Soon, Waco natives won’t be the only ones to mosey down the pothole-infested gravel road to Bonnie’s Greenhouse. HGTV’s Fixer Upper will feature the backyard business in this upcoming season, and with that owners Sandra and Johnny Killough said they are excited to see an increase in their already growing business.
“[Joanna Gaines] has shopped here for years,” Johnny said. “Even before they got their show, she has always shopped here.”
It’s easy to see why. Whether a visitor is strolling through the rose garden amongst the chattering guinea hens or stopping by to catch up with an old friend that works there, Bonnie’s has the kind of charm that makes it easy to lose track of time.
Despite not having the wide-scale reputation of franchises like Home Depot or Lowe’s, Bonnie’s offers locals something more.
“When someone walks in the gate we meet them,” Johnny said. “People know they can come here, and they can get the answers they want.”
Throughout the years, the couple has developed countless friendships with their customers.
“You touch so many people with this,” Sandra said. “It’s not about making the million bucks, it’s about the friendships that we make along the way.”
Sandra began working at Bonnie’s Greenhouse when it was still owned by the original Bonnie herself.
“She was a mentor to me,” Sandra said. “She taught me everything I know.”
With her husband working as a truck driver, Bonnie Murphy had some time on her hands. She had been in various garden clubs, and soon she started her backyard business when she got the idea to sell her surplus flowers.
Bonnie’s became known for its antique roses, irises, daylilies, hibiscuses and herbs. As the business has blossomed, what have stayed the same are the close-knit relationships among employees and customers.
“I didn’t treat my workers as employees, I treated them as friends,” Murphy said.
Sandra and Johnny purchased the business from Murphy in 2007 and have been running it with a “hands-on” approach ever since.
“It was a good transition,” Sandra said. “She said she would only sell it to me because I had worked here all these years and loved it like it was my own.”
Many loyal customers were concerned for the future of Bonnie’s when Sandra and Johnny took over.
“A lot of people told me it’ll never be like it was,” Sandra said. “So we wanted to keep it the same sweet place, but we wanted to make it better.”
Since purchasing Bonnie’s, they’ve added trees, shrubs, vegetables and Sandra’s popular, whimsical decorations called “fairy gardens”.
Over three quarters of the plants they sell are grown themselves, and some are more exotic than others. For example, the Hojo Santa, informally called the “Root Beer plant” gets its name for the distinct fragrance it produces.
While Bonnie’s is not certified organic, since it’s “a lot of red tape,” they don’t use chemicals on any of their plants.
“They might not be the prettiest or the biggest you could find at other places, but they’re grown without chemicals,” Sandra said.
Additionally, Bonnie’s offers classes that teach customers everything from how to make Sandra’s fairy gardens to about cuttings and propagation.
Tune in to HGTV at 8 p.m. on Tuesday nights to watch for Bonnie’s Greenhouse’s special appearance.
“This is the fairy land,” Sandra said. “It was just a sweet little job, and now I don’t know how to do anything else.”