What Gardening Can Do for You

Gardening is a rewarding hobby. It offers plenty of health benefits both physically and mentally. Gardening can also help enhance your home’s curb appeal, which may increase your property’s value when you decide to sell it. 

One way to improve the appearance of your property and keep your garden thriving, at the same time, is to get a custom luxury greenhouse built. With a high-quality greenhouse, you get all the benefits of gardening with less the effort.

Quick Access to Fresh Produce

With gardening, you’ll have fresh herbs, vegetables, and fruits (if you like) with your meals. It saves you time and money because you don’t have to drive to the market to buy fresh produce. Growing your food ensures that what you serve to your family is safe from chemicals. 

Eating organically produced food is better than conventionally produced ones. Researchers suggest that organic food is rich in nutrients, like iron, vitamin C, phosphorus, and magnesium, among others. 

If you have an herb garden at home, you can enhance the flavor of your meals. For instance, you can intensify your chicken dishes with fresh rosemary and thyme. If you’re in the mood for an Italian dinner, oregano and basil can give your pizza or pasta an authentic flavor. Adding freshly picked herbs to your dish enhances its nutritional value, as well. 

Apart from improving your diet, studies show that gardening offers promising benefits to your well being. 

Gardening Improves Your Health and Wellbeing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that only less than a quarter of Americans meet the national physical guidelines. Although gardening is a simple form of workout, doing it regularly can still help you achieve the recommended amount of physical activity. 

When you do gardening, it allows you to bend and stretch your body. These movements can burn calories and strengthen your muscles. Staying active reduces your risk for various health problems, including:

  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Weight problems
  • Type II diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Colon cancer

A garden also gives you more exposure to green spaces. The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests in a study that living in an area with access to green spaces lowers your risks for cardiovascular problems, including stroke and heart attack. People who live in greener neighborhoods also tend to have lower levels of stress. 

Bring Nature and Comfort Together in Your Home

Gardening is another way to spend quality time with your kids. Exposing your children to gardening helps them appreciate the food they eat. It can also encourage them to enjoy fruits and vegetables.

There are certain challenges to face when managing your garden, most notably weather changes. But with a high-quality greenhouse, it will be easier to handle these challenges.

As a conservatory contractor, we build smart greenhouses using high-grade materials, such as mahogany, aluminum, and glass. Our team also equips each structure with the latest technology in automation.You’ll be able to control everything in the greenhouse, including the temperature, lighting, and the irrigation system. 

Enjoy the benefits of gardening now. Contact us to know more about our services.

Our second year that the Arboretum’s Spring Show!

UofM Landscape Arboretum’s Spring Flower Show – Passport to Spring, and Conservatory Craftsmen!

In 2018, Conservatory Craftsmen custom-designed an English-style conservatory for the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum “Fragrances of Spring” flower show. It was a hit with visitors, and we heard from so many guests who enjoyed seeing the kind of work we do.

This year, we created a European glass garden house as the centerpiece of the 2019 Arboretum spring flower show that runs Feb 1 through March 3, 2019. It will occupy the center of the Great Hall, and be surrounded by showpiece gardens of plants and themes from around the world.

The great country houses of Europe are known for their elegant formal gardens, but they were also hard-working estates that were self-sustaining, growing the herbs, fruit, and vegetables for kitchens that often had to feed many guests as well as the resident family.

To produce herbs for seasoning and for medicinal purposes, as well as shelter tender seedlings early in the growing season, practical workspaces for gardeners were found in glass houses. These practical structures were typically positioned near the kitchen, to make snipping basil and chives easier, and often featured cold frame growing beds attached or nearby, to accommodate more plants.

At the 2018 Chelsea Flower Show in London, MaryJo and I (Jim Hewitt) were inspired by not only the fantastic floral displays over three acres, but the focus on sustainability and eco-friendly growing techniques. You can read the blog on our trip here for more info. Greenhouses and glass houses offer tremendous potential for the home-owner.

