GRENFELL, Sask. — An old-fashioned “building raising” is what got a Grenfell greenhouse off the ground.
Following in her family’s tradition of barn raisings, former social worker Michelle Berrecloth put out a call to friends and family in 2005 to help her move two greenhouses.
To Berrecloth’s surprise, more than 20 people arrived to take down two existing greenhouses and move them 12 kilometres to her Grenfell acreage, where they were reassembled and turned into Serenity Gardens.
“I wouldn’t have been able to get my business going otherwise, because the financial cost to hire a moving company to do that would have been huge and even to this day, everybody who helped has fond memories of how it all came to-gether,” said Berrecloth.
Serenity Gardens now boasts three buildings on the acreage and a retail outlet in Melville.
The 47-year-old entrepreneur built her greenhouse business on garden staples like tomatoes, petunias and geraniums, as well as out-of-the-ordinary items.
“Each year we’d add a few new varieties and from the positive customer response, we knew that was our niche,” said Berrecloth, who operates the business with her husband, Keith, and several employees.
Michelle orders her plants from across Canada and the United States, bringing in varieties that are not found in the typical greenhouse.
The greenhouse features 35 kinds of succulents and over 40 varieties of grasses. The Berrecloths has also expanded into shrubs, trees and water plants for ponds, as well as landscape design and installation services.
In addition to plants of all kinds, the Berrecloths pride themselves on offering a big dose of peace and tranquility to every greenhouse visitor.
Serenity Gardens features a pond and waterfall in one building and several seating areas.
Berrecloth said stressed shoppers who enter the doors always leave a little calmer.
Berrecloth said plants are ex-tremely conducive to creating a sense of peace and serenity.
“Mother Nature is so wonderful to us and sometimes all we need is that opportunity to stop and smell the roses,” she said.
The Berrecloths currently serve customers from Grenfell, Kipling and Windthorst and are planning to open a third location to accommodate their growing customer base in southeastern Saskatchewan.
“The plants are only a piece of what we do. We like to think of ourselves as a place where you can come in and leave your troubles at the door,” said Michelle.