The Greenhouse complex sits in a dreamy space tucked behind the Good Neighbor shop along Falls Road. A love of living things—plant design, terrariums, dried flowers, bouquets—brought owners Alyssa Zygmunt and Amanda Fennell Andrews together. That lead to Zygmunt hiring Fennell Andrews for freelance work on a “botanical-based” wedding she was designing the flower arrangements for. Afterward, they hit it off both professionally and personally and began meeting regularly for drinks and brainstorming sessions while continuing to collaborate on more events. “We knew this could be a successful professional marriage,” says Fennell Andrews. Right around that time, Shawn Chopra was getting ready to open Good Neighbor coffee and home goods shop and looking to partner with a florist. And while the plan was initially to just provide plants and bouquets for sale alongside the matcha lattes, an abandoned garage at the top of the hill on the property kept beckoning. “It would be a good storage space,” Chopra had told them. But Zygmunt and Fennell Andrews instead envisioned a combination greenhouse, retail space, and floral studio for their fledgling business. But there was one problem. It was a garage, not a greenhouse. The solution? Building a custom glasshouse as a natural extension of the existing building. “It was like an old-fashioned barn raising,” Zygmunt says of the experience. The two signed the lease in March, just as COVID was ramping up, and used that time to completely transform the green space. Digging in the dirt, getting their hands dirty, and planting new life became cathartic. Although the timing to open a business, especially one that relies on retail and events, was tough, they opened their doors officially at the end of August 2020. They designed a few micro weddings in late summer and then into the fall and are currently consulting with couples looking to book weddings down the road.
And while Zygmunt and Fennell Andrews will always treasure their roots as event designers, they’re starting to get the hang of this shop owner thing, too. Customers still seem slightly overwhelmed by the shop, says Zygmunt. It’s not the size, since it has a one-room schoolhouse feel, but the overall vibe of it—an Instagram-worthy place full of plants, containers, and an impressive dried flower bar for DIY bouquets in brilliant hues. “Nothing else exists like this,” customers will say, mouths agape. And Fennell Andrews and Zygmunt’s passion and energy fills the space like overgrown ivy. They can’t resist gushing about their plants. They just love seeing a shopper claiming a plant, like they would a puppy: “This one is coming home with me.” The greenhouse—with its separate entrance—allows a moment of Zen alone with the plants, and people often emerge with huge smiles on their faces. “All of this—the plants, flowers, beautiful objects, and celebrating,” says Fennell Andrews, gesturing around, “it’s healing.”