We built this year’s glass house for the Arboretum flower show as a fairly authentic European kitchen garden. If we were to build this for a customer with all the technology we commonly use, the windows would operate on temperature controls, the blinds would fold up or down based on the time of day or amount of sunlight, and there would be automatic supplemental heating and an automatic fan.

To inspire your own kitchen garden, we created an Arboretum flower show takeaway. King Charlemagne famously specified specific plants for healing and herbs for health and cooking, and we’ve listed some of his favorites—you’ll see many of them at the Arboretum!

Come tour our glass house in the Great Hall at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum!

Next year, we are excited to announce that we will again be working with the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum to create an inspirational and unique glass structure for the garden. Stay tuned to see what develops!

The Chelsea Flower Show: Inspiration for the Minnesota Arboretum 2019 Glass House

Our Trip to the Chelsea Flower Show in England

The Chelsea Flower Show has been an annual London tradition since 1833 and is the most famous event of its kind.

On our trip to England in May, MaryJo and I were lucky enough to be able to attend this exclusive event—and we got inspired to bring a bit of it to the Arboretum for you!

The Chelsea Flower Show inspired the Conservatory Craftsmen approach to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum’s Spring Flower Show, February 1 through March 3, 2019, which includes a centerpiece of a glass house designed and built by Conservatory Craftsmen, evoking those in the great gardens of Europe.

The see-and-be-seen Chelsea event lasts a mere five days—“mere” because, incredibly, 800 workers spend 33 days filling three acres with flowers, landscaping, and extraordinarily imaginative displays, only to take it all down in less than a week!

So many garden and plant themed exhibits!

Sculptures are crafted of veggies and tropical blooms, new varieties of all sorts of flowers are debuted, and the world’s leading nurseries and garden centers display their wares and the latest trends in gardening. Breeders and horticultural vendors compete for Product and Plant of the Year awards.

Gorgeously appointed shops and stalls feature garden-themed gifts and supplies, including watering cans, flowerpots, garden seating, and, of course, the plants themselves (until only a few years ago, garden gnomes were strictly prohibited!).

Plantings are arranged like artwork, and are grouped, tucked, and nestled into faux garden plots and exotic displays.

This show can draw a crowd

The UK flower show is hugely popular and also just plain huge. Some 150,000 visitors attend, including the Queen and her family, plus well-dressed and titled folks (oh, the hats alone!). The Main Pavilion alone houses more than 100 floral exhibits, and there are smaller tents and outdoor gardens to tour, as well.

The Chelsea show featured eco-friendly growing practices, including the use of cold frame plant beds and greenhouses.

The concept of a garden conservatory for cultivating plants in controlled environments originated in Britain. Many of the famous country houses and estates of the UK feature elaborate, even fanciful conservatories that have aesthetic value as well as practical applications.

Glass houses are the hard-working and less fussy relatives of more extravagant greenhouses, functioning as hothouse and potting shed. Here is where many a British garden would grow kitchen herbs and plants used for medicinal purposes.

With current trends in sustainability practices and increased interest in organic diets, we saw many useful applications for garden glasshouses back in the States: growing herbs and vegetables year-round, starting tender seedlings, extending the growing season in cold zones.

Inspiration for the Landscape Arboretum show

We built a glass house for the Arboretum flower show as a fairly authentic European kitchen garden. If we were to build this for a customer with all the technology we can put to use today, the windows would operate on temperature controls, the blinds would fold up or down based on the time of day or amount of sunlight, and there would be automatic supplemental heating and an automatic fan.

We also created special takeaway cards with a European theme. To inspire your own kitchen garden, we created a fun reference card of kitchen herbs and healing plants dating back to the historic origins of kitchen gardens in Europe. King Charlemagne famously championed herbs and aromatic and healing plants in his gardens, and we’ve listed some of his favorites—you’ll see many of them at the Arboretum!

