On The Garden Path: The Botanic Garden of Smith College

The history of the Smith College garden.


| September 2007


A botanical garden is defined as a collection of plants scientifically ordered and maintained, documented and labeled for public education, research and enjoyment.

Smith College, in Northampton, Mass., was founded in 1871, and since opening, it has provided women an education of uncompromising quality.

In 1872, the college incorporated the study of plants into its academic curriculum. Now, the 127 acres of gardens and arboretum of the college combine the best of art and science.

The Botanic Garden includes thousands of plants on its 150-acre campus. It also features a collection of approximately 60,000 pressed herbarium specimens available for research.



The Garden Takes Shape

Smith College hired the firm of Olmsted, Olmsted and Eliot in the 1880s to develop a landscape theme to keep up with the growth of the college. The firm’s senior member, Frederick Law Olmsted, is best known for designing New York City’s Central Park, as well as the Boston park system.

In 1893, the firm came up with a plan to curve the drives and walkways at the garden, as well as to create open spaces to showcase specimen trees and place vistas overlooking Paradise Pond. The plan also called for diverse trees, shrubs and herbs, as well as aquatic and marsh plants to be incorporated into the landscape. In May of the following year, William Francis Ganong was appointed professor of botany and director of the Botanic Garden – positions he held until retiring in 1932. Under his leadership, the garden formally took shape. That same summer, Edward J. Canning was hired as head gardener. Together, Ganong and Canning expanded the Lyman Plant House, built a rock garden, turned the entire campus into an arboretum, and reworked the herbaceous plant beds into a systematics garden.







mother earth news fair 2018 schedule

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: August 4-5, 2018
Albany, OR

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!

LEARN MORE









Subscribe today

Capper's FarmerWant to rediscover what made grandma’s house the fun place we all remember? Capper’s Farmer — the newly restored publication from the rural know-how experts at Grit.com — updates the tried-and-true methods your grandparents used for cooking, crafting, gardening and so much more. Subscribe today and discover the joys of homemade living and homesteading insight — with a dash of modern living — that makes up the new Capper’s Farmer.

Save Even More Money with our automatic renewal savings plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $6 and get 4 issues of Capper's Farmer for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $22.95 for a one year subscription!




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265