Minooka woman’s greenhouse business blooming
By Denise Baran-Unland For The Herald-News May 10, 2012 1:18PM
The Painted Daisies sign outside Dawn Gossman's Minooka greenhouse. | submitted photo
If you go
What: The Painted Daisies greenhouse
When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays
Where: 10609 Schlapp Road in Minooka
What: Thousands of plants (mostly flowers), as well as organic tomatoes and peppers. Hanging baskets and antique glass basket holders.
Contact: 815-690-2363. Find Painted Daisies greenhouse on Facebook.
Updated: June 12, 2012 8:02AM
MINOOKA — After the truck pulled onto her property to unload her new $6,500 greenhouse, Dawn Gossman peeped inside and was horrified at what she saw.
“It came in 10,000 pieces,” Gossman said, “and that didn’t include the heating or the shelves. I was so overwhelmed. All the screws, nuts and pipes came in these bags and there were 10 different kinds of screws. My husband Mike came out to make sure everything was there and nothing was broken.”
But when Mike finished the assembly, Gossman, an extremely passionate gardener, saw the fruits of her decade-long dream — to own and operate her own greenhouse — finally come true.
When Gossman opened on April 28, she found 60 eager customers waiting to peruse her 10,000 plants (a hundred varieties of flowers, as well as organic peppers and tomatoes), multitude of basket arrangements and original antique glass basket stands, perfect for Mother’s Day.
“I love a hometown feeling and that seems to be missing these days,” Gossman said. “I want people to say, ‘Hey, there’s this lady on Schlapp Road and she’ll help you out.’”
The love of gardening, Gossman said, is in her blood. One of her earliest memories is walking through the yard of her great-grandfather’s Joliet home and admiring his garden. Gossman’s mother is so accomplished in gardening, friends have used her yard as a wedding spot.
Not until Gossman married Mike did her passion for the hobby bloom.
In their first home, which they rented, Gossman planted a small “postage stamp” garden. When they bought five acres in the country, Gossman’s creativity opened up.
“I’d want two of everything,” Gossman said, “And then, everything looked so pretty, I’d go back for more, but that got really expensive. That’s when I learned to grow my own.”
Her favorite? Petunias. They’re easy to grow, don’t require much work and bloom all summer, getting so “big and bushy” that they “fill everything in.”
“They’re happy wherever you plant them,” Gossman said. “You just put them in a basket or in the ground and they’ll just grow.”
Gossman is especially proud of her antique glass basket stands, which she fabricated from an assortment of recycled glass: old vases, candy bowls, plates, punch bowls. Stand sizes range from 2 feet to 3½ feet. She has made 14, but has already sold several.
“You think they’d be top heavy, but we had 50-60 mph winds here one day and not one flipped over,” Gossman said. “My daughter has one in her yard. A storm came through and knocked over a tree two feet away, but the glass did not fall over.”
Gossman hopes The Painted Daisies contributes to her family legacy of beautiful, first-class gardening.
She wants to root her grandchildren into a love of the hobby and produce a personalized, customer-friendly business that will also be a source of income for them.
“I think sometimes when you go into the big box stores, you got lost trying to figure out what you want,” Gossman said. “You need someone to walk you through it and say, ‘This goes in the shade; this needs sun; and this needs plenty of water.’”