Berkshire Botanical Garden’s annual bulb show returns; remedy to ward off winter blues

Contributed photoMuscari armeniacum ‘Big Smile’ Grape Hyacinth.

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — Berkshire Botanical Garden’s Fitzpatrick Conservatory becomes a harbinger of spring starting March 1, when the public is invited to enjoy hundreds of flowering bulbs in an annual exhibition featuring New England springtime favorites along with some striking, lesser-known varieties hand-picked by BBG’s horticulturists. Visitors to the greenhouse will see an evolving collection of 1,400 blooming bulbs over a two-week period.

Some of the standouts from last year’s show will be back, including the diminutive Muscari armeniacum ‘Big Smile’ Grape Hyacinth and the enchanting Fritillaria meleagris, or Guinea Hen Flower, with its nodding, bell-shaped blooms in a variety of showy colors and faintly checkered patterns. Alongside these will be some new inclusions: ‘Vincent Van Gogh,’ a striking, dark purple tulip with fringed petals; a diminutive, pink-orange tulip called ‘Salmon Gem’; a trio of new daffodils; and two exquisite dwarf irises, ‘Harmony’ and ‘Pauline,’ with flowers of brilliant blue and deep purple, respectively.

As in previous years, the bulbs will be exhibited amongst the Garden’s collection of succulents housed year-round in the Fitzpatrick Conservatory, a period building replete with curved glass. The soft grays and greens of the succulents’ foliage provide a contrasting backdrop for the bright colors of tulips, narcissus, hyacinths, irises and other New England springtime bulbs.

Those interested in learning the behind-the-scenes story of how the Bulb Show comes together each year are invited to read, “The Dirt on the Bulb Show” in this year’s Winter/Spring issue of Berkshire Botanical Garden’s free magazine, Cuttings, available in print throughout the Berkshires region and online at https://www.berkshirebotanical.org/cuttings-magazine.

The Bulb Show runs 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily March 1 through March 14. Considered the Garden’s gift to the community, Bulb Show admission is free; however, for safety in compliance with current state guidelines, advance reservations are required, as are masks. Visitors are asked to plan ahead, as all other buildings at the Garden remain closed for the season, and restrooms will not be available.

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