OXFORD — The summer season for a new rural greenhouse is coming to a close.  Be Happy Flower Company, 157 Sam Rowe Hill, owner and grower Chris Twitchell said it has been a very successful season, thanks to the Oxford Hills community. As a way to give back to the community, and to help remaining flowers find new homes, Twitchell is planning a special event for the season ending weekend, Aug 2-4.

Chris Twitchell, owner of Be Happy Flower Company says watering the flowers puts her in a zen zone. “Deadheading, not so much,” she says. Dee Menear/Advertiser Democrat

“I retired two years ago,” Twitchell said. “I spent 42 years in banking. I loved my job but felt there had to be something else to do where I could express my artistic side.”

LuAnn Hall of Hebron shops for plants at Be Happy Flower Company. Dee Menear/Advertiser Democrat

As a gardener, she thought running a flower growing business on the family farm would be a good way to tap into that artistic need. Since she had no experience as a grower, Twitchell decided to start small.

“Last year didn’t work out well,” she said. “I started geraniums. They didn’t bloom until September. Plus, I was working in my husband’s shop and he really wanted me to leave.”

She talked to growers and realized she needed a greenhouse.

“I found growers were more than happy to answer questions, offer advice, and help when I needed it,” she said.

Her husband, David Twitchell, said if she bought a greenhouse, he would make sure it was put together.

She also needed her own work space. The couple transformed a bay in one of the barns on their property into what Chris Twitchell calls her she-shed, giving her a place to work and set up shop. She bought a greenhouse and David fulfilled his promise.

Be Happy Flower Company mascot Charlie. Dee Menear/Advertiser Democrat

Then the real work began.

“It really did take a village to get this up and running,” she said. “Early in the spring, my friends arrived to help me transplant thousands of plant plugs. It took a couple of weekends to get it all done. Without their help, I never would have made it”

Be Happy Flower Company carries basic flowers such as petunias and cosmos. There are also a variety of unique plants like lisianthus, a tall-stemmed flower with a white bud.

“When the bud flowers, it turns purple,” she explained. “It is the most beautiful thing.”

Mostly the stock is of the annual variety but a few perennials are available.

There is also a selection of gift items and herbs to be had, as well as an assortment of succulents planted in unique containers found at yard sales.

Pairing succulents with containers found at yard sales and animal figurines give Chris Twitchell a chance to be creative. Dee Menear/Advertiser Democrat

“Each one has an animal in it,” she said of the succulent pots. “A lot of thought goes into what fits with each plant. They are a lot of fun to put together.”

The Oxford Hills community has been very supportive, she said. Word spread quickly as customers told their family and friends about the rural greenhouse.

LuAnn Hall of Hebron was recently on her second trip to the greenhouse. “My sister told me about this place,” she said. “Chris is the nicest lady and she has rescue animals, which is so neat.”

Indeed, there is a collection of rescue animals living on the property. Customers are likely to be greeted by Timber, a friendly black lab who came to the farm from somewhere in the Carolinas. The Twitchells also have horses and a pony, most of which are rescues.

As the end of the season winds down, Twitchell will be using her business to support her passion for animals.

Chris Twitchell, owner of Be Happy Flower Company, feeds a cracker to rescue pony Owen. Rose, a Belgian/Clydesdale cross, came to the farm almost 15 years ago after shin splints made her invaluable to the Canadian logging company that owned her. “These two are inseparable,” said Twitchell. Dee Menear/Advertiser Democrat

During the end of season sale, Friday, Aug 2 through Sunday, Aug 4, Twitchell will drastically reduce pricing on plants, pots, 6-packs and hanging baskets for customers who bring in a donation for Responsible Pet Care of Oxford Hills. Needed items, she said, are laundry soap, paper towels, 100% pure canned pumpkin, bunny shavings, Friskies canned pate cat food, Nylar bones, Kongs, Frisbees, marrow meat bones and frozen meatballs.

“I can’t throw away flowers,” she said. “they are living things. Most of our animals are rescues, so this just seems natural.”

Be Happy Flower Company will be closed after the sale until September, when it will open freshly stocked with fall flowers.

For more information, visit Be Happy Flower Company on Facebook or call 603-770-5082.

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