San Marcos - Buda - Kyle Edition | June 2022


GROWING THE GREENHOUSES The venue features two greenhouses. Don Connell began the greenhouses as a hobby and does much of the work tending to them.

The Tropical Greenhouse


In the larger greenhouse, plants reach up to three stories. It includes species such as cycads—known as “living fossils”—because they have been relatively unchanged for hundreds of millions of years.

From left: Dave, Harper, Don and Ann Connell own The Greenhouse at Driftwood.

The Greenhouse at Driftwood oers multiple ceremony locations over the sprawling venue. DARCY SPRAGUECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER


The Desert Greenhouse

The Greenhouse at Driftwood Former family home serves as wedding venue to unite couples I n the 1970s, Don and Ann Connell began building their home in the Hill Country. Over the decades, the home grew to include two greenhouses, multiple stone towers, a pool and a deck with a view. “We got married and started a family, and [run- ning this venue] is more our style,” Dave said. “We don’t have to run around the country doing things; everybody just comes to us.” BY DARCY SPRAGUE


This secondary greenhouse features a range of cacti. Don sources many of his plants from New Mexico and Arizona. The cacti include saguaro and golden barrel cacti.

The venue includes multiple ceremony sites— including the greenhouse, which can be used at a limited capacity. The three-story tropical green- houses include a catwalk and spiral staircase and feature hundreds of plants that blanket the oor and climb to the top of the glass ceilings. Elopements, parties of under 10 people, start at $2,000 for two hours. Small ceremonies, under 40 guests, start at $3,000. Full-size weddings, up to 250 guests, range from $12,000-$20,000 depending on the day of the week. Bookings are accepted about a year in advance. The Connells also oer public tours. Interested individuals can reach out for more information. “I like to bring two families together,” Dave said. “I like the buzz in the air, you know, but my main passion about weddings has been able to work on the weekends and play with my kids during the week.”

GRAND OPENING SOON IN JULY 2022 At the same time, Dave and his wife, Harper, were looking to get out of 9-to-5 jobs. Don was a land manager who conducted prescribed burns, and Harper worked in communications for a conservation nonprot. Rather than see his parents sell their home, he broached the idea of turning it into a wedding venue. “They’re very creative people,” said Dave Connell, the couple’s son. “So that denitely comes through in what they were able to do. They were very fortunate to be able to have ... the time, energy and resources to create this place for sure.” Sometime around 2012, the couple realized what they had built—including tropical and desert greenhouses, which Dave said his parents built as an “empty nest” project when he and his sister left the family home—and decided to downsize.

The Greenhouse at Driftwood 850 Darden Hill Road, Driftwood 512-239-9187 Hours: by appointment




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