Smith College Greenhouses on My Birthday - January 17, 2020 @goldenoakfarm

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The reflection in one of the pond houses

I had wanted to wander through the Smith College greenhouses for my birthday.

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We entered into the Church Exhibition Gallery and quickly wandered through this exhibit. I had checked it out thoroughly when I’d gone to the Chrysanthemum Show in November.

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source Map of the greenhouses

Then we went up through the Physiology House where they had the bulbs being forced for the Bulb Show on March 7th. Then through into the Cold Storage house where there were more.

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Outside we came around to the Camellia Corridor. At this point I realized I’d left my camera in the car, so all these photos were taken by my husband. Some were ones I asked for and some were ones he was taken with.

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What a delight!

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So many different types of camellias

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Some were just an enchantment to enjoy

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Some just a surprise

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Massonia depressa

There were many more plants in this corridor than camellias.

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A frilly camellia

Some of the plants do have tags on them, but many more do not, or one can’t access the tag.

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My husband found this plant covered with hair.

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A close-up of it

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I liked this one with beads for flowers

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Smith clivia March 2016

From there we went to the Cool Temperate House. This house has plants in sections labeled by the continents: Africa, Asia, etc. We didn’t take any photos except of the seed pods of the giant clivia that lives there. The photo didn’t come out well.

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Parasitic plants on bark

From there we went into the Palm House. I call this the Jungle Room. A person I met a while back had a grandfather who was instrumental in the development of these greenhouses. She used to play in them with her brother. She said her grandfather said when this house was first started, it had monkeys living in it.

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We always check two of the plants in this room: the cacao tree and the banana tree. As you can see, the cacao tree is covered with fruit.

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The banana tree had lots of green fruit on it.

The prayer plants on the floor had buds for flowers on them. This house is the warmest and I love going in there, especially on such a cold day as Friday was.

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From there we went into the Stove house and found more orchids blooming. This house had the best scent of all of them. It also had bromeliads and pitcher plants. I’m not sure if the refection photo at top was in this house or the next one.

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Fountains of orchids…

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Bromeliad flowers

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I particularly liked the spots on this plant.

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Some of the short ends of the houses are where they have created banks of flowers, like this peperomia and Swedish ivy one.

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Pitcher plants hanging happily over one of the ponds

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Underneath, this pond was bisected and this section had a floating mat of foliage.

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Along the wall from the mat of foliage, this plant had the hugest leaves for something not a tree, like a banana. They had to be over 2’ long.

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The texture of the surface was smooth and soft, just heavenly.

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But this plant beat them all! These leaves felt just as satiny as they looked. Incredible! I can’t help but wonder if someone seeing it then went and tried to create a textile to replicate it….

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Brilliant red on the leaf of this begonia between the green veins

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A lady slipper orchid

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More orchids

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These orchids looked like ladies in full skirts dancing.

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I think this is a spider orchid

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As we left the stove house, my husband got this shot of the frog because he knows I love frogs. They used to put goldfish in these ponds, but people would not stop throwing coins into the water. The coins poisoned the fish, so now there’s none. Sometimes we will see a frog that has snuck in…

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Pelargoniums in the Show House

We went through the tiny Fern House and the Show House.

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Then we moved onto the Succulant House.

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Benches of cacti and succulants

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We always like the hairy cactuses.

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This one had dewdrops sparkling on its hairs.

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Many of them were flowering.

There’s been visits where this house has looked really sad, lots of dying plants, or damaged ones. But on Friday, they all looked great!

It’s a wonderful way to spend an hour or two on a cold afternoon. I love to touch the plants to feel the various textures. There’s always a heavenly scent in at least one of the houses. And there’s more than enough flowers to keep me going for a while longer until the Bulb Show! It’s usually very quiet (unless the vent system creaks into action) and serene in these houses.

Comments 4

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Have a nice day and sincerely yours,

20.01.2020 19:29

My allergies make it extremely rough to go, so I've only been to the Smith greenhouse once, but it was very impressive when I went!
Thanks for sharing the pictures. It lets those of us who physically can't go enjoy it as well!

20.01.2020 20:12

You have my sympathies, allergies that make such an outing unhappy. :(( I am glad you got to enjoy my visit vicariously. :))

20.01.2020 22:30

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22.01.2020 14:01