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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!

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The 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.

What's growing in the Greenhouse?

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Currently we are growing plants (different types of mums and poinsettias) for Pumpkin Path and The Twelve Days of Christmas respectively!  Yes it seems early to be thinking that far ahead but our plants need plenty of TLC to be at their best!

School Children's Flower and Vegetable Association

Yearly various plants are grown for delivery to Fort Wayne area schools mid April as part of the School Children's Flower and Vegetable Association. A total of 18,500 plants and approximately 4000 packets of seeds were delivered yearly to students K-4th grade in 2016.  The School Plant Shows will be held mid August-mid September. Check out more about the SCFVA program

Join us on Facebook!

We just created a new Facebook page just for the School Children's Flower and Vegetable Association program!  Like our page today and learn more as the season progresses on growing vegetables, cut flowers, herbs and potted plants!

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Ready for a "pop of color"?  The Calceolaria "Pocketbook Plant" and the colorful pansy provide just the right "pop"!

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We have so many different plants growing this time of year so we are very busy planting, watering and caring for them so they can be the perfect backdrop in the parks, Conservatory or in your home (School Children's Flower and Vegetable Association program)!

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A few of our many volunteers are pictured here hard at work transplanting seedlings.


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The white and light purple flowers are bougainvillea! The name is so
exotic just like this beauty! 

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Pansies are a great flower that survives colder
temperatures in the spring and fall.

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Have you ever smelled Orange Tree blossoms? Wow.
We are growing stock plants used for cuttings for the Mother's Day Plant Sale.

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Lots of flowers, vegetables and  herbs are started from seed for various places including for the School Children's Flower and Vegetable Show.


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Such delightful color and texture can be found in the Greenhouses!


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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.

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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.

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What do you think these photos are showing? If you guessed it is a water tank and the cooling cells are draining into are correct!

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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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The 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.


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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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