I Know How the Flowers Felt: In Praise of the Smith Bulb Show

There is really no excuse for NOT attending the annual Spring Bulb Show at Smith College’s Botanic Garden in Northampton. This grand and beautiful event is something I first attended several years ago, and now look forward to each winter20170318_173047. After months amid dingy mounds of snow, this show – which you can enjoy for a mere donation of $5 or less – wakes up the eyes, nose, brain, and soul. Alas, it ends today – 3/19 – at 8 p.m.

If you have not been I strongly suggest you drop whatever you have planned for the day, and just GO. I promise you won’t regret it. Here’s a link to information about it: https://www.smith.edu/garden/event/spring-bulb-show-fields-of-flowers

And you can even view – live! – all the delighted people sniffing and sighing here: https://www.smith.edu/garden/plants/lyman-conservatory/seasonal-shows/spring-bulb-show/bulb-show-live-view20170318_173125

I am too impatient to be a great photographer, and after I document one fabulous flower I am too quickly distracted by the next. Yet, I wanted to share the photos I took yesterday with you all. (If you miss the show, or flowers are just too embarrassing to your sense of machismo, the Smith greenhouses have more than enough extraordinary plant life to justify a visit by the even the toughest guy or gal.)20170318_18042220170318_180746

I have always enjoyed books that mix pictures and poems. In honor of the high number of famous poets and writers this region has cultivated, I am interspersing a few poems or excerpts here, by Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and William Cullen Bryant. And I hope these words and images will be fertilizer, for the garden of your mind.




“The rain to the wind said, ‘You push and I’ll pelt.’
They so smote the garden bed
That the flowers actually knelt,
And lay lodged – though not dead.
I know how the flowers felt.” – Robert Frost


“These prairies glow with flowers,
These groves are tall and fair,
The sweet lay of the mocking-bird
Rings in the


morning air;
And yet I pine to see
My native hill once more,

And hear the sparrow’s friendly chirp
Beside its cottage-door.”
– William Cullen Bryant

“Flowers—Well—if anybody
Can the ecstasy define—Half a transport—half a trouble—
With which flowers humble men:20170318_173629

Anybody find the fountain

From which floods so contra flow—
I will give him all the Daisies
Which upon the hillside blow.
Too much pathos in their faces
For a simple breast like mine—
Butterflies from St. Domingo
Cruising round the purple line-

Have a system of aesthetics-
Far superior to mine. “- Emily Dickinson



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