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Wednesday, April 16, 2014
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Parks Park Maintenance Lawton Greenhouse

Lawton Greenhouse

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The Lawton Park Greenhouse has been a fixture of the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department since the early 1920's. Employees at the greenhouse are responsible for growing over 130,000 plants for the Botanical Conservatory, the Conservatory Gift Shop at the Botanical Conservatory, floral displays in the parks and the Children's Zoo, at the Foellinger Theatre, for the Mother's Day Plant Sale and the School Children's Flower and Vegetable Association which has also been around since the 1920's!

IMG_6629The array of plants at the greenhouse is constantly changing because the Botanical Conservatory creates a new Showcase display four times per year - a Winter Show, Spring Show, Summer Show and a Holiday Show. The Plant Sale is Mother's Day weekend so starting those crops begins in early winter and continues through late spring to be ready for the sale. Park Department gardeners begin planting the outside floral displays in mid to late May and those crops are started in late winter. The School Children's plants are distributed at the end of April. The quiet time of the greenhouse is late June/early July as the parks crops have all been planted and the staff is waiting for the Conservatory's Mums and Poinsettias for their Fall and Holiday Shows. That is the time the greenhouse is given a thorough cleaning.

Check out the pictures below on what is currently growing in the greenhouse.

What's growing in the Greenhouse?

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 A wide variety of Mum plants are now growing.

Are you curious about that strange curtain in the photo?  In the late afternoon we pull back that curtain to simulate darkness.  Our Mums are then ready to flower for us at the appropriate time.

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We are busy growing poinsettias gallore of all different colors for our upcoming show "Fireside Christmas" at the Botanical Conservatory.  You can now purchase poinsettias in our Gift Shop at the Botanical Conservatory.  A list of the varieties being sold is now available: poinsettia varieties

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Two of our volunteers are shown hard at work preparing bulbs to be planted.  The Tulip bulbs were pulled in April and will be replanted this fall so you can enjoy them in the spring!


This white flower is bougainvillea!  The name is so
exotic just like this beauty! 

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Lots of herbs are started from seed for various places.

Such delightful color and texture can be found in the

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The beauty and fragrance of the orchids is overwhelming! Orchids are grown for various park areas and year around can be enjoyed at the Botanical Conservatory

Check out the purple annual Catharanthus.
It is growing strong in the greenhouse.
Have you ever felt the texture of a Lantana leaf and then
took in that wonderful smell?  If so, you will never forget 
the experience. We grow plenty of Lantana for different
park locations.

What do you think this photo is showing?
If you guessed it is a water tank and the
cooling cells are draining into are

The Conservatory Gift Shop at the Conservatory
carries a wide variety of cactus and succulents
that get their start at the Greenhouse.
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23-IMG 9247The glass house is the perfect place for the cactus
and succulents as it allows in more light but gets cooler
faster than our other "plastic" houses. The glass house
is the only one remaining of the original green houses
and was built around 1925.

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We rely on a whole team of volunteers including
these two gentlemen who are helping with the
Bonsai.  Bonsai are avaiable for purchase at the Botanical
Conservatory Gift Shop and yearly at the Mother's Day Plant Sale.

One of our greenhouses holds some of our larger plants
including Bird of Paradise.  You can see these awesome
gems at various locations throughout our parks and year
around at the Botanical Conservatory.



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