Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Annual Spring Bulb Show at Smith College in Western Massachusetts

Social Media Promotion: Hosted

This weekend we headed up north to Western Massachusetts, aka "the other side of MA" to visit the Annual Spring Bulb Show at the Botanic Garden of Smith College in Northampton Massachusetts. The northeast section of the U.S. has been experiencing some downright frigid temperatures - so a glimpse of spring would be a welcome respite to all us New Englanders!

Botanical Garden at Smith College Spring Bulb Show


The Botanic Garden of Smith College, developed in 1875, was the brainchild of  L. Clarke Seelye, the College's first president, who had a vision for the entire campus to be developed as a botanic garden. In addition to the aesthetic beauty it brought to the campus, this innovative concept would also allow for scientific research. While strolling the campus grounds don't be surprised if the  landscape feels somewhat familiar -  the same firm that designed Central Park was hired to bring President Seelye's vision to life. (Smith College, About Us)

Botanical Garden at Smith College Spring Bulb Show


Fast forward to Smith College in the 21st century and the Botanic Garden of today includes thousands of plants, including those grown under glass in the Lyman Conservatory and outdoors in the campus arboretum, the landscape for student learning, and various specialty gardens around campus. Additionally, there are 60,000 pressed specimens available for research in the herbarium.

Botanical Garden at Smith College Spring Bulb Show


The living plant specimens are the heart of the Botanic Garden and their bridge to the rest of the botanical world, studying the past through the future. (Smith College, About Us)

One of their most popular exhibitions is the Annual Spring Bulb Show which dates back to the early 1900's. This showcase of spring blooming flowers includes crocuses, hyacinths, narcissi, irises, lilies and tulips as well as non-hardy South African Bulbs. The process begins in October, when Smith College horticulture students pot up the bulbs and put them into cold storage. Starting in January, the bulbs are moved to the greenhouses. It takes careful timing and temperature control to orchestrate their colorful and fragrant debut in March.

Here are some of the beautiful sights from the 2017 showcase:

Botanical Garden at Smith College Spring Bulb Show - Windmill Centerpiece


Botanical Garden at Smith College Spring Bulb Show

Botanical Garden at Smith College Spring Bulb Show

Botanical Garden at Smith College Spring Bulb Show

Botanical Garden at Smith College Spring Bulb Show

Botanical Garden at Smith College Spring Bulb Show

Botanical Garden at Smith College Spring Bulb Show

Botanical Garden at Smith College Spring Bulb Show

Botanical Garden at Smith College Spring Bulb Show

In addition to the flowering bulbs there is a tropical rainforest area with ponds, water features, exotic orchids, and tropical plants

Botanical Garden at Smith College Spring Bulb Show

Botanical Garden at Smith College Spring Bulb Show - Water Feature

Water Feature - Botanical Garden at Smith College Spring Bulb Show

Water Feature - Botanical Garden at Smith College Spring Bulb Show

Orchid - Botanical Garden at Smith College Spring Bulb Show


The Spring Bulb Show opens the first Saturday in March; runs for two weeks including the third weekend.
Weekday Hours: Monday through Thursday: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM daily.
Extended Hours: Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Suggested Donation: $5.00

This year the Spring Bulb Show Runs March 4th through March 19th - don't miss this beautiful 'welcome to spring' with a bounty of blooming flowers at Smith College Botanic Garden.

The Botanic Garden at Smith College

16 College Lane
Northampton, MA 01063


The bulb show also offers a bulb sale the weekend after the show. Details are available at https://www.smith.edu/garden/event/after-the-show-bulb-sale

Don't miss any of the upcoming events at the Botanic Garden - look here https://www.smith.edu/garden/events and save the dates of November 4 - November 19th for their Fall themed Chrysanthemum Show where the deep autumnal tones of fall are featured.

Look for more beauty in 'the other side of MA" by searching  the hashtags #InBloomMA and #otherSideMA on your favorite social media outlets.

Disclaimer: This visit was part of a trip sponsored in part by Visit Western Massachusetts, however all opinions are my own. 


© Home Place 2017

2 comments:

  1. Wow...I've never heard of this before. Thanks for the heads up!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sue! Yes, I thought the same thing! How did I not know about this show. The great thing is that it's an easy day trip. And the weekend after the show (3-25-17 and 3-26-17) is the bulb sale, where they sell the bulbs that were on display. If you're into perennials this sounds great! I can't make it this year to the sale -- but its definitely on my schedule for 2018!

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