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April 2012

Gardening 101:
Tropical Nest
Written By: 
Stephanie Boozer
Photography By: 
Christopher Shane


When Louie’s Kids founder Louis Yuhasz isn’t out running around the Lowcountry and beyond tackling childhood obesity, the garden devotee can be found tending the lush, tropical beds around his Sullivan’s Island home. “I love to work in the yard,” he says. “I was taught at the hand of my grandmother, and I’ve always gravitated towards plants.”

For Yuhasz, adding a greenhouse to his gardening equation made sense economically, helping lessen his annual landscaping budget. “I used to plant new coleus, hibiscus, and ferns every spring. Now, I can tuck those pots and clippings into the greenhouse for the winter and bring them back out when it warms. And for someone who says he’s “not a cold weather guy,” its tropical climes offer the freedom to be “outside” year-round. “Otherwise,” he laughs, “you wouldn’t find me out here in January.”

Sheltering a vibrant array of flora—from geraniums to croton—that chase off chilly winter days, Yuhasz’s greenhouse is a personal refuge. “Being there is my meditation,” he says. “When I’m working with a plant, feeding it or cutting it back, that’s how I commune with myself.”

Though so far he’s used the space to winter an abundance of landscape darlings, Yuhasz is trying his hand at vegetables, starting out seeds to fill raised beds. “Having this greenhouse is a nice luxury,” he says. “I feel like I’m in a little tropical nest.”

Climate Control:

Yuhasz’s greenhouse sits in full sun and has automatic louvered windows operated by wax springs. When it’s too warm, the wax melts, and the springs release to open the windows. Similarly, as temperatures cool, the wax hardens and the windows close.

Yuhasz Greenhouse:

Size: approximately 10x14 feet

Approximate startup cost: $6,500 for the kit and supplies from BC Greenhouse Builders Ltd. (http://www.bcgreenhouses.com). Additionally, Yuhasz hired local builder Wally Seinsheimer to lay the foundation, construct the kit, and run a water line and electricity.

A sample of what’s inside: African violet, bougainvillea, coleus (which he propagates), croton, dieffenbachia, dracaena, a variety of ferns, geranium, and hibiscus
 




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