The Cheyenne Botanic Gardens Conservatory was built in 1986. It was based on the Cheyenne Community Solar Greenhouse structure occupied east of Cheyenne from 1977 to 1986 which was the first large-sized solar heated greenhouse built in the country. In addition to the structure being solar heated, 50% of the electricity is generated by solar photovoltaic power. Click here to learn more about our solar energy systems and sustainability at the Gardens.
The Solar Conservatory houses our administrative offices, library, a small meeting room with kitchen, and a root cellar where we store seeds, produce and more.
Because this space is 100% solar heated the planting schedule is adjusted to the indoor environment rather than having the environment adjust to the plantings as with traditional greenhouses. The Conservatory has three sections: East, West, and the Center section.
The Center section is primarily for education where we grow tropical plants important in everyday life including bananas, coffee, figs, bamboo, etc. In addition, you will find demonstrations of herbs, water plants, cacti and succulents, bonsai, and orchids. Something is always in bloom even on the coldest days of winter
The East and West sections grow primarily food crops from July through February. The food is distributed to our volunteers and what is left over goes to local feeding programs. You may also see a smattering of cut flowers that are for in-house bouquets and also for distribution to volunteers. From March through June these houses grow over 50,000 bedding plants from seed which are then planted out into over 85 flower beds on both the Botanic Gardens grounds as well as all the city park flower beds. Both Botanic Garden flower beds and City Park beds are maintained by the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens staff and volunteers.