GardenNews.biz - Feb 23,2017 - SMITH COLLEGE - Fields of Flowers: The Annual Spring Bulb Show
Botanic Garden of Smith College
March 4-19, 2017
Opening Lecture by Joan Edwards
Botanical Explosions: The Evolutionary Impact of Ultra-fast Plants
Friday March 3, 7:30pm
Northampton, MA—Though cloudy skies and blackish-brown and white landscapes makes us long for winter to end, Smith College’s Lyman Conservatory will soon be in ablaze with color. A spectacular array of crocuses, hyacinths, narcissi, irises, lilies, tulips, and more will be in full bloom —a taste of spring to come. The theme of this year’s Bulb Show, Fields of Flowers, was inspired by Irish artist Mima Nixon’s watercolors that illustrated the book Dutch Bulbs and Gardens.
Are there any more beautiful fields of flowers begging to be artistically captured than the flowering bulb nurseries of Holland? For centuries these wide swaths of color have charmed visitors to the low country and many have tried to interpret the texture, color, and contrast of the vivid plots of bulbs against somber skies. One Irish artist, Mima Nixon, traveled to the Netherlands to do a series of watercolors that were to illustrate the book Dutch Bulbs and Gardens, published in 1909. In this year’s Bulb Show, Conservatory Manager Rob Nicholson combines reproductions of the artist’s work with bulbs grown from the very fields she painted a century ago. Where does the painting end and live bulbs begin? You will have to come see for yourself.
Joan Edwards will give the opening lecture for the Bulb Show in the Campus Center Carroll Room on Friday, March 3 at 7:30pm. Her topic is Botanical Explosions: The Evolutionary Impact of Ultra-fast Plants. This lecture will explore these ultra-fast actions through high-speed video, which slows down the movements and defines the biomechanics of the motion. Through examination of the plants in their native habitat, Edwards helps us better understand these fast movements, how they are evolutionarily adaptive, and how they benefit the plant. Following her lecture there will be a reception at the Lyman Plant House to celebrate the opening of the Spring Bulb Show.
The annual Bulb Show is a Smith College tradition that began in the early 1900s. Ordinarily blooming at different times throughout the spring, the flowers have been coaxed into blooming simultaneously. In October, Smith College horticulture students potted bulbs and put them into cold storage. Starting in January, the bulbs are moved into the greenhouses and with careful timing and temperature control they are all blooming in time for the Show.
The display runs Saturday, March 4 through Sunday, March 19, and is open to the public daily from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, the show is open until 8:00 pm. The suggested donation is $5.00. Special members-only hours, daily from 9:00 am to 10:00 am (please bring your membership card or you may join when you get here), provide a less crowded experience of the show.
The weekend following the Bulb Show, Friends of the Botanic Garden and the