At the Chelsea Flower Show in May 2018, Mary Jo and I were inspired by this practical and attractive cold frame system attached to a classic English garden glass house.

Winter Gardening: Ways to Keep Your Plants Healthy During Cold Season

Although it’s too late in the game to prepare your plants for winter, this is probably the time when you’re looking back and wondering what it was you should have done differently. Winter may be hard for some plants to live through, but you don’t need to “put your green thumb” into hibernation during this season.

You can still keep your plants healthy and thriving during the cold weather. Installing a greenhouse made of luxury materials, for example, is not only a beautiful addition to your property, but it can also protect your plants during winter. 

If you don’t have a greenhouse to continue to grow year-round, we know some great tips that can contribute to maintaining the health of the plants in your outside garden. And it all stems from early preparation.

Prepare Your Garden for Winter

It’s essential that you started preparing your garden as early as fall because this will give you enough time to do what is necessary to keep freezing temperatures from damaging your plants. One way to make your garden winter-ready is by ‘putting it to bed’. You can do this by pulling out all your annuals and leaving the perennials. 

You may also consider seeding in cover crops, like winter wheat. These plants serve as cover and protection for your soil during winter. When spring comes, you can till the crops into the soil. 

If you have indoor plants like cacti, you should start cutting back on watering because they will need less water in the winter. Water your cacti when the soil gets very dry and place them away from windows that let chilly air in so they won’t get too cold. 

For vegetable gardens, you need to cover tender seedlings. Most fall vegetables can survive temperatures of about 28 degrees Fahrenheit without damaging tissues. But it would be better if you have a few blankets ready to protect them overnight. Remove the blankets when the temperature increases above freezing so the heat won’t stay beneath the coverings. 

Taking Your Outdoor Plants Indoor

You can also save your container plants from the freezing temperature by bringing them indoors where the temperature is warm. But remember that not all of them can survive indoors due to their required growing conditions. It’s essential that you transfer them to a space that can provide for their unique needs for light, warmth, and humidity. 

When you’re moving outdoor plants indoors, prioritize those that are healthy for a greater chance of survival. Avoid bringing plants with pests or diseases, too. These plants can contaminate other healthy plants because problems spread easily indoors. 

It can be challenging to bring all your outdoor plants indoors, especially if you don’t have enough space for them. You may consider growing new plants using cuttings, which is a piece of a plant, be it a stem, a leaf, or a root. Plant cuttings could take much less space and they may also adapt better to new growing conditions than established plants.

Consider Building a Greenhouse

However, if you truly want to keep your plants alive during winter, adding a greenhouse to your property is really the most effective option. It allows you to have more space to grow your plants all year round. A smart greenhouse is even better because it allows you to automate the temperature, lighting condition, water, humidity and other crucial factors that contribute to a healthy growing condition. 

Our team at Conservatory Craftsmen focuses on building smart greenhouses using the finest materials and building techniques. We equip each greenhouse with automation and climate control technologies. With us you can always expect a luxurious outcome. 

Contact us today for more information.

How to Prepare Your Greenhouse for the Summer

Summer is here!

Greenhouses allow homeowners and commercial greenhouse keepers to cultivate plants that require specific conditions to grow. By keeping plants indoors, greenhouse keepers can manage outside factors to preserve the ideal environment year-round.

With summer here, greenhouse keepers should prepare for the necessary adjustments for the rising temperatures. Already, several areas in the country have seen environmental effects as summer season nears. Starting right now, it is essential to look at the following factors when adjusting for the months ahead.


Temperatures will reach record highs in the next three months. Plants start to lose their moisture and risk withering or damaging at temperatures beginning at 81 degrees. It is necessary to prepare your greenhouse early in the day before the temperature increases, maintain the environment throughout the day, and keep it at an ideal temperature overnight. To accurately monitor the temperature, keep a room thermometer in the greenhouse.

