When Anne Bainbridge and Sarah Klinefelter needed a name for their shop, they chose well. Everything in the Garden Room, their new place in Wyndhurst Village in Roland Park, is something you could imagine in a real garden room -- a beautiful flower-filled English-country glassed-in porch.
There are vases, baskets, birdhouses, framed botanicals, potted houseplants, hanging baskets, herbs, topiaries, garden sculptures, fountains, sprigs of lavender, majolica-style dinnerware, picture frames, needlepoint pillows, wreaths, painted furniture, garden books, garden tools, flower arranging supplies, flowery dhurrie rugs and chintz tablecloths.
"If you look at almost every item," Mrs. Bainbridge says, "it either is something that you use for plants or flowers or it is decorated with plants or flowers.
"We feel that most houses we go in, the ones that are appealing, that make us feel fresh, have something outdoorsy in them," she continues.
For the serious gardener, they have garden hats and gloves, pruning shears, watering cans, plant markers and ceramic containers in all shapes and sizes.
"The tools are things we have used ourselves and found are the best," Mrs. Bainbridge says.
They also have what they call "special gorgeous plants" as well as a selection of fresh cut flowers available by the stem or in a mixed bouquet that changes every week. For the fall, they plan to have silk and dried flowers.
Mrs. Bainbridge and Mrs. Klinefelter, longtime friends, were both thinking about post-child-raising careers.
"I think in the back of our minds we both wanted to do something like this for a long time," Mrs. Bainbridge says. "We'd not yet come to the end of the car pool syndrome in our lives, but the baby of all our six children will be in school all day next year, giving both
of us some free time. And I think both of us would rather work for ourselves than for somebody else."
Mrs. Klinefelter formerly had a business called Posies, through which she occasionally sold garden-related items at local festivals. This past spring, she took Mrs. Bainbridge with her to a wholesale gift show in New York City, and the idea for the shop came together. "We really felt we had a good idea for a shop, something slightly different: the idea of melding indoor and outdoor," Mrs. Bainbridge continues.
When the space in Wyndhurst Village became available, they decided to try it.
"We're learning as we go but we've done very well, really better than we or our husbands thought we would do, so we're doing something right," Mrs. Bainbridge says. "And it's very satisfying."
They emphasize gifts in the shop -- wedding presents, house and hostess gifts, birthday presents -- and do gift-wrapping of items. "We did very well with teacher presents, little things," Mrs. Bainbridge says. "And we want to have things that are reasonably priced and attractive so that people know they can come here and get a gift that's suitable."
The partners have plans for the future ("grandoise plans," Mrs. Klinefelter says, laughing). They are thinking of adding larger garden ornaments and some painted or faux finished furniture.
"We were thinking we would expand even before we opened," Mrs. Klinefelter says. "When we started putting things out we were going, 'Oh no. Where are we going to put all this?' "
The Garden Room is located at 5004B Lawndale Ave. in the Wyndhurst Village shopping center off Wyndhurst Avenue between Charles Street and Roland Avenue. The hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays. The telephone number is 435-3132.