Even in the raw of winter, the succulent house will be hot and dry. The air in the palm house will be thick. These alternating glass houses of desert, forest, floral exotica—carnivorous pitcher plants and living stones—will be a refuge when New England is in February; one way to survive the cold.
The greenhouses making up the Lyman Conservatory at Smith College are a study in organization and chaos. The sheer quantity, cluttered within such limited space, suggests the joy of a free-form gatherer (if not hoarder), mixed with the scientific precision called for in a true botanical garden. The product of the exploratory impulse and a ‘you can take it with you’ attitude, overlaid with classification and order. Every thing labeled. Conquered artifacts from near and far, brought from there to here, alive.