Krehbiel Science Center 

About this Project

Adam Mueller of North Newton, Kansas was a horticulturist best known for developing his own varieties of irises and daylilies in the early 20th century. With a lifelong dedication to irises Mueller registered over 50 new iris cultivars with the American Iris Society during his career, with evocative names like ‘Satin Sheen’ and ‘Velvet Night’.

Though Mueller passed away in the 1960s, his legacy lives on in the town of North Newton, KS. The students at nearby Bethel College are quite familiar with his name, as Mueller’s family donated funds for the plant preparation room that is part of Bethel’s new Lattner Conservatory building.

Cavalier Hotel Skylight
Skylight over pool Cavalier

Greenhouse growing in a conservatory

This conservatory was manufactured by Crystal Structures, the commercial division of Sunshine Rooms, Inc. It features their GrowTech© Greenhouse line, designed to meet modern standards for schools and universities. The GrowTech© greenhouses meet all building codes, and are constructed to match adjoining buildings as “architectural grade classroom greenhouses”. They have many unique features and benefits that staff and students appreciate.

The greenhouse allows students of ecology, botany, and environmental studies to use the plants in classes and labs. Biology students spend time dissecting leaves or stems, while ecology classes conduct experiments and environmental classes observe the effects of environmental changes on the plants.

Everyone has an opportunity to learn within the conservatory. The greenhouse is heated from below and uses automatic lighting to make the best use of natural light when available, keeping the temperature consistent year-round.

This room, used extensively by Bethel’s biology students, serves as a lasting memorial to Mueller’s contributions to horticulture in the North Newton area. Mueller’s iris and daylily cultivars can still be found growing throughout the town, bursts of color reminding residents of this local horticulturist’s creative vision.

In the greenhouse growing conservatory, it’s always sunny!