As the cold temperatures and snow come rolling in this time of year, the Green Team has been busy preparing the greenhouses for winter. Most of the Creek Side greenhouses are empty this time of the year. The heaters are turned off and the irrigation lines have been drained to prevent freezing. It is amazing how much they will warm up during the winter months when the sun is shining during the day. But as soon as the sun goes down it gets very cold in the greenhouse.
There are a couple of greenhouses that have plants in them all year around. One of them is of course the Glasshouse conservatory where you will find all the Poinsettias and Holiday Flowering Plants at this time of the year. This house stays in operation all year around. Greenhouse 1, just behind the Glasshouse is heated at this time of the year and contains the Indoor Houseplants plus crops for next spring that take a long to to grow, like dracaena and cordyline spikes.
In a couple of the greenhouses out back, we over-winter perennials in greenhouses that are not heated. The greenhouse offers protection to the plants from the wind and very severe cold winter temperatures. Once these plants are used to the cold temperatures, they do not like the warm temperatures that will occur on sunny days. So we actually ventilate the houses during the day so that it does not get too warm.
Most of the perennials being over-wintered at Creek Side were planted this past summer. We start with small plants and grow them up to size. Then hold them in the unheated greenhouse through the winter. Many perennials require a cold treatment before they will flower. During the natural course of the seasons, this would happen in the winter. The same thing happens in our un-heated greenhouses and then we have beautiful plants blooming for you in the spring and summer.