A vintage window greenhouse

There once was a girl named Crystal. She was a dreamer. She loved animals, big open skies and adventures.


There once was a boy named Bentley. He was a do-er. He loved cars, hockey and building stuff.


They met. They laughed. They talked and talked and talked.

They fell in love and eventually got married.

They laughed until Crystal would cry.

They talked and dreamt and planned.

Garden bike at Sunset

Crystal loved garage and estate sales. She often called Bentley to pick up her latest finds when they wouldn’t fit in her vehicle. Like lots of old iron gates and fence pieces.

Vintage Gates

Or this enormous old iron chandelier.

Iron Chandelier

She met so many interesting people, like the man who had recently gotten out of prison and had tears tattooed under his eye. His story made her cry and has stayed with her to this day.

Flower Market

One day she began collecting old windows. Her favorites were the ones that opened or had many panes.

Grateful in the Greenhouse

Bentley got in on the window collecting and one day he surprised Crystal with a matching set of windows that were five feet tall and eight feed long and had many panes. Crystal was in heaven. She realized these two windows would make great walls and the big dream began.

They would make perfect walls for a greenhouse!

Garden bike

“A greenhouse?” Bentley exclaimed!

“Yes a greeenhouse! I want to have a pretty little greenhouse that makes me smile every time I see it and then I can start seeds in every spring. And I want it made out of these old windows you and I have been collecting.”


“That will be impossible to put together” said Bentley.

“I know you will figure it out” said Crystal.

And he did. He laid out the windows and started putting them together like a jigsaw puzzle. It was hard and he got frustrated but he worked and he worked. Where there was no window for the spot, he cut a piece of glass, made a frame and suddenly it all fit together.

Greenhouse lower view

What to do for the roof though? Crystal scanned the classifieds and what did she find? Railing glass! Bentley quickly picked up this prize of a find and there…they had a roof!

Golden Hour Greenhouse
Golden hour greenhouse 800 wide

She was so pretty, but there was one thing missing. She needed a name. They pondered and thought and when they came together they both had the same name in mind…Annie. Annie was Bentley’s mom and she loved to hit up garage and estate sales and bring home all her treasures to fix, clean and sometimes repurpose. So in remembrance of this amazing woman, the sweet, pretty greenhouse was named.

Annie (the greenhouse) travelled with Bentley and Crystal from house to house. Each time Bentley would take her apart, always forgetting to draw a sketch of how to put her back together. They would arrive at the new house and Crystal would impatiently wait for Bentley to put Annie back together. It took time, he would get annoyed but eventually Annie would spring to life in her new location.

Crystal delighted in dressing Annie up for all occasions. Check out the post “Stroll through a Christmas Past” to see her all decked out for Christmas.

Valentines in the Greenhouse

She lived in a field.

She lived on a peninsula.

Rainbow over Greenhouse

Finally she found her perfect spot. Perched up on a rocky outcropping, overlooking a vast lake under a big open sky. The property came to be known as Sweet Valley Acres and Annie was the crowning jewel!

Greenhouse with sunset

Crystal was a dreamer who loved big open skies.

Bentley was a do-er who loved building stuff.

Together, Annie, the greenhouse was their creation.

White greenhouse with blue door with picket fence around it and lake in background.  Twig bike leaning up against the greenhouse.

What do you think?

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  • Marieza
    August 10, 2021

    Oh my gosh, this is the sweetest story ever and you told it beautifully! Annie is truly a work of art.

    • Crystal
      August 10, 2021

      Thanks so much Marieza – your comment means so much to me!

  • Marlene
    August 10, 2021

    So glad Annie found her forever home in such a beautiful place. Now Annie can really shine and be so pretty, I love your story, thank you for sharing.

    • Crystal
      August 10, 2021

      Thank you so very much Marlene! I agree – she really is shining in this spot. Can’t wait to get more flowers growing around her. We had such problems with marmots eating everything this year but now have the area secured so next year the sky will be the limit for color!

  • Allison Dell
    August 11, 2021

    This is such a beautiful story! The photographs are stunning and learning how this lovely greenhouse became reality, has travelled with the two of you and found the perfect home makes it perfectly endearing. Well done! Annie is a show-stopper. ♥️

    • Crystal
      August 11, 2021

      Allison your comment is so lovely! Thank you – I love it when people get wrapped up in the story and it comes to life for them so that they can experience it too! Annie certainly is a showstopper on my Instagram account haha!

  • Dee Cottage Comforts Home
    August 13, 2021

    Crystal, I loooved reading the story of Annie! It spoke everything to my vintage loving, bargain hunting, garden loving heart! I love her name, what a sweet way to remember and honor your mother-in-law. 💖💖💖 Your setting is so beautiful too, and Annie through her travels is at the perfect location!

    • Crystal
      August 14, 2021

      Thanks so much Dee! I love that it spoke to you – that is what I hoped for, for all readers! I truly appreciate your comment!

  • Cindy
    August 13, 2021

    Your story is so sweet! I have had a dream of building a studio from vintage and reclaimed windows. You have inspired me to not give up on that dream! Pinning!

    • Crystal
      August 14, 2021

      Cindy – that is wonderful! Do not give up on this dream! You will love it – they are such a beautiful and peaceful spot to retreat to and be creative

  • Linda
    August 14, 2021

    I love Annie’s story! She is absolutely gorgeous!

    • Crystal
      August 14, 2021

      Thanks so much Linda! She sure is my little slice of heaven!

  • Marie
    August 14, 2021

    What a sweet story!! Ha ha your husband is a trooper and sounds like a great guy. If you ever take Annie down again, you will need to take photos for a blog post on how to make a DIY greenhouse from salvage windows!!

    • Crystal
      August 14, 2021

      Well I hope we never have to take her down again but I am hoping for a bigger version at at different spot on our property so I could use that one for a DIY!

  • Leslie Watkins
    August 15, 2021

    Oh, I love this sweet story so much. And Annie is stunning! I think she has found her best spot now. Those views are beautiful and she is the perfect addition. You’ve inspired me to look for windows. Who knows…we might need an Annie in our life…to remember my mother in law with the same name.❤️

    • Crystal
      August 17, 2021

      Oh Leslie – I love your message and I hope that you do get your very own Annie!!!

  • Nannette
    August 11, 2023

    Love your ideas, Crystal!!! Thanks for sharing them. They all make me smile, especially “Annie!” 😊

    • Crystal
      August 12, 2023

      Awww thanks so much Nannette – what a sweet and beautiful comment. I appreciate it so much!