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