Heritage Museums & Gardens Annual Rhododendron Festival

May 25th to June 2nd - "An enchanted forest of color, splendor and fragrance"
The magnificent Dexter Rhododendrons at Heritage Museums & Gardens (Courtesy of HM&G)

Heritage Museums & Gardens will be bursting with color, splendor, and fragrance as thousands of its world-famous rhododendrons cover 100 acres with spectacular and varied blooms during the much-anticipated Heritage Rhododendron Festival, from Saturday, May 25 through Sunday, June 2. 

The annual Heritage Rhododendron Festival, sponsored by Cape Cod 5, is one of the most beautiful times to visit Heritage, and special festival programs will engage everyone from novice to avid gardeners. Visitors can enjoy a peaceful walk surrounded by walls of flowers, learn more about these stunning plants from horticultural experts, explore Heritage’s connection to noted rhododendron hybridizers and participate in other activities related to this signature plant.

“We are so excited to welcome visitors to the Rhododendron Festival during our 50th Anniversary Season, and encourage them to explore acres of stunningly beautiful blooms along lakefront and other woodland trails whether on a walk or as part of the inaugural Run for the Rhodies”, said Heritage CEO & President Anne Scott-Putney.

In addition to presenting an enchanting forest of spectacular colors and fragrances, many of the rhododendrons have historic horticultural significance. 

“This should be an especially exciting season.  The mild winter weather and the long, cool spring are combining to produce a spectacular flowering season this year.  Many of our rhododendrons are nearly 100 years old and in many areas of the Garden form a canopy of flowers,” said Heritage Director of Horticulture Les Lutz.

Rhododendron Festival Programs include:

Daily Rhododendron Collection Walking Tour

Saturday, May 25 - Sunday, June 2

11-11:30 am and 2-2:30 pm

Meets at the Dexter Terrace

Take a deep dive into the world of rhododendrons. Discover how the work done by two hybridizers—Charles Dexter and Jack Cowles—contributed to the genus Rhododendron and created the plants that are so loved today. Guides will select the most spectacular spots for viewing these stunning plants daily.


Rhododendron Care and Pruning Demonstration

Saturday, May 25 - Sunday, June 2 (no program on Monday, May 27)

12-12:30 pm

Meets at the Dexter Terrace

Heritage’s Horticulture staff share the basics on how to maintain and care for your rhododendrons. Included are demonstrations of ideal growing situations, watering, fertilizing, mulching, pest control, and dead-heading to encourage optimal health and beauty. Learn how to selectively prune your plants to improve vigor, increase bloom density, control height, and enhance ornamental value. Discuss the tools, techniques, and timing needed for effective pruning and watch a demonstration of techniques on various plants during a walk through the garden.


Heritage Rhododendron Festival programs are free with Museum admission. No advance registration is required.

Heritage is grateful for the support of the 2019 season sponsors, the Arbella Insurance Foundation and Cape Cod 5. The 2019 regular season runs through October 14. Open daily, 10 am-5 pm. More information is available online at heritagemuseumsandgardens.org or by calling 508-888-3300.

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