carroll home.
April 21, 2014



Karen Boyce says her thriving Carroll-based Plant Nanny business sprouted from a sixth-grade seed.

Literally.

As a student in Cleo Tilton's class at Fariview, Boyce, now 48, joined other class members - and years of students who had the retired teacher - in maintaining a plant for a project. It involved research on the plant, and lots of tender love and care, with a healthy watering of responsibility.

"I realized my love of plants in the sixth grade," Boyce said. "I figured out whatever I did makes it live or not."

In August 2010, Boyce launched The Plant Nanny. She designs, plants and cares for indoor and outdoor plant settings and flower beds. She started watering plants and flowers for people on vacation but quickly grew into a residential and commercial provider with the design aspect. Boyce today counts Farner-Bocken, Iowa Savings Bank and Mac's Corner Cafe as clients.

"I guess I feel I've grown into what I want my business to be," Boyce said.

A daughter of Darrell and Sarah Schettler, Karen Boyce grew up in Carroll, graduating from Carroll High School in 1984. She went on to University of South Dakota and earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education. She taught nine years at Holy Spirit Catholic School and has been involved with the Area Education Agency.

She's also been involved with Boyce Monumental Sales through the years.

Her husband of nearly 25 years, Loren Boyce, is joined by the couple's two sons, Alex, 24, and Aaron, 22, both of Carroll, in the family monument business. Their daughter, Micaela, 18, is a senior at Kuemper Catholic High School who will attend Iowa State University and major in design.

Boyce gives a great deal of credit to Gina Bauck, the former owner of Enchanted Gardens in Carroll who now lives in Sioux Falls, S.D., for her cultivating her career in horticulture.

"Just working there, I discovered, 'Oh, my gosh, I love plants,'" Boyce said.

As for specific plants and flowers, Boyce said she's drawn to hydrangeas, tulips, magnolias, hibiscus, Lantana, the Kimberly Queen fern and Gerbera daisies.

"I love all sorts," Boyce said. "I feel so happy because these are God's gifts. I love to treat them the way they deserve.