The Botanic Garden of Smith College is open to the public and serves as a living museum, showcasing plants native to New England and other ecosystems around the world. Its goals are education, research, display and conservation. The garden features the Lyman Conservatory and Church Exhibition Gallery, the campus arboretum and a variety of specialty gardens, totaling more than 7,000 labeled and mapped plants.
Free guided tours (given to more than 1,800 students each year) and bus subsidies, funded by the Friends of the Botanic Garden, are offered to local school groups. General tours of the Lyman Conservatory, the exhibition gallery, and the outdoor gardens and arboretum can be tailored to complement classroom study. Tours are free for local groups and nonprofit organizations. Local community members participate in an intensive volunteer training program and serve as tour guides. Audio tours of the Lyman Conservatory are available for $1.
Two seasonal floral displays are held annually in the Lyman Conservatory: the Spring Bulb Show and the Fall Chrysanthemum Show. The Church Exhibition Gallery offers changing educational exhibitions. The Woods of the World Display is a permanent installation of 178 different kinds of wood, with information about the woods and the formation of grain patterns.
The Smith campus is an arboretum, featuring more than 1,100 woody trees and shrubs. Specialty gardens include the Systematics Garden (where plants are arranged by family); Rock Garden; Perennial Border; President's Residence Garden; Wildflower and Woodland Garden; Japanese Garden for Reflection and Contemplation; and Capen Garden, designed as a series of outdoor garden rooms, including a rose arbor, formal knot, color garden and perennial display.