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February 13, 2004

Smith College to Present Annual Spring Bulb Show

Noted Horticulturist Lauren Springer Will Give Opening Lecture

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. -- A spectacular array of blossoming crocus, hyacinths, narcissi, irises, lilies and tulips will provide an early glimpse of spring at Smith College's Lyman Conservatory from Saturday, March 6, to Sunday, March 21. The Annual Spring Bulb Show is open to the public at no charge daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Friday nights March 12 and 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. Parking is available on College Lane for the two weeks of the show. All groups with more than ten people wishing to attend the event must schedule in advance by calling (413) 585-2742.

On Friday, March 5, Lauren Springer, a contributing editor for Horticulture magazine and author of the award-winning book "The Undaunted Garden," will open the show with a slide lecture titled "Continental Ideas For American Gardens." Springer's lecture, which will take place at 8 p.m. in Wright Hall Auditorium and will be followed by a reception and preview of the show in the illuminated Lyman Conservatory, is free and open to the public.

For years, Americans have looked to the English for garden inspiration, with a nod here and there to Mediterranean and Japanese influences. During Springer's talk, she will discuss a new style that has been evolving in public and private gardens in Germany and Holland and which is creating an entirely new idiom of ecologically based naturalism. In many ways this new Continental style mirrors some of America's own recent regionally expressive garden styles. Springer will discuss some of these modern Continental concepts and characteristics, illustrated with both European and American examples, to provoke thought and inspire ideas for our gardens.

Springer's most recent book, "Passionate Gardening: Good Advice for Challenging Climates," co-authored with Rob Proctor, received the 2001 American Horticultural Society Book Award, and her private gardens have been featured on television and in many publications.

The Annual Spring Bulb Show is a long-standing tradition of Smith College's Botanic Garden, dating back over 75 years. Ordinarily blooming at different times, some 5,000 bulbs are coaxed into a simultaneous blooming beginning in October when Smith horticulture students put them into cold storage. In January, the bulbs are transferred to the greenhouses and, with careful timing and temperature control, are ready for their colorful debut in March.

Also on view beginning Friday, March 6, in the Church Exhibition Gallery of the Lyman Conservatory is the photographic exhibit, "The Botanic Garden: A Neighboring View," by Northampton resident and photographer Judy Messer. The exhibition, which will be on display through May 31, will feature 15 years of photographic exploration by Messer, whose home neighbors the Smith College Botanic Garden. There will be a reception for the exhibition from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 17. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.
The Botanic Garden, which is wheelchair accessible, is free and open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parking is available on College Lane for the two weeks of the Spring Bulb Show. For more information, please contact the Botanic Garden of Smith College at (413) 585-2740 or visit the Web site at


Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Marti Hobbes
News Assistant
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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