Having open ventilation on the roof, windows, and doors can help the flow of air and decrease the hot air accumulating in the greenhouse. Another way is to provide shade on the roofs. Layers of shade paint on the roofs can filter out the sunlight and decrease the temperature. However, you will need to paint and brush them off depending on the weather. Automated blinds offer a much more versatile and long-lasting solution.


Humidity is affected by the temperature: if the temperature increases, the moisture of the plants evaporates.  Ideally, greenhouses should be humid to mitigate the heat. Apart from watering the plants regularly to maintain its moisture, you can also keep the greenhouse damp by wetting it down. This increases the moisture in the air, ideal for plants to remain cool.

Ventilating a greenhouse lowers the temperature and humidity by decreasing the dampness inside. When the air is unable to flow, the heat gathers in the air and harms the plants. Avoid this by keeping the vents, windows, and door open to passing breezes to keep the inside of the greenhouse cool.

Install Smart Technology

Maintaining a traditional greenhouse during the summer seems to be challenging to do alone and may require more than one person to perform daily. But why should you do all the work yourself when you can have smart technology installed in your greenhouse and protect your plants with a simple push of a button? Or better yet, let us program the system so that it automatically adjusts to changing conditions – so you don’t even have to think about it!

Unlike traditional greenhouses, greenhouse manufacturers with smart technology (like us at Conservatory Craftsmen) provide automatic adjustment capabilities, addressing light, humidity, temperature, and other factors needed to create and maintain a good environment for plants.

With the high-temperature forecast for the months ahead, it is imperative that greenhouse owners make the necessary adjustments for the health of their plants. This can be done more conveniently with smart technology.

Conservatory Craftsmen‘s greenhouses are built with the latest in smart technology. Whether you want your greenhouse system to intelligently adapt as needed or control the adjustments yourself through a smart device, we can provide the environment automation you want to make your life easier.

Get in touch with us today.

The World Horti Research Center

I never tire of a new trip to the Netherlands. The Dutch have such electricity in the air. Its as if they have discovered a secret, and being Dutch, they are only too happy to share it. My current trip to the Netherlands is to spend some time at the World Horti Research Center, where horticulture has just crashed headlong into agriculture, and it’s winning.

Whatever we were growing for fresh food in a field in the past, can be more efficiently and effectively grown in a greenhouse.

  • We visited a greenhouse that had dug a well 2.4KM into the earth to obtain the heat required to heat the greenhouse, year round. After the initial investment, all heating costs were no cost from that day forward.
  • Glass evenly distributes the sunlight to all plants the same so there are no slow/fast maturing spots in the greenhouse, just even ripening.
  • There is also a device that can be installed where you go through it to get into the greenhouse, and it cleans your feet and hands. Sanitation is an utmost priority!

Whether tomatoes or flowers, massive quantities are grown on no wasted water, grown evenly, because the market shopper wants all produce to look the same every day of the year.

The WHRC has three main objectives.

A third of the building is dedicated to education. Students from far corners of the earth come to learn. These students are learning the most current methods of crop production and taking these skills back to China, Russia, USA – you name it. The Dutch are not about to keep this a secret.

They realized is that there are few people in the world prepared to embrace this new form of Ag/Hort. There are plenty of eager investors around the globe that are ready to throw money at these forms of crop production, but few candidates can apply who have the necessary skills.

Another third of the building is dedicated to companies in the industry who want to display their contribution to the new technology. Locally, Honeywell is well represented as a forerunner in environmental controls. Other companies display growing mediums, automation of many kinds. For example, there are lasers that prune plants to consistent sizes, screens that not only keep bugs out of the greenhouse, but keep the pollinating bees in the greenhouse (special bees are rotated every 30 days in the fruiting greenhouses [tomatoes]). Every new innovator of production products is there in a 365 trade show set up for all the world travelers that come daily to visit.

The final third of the structure is research greenhouses. New varieties are tested for market, new techniques are tested, and quantitative research is shared here. Companies will lease a greenhouse bay about 25′ X 60′, segregated from the attached growing area next door, and they will work intensively to explore new depths in the world of greenhouse growing.

