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Smith College Bulb Show

Driving through the wet snow and slush to the Smith College Lyman Plant House was no fun, but the trip is always worth it, even when the Bulb Shows and Chrysanthemum Shows are a happy memory.
Before I even got to the famous bulb display I passed orchids in bloom like this moth orchid, Phaleanopsis.

There were big orchids like this Cattylea.

Tiny orchids.

Cascading orchids.

Birds of Paradise were in bloom in a Tropical Room

with a doorway guarded by this Clivia. But then you go into one of the two bulb show rooms and you are surrounded by blossoms and the scent of spring.

I think this display is one of the reasons several people told me this was the best show in recent years. All the colors of the sun, so welcome after a particularly difficult winter.

There were golden tableaux.


And pink, with cinnerarias and hyacinths,

and a peony. Can you imagine the knowledge, coordination, labor,and control it takes to monitor conditioning temperatures, then light, to get all these different plants to be in perfect bloom all at the same time?

A blue tableaux with all the freshness of a cool spring.

I didn’t recognize these as a hyacinth vaariety.

The hyacinth was familiar, but not the color which was a subtle peach. I’m not sure the photo catches the shade well.

Nor had I ever seen white grape hyacinths which were beautiful.

The Gallery had a beautiful exhibit all about tulips, and a brief history, especially of the ‘broken tulips’ that were so prized. Also on display were lithographs of broken tulips by noted artist Rory McEwen.


But finally it was time to fly home. You still have time to fly to Northampton and Lyman Plant House which is open every day from 10 to 4 pm. The Bulb Show will continue until Sunday, March 22.

And don’t forget, you still have time to entry the great Johnny’s Selected Seed Give Away. Just leave a comment. The drawing will be on Saturday, March 14. Good luck to you all.

Smith College Spring Bulb Show

This is how things looked on the hill on Tuesday. We still had three feet of snow and everything was covered in ice. But I left and slid down the hill to Northampton.


This is what I saw at the annual Smith College Spring Bulb Show.


The sun shone through the glass house. The air was cool, but damp and fragrant. It might as well have been spring.

After spending delicious time in the two bulb show room, I wandered through the succulent house, the fern room, the camellia hallway and the steamy palm house. I finished by the plashing waterfall. A bench was considerately provided. In addition to the wonderful Lyman Plant House which is open to the public every day of the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Smith College Botanic Gardens include perennial beds, an alpine garden, systematic gardens arranged by plant family, and trees. The entire campus is an arboretum where trees are identified and labeled, easily visible, offering not only beauty and shade, but education to all the gardeners who are invited to walk here.