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February 16, 2007

Spring Begins at Smith with Annual Bulb Show

C. John Burk to Give Opening Lecture

Editor’s note:  High-res digital images of the bulb show are available. For the photos, e-mail Marti Hobbes at

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 3, to Sunday, March 18. 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 9 and 16, 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 2, C. John Burk, E. D. Simonds Professor in Life Science at Smith College, will open the show with a talk, titled “The World in a Garden,” a discussion of how botanic gardens have endeavored since the early Renaissance to represent our increasing awareness of the plant life of other continents and climatic regions.  Burk’s talk is in conjunction with a new exhibition at the Church Exhibition Gallery which is on display March 3 to Dec. 21, 2007. The exhibition features images, including many from the rich collection of botanical works in the Mortimer Rare Book Room, that show how botanists and botanical artists have sought to describe and illustrate the diversity of the known plant world in an age of constant exploration and discovery.

The Bulb Show, talk and “World in a Garden” exhibition are all free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible.

The Annual Spring Bulb Show is a long-standing tradition of Smith College’s Botanic Garden, dating back almost 100 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.

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, call the Botanic Garden 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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