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FutureStarrGreat Swamp Greenhouse
A greenhouse is the perfect place to grow and maintain plants. But you don't need the space of a greenhouse to grow plants or create a warm, homey environment. Here are 13 alternatives and tips for creating your own green space. These were selected from the Great Swamp Greenhouse in New Jersey, and as you scroll down is as if you're visiting them.In addition to our spring prep, we have a great assortment of Houseplant, Birding, Pottery, and more during Jan-March, with shipping arriving almost daily. Keep an eye out for our free seminars throughout the winter as well or just take a nice stroll down our heated greenhouses to keep the seasonal blues at bay. It’s amazing what a little warmth, greenery and the smell of dirt (if you know, you know) can do for your mood.
The need for solar panels at the Great Swamp Greenhouses came from both financial and environmental concerns. The ownership at the Greenhouses are always striving to be as environmentally conscious as possible. Water and energy are essential for the volume and variety of plants that they grow. In previous years, they focused on reducing water consumption and usage. Solar panels gave an opportunity to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels for electricity while reducing costs.When Great Swamp Greenhouses began their business 30 years ago, adjacent refuge lands were mowed fields. Over time, mowing was stopped and the fields were allowed to grow up into mature forest with 30-40 foot tall trees. An unexpected byproduct of the conversion from field to forest was the shade the trees cast on the greenhouses.
Shading reduced growth rates and caused disease problems for the plants growing inside. In the fall of 2009, Greenhouse staff contacted the Refuge asking that the trees to be cut down to restore the sunlight. Deputy Refuge Manager Steve Henry's initial reaction was negative. Henry could not see any benefit to the Refuge in removing trees, and the discussion might have stalled right there. Instead, with a little creativity and determination, the partners forged ahead in good faith to find a win-win solution that would benefit both.What seemed like a crazy idea at first has developed into a winning project through a little creativity and teamwork. The Greenhouse benefits from improved growing conditions and potentially greater sales through an expanded market for native plants. The Refuge benefits from improved wildlife habitat and an educational opportunity that may prevent the ecological damage caused by tomorrow's Japanese barberry or purple loosestrife" said Deputy Refuge Manager Henry. (Source: www.fws.gov)