SPRING BULB SHOW OPENS MARCH 3
Opening Lecture March 2 by Brian McGowan
NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—A spectacular array of blossoming crocuses, hyacinths, narcissi, irises, lilies and tulips will provide an early glimpse of spring at Smith College’s Lyman Conservatory from Saturday, March 3, through Sunday, March 18.
The annual Spring Bulb Show is open to the public daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., with Friday evening hours on March 9 and 16, 6-8 p.m. The suggested donation is $2. Members-only hours are 9-10 a.m. Please bring your membership card or join when you get here. All groups with more than ten people planning on visiting the show must schedule in advance by calling (413) 585-2742.
On Friday, March 2, at 7:30 p.m., Brian McGowan will open the Spring Bulb Show with a lecture, titled “Living with a Mature Garden.” McGowan’s lecture, which is free and open to the public, will take place in the Carroll Room, Campus Center. His talk will be followed by a reception and preview of the bulb show in the illuminated Lyman Conservatory.
McGowan, assistant director of horticulture at Wave Hill public garden in Bronx, N.Y., was born in Sligo, Ireland, and cultivated his first successful garden when he was 7 years old. Since then, he has pursued vegetable and small fruit farming, operating Blue Meadow Farm retail nursery for 20 years, and sustainable landscape design.
The Spring Bulb Show, which this year features a Dutch theme, is a Smith College tradition that has lasted for more than a century. Some 5,000 bulbs, which ordinarily bloom at different times, are coaxed into a simultaneous blooming. The process begins in October when Smith horticulture students pot the bulbs and put them into cold storage. Starting in January, the bulbs are transferred to the greenhouses and, with careful timing and temperature control, are ready for their colorful and fragrant debut in March. Bulbs from South Africa add an exotic flavor to the show.
On Saturday and Sunday, March 24 and 25, Friends of the Botanic Garden and the general public are invited to purchase many of the hardy bulbs that appeared in the show. Inexpensively priced, these crocus, daffodil, hyacinth, narcissus, and tulip bulbs, as well as other plants, can later be planted outdoors or displayed indoors in pots. The sale is noon-3 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday. Members-only hours are Saturday, March 24, 9 a.m.-noon (please bring your membership card).
Lyman Conservatory is wheelchair accessible. Parking is available on College Lane for the two weeks of the Spring Bulb Show. For more information, contact the Botanic Garden of Smith College at (413) 585-2740.