Longwood Gardens' production greenhouse facilities are the perfect marriage of beauty and brawn.
Here at Longwood, we grow 1,300 (and growing!) types of plants each year for seasonal displays in the Conservatory and our outdoor gardens...and we need to grow them precisely and efficiently, while attending to each plant type's individual needs.
Our new nursery production greenhouse, opened in December 2020 and located along Route 1, opens up new worlds with its unique design that accommodates a variety of plant materials, growing methods, and environments. Consisting of a 15,600-square-foot headhouse and 65,348-square-foot greenhouse, the new facility greatly increases our level of environmental control, automation, and overall sustainability. Built of steel and tempered glass, which allows for the highest level of light transmission, the greenhouse portion houses 60 percent of our crop production…and it features a staggering 17 distinct growing zones to accommodate the diverse palette of plants we custom-grow for our seasonal displays. Notably, in our new greenhouse we can, for the very first time, grow cascade chrysanthemums—an integral component of our annual Chrysanthemum Festival—and thereby protect them from outdoor heat, humidity, and moisture levels that often lead to fungal disease.
The new greenhouse features a very unique structural design that allows for so many different growing opportunities. One-half of the greenhouse utilizes a unique open-roof “cabrio” design developed by Deforche Construct in Belgium, in which the roof can slide completely open to allow for optimal indoor climate…which in turn provides passive cooling in summer, lowers energy costs, and allows the highest light levels possible. The other half of the greenhouse is based on the “venlo” roof design, which features individual vents to allow for ventilation combined with evaporative cooling to provide to optimize summer and temperature control.