IF THE Japanese proverb that says happiness is to hold flowers in both hands is true, Sharon Guntherberg is one of the happiest people in Lincoln County, if not the world. And it’s a happiness she shares with others.
At her home in Elora, Tennessee, Guntherberg owns and operates The Greenhouse. What began as one greenhouse 35 years ago has grown into 10, with one filled exclusively with ferns and another with all geraniums. Hanging pots, baskets, and flats hold more than flowers and vegetables; they hold the hope of each spring season.
“I see people get so excited. I don’t have any negativity. Some places of business might have rudeness or negativity, but being in a flower nursery business, everybody’s happy. In spring, we’re able to experience new beginnings,” Guntherberg said.
People come from miles away and return year after year to The Greenhouse.
Guntherberg said, “I’ve had people come from 100 miles away that have been coming here for years. People come from Town Creek, Alabama, Nashville, SpringHill, Tullahoma, Winchester, Fayetteville, and Huntsville. Some I’ve seen for 25 years. They’ll come once a year and take their plants back home.”
With no formal education in horticulture, Guntherburg left her banking career and opened a single greenhouse. A Huntsville nurseryman that she met in banking, encouraged her and watched over her, her first year. At his suggestion she grew plants in 4-inch pots, and he purchased them for his landscaping business. Things grew from there.
Guntherburg’s husband of 51 years, Steve, is a retired science teacher and has a specific job in the greenhouses. “I put him in charge of vegetables,” Sharon said. It’s year-round work.
April’s ferns grow from 1-inch plugs that Sharon plants in August and another crop that she plants in the summer.
Sharon plants perennials in the fall. Planting, watering, arranging, rearranging, and waiting on customers, is challenging but rewarding work.
In addition to ferns and geraniums, fillers and perennials are popular
with her customers. There are four greenhouses filled with hanging baskets arranged by Sharon and offered in three sizes. Be sure there’s plenty of room in your vehicle to take home your favorite plants, and plan time to wander among the blooms. You’ll leave with a handful of happiness. -GN