The WHRC is located in the shadows of the International Flower Auction, a 2.5 million sq ft building in which the bulk of the world’s flowers are brought in fresh in the morning and shipped to markets around the world at night. I was here merely a year ago when the first steel column was set in the soil to begin construction. Today, it is a vibrant, bustling center for business and knowledge converging on an untapped frontier of world horticulture.

Trends ‘grow’ quickly here. A year ago, I never saw a ‘living wall’ today they are everywhere. Inside and outside of buildings, signs for companies are made of living walls, highway barriers are living walls. It’s just an example of how fast these trends are being adopted and made commonplace throughout the world as the Dutch set the pace for the industry that will soon feed the world.

Hydroponic Greenhouse Growing: Faster Crop Growth and Plentiful Harvests

Hydroponics is an unconventional technique of growing crops without planting them in soil. In a conventional set-up, the soil serves as the reservoir for water, nutrients, and minerals. Hydroponics, on the other hand, facilitates the plants’ absorption process by getting rid of the soil and exposing plant roots to nutrient-rich water.

Urban and commercial farmers have become fascinated with this technique, and for a good reason. It can result in shorter crop cycles and produce better quality crops and higher yields. Let us explore these claims further.

Shorter Crop Cycles

In hydroponic farming, there’s no soil to till, fertilize, and test for PH levels and nutrient content. Save for the initial set-up, growers can begin a new crop cycle with minimal preparation. They only need to replace the growing medium or temporary supports that provide stability for the growing plants, like gravel and coco fiber.

Hydroponics is all about controlling the environmental factors that affect plant growth, such as temperature, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, root saturation, and water nutrient content. Plants are getting the sustenance they need and can, therefore, grow better. This leads to shorter crop cycles. Horticulture Australia, Cornell Science Inquiry Partnerships, and various agricultural magazines and news outlets support this claim.

It’s also worth noting that automation is the key to maximizing short crop cycles. A commercial greenhouse manufacturer can provide electronic systems, such as retractable shades, automatic watering, climate control, and ventilation.

No Weather Factors

Hydroponic farming promotes not only faster growth but also stable and continuous growth. Farming occurs indoors, which protects crops from damage due to extreme weather. Regardless of the weather or climate outside, crops can keep thriving under controlled conditions.

Ibis World, a market research company, gave a promising prediction for the US hydroponic farming industry based on this fact. Its market report cites weather-induced crop damage as the reason grocery stores and farmer’s markets turned to hydroponic growers for their supply of produce.

Quality Yields

A study in Wiley Online Library compared the yields of hydroponic farming and vertical farming with lettuce as the sample crop. The researchers concluded that vertical farming produces greater yields per square meter. Details about the study reveal, however, that the quality of its yields is inconsistent. Some of the crops are not as green as the rest, nor as healthy.

The produce from hydroponic farming, on the other hand, produced better quality yields. The lushness of the leaves and weight per plant was also consistent. It would be presumptuous to say hydroponic farming would have eclipsed the volume of vertical farming yields based on quality, but there’s no doubt that if it were the criteria, the gap between their yields would have narrowed.

Higher Yields than Traditional Farming

In a separate study on hydroponic farming, researchers from the University of Arizona proved that yields from hydroponics are greater than those from conventional soil farming. The researchers harvested 35kg. of lettuce per square meter from the hydroponic crop. The conventional sample, however, only amounted to a little over 3kg. per square meter.

If this study doesn’t impress, the reports from EdenWorks, a vertical hydroponic farm in New York, might. Its 9,000 square foot facility can yield 120,000 pounds of produce per year, which is the same harvest volume for 10-15 acres of farmland.

These facts prove that hydroponics is a viable alternative to conventional growing. But first, growers have to invest in a modern greenhouse outfitted with the automatic systems that make hydroponic farming possible.

