Robert Nicholson, Manager of the Lyman Conservatory at Smith College complained about the challenges of all the cloudy weather we have been having, but, once again, he and the crew more than met the challenge of forcing 5000 bulbs to bloom all at the same time. The Conservatory is a Turkish Delight of flower and fragrance, with all the usual bulbs, but also many freesias and delicate species tulips from Turkey.
On Friday evening I attended the lecture by Smith alum, Lynden B. Miller. She described the public gardens she has designed over a long career, and what she has learned about plants that work in public gardens. Fortunately, if you missed the talk you can get all that information in her beautifully illustrated new book Parks, Plants and People.
After her talk in the new Campus Center, attendees were invited to a preview of the Bulb Show which will run for two weeks until March 21. The Conservatory is open every day from 10 am to 4 pm. A $2 donation is requested.
In addition to the Bulb Show, there is a beautiful and fascinating display of radiography, The Hidden Beauty of Plants, in the Church Gallery of the Conservatory. These exhibit is a collaboration between the Smith Botanic Garden, Dr. Merrill Raikes, retired radiologist and Robert B. Hallock of the UMass physics department. This exhibit will continue until September 30.
Gardens appeal to every sense. This year there is an audio installation in the Palm House, What Every Gardener Knows. This piece by Susan Hillier (Smith ’61) is presented in collaboration with the Smith College Museum of Art. It will continue only until March 31.