Cold Frames & Work House


The series of three sunken pits lined with terracotta are called the Cold Frames. They are designed to provide shelter for potted plants that need protection from the winter cold but do not necessarily need heat. During the winter season, glass panels can be slid open to allow for ventilation during the day and then closed to protect the plants at night. The terracotta tiles of which they are constructed are the same ones used in the construction of the Callaway family home, meaning they were likely built around the same time as the house using some of the extra home tiles. While we don’t have photos of the cold frames from 1916, aerial photographs from the 1920s do show them in the same location.

Adjacent to the cold frames, notice the very tall chimney of the 1916 Neel-Reid-designed stucco and terracotta tiled Workhouse attached to the north end of the glass greenhouse. Hot water heated by a boiler located beneath the workhouse heats the greenhouse. The heated water is pumped into the greenhouse where it flows through metal pipes which provide heat for the plants. This is the original means of heating the greenhouse, except that the boiler was once coal-fired—which explains the chimney rising high above the workhouse—while the current fuel source is natural gas. Although the current greenhouse was built in 1949, replacing Ida Callaway’s original 1916 greenhouse, the original workhouse remained.

Today, the workhouse serves as a workspace for the Greenhouse Manager, tool room for gardening supplies, and the home of Mickleberry the Cat.


Horticultural Specimens

  • Columnar plum yew (Cephalotaxus harringtonia ‘fastigiata’) along west wall of garage by either side of restroom door—these replaced the same species planted by Alice (original planting date not known).  Originals were removed during construction prior to opening in 2004. Nandina domestica was put in and remained until early 2015 when these were planted.
  • Climbing yellow rose (Rosa ‘Marechal Niel’) on west wall of garage—these were rooted from the ones Alice had here. Original planting date for hers is not known. Blooms yellow in mid-spring.

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