Conservatory Craftsmen has the means and experience to construct a commercial greenhouse for this purpose. We’re also very flexible with our construction process and encourage customers to specify their greenhouse needs. To learn more about our service, fill out our contact form.

Winter-proofing Greenhouses: It’s All about Heating

Greenhouses are the perfect retreats for green-thumbed individuals who wish to de-stress all year-round. When winter comes, however, this becomes a challenge as gardeners need to keep their plants in good health.

Plummeting temperatures are bad news for greenhouse greenery. A poorly heated greenhouse during the winter may end up housing frosted and soggy plants. Arm yourself with knowledge on what you can do when the cold season arrives.

The Cold vs. Your Greenhouse Plants

Without preparation, the winter season can negatively affect your greenhouse plants’ health, hardiness, and vitality. According to the University of Minnesota Extension, severe winter conditions pose a risk for plants that grow in hardiness zone 3 (North Minnesota) and hardiness zone 4 (South Minnesota). Prolonged periods of snowfall make the temperature fluctuate and drop, resulting in cold damage.

Low temperatures also freeze plant cells, which compromises the pathways for water and nutrients. Plants that are ill-suited to cold environments won’t survive the winter season unless it is protected in a microclimate.

Other winter-related damages include sun scald, desiccation, snow breakage, and plant tissue death.

Basic Winter Protection Practices

Greenhouse gardening during winter should focus on keeping plants warm. Proactively prioritizing structure heating ensures your plants will be warm and healthy until spring. There are a few greenhouse gardening practices that do the trick.

Commercial greenhouse construction experts recommend investing in quality heating practices to keep your plants safe from the cold. Consider the following:

  • Invest in greenhouse heating systems

A heating system will keep your plants warm and protect them from cold damage. For example, fan heaters move the air around the greenhouse, which prevents plants from developing cold spots and reduces the occurrence of diseases. Greenhouses with electric baseboard heating can also benefit from a fan system, while paraffin heaters are better options for those without.

  • Insulate with bubble wrap

Bubble wrap clipped inside of the greenhouse’s frames keep cold winter drafts out and reduce heat loss. Even unheated structures will benefit from a layer of bubble wrap.

Buy UV-stabilized horticultural bubble wrap insulation to warm the plants. Wrap a layer over outdoor pots to protect rootballs from cracking.

  • Use thermometers or thermostats

A good thermometer offers daily maximum and minimum readings. Keeping an eye on the air temperature encourages efficient use of greenhouse heaters.

Investing in thermostats also saves money and energy because you can heat the structure only when necessary. Most electric greenhouses come with built-in thermostats, which make setting the temperature easier. Greenhouse heaters will only turn on when temperatures drop below certain points.

  • Prioritize ventilation

Greenhouse heating is important but excessive warmth results in increased humidity, which is also bad for your greenery. Good ventilation strikes a balance by maintaining a healthy greenhouse environment.

Prevent moisture build-up by watering plants sparingly. Also, address condensation problems by opening vents on warm mornings. Close them again before the sunset to trap warmth in the greenhouse.

The best winter gardening practices and greenhouse installations keep your plants lush and healthy all year-round. If you need more help with climate conservatory controls, talk to us today.

It’s High Time You Automate Your Greenhouse

With a well-built greenhouse, it is possible to grow certain crops all year. You no longer have to worry about changing seasons that may affect the growth cycle of your plants. You also get to shield your crops from squirrels, insects, and garden pests. Above all, you get to enjoy more harvest periods in a year, making your horticulture business more profitable – or give you more time to enjoy it as a hobby.

The only downside with greenhouses is that they require constant monitoring, maintenance, and care. One, you need to monitor temperatures closely as many plants can wilt and eventually die if the temperature isn’t just right. And two, you need to ensure that your greenhouse has proper ventilation. Many plant diseases occur when the air inside the greenhouse becomes stale.

Monitoring your greenhouse can take up much of your time. Here’s the good news, though: you can keep an eye on your greenhouse without needing to go there — you just have to automate it!

