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Plant Highlights
spacerby Rob Nicholson

   "Vote Early and Often" is a slogan of Bostonian ward politics. orange flower
But every November for the last 75 years the Lyman Conservatory has held its own election, thought by most to have more honest results and far better looking candidates.
   Each year the Fall Mum Show fills the greenhouses with subtle autumn colors as the chrysanthemums that the greenhouse staff and student interns have been growing all year burst on schedule into full bloom. Hybrid seed produced each year by students in the Horticulture course are grown to flowering size. Visitors to the show are then invited to vote for the best mum of the new crop, with the winners becoming part of the permanent collection of Smith
chrysanthemums. Each winner is named for the student who produced the cross, and we occasionally have the pleasure of meeting alums from past Horticulture classes who return and inquire about their creations.
   The top vote getter for 1997 was "Sarah McMullen," a beautiful 3" spoon mum of light purple petals colored dark purple on the inside of the spoon. Others receiving high marks were "Brennan Bruss," a strong red 2" daisy mum, and "Amanda Burton," a striking 1 " pompom blossom of pinkish purple. To the winners, congratulations and welcome to greenhouse immortality. Unlike Boston politics, once elected you're in for good. decoration

Student Projects
spacerby Susan Mcglew
    The Botanic Garden enjoys and utilizes the energy and intellect of many Smith undergraduates during the academic year.  Two interns, funded by the Career Development Office, are taking on specific projects.  Another intern, funded by the Smith Club of Tokyo, is working in the Japanese Garden.
   Brita Dempsey '00 is working with the Director, Curator, and Conservatory Manager as the Cary MacRae McDaniel '69 Botanic Garden Intern, to develop interpretive signage.  Brita brings a huge charge of enthusiasm and a good deal of expertise to the project.  Her fall semester work, which included meeting with signage experts at the New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and Wave Hill, produced a prototype sign and an assortment of potential materials.  This spring, Brita will develop a sign for each room in Lyman Conservatory and for the Rock Garden and Systematics Garden.  Look for her work when you visit campus or attend your next reunion!
    Lissa Harris '98 is working as the Botanic Garden Curatorial Intern, helping the garden staff input data to the plant records database.  Lissa has gathered information from student landscape projects installed by the Horticulture class last May.  She has been verifying that all the new plants were properly accessioned and mapped.  Lissa enjoyed her field trips to the new plantings and found that accurate record keeping of living plants can be rather complicated.  Her accuracy and efficiency really keep us on the move.
    Our Japanese Garden Intern, Nicole Davignon AC, returned to Smith as an Ada Comstock Scholar.  After traveling to Japan with Professor Taitetsu Unno in May, looking at Japanese gardens and architecture, Nicole is planning a more specific landscape
spacer architecture concentration within her Architecture major.  Last fall Nicole cleaned up the Japanese Garden and assessed the plantings.  This spring she hopes to come up with a new planting list and work with Director Kim Tripp and garden designer David Slawson to refurbish and install new plants in the garden.
    Once again, Kew Gardens' Jodrell Research Laboratory was home to two Smith College undergraduates. Caroline Kellogg '98 and Mollie Kornblum '98 spent twelve weeks in the summer of 1997 researching the intricacies of plant conservation and DNA sequencing under the able guidance of Drs. Michael Fay and Mark Chase. The interns learned a tremendous amount from the experience and shared slides and anecdotes from their work with the Friends Visiting Committee. Special thanks are in order for Visiting Committee member Lisa Morrison Baird '76, Professor of Biology at the University of San Diego, for her special correspondence with the students while they were in England. Kew internship stipend support was provided by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
    The Bad Seeds is an organization of students who call themselves "a band of disorganized plant nerds." Members have one thing in common - they adore plants. Last fall the Bad Seeds met for activities including a night hike, apple picking, and production of the first edition of their newsletter, The Seedling. Plans for this spring include tapping sugar maples (Acer saccharum), selling T-shirts, learning to propagate plants, and discussing their love for plants and gardening. If you would like to know more about the Bad Seeds contact Sallie Holt '00 (585-7447) or Sara Cohen '00 (585-6861). decoration
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