This past weekend my husband and I traveled to Northampton, Massachusetts for a wedding. The town happens to be home to Smith College, and we discovered after arriving that the school has a botanic garden right on campus. So the day after the wedding we headed over to check out the Lyman Conservatory on the picturesque property.
The conservatory is by no means huge, but there are thousands of plants to discover in its many rooms. We wandered through a few rooms before stumbling on the Stove House, which holds most of the orchids in the collection (we found a few in a different room). The room is so named because when it was built in the late nineteenth century, it was heated via coal stove (or possibly wood stove? The brochure I picked up says coal but the website says wood).
I was in heaven! Below you can browse through a gallery of some of the photos I took during our visit. The majority of their orchids weren’t in bloom, but there were still PLENTY of beautiful blooms. Literally everywhere I turned, there were more orchid flowers to gawk at. I especially enjoyed seeing many of the collection’s miniature orchids in bloom.
Hover over each photo see the caption, and click to see a larger version.
I was so glad that we discovered this place! Prior to our trip it hadn’t even occurred to me to see if there were any botanic gardens near the wedding location. We lucked out that one happened to be right down the street!
The portion of the botanic garden surrounding the conservatory is gorgeous as well. I love this photo my husband took of me in the rock garden.
How lucky are the Smith College students to have this amazing place on campus?! My college campus was beautiful, but it certainly didn’t have a botanical garden.
We stopped by the combination front desk/gift shop before leaving and the first thing that caught my eye was this Orchid-gami set, which I promptly bought. I don’t have a lot of manual finesse when it comes to crafts (and I’m not the most patient person, either), but hopefully I’ll be able to create my orchid-gami without too much trouble!
Have you ever stumbled upon a botanical garden while traveling, or do you research local gardens prior to every trip?