Remote Automation Explained

A remote automation system allows you to run your greenhouse from anywhere in the world, with only the touch of a button. Meaning, you no longer have to go to your greenhouse just to turn the heater up.  You can even set the entire greenhouse on auto and let it adjust itself depending on set conditions.

That’s right, you heard us – if put on auto, it can react to changes in the environment and make adjustments all on its own, this smart technology can do the thinking for you.

Also, you can keep an eye on each of your plants as most remote automation systems come with video cameras. To put it simply, automation gives you the freedom to schedule your time as you see fit, and gives you the peace of mind that your greenhouse will continue thriving.

Besides taking time-consuming tasks off your plate, greenhouse automation brings many other advantages, too. These include:

  • Efficient Temperature Control

Temperature fluctuations can damage or even kill your plants in just a matter of hours. With remote automation, you can protect your plants by ensuring optimal, consistent temperature in your greenhouse. This also helps prevent algae or mildew growth that can bring diseases to your plants.

  • Thriving Greenhouse Environment

Other than temperature fluctuations, humidity changes and equipment failures pose a threat to the greenhouse environment, too. Even brief power failures and security breaches can harm your entire greenhouse. But with a remote automation system, you can stay on top of all environmental changes and equipment or security failures. Just look at the camera feed, and decide if you need to turn up the blinds, run the ceiling fan, or turn on the humidifier. Greenhouse automation helps to ensure a thriving environment for your greenhouse.

  • Automatic, Measured Watering

Because of its controlled environment, greenhouse plants need thorough and proper watering. The best way to do that is to give your plants a quick drink, let the water soak in the soil, and then repeat these steps with a more thorough watering. Greenhouse automation makes watering much easier, as it allows you to control the time and length of measured, automatic watering. You can customize the watering needs, based on the individual plants that it’s watering.

With all these benefits, it’s high time you automate your greenhouse. We design commercial greenhouses which we highly recommend automation for, especially if you have massive operations. There will be less labor-intensive and repetitive work for your employees. In turn, you can redeploy them to crop maintenance, harvest duties, and other crucial tasks. And for private homes, we can build out luxury greenhouses that would put all others to shame.

Want to know more about greenhouse automation? Give us a call, today.

Project Profile: Building the Queens Farm Museum Greenhouses Phase III

Long before we were able to bring the new greenhouses to the Museum, the old greenhouses had to be removed. Carefully, removing the remaining glass to avoid injury was a challenge. The competent crew of Conservatory Craftsmen got the job done without a scratch.

Dumpsters were filled for recycling the wood products and glass. Metal parts were carefully removed and cataloged. Measurements were confirmed again, and numbers were sent to the shop.

As window frames were produced, glass measurements were taken and tempered, safety glass, was put into production. Each opening had a location ID and a dimension of its own.

The roof glass became quite a matter of discussion. In the ‘old days’ greenhouse glass was lapped, like fish scales. Since large sheets of glass were unavailable, small pieces that lapped over each other fit the need. So, we had to come up with an efficient glass, that was strong and safe and could lap.


We designed a glass panel using 1/8″ tempered sandwiching two pieces of glass together over special lamination. This effectively made the glass in the roofs of the greenhouses stronger than the glass on the windshield of your car.

The installation of the glass, the step we call glazing was a blast from the past. We installed glazing putty (pretty much not used in glazing in 50 years) to set the glass. Then we used special, stainless steel brads with a unique tool to hold the glass in place. Finally, we used a specially formulated silicone to seal the glass from the exterior. Each step took a glazier about half an hour and there are 400 pieces of glass on each roof!


Roof vents were carefully designed to open with the gearing but close tight to seal and drain away water. In today’s world, that would be a simple matter with rubber seals. For historical purpose there are no gaskets of any kind on this project, each piece of the greenhouse had to be carefully fit to make sure water did not enter the greenhouse and it drained away from the greenhouse.

The project was also featured on Accoya.com, Click Here to read more.