Sixteen years ago Kim Wright took an abandoned and dilapidated gas station from the 1920s and turned it into an oasis. She filled it with blooms and baubles, wind chimes and waterfalls, birdhouses and jewelry. 

"I love the creativity of it," Wright said. 

From High Street, the small shop in Downtown Auburn looks like it might be a garden shed. 

Don't be fooled. 

Inside, there are treasures to be discovered in every nook, and Wright's favorite part of the job is helping customers find that one particular item that's just right. She loves their excitement. 

"It's wonderful that I get to know the community around me," she said. 

In the last few years, she's noticed that community changing as more young families visit her store, and new businesses pop up around her. 

"They're excited about life in Auburn," Wright said. 

She's pleased to take part in events such as the Art Walk or Wine and Food Festival. She recently stayed open late during the inaugural Auburn Downtown CO-OP. 

On a warm day customers are happy to shop under the shade of bright umbrellas while listening to soft acoustic guitar and the gentle murmur of flowing waterfalls. 

The Meadow Vista resident and former landscape architect takes pride in ordering flora from small nurseries in Northern California. Everything is pesticide-free. 

"We're very green here," she said. 

It's a business model as green as Wright's thumb. 

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Avant Garden, located at 1085 High Street, will participate in the Art Walk from 6 to 9 p.m., Friday, August 4. 

For more information call 530-888-1510 or visit the store's website: AvantGarden.