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Lyman Plant House and Smith College

Lyman Plant House at Smith College

Last week I visited the Lyman Plant House at Smith College in preparation for a column and post about the Annual Chrysanthemum Show which begins Friday, November 5 with a talk by Smith alum and author Paula Dietz about the gardens she has visited and written about in her book, On Gardens.

The Smith Botanical Garden and the Lyman Plant House are treasures for the whole community to use. The Lyman Plant House is open every day (except Thanksgiving and the period between December 23 – January 3) from 8:30 am – 4 pm, and the gardens surrounding it are available every day of the year. I was amazed at the amount of bloom.

Actually, I know dahlias are still blooming madly up in the higher elevations. Not only at Smith.

There are lots of labels on the plants in the Botanic Garden, but I could not find one for this beautiful plant, of which there were several wonderful floriferous clumps.  Any ideas?

This plant was another mystery. It looks like a regular daisy flower, but look at that foliage – not daisy foliage. Any more ideas?

As a part of the Rock Garden are a number of trough gardens which I think is a wonderful way for any of us to enjoy a few alpine plants.

There is an iron fence that separates the garden from the roadway, but on the road side of the fence there are plantings. Even those passing can enjoy the garden without entering.

This dramatic red planting is at the doorway to the Lyman Plant House.   Wow!

I was familiar with many of these plants (not all obviously) but I was amazed to see cactus included in the garden. Hardy in Northampton?  I guess so.

5 comments to Lyman Plant House and Smith College

  • Lisa at Greenbow

    What a handsome building. It has so much character. Wish I could help you with the plant id. I don’t think I have seen either before.

  • I’m always amazed to see cactus in cold climates, too. That looks like a prickly pear? Makes for some truly fabulous pancake syrup! Thanks for the fun tour.

  • Karen

    The daisy looks like a Montauk Daisy (Nipponanthemum nipponicum, formerly Chrysanthemum nipponicum and Leucanthemum nipponicum). There are some on the Bridge of Flowers.

  • Pat

    Lisa, the oldest part of the conservatory is now over 100 years old. It is beautiful.
    Kate, It is a prickly pear. I did not know you could use it for syrup.
    Karen, thank you so much for the ID. I should have recognized them from the BOF.

  • Pat

    I got an email from a reader suggesting that the pink flowers are Sheffield daisies – and that seems to be accurate. I am going to have to add some to my garden.

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