In case you missed the exciting news about our first project in 2021, we’re building a GREENHOUSE! This dream stems from years of ideas and dreaming that both Heather and Fawn have had; …and now we’re making the magic happen and getting this ball rolling.
Here’s Heather with her vision, her mindset, and chat with Kerri of Bloom Greenhouse.
Often times, I have ALL of the ideas, but when it comes to the implementation, I get stuck and don’t know where to even begin. I’m no builder. So before I sit on this idea and let it slip away from me with fear of not having enough money to start, or fear of making a big mistake, I’m simply just going to put one foot in front of the other and do the dang thing.
Thankfully, our community has rallied around this dream with us and they’re totally on board. It’s going to be a TEAM effort. One that we are really excited to share with others to both encourage and empower women (and me too!) with hands-on experience of how to build something with their own two hands.
I start every project with inspiration. Through all of my searches of greenhouse inspirations, I always seemed to land back at one in particular: Bloom Greenhouse. I mean, look at this MAGICAL place!
We connected with Kerri on IG and her willingness to share all of her knowledge and advice with us gave us so much empowerment. Here’s our conversation about
Q: Reading through the comments on your instagram on every single post, your greenhouse has provided SO much inspiration and beauty for so many people. Was this the impact you expected to receive?
A: Oh goodness no but it has been such a wonderful thing – being part of a community that shares a love for gardening, flowers and nature. I am certain I receive way more inspiration than I give, but it makes me happy if I can brighten someone’s day just a little with a kind word, an inspiring quote and a pretty picture. My original thought for the Instagram account was just to share the photos that I enjoy taking with my family and friends. It was such a nice surprise (and really a blessing based on all the friendships I’ve formed) when it blossomed into something more.
Q: Tell us about your vision for creating the greenhouse. What was your inspiration? Why did you build?
A: The vision was to have a space for entertaining as well as gardening, starting seeds and storing my plants in the winter. I adore flowers and love having fresh flowers in the house, so my dream was just to be able to go out in the yard and cut flowers for a bouquet. I am also a huge lover of vintage things, so I knew I wanted to incorporate vintage windows and other vintage pieces in and around the greenhouse. I annoyed my husband for a few years with this idea before we actually tackled the project. I showed him hundreds of greenhouse and garden pins on Pinterest – he maybe started the project just so I would stop with the Pinterest overload! One year for Christmas he surprised me with a collection of vintage windows he’d been on the look out for (mostly from our favorite local vintage store – Belle Starr Vintage Market) and that is when the idea really started to take shape.
Q: What is the function of your greenhouse? How do you use the space?
A: We use this space in so many ways!
Gardening – In the winter it is a place for seed starting and storing plants. The gardens around the greenhouse are my cut-flower haven and I use those for bouquets for the house and for friends/family. I also like to grow herbs for cooking – rosemary, basil, thyme, mint and oregano are my favorites. Last year we planted a couple of vegetable gardens behind the greenhouse as well so we enjoyed, tomatoes, peppers, squash, zucchini, watermelon, eggplant all throughout the summer.
Hanging out – when it’s cold outside and we need a change of scenery, we sit around the table in the toasty, warm greenhouse playing board games, listening to music and enjoying the sunset. We also use the fire pit quite often and I’ve been known to assemble the makings of a pretty yummy and elaborate s’mores bar, which is a family favorite. In the warmer months, we take our dinner out to the table on the deck and enjoy the twinkle lights and the view.
Entertaining – last year we added a deck around the greenhouse that we have truly enjoyed. The large farmhouse table on the deck is the perfect spot for a family dinner, Mother’s day brunch, book club or a small bridal shower. Covid times have made entertaining a challenge, but small family gatherings have worked well outside, allowing us to social distance and still enjoy each other’s company.
Photo shoots – just this fall we encountered an increased interest from photographers who wanted to do shoots in our backyard. I created a basic website to allow them to book a spot online and during the fall and Christmas season we hosted dozens of photographers and countless numbers of families, couples, pets, and high school seniors. I love seeing the creativity and style of each photographer. One of the most beautiful shoots was a marriage proposal on Christmas eve!
Q: Do you grow plants in your greenhouse? What do you plant each season?
A: The greenhouse is great for starting seeds! My favorite flowers to start in the greenhouse are sweet peas, zinnias, cosmos, lavatera, godetia and china asters. I also enjoy starting tomato and pepper plants.
Q: What materials did you use to build the greenhouse?
A: Vintage windows, custom safety glass panels on the sides, polycarbonate panels for the roofing, concrete blocks for the foundation, masonite shake shingle siding, reclaimed cedar used for trim, 8 x 8 cedar beams. I would link but most all our supplies were from our local lumber company.
Q: What were your steps for building?
- We sketched out what we thought we wanted the greenhouse to look like based on the vintage windows we had.
- From there we had the ground leveled and then set the corner posts.
- The foundation is concrete blocks and the floor is pea gravel on top of the leveled pad.
- The first step to building the structure was framing the knee wall on top of the blocks.
- The front and back windows were then framed in as well as the door openings, side lights and the top plate.
- The roof trusses were next. We had them built by our local lumber company and painted them before we put them up, spacing them and bracing each one to the next one.
- Once the trusses were secure, 1 x 4 ridge nailers and deck nailers were attached to allow us to screw in the polycarbonate panels for the roof.
- The shake shingle siding was attached to the frame and we installed the doors and the vintage windows.
- A local glass company installed the long safety glass side windows and the glass in the gables.
- From there we trimmed out the structure with reclaimed cedar and gave everything a coat of white paint.
Q: What was the overall investment of your greenhouse?
A: I think we have around $9,000 in the greenhouse and with the exception of the custom safety glass, my husband did most of the construction himself. I wish I would’ve tracked our spending in each category a little closer so I could provide better estimates for each, but these were the major categories and guesstimates for each.
- Lumber – $3,000
- Beams – $200
- Doors – $350
- Paint – $150
- Water – $1,200
- Electric – $1,200
- Roofing – $600
- Guttering – $200
- Custom Glass – $2,500
- The deck was an add on project so not included in our initial investment.
Q: Were there any lessons you learned along the way or things you wish you knew before starting the project?
A: If we had it to do over again we would likely have built on a concrete slab and included a way to easier ventilate in the gable ends. We keep the doors open and use fans out there in the summer and it works pretty well.
Q: Do you have any wisdom to share with us before we begin to build our greenhouse?
A: Take your time and look for ways to include personal, meaningful touches. For instance the counters in our greenhouse are made from pine trees that my husband’s grandfather planted 50 years ago and had to be cut down because they were destroying a street.
Q: What is your hope for your greenhouse?
A: I hope it continues to be a family gathering place and a source of peace and calm. If it offers inspiration to someone, that makes me happy. If it serves a backdrop to a priceless memory or a family photo, I’m glad to have been a small part of that. It’s a spot of joy in a crazy world and I hope I can continue to share it with others.
Connect with Kerri
Connect with Kerri’s social media accounts and follow her beautiful flower journey using the information below!
Purchase Greenhouse Plans: https://bloomgreenhouseok.com/ols/products/bloom-greenhouse-plans
PIN FOR LATER