Outdoor Living without Insects

Friday, 17 April 2015 by

Retractable Screens to the Rescue

Motorized power screens offer sun and shade protection at your fingertips. Our screens are unique in the industry, made in the USA, and offer a perfect solution for garage, patio and oversize doors and entryways.

Geothermal heating/cooling is one of the best ways to effectively cool or heat any given space because it uses the natural temperature variances of the earth to change the temperature in a certain area. While you may know that geothermal heating/cooling is beneficial, not everyone understands exactly why it is such an excellent technique.


Winter weather brings some big challenges with it when it comes to keeping a conservatory-style roof in good condition. Winter ice and snow that builds up on roof windows or skylights can cause moisture damage to the wood parts of conservatories and rooftops. The weight of the snow and ice on the roof of a

Growing Winter Crops

Friday, 21 November 2014 by
building a greenhouse

These days people are more conscious than ever about what they’re eating. More and more people are opting to produce their own sources of fresh food that they can feed their families. Growing winter crops is a great option for people all around the country. Whether you live in Minnesota and you want to make

Solar Conservatories

Monday, 08 September 2014 by

Solar technology isn’t new. Its history began in the 7th century when people concentrated the sun’s energy to make fires. Today we can have everything solar powered, from cars to space stations! Building science engineers and architects have been learning how to capture this solar energy efficiently into the outer surface of the building using solar

how to germinate and grow from seeds

Let’s talk about gardening, and how to germinate and grow your plants from seeds. In short, the hard carbohydrate in that seed must dissolve, turn to sugar and provide energy to the endosperm in the seed. This process takes from 3 to 25 days to take place. Through that period, all seeds must be kept moist to dissolve the carbohydrates. If they dry out, they die. Starting over again by watering a dry bed will not bring them back to life. Seeds are not Lazarus. Remember this when seeding your lawn or any other seeds you might plant.

OK, enough Biology for the day. Salvia is one of those plants that requires light for proper germination. If you have a growth chamber for germination, set it so the lights are on 16 hours per day.  As you know from this post, it has been requested for my daughter’s wedding.

We know from our research that Salvia requires 10 days to germinate. I plant them around April 1st, and note on the seedling flat the date of expected germination. Keep this seed on the surface. Remember, it needs light to germinate!

Seed Starting in the Conservatory

Wednesday, 22 January 2014 by

The Holiday season is over, the decorations are down, the winter has a firm grip on life, and mind begins to dream about the next season. Spring! Last year was not a kind spring. Everything was late. I had to feed my poor bees until the third week of June before pollen finally was available


Plants to grow in the Conservatory, NASA says these Conservatory plants improve air quality, Plants that are fun to grow, beautiful and improve air quality

cold weather

Some days in Minnesota the word cold just doesn’t describe how it really feels. Painful is more like the correct term. The wind cuts right through your jacket. Your cell phone battery drains, the snow blowing polishes the roadways to pure ice.

The whole state is pretty well shut down today. Schools are closed, the animals at the zoo are working from home. The ski hills are shut down. No one goes out.

What a great day to bask in the sun of the conservatory and watch the flowers bloom on the Thunbergia.

Lay back with a cup of tea and a good book, or in my case, make some raisin bread! Its -30 outside but the infrared thermometer shows the floor temperature to be 78!

You have been thinking about building a greenhouse or conservatory for years.  The photos of conservatories on Houzz, the photos in our gallery, all have painted a picture to you of a lovely retreat. A ‘person/plant’ cave to disappear after a stressful day at work. Where to start? You have read every page on the