Botanic Garden and Greenhouse

Photo of the exterior of Talcot Greenhouse

The Mount Holyoke College grounds maintain a long history of being used as a field station. Mary Lyon herself envisioned the campus as an outdoor teaching laboratory, and the Botanic Garden, including Talcott Greenhouse and the surrounding outdoor gardens, expand this vision.

Not only is the Botanic Garden responsible for perpetuating countless College traditions such as the annual flower show and the first year plant tradition, but here, you may also find botanical research abounds.

Students analyze the molecular genetics of species in the living collection, propagate plants from historic seedbanks in the ecology greenhouse, and study the entomology, or the insects, found interacting in the outdoor gardens.

New in 2018, students will have the opportunity to work and learn in the College’s very own vegetable garden, situated directly behind Talcott Greenhouse. The garden will be student-designed to feature a rotating selection of seasonal organic vegetables, amended with organic soil.

Interdisciplinary learning is also promoted within the Botanic Garden. Students in sculpture classes have designed and built elaborate displays for the Spring Flower Show, and history classes have used the living collection to explore the influence of plants such as cocoa and coffee on science, global trade, and culture. 

Whether seeking an independent study project, a research question, or simply an inviting place to read, the Botanic Garden is one of the most inspiring resources within the College’s living laboratory.

Want to dig deeper?

Photo of a student working in the greenhouse
Plants are essential to life. Through its programs and collections, the Mount Holyoke College Botanic Garden promotes an understanding and appreciation of the botanical world by serving as a plant-based resource for education, research, conservation and inspiration.