Thursday, January 28, 2010

Smith College Winter Conservatory For Liisa

Winter can be lovely with it's canvas of white and startling shadows, yet we long for more light and colorful blooms of spring. The Smith College Lyman Conservatory allows visitors a peek at their Spring Bulb Show in its infancy right now. A walk through the Conservatory is delightful and a feast for all the senses. I was to be sharing this day with Liisa from  Green Mountain Gardener  but studies did not allow her time to travel down from Vermont. So Liisa I will dedicate this post to you and hope it will inspire you for your spring visit. I met Liisa over at  Blotanical  and find her blog filled with inspiration and understanding of nature's wisdom and beauty. Her posts are always beautifully written and a great resource for gardening ideas. If you have never visited her, you are in for a treat!
Several weeks will pass and this room will be filled and overflowing with fragrance and blooms of hundreds of tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, freesias and more. A riot of color will knock you out when you walk in the room . . . personally it always feels overwhelming to me and I believe I prefer the more subtle time of beginnings . . . buds showing colors and nearly bursting at their seams . . . with others just opening, spilling out their luring scents. These Cineraria are lovely to me just as they are.

I love the different stages of growth in these primroses! The freesia plants behind them will offer an array of colorful blooms and a delicious bouquet.
Now we are standing in what will be the entrance to the Spring Bulb Show. . . the walls will be filled with flowering branches that will stand brightly blooming above the dazzling colors of tulips. You can see through the door the room we were just visiting . . . note the tall freesia in the back all lit by the sunlight. The late afternoon light is fading and the Conservatory will close soon . . . so lets move on into other rooms where many blooms await us.
Walking out of the cooler rooms into the corridor there are lovely Camellias in bloom.
 There is no doubt an interesting story behind these sculptures and column but I forgot to ask . . . I will update this soon. Perhaps a link to Dionysus or Demeter?
Here we are in the 'Stove House' (once heated by a wood stove) which is filled with orchids, bromeliads and epiphytes. There is a water tank in the center of the room that I will present in a later post. 

Phalaenopsis (Butterfly orchids) are hanging over the center water tank, along with many other orchids I cannot identify. Along the side table are various flowering Paphiopedilums (Lady Slipper orchid).
We will quickly walk through the 'Warm Temperature House' on our way out of the Conservatory, as it is four o'clock and the doors are closing. I will bring you back inside on another cold winter day.
We can sit for a moment in the sun before walking around the botanical gardens and the Smith College Arboretum. You might remember this dramatic Camperdown Elm from an earlier post on these gardens.
This majestic Gingko tree was also featured in my earlier Smith College Botanical Garden posts. If you follow that link you can see many views of the gardens along with the Chrysanthemum Show and last years Spring Bulb show at night! This post will show up on the link too . . . just scroll down. Next time I will take you along this walk to share some other incredible trees and then we will return to the Conservatory to warm up and see more of that marvelous indoor paradise. It is the last Blooming Friday of January 2010! Visit Katarina's Roses and Stuff to see other blooms from around the world!
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