Sandwich, Mass.—Heritage Museums & Gardens kicks off summer with the Heritage Rhododendron Festival, running through May 30 from 10:00am to 5:00pm daily. This ten-day celebration features horticultural walking tours, children’s activities, a plant sale of rare rhododendrons, and workshops about rhododendron care, flower arranging, digital photography, and nature painting.
The 100-acre grounds of Heritage Museums & Gardens feature thousands of rhododendron shrubs that burst into pink, red, and cream-hued bloom in late May. These plants are the legacy of two rhododendron-obsessed men. Charles Owen Dexter, a man of varied interests who became famous for hybridizing and propagating rhododendrons, lived on the property between 1921 and 1943. His plant breeding goals were hardiness, clear bright colors, fragrance, and large, showy blossoms. Other unique rhododendron cultivars in the Heritage gardens are the work of horticulturist Jack Cowles, who lived and worked on the estate from 1957 to 1967.
Heritage Museum & Gardens is open daily from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Museum admission is $15.00 (adults), $12.00 (seniors), $7.00 (youth, ages 4 to 16), and free for members and children age 3 and under. Heritage is conveniently located off Route 6 at 67 Grove Street in Sandwich, Massachusetts. For more information, call 508.888.3300 or see www.heritagemuseumsandgardens.org.
Heritage Museums & Gardens, a 42-year-old not for profit, is the largest public garden in Southern New England. It is located on 100 acres of gardens and nature trails on the banks of Shawme Pond in Historic Sandwich. In addition to the magnificent grounds, known for their encyclopedic collections of daylilies, hostas and hydrangeas, the estate holds a nationally significant collection of Dexter rhododendrons, specialty gardens, water features, and sculpture. Hidden Hollow, a new family-friendly feature, is a place for exploration of the natural world and learning about environmental stewardship. Heritage offers three buildings housing permanent exhibits of world-class automobiles, a working carousel, American folk art, and changing special exhibits on aspects of American culture. Heritage holds nationally significant collections of American folk art and other artistic and historical artifacts.