Page 6 spacer Botanic Garden News spacer Spring 2000
black line

The Long Green Line, continued Next Page

     The earliest mention of the floral exhibitions were in the student newspaper, Smith College Weekly, which was published from 1911 to 1947. Calendar listings for the Mum Show and Bulb Show in 1911 and 1912, respectively, announced exhibitions of chrysanthemums and of spring flowering bulbs and shrubs "by the students of the Class in Horticulture." How quickly are traditions established that they require spacer William F. Ganong on Horticulture
no explanation or further notation of "Tenth Annual" or "Twelfth Annual"!
     My initial focus on the Horticulture curriculum was to find a change from passive teaching to active involvement. Instead my search revealed a dynamic equilibrium. The course description for Horticulture
spacer William F. Ganong on Horticulture
for 2000-01 is not dissimilar to that of 1900-01. I now believe that the stylized drawings from Emily Rankin Watkinson's Horticulture notebook of 1910-11, which appeared to be the result of passive copying, were actually preprinted, perhaps with the assignment to find, to identify, and to research the plants depicted.
     In 1909, the phrase "and elements of
landscape gardening" was added to the description of Horticulture, and in 1912 a
separate course in Advanced Horticulture and Landscape Architecture was offered. The landscape architecture branch of the Long Green

spacer spacer
Tradition Trivia

How well do you think you know Smith traditions, past and present? To confirm whether the following are actual or fictitious traditions, see page 8.

1. Walk through the grotto once with a man, and he will want to hold your hand. Walk through the grotto twice with a man, and he will want to kiss you. Walk through the grotto a third time, and he will propose.

2. No one walks through the Grecourt Gates, because one who traverses the gate will either not graduate or not marry, depending on the direction.

3. Campus goers require lecture on care of grass, assisted by Grass Cops.

4. In the morning, place a note on trees in the old orchard to reserve them in order to hang your hammock for studying or sleeping.

5. Go to Mount Holyoke for science and Smith for humanities.

6. If an acorn falls on your head in front of Neilson Library, you will marry a man named William or Allan.

7. Every incoming Smith student receives an ivy (Hedera helix) on arrival at Smith.

8. The spring semester of Horticulture ends with a trip to Paradise Island for a picnic.

spacer spacer
spacer Line, bolstered by the merger of the Cambridge School of Design with Smith in 1938, later suffered drastic pruning. What caused the number of Landscape Architecture majors to drop to zero by 1949-50? The retirement of Kate Ries Koch, the instructor!
     As I celebrate one hundred years of Horticulture
at Smith College, I keep coming back to the image of
the Long Green Line. I envision the Long Green Line growing and spreading well beyond Northampton to become an immense green web. I imagine all the life-forms that have been touched by the works and ways of the Long Green Line. There is no doubt that students love Horticulture. The instructors enjoy the course. Even parents are appreciative. In a 1950 letter to College Horticulturist W.I.P. Campbell, Virginia Arnold wrote, "If all the parents get as much out of your class in Horticulture as we did out of Edith (Arnold's) course, you should be grateful. I have learned so much through her and we have had tremendous pleasure from her many plants."
     Let us hope that the next hundred years of Horticulture bring many more pleasures--and challenges. Indeed, how much we all love Lyman Conservatory may be put to the test with the upcoming renovations to that jewel at the center of the Immense Green Web.

     Send any recollections of your experience with the Long Green Line and subsequent work in horticulture to Connie Parks, Lyman Conservatory, for use in the sequel-The Immense Green Web. decoration

spacer spacer Course description for Horticulture, 2000

202 Horticulture Theory and practice of plant cultivation in managed environments, including applications to plant conservation, annual and perennial flowers, bulbs, plant propagation, evergreen shrubs and trees, planting practices, hybridization, insects, and diseases.
203 Horticulture Laboratory Practical application of horticultural practices and techniques to include soil preparation, propagation, using common hand tools, bulb planting, and identifying harmful insects and diseases.
204 Horticulture Continuation of 202. Includes study of house plants, epiphytes, vegetable gardening, herbs, deciduous trees and shrubs, design and planting plans, wildflowers, and advanced plant propagation.
205 Horticulture Laboratory Continuation of 203. Includes seed treatments, plant identification, flower arranging, advanced plant propagation techniques, pruning, and installation of planting plans. Source: Smith College Bulletin, 1999-2001 Catalogue.

spacer spacer

black line
previous page next page

| Lyman Conservatory | Gardens | Academics | Friends
Landscape Master Plan | Events | News | Herbarium | History