The past growing season has been an exciting and challenging one for both plants and people here at the Botanic Garden. It is perhaps best characterized as a season of change. We were elated to have the Smith College Board of Trustees approve the full restoration and development project for Lyman Conservatory, and we reveled in the completion of important landscape projects on campus, but we regretted that Susan McGlew, Curator and Assistant to the Director since 1990, left Smith to join Sinauer Associates, an academic publisher in Sunderland, Massachusetts. In this edition, we are pleased to include a letter from Susan and further discussion of spring 1998 projects.
Farewell and best of luck to Susan McGlewSusan devoted seven years to the Botanic Garden, and we will miss her many important contributions. She worked to enhance and maintain the plant records database, she was a stalwart foundation for the creation of the Friends organization and outreach education at the Garden, and she was an enthusiastic, tireless teacher-extraordinaire for myriad programs and groups. At a Botanic Garden farewell party for Susan this past spring, we presented her with a flowering plant of Rhododendron 'Great Expectations.' Of course, we have nothing less than great expectations for Susan's future success. The Botanic Garden will be hard pressed to replace Susan, but we will be working to fill the position of Assistant Director in the near future.
Lyman Restoration and DevelopmentThe Botanic Garden of Smith College consists of a campus-wide arboretum and the Lyman Conservatory. The Plant House is a familiar feature of the Botanic Garden for all who visit and study at Smith College. It is, in fact, the true heart of the Botanic Garden.
Lyman Conservatory is an historic complex of glasshouses designed and built starting in the 1890s by the noted firm of Lord and Burnham. This historic structure houses the nonhardy living plant collections and functions as the core complex of working glasshouses, science laboratories and classrooms, student and faculty teaching and research areas, horticultural work areas, Botanic Garden offices, and public horticultural displays. The Conservatory is a key resource for many academic programs, particularly Biological Sciences and Environmental
photo by Madelaine Zadik
Science. This historic,heavily used structure has never received a comprehensive restoration in its entire, 100-year plus history. Unique technical expertise is required to assess, prescribe, and manage restoration of such a conservatory. Therefore, the expert firm of Rough Brothers, Inc.: Conservatory Restoration Specialists, was hired to complete a Feasibility and Order of Magnitude Study for Restoration and Development of Lyman Conservatory. In their November 1997 report, Rough Brothers strongly recommended that restoration begin in the near future.