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February 22, 2008

Spring Begins at Smith College with Annual Bulb Show

Orchid Expert William Mathis 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 annual spring bulb show from Saturday, March 1, to Sunday, March 16, at Lyman Conservatory on College Lane.

William Mathis, author of “The Gardener's Guide to Growing Hardy Perennial Orchids,” will kick off the show Friday, Feb. 29, with a talk, “The Best Kept Secret in the Gardening World: Hardy Terrestrial Orchids.” The talk, which will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Carroll Room, Campus Center, will be followed by a reception and preview of the bulb show in the illuminated Lyman Conservatory. Both Mathis’ talk and the bulb show are free and open to the public.

The 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 Smith College Botanic Garden 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 bulb show. All groups with more than ten people wishing to attend the event must schedule in advance by calling (413) 585-2742. For more information, call the Botanic Garden at (413) 585-2740.

For disability access information or to request accommodations, please call (413) 585-2407. To request a sign language interpreter specifically, call (413) 585-2071 (voice or TTY) or e-mail All requests must be made at least 10 days prior to the event.

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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