GREENHOUSES AND CONSERVATORIES OF THE 1920'S & 1930'S
THE increasing number of greenhouses that have been built during the past few years indicates that thousands of men and women everywhere are beginning to appreciate more and more the true value, pleasures and profits derived from the ownership of even a small one. This may be largely due to the fact that manufacturers have now taken all of the flaws and knocks out of them and simplified all the complex architectural and engineering problems, which formerly made them expensive to buy and operate. A greenhouse of moderate dimensions can be had now from a few hundred dollars up, and its upkeep is nothing like that of an inexpensive automobile.
To those who spend from $200 to $400 or more yearly on plants and flowers there is real economy in owning a greenhouse, and those who spend less will find the value of its output in excess of this amount, for the abundance of flowers, vegetables, bedding and potted plants that can be grown in a small greenhouse is far out of proportion to the investment and would cost much more were they to be bought elsewhere. This is even more pronounced in homes where there is a gardener or attendant who looks after the place. The man has little to do during the Winter months, so that a greenhouse provides a means of employing his time to grow flowers and plants and to raise vegetable and bedding plants for the garden when they are needed.
So confident are we as to the pleasures and profits to be derived from the greenhouse, especially in the cold Winter months and in the Springtime before the ground is warm and dry out of doors, that we most heartily urge its consideration.
WHAT CAN BE DONE IN A SMALL GREENHOUSE
The Unheated Greenhouse for Fall and Spring
The glasshouse is not always, and does not necessarily have to be, equipped with a heating system. It can be used just like a big, handy coldframe in the late Summer and Fall and in the Spring where the flower lover can go in and work comfortably, rain or shine, without having to bend down on hands and knees and tire out with planting and caring for the plants.
In the Fall there are many flowering plants that can be kept in flower long after the outdoor plants are gone if they are lifted, potted and moved to a greenhouse. The best known of these are Chrysanthemums, late outdoor Lilies, Snapdragons, Salvias, Heliotropes, Sweet Alyssum, etc. Violets, Pansies and many bulbous plants can be had in bloom practically all Winter long. Lettuce, Radishes, Swiss Chard and other greens for the table can be grown all Winter, too.
In the Spring, even so early as March, a great variety of seeds can be started for growing bedding and vegetable plants for outdoor planting as soon as the frost is well out of the ground. You can have Corn, Tomatoes, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Cucumbers, Melons and Peas at least a month in advance, if the seeds are sown early in the green-house.
Then, all Summer long, flowers that will be intended for cutting can be grown that do not thrive out of doors because of plant pests. These pests can be kept out of a greenhouse by fumigation.
The Heated Greenhouse
Everything can be done in the heated greenhouse that can be done in the unheated one, besides having a succession of flowers and vegetables all Winter long. It is possible in a small greenhouse to grow and flower Roses, Orchids, Carnations and the like, but these are often slow in growing and take up considerable space, so it is not advisable to grow them unless considerable space is available.
Quick growing annuals, often found in the Summer garden and most varieties of bulbs give very satisfactory results and make a splendid showing in a short time with only a small amount of effort. Among other subjects that can be grown are ferns, Azaleas, small palms, Primroses, Begonias, Cyclamen, Lobelia, and all the old-fashioned, homey flowers from Forget-me-nots to Cosmos and from Nasturtiums to Marigolds.
There are many hardy plants that are usually grown in the rock garden that may be placed in what are called flower pans; that is, receptacles as wide as a 5, 6 or 7 in. pot, but only 3 or 4 in. deep, and which can be brought into flower in February, March and April in a greenhouse that has no higher temperature than 50 degrees.
GREENHOUSES FOR THE MODERATE SIZED HOME OWNER
To stand out most attractively and give the best results in growing, the greenhouse should be built to duplicate the actual airy outdoor conditions of light and sunshine as nearly as possible. During the short days of Winter when the arc of the sun is very low, shade casting structural members are a distinct disadvantage in any green-house. This fact should be kept in mind when selecting one. Other points you will probably consider are: (1) The amount of bench area you want for growing; (2) The space available for the greenhouse; (3) The amount of money available for its purchase.
The greenhouses, glasshouses, leantos and conservatories which are described on the following pages are well recommended and representative of the requirements of the average moderate sized home owner in the northern hemisphere. Compass directions will be the opposite in the southern hemisphere.
The Junior Greenhouse
This is known as the straight eave type, which harmonizes perfectly with architecture that has angular lines. It is 10 ft. wide and made in six lengths, from 12 to 33 ft., in multiples of 4 ft. 1 3/4 in. sections, so that the exact amount of bench area required may be selected. This greenhouse can be fully equipped with growing benches, potting bench, boiler, Perkheater hot water heating system, plumbing and masonry, either completely erected or materials only, for less than the cost of an inexpensive automobile.
