Beautiful Blooms

Recently, Colette and I toured the conservatory at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.



We had hoped that there would be snow on the ground, and we would have the thrill of stepping out of the snowy landscape into the warm, moist conservatory filled with living, blooming plants...the stark contrast was what we yearned to experience. But even though we had plenty of snow on the ground at our house, there was no snow at all in Northampton, MA. But our disappointment at our timing disappeared instantly when we entered, for we learned that we had arrived just after their spring bulb show, and that all the bulbs were still blooming. Oh, riotous spring blooms! And the aroma!








We learned that conservatories were called "orangeries" in Europe, and were begun by the French who wanted some way to grow citrus in winter. (When we were in England last year, we had tea at the Orangerie at Kensington Palace, which was a former conservatory or "orangerie".) When we left the bulb rooms, we moved into a small room which grew citrus. The smell of orange blossoms! That is one thing I miss about California!


From there we passed through one room after another. Some were divided by continent with horticultural specimens from each. And others were divided by type of plant...ferns, cacti, water plants, etc.



Neither of us had ever been in a large, glass conservatory before, and we decided that they appeal to our inner Victorians...everything beautiful and orderly, showing a fascination with the natural world, and sort of a way to travel to the far reaches of the world without really going anywhere. Plus, we could sit surrounded by exotic plants without fear that a large millipede was going to crawl over our feet, or a monkey drop down on our heads! You're laughing...but that really was what I was thinking!


It's the best sort of bean...a cocoa bean! It was actually labeled "Cocoa Bean - Chocolate Tree".





We thoroughly enjoyed our visit there, and have decided that we need to seek out more of these conservatories. I'm particularly interested in finding one that grows giant lily pads. Have you ever been to one? Do you have any you recommend?

2 comments:

  1. Yes, we belong to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania (1 hour west of Philadelphia). It is beautiful! Conservatories were built in 1921. Five large outdoor water pools with water lilies, displayed during the summer months. Check it out on-line - https://longwoodgardens.org.

    Also, I'm curious as to a couple of things if you don't mind sharing: How is your granddaughters health? Is there a reason I can't see others that comment? And totally not important, but just wondering, why you go to Boston every Wednesday? Thank you so much for sharing your lovely photos, lifestyle, and Biblical encouragement.

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  2. Longwood! Oh, I'd love to go there someday! They have those giant waterlilies, don't they? Seeing giant waterlilies is a lifelong dream! Someday...someday!

    My granddaughter is doing JUST GREAT! Thanks for asking!

    In regards to comments, see the P.S. below, which I am adding to all these comments I'm approving and responding to tonight.

    We go to Boston each Wednesday, because she goes to a singles' Bible study, and we make a mother-daughter night of it in the city. We enjoy exploring it a bit and trying out new restaurants. And the time together to chat is priceless!

    P.S. My sincerest apologies for the delayed response to your comment! Apparently Blogger changed how they notify me (or don’t notify me!) about comments, and I didn’t realize that your comment was there. I wasn’t trying to be rude…really! So sorry!

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