The plants at the Town of North Hempstead’s Clark Botanic Garden now have a new home.
A newly built, 4,200-square-foot greenhouse is now open and functional at the 12-acre garden in Albertson after about a year of construction, the town announced Thursday.
The greenhouse, completed a few months ago, will help gardeners grow and maintain thousands of plants displayed in the garden and more easily keep them alive during the cold winter months, the town said in a news release.
“We are now able to overwinter larger, tropical plants, like banana trees, and to re-introduce them into the garden over the warmer months,” town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said in a statement. “The diversity of plants will enhance the experience here at Clark for all our visitors.”
Among the more than 50 species of plants living in the greenhouse are banana trees, golden marigolds, hanging geraniums and more than a dozen varieties of coleus, a foliage plant, the town said.
The facility has two sections with their own warm and cold temperature controls, the town said. Heat comes from the sun and two gas heaters, and cool air comes through the roof and fans and vents on the walls.
The greenhouse is not open to the public, but it will allow gardeners to cultivate new plants that will be displayed in the garden, the town said.
“It’s for propagation and now enables us to grow many more varieties of plants for the botanic garden,” Carole Trottere, a town spokeswoman, said in an email. “So whatever we are growing in there, the public will eventually be seeing in the garden.”
Construction on the greenhouse started in the spring of 2016, next to the garden’s old hoop-style greenhouse, according to a post on the garden’s website.
The town paid for the project with a $556,000 bond and a $250,000 grant from former state Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel.
“It’s a state-of-the-art addition to this beautiful botanic garden,” town Councilman Peter Zuckerman (D-East Hills) said in a statement.
The greenhouse is the latest improvement the town has undertaken at Clark Botanic Garden at 193 I.U. Willets Road, which the ProFlowers blog named among the 15 best botanic gardens in the state in November.
A “rain garden,” which houses native plants with long roots that can absorb large amounts of storm water, was planted last year on the south side of the garden’s main building.
The town received a $175,000 state grant in 2016 to improve access to the gardens and bolster its education programs.
The town planned to spend $150,000 in 2016 and 2017 to rehabilitate Clark Garden’s ponds, and replace the parking lot this year for $250,000.