The greenhouse is of sash construction and is delivered to the site of erection in completely assembled sections, painted and glazed, with built-in asbestos rock walls, ready to set up and bolt together.
Even the hinges and hardware are fixed in place, the holes for the bolts drilled and the bolts and screws supplied, so it is a very simple matter to bolt the few fitted sections together to erect it.
The heating pipe is also cut to length, threaded and assembled with fittings, so far as practical, to make its installation easy. The heat is supplied by the Perkheater hot water heating system which is described on pages 458, 459 and 460.
The Self-contained Curved Eave Greenhouse
The curved eave greenhouse is known as the ornamental type and harmonizes with almost all types of architecture, and particularly that which has gentle curves. The self-contained greenhouse was designed to be complete and compact and provides every convenience to make growing in it easy and practical. All shade casting members are removed from the eave line, so that the glazed portion extends in one unbroken span from the sill to the roof ventilators, allowing the greatest amount of light to enter the greenhouse from sunrise until sunset.
The greenhouse measures 14 ft. 9 in. wide by 33 ft. long and its width balances perfectly with its length. A house of this type will give the utmost satisfaction and make an impressive showing on even the most pretentious grounds.
The full steel frame is built to last in the proper structural shape with ornamental curved eaves. All parts are cut and fitted so far as practicable before they reach the site of erection. Asbestos rock walls greatly simplify the masonry work, though concrete or brick walls to match with adjoining buildings may be substituted, this adding slightly to the cost.
Heat is supplied by the Perkheater hot water heating system and an automatically controlled oil burner is standard equipment. There are many advantages in heating the greenhouse with an oil burner. Controlled by a thermostat, it heats the greenhouse perfectly and safely, requiring little or no attention from Fall until Spring. This insures economical operating costs and dependability.
A 275-gallon oil supply tank is set just outside the greenhouse and near to the boiler. Present day oil delivery service is so well organized that supply is guaranteed. The oil burner, being of the retort type, is quiet and economical. No. 2 furnace oil is used.
The complete greenhouse is less expensive when so equipped, for when coal is burned in the boiler required by a greenhouse of this size, a partition is needed to separate the growing benches from the boiler in order to protect the plants from coal gases and ash dirt, which are very detrimental to plant life. A brick chimney is also required to create the proper draft for this size boiler, so that you pay more and have fewer conveniences when coal is burned.
The leanto greenhouse often solves a problem—the problem of space. It will fit into places where the usual ornamental type of conservatory won't go and it is less expensive. Sometimes there is a narrow strip available near the side line of the plot or along a terrace. Or it may be an unused corner where the leanto will fit in attractively and improve the ground lines of the residence. This is one advantage to start with; there are many others.
The leanto can be built to harmonize with all types of architecture. A residence is hardly conceivable to which the adjoinment of a leanto would not be pleasing. Its length, height and width can be designed to balance perfectly and its eave to conform with the particular type of architecture of the building to which it is attached.
Unless it is intended that the leanto be used for growing orchids, ferns or other shade loving plants, success with other plants demand that it be located on the south side of the building or in a position where it will get the benefit of the sun's rays from early morning until at least three o'clock in the afternoon.
The leanto can often be heated from the same heating plant that heats the residence to which it is adjoined, providing, of course, that the boiler is of ample capacity or that additional sections can be added to it. Since the leanto is usually attached to the southern side of the building and is protected from the cold north winds, it is easily heated.
You can grow anything in a lean to that you can in any green-house. Size is its only limitation. There is no space wasted, and if you like Mushrooms, arrangements can even be made for growing them under the benches.
If you have French doors opening into your leanto from your living room or dining room, it will be distinctly a conservatory, where, in your slippers, so to speak, you can step into your garden and keep a close eye on the progress of your plants regardless of the weather outside. Great fun this gardening under glass, for people who enjoy their homes and gardening.
Ornamental conservatories are designed and built for the purpose of growing plants, as well as conserving them. The atmosphere in a conservatory is heavily laden with humidity and there is always more or less condensation forming on the glass and various parts. This is as it should be; plants thrive under such conditions. But due to the high degree of humidity, a conservatory is not a place for fine furniture or rugs. Its furnishings must be of a more durable type.
Like the leanto, the conservatory can often be heated from the same heating plant which heats the residence and it should be located on the southern side or in a place where it will get full benefit of the sun's bright rays all day long.
Think of the pleasure one of these crystal gardens will add to your home—the enjoyable atmosphere its subtle bloom fragrance will lend, and what a cozy retreat it will make to entertain in! These are Just a few of the joys in having one linked to your home.