Celebrating the event by using hedge clippers for the ceremony were, from left, Erin Grajek, director of marketing at the Botanical Gardens; Mary Ann Kresse, board chairman at the Botanical Gardens; Dan Kozub, Erie County legislator; Chris Collins, Erie County executive, and David J. Swarts, president and CEO of the Botanical Gardens.
The ceremony marked the completion of this phase of the Botanical Gardens’ ongoing master plan. The greenhouses will take over the work that is now being done in the garage and attached growing house.
In the future, the garage structure will be replaced with an “orangerie,” which is an event space, Grajek explained.
“Orangerie” is a French word. In Europe, an orangerie was a greenhouse where fruit trees, especially orange trees, were kept in containers during the winter. It was also an elegant place to entertain.
The new greenhouses that were unveiled Wednesday are energy efficient, with a Silver LEED rating.
They include auto-shading and auto-misting systems.
New flood benches will allow rows and rows of plants to be irrigated from the bottom in much the same way a plant is irrigated when a clay pot is set on a saucer filled with water. This will cut down on the need to water by hand.
The benches are space savers, too, Grajek said, because they’re set on wheels. The benches can all be pushed to one side, then moved to create aisles as people work.
The master plan aims to renovate and expand the physical structure of the Botanical Gardens, recognizing the importance the main building, the majestic conservatory that was built in 1899.
The master plan also aims to enrich educational programming and to create the Buffalo Meridian, a unique series of themed, around-the-world plant exhibits.
Photo courtesy of the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens