Welcome to Wintergarten
   My name is Sarah and I am the sole propietoress here at Wintergarten. I  reside in beautiful Bend, Oregon where I was lucky enough to be born and raised. I am a mother of two beautiful children, a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. I have worked in healthcare for the last 16 years and had resigned as my youngest entered school in September of 2016.

   The name Wintergarten came to me after a brief conversation I had with a friend back in 2012. She asked me what I did during my free time when I was not out gardening in the winter months. I replied that my “winter gardening” consisted of sewing, quilting, knitting, and many other maker hobbies. (We have a very short growing season here).

   Wintergarten was officialy born on January 1, 2013.

   Many people ask me, “Why Wintergarten with a ‘t’ instead of a ‘d’ in the word garden, and why the one long word?” When the idea first came to me, I wrote it down on a piece of scrap paper. Winter Garden just didn’t look right, and didn’t seem to encompass what I was trying to include in my work and business model. I didn’t want it to sound too much like a garden that grows or is maintained in the wintertime. This is where I guess I started to get a bit more creative. I Googled winter garden and one of the first things to appear was exactly what I just stated I didn’t want it associated with. (It also happens to be a city in Florida). With my maiden name being Achterman and a brother fluent in German, I decided to look up winter garden in German.  Wintergarten is a German word meaning “conservatory.” A conservatory (or greenhouse),is a building or room where plants are cultivated, including municipal ones, (also an attached residential solarium). It also defines a music school, or a school devoted to other arts such as dance. A sunroom, a smaller glass enclosure attached to a house is also considered a conservatory. Now I was definitely getting somewhere!

   To encompass my idea of cultivating creativity out of my home while not working outside in the garden during the winter months, Wintergarten was born.

   Creativity has been encouraged throughout my life. My parents and teachers have been champions of furthering education through curiosity and awe of the world around me. If I had a question, it didn’t go unanswered. If someone couldn’t provide me with an answer, they would encourage me to “go look it up.” (We still used dictionaries and encyclopedias back then).  One of my grandmothers was quite the seamstress, my other, a knitter. My mother taught me several technical (old fashioned) skills of yesteryear to be conscious of reusing, recycling, and making the best of everything we were lucky enough to have in our lives.

I have been sewing since I was young and picked up knitting after my first child was born.  (I needed something to help turn my brain off in the evenings after putting him down for bed).  I also grew up with parents who kept a large garden where we (the kids) would be sent out to cover plants in the middle of homework time if a frost was threatening our crops. We would go cut fresh lettuce and veggies for dinner, and pull weeds.  Since then I have become a better seamstress, a quilter, a knitter, a more advanced gardener, a homesteader, and a lover of all things homemade, from nature, and that bring joy to our ever-changing and busy lives.

​   With Wintergarten, I plan to start with posting blog entries approximately once a week that focus on whatever I happen to be interested in surrounding the homesteading, maker, and family lifestyle.  I will slowly try to incorporate the sale of my handmade pieces, and possibly other retail items from other small businesses that I support.
Thank you for choosing Wintergarten.  I look forward to sharing this next chapter in my life with you.

I'm the only one here, so far.  Depending upon how this goes, I will hope to add some new faces to the Wintergarten team in the future.
  1. Sarah