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Cape Cod's Heritage Museums & Gardens provide opportunities to learn about, enjoy native flowers

24 Apr 2014 5:24 PM
Cape Cod's Heritage Museums & Gardens provide opportunities to learn about, enjoy native flowers

Cape Cod may be most often regarded for its collection of affluent coastal communities, but this region of Massachusetts boasts a number of other exciting attractions. For instance, the area's favorable climate and special topography is conducive to the growth of myriad species of exquisite flowers and plants, among them being the beautiful rhododendron.

With comfortable spring weather now being experienced throughout the Bay State, those with an interest in this particular type of flower can enjoy learning more about it in the coming month. Cape Cod's Heritage Museums & Gardens plans to offer individuals the chance to explore its 65 acres of gardens and walking trails in May, with a emphasis on the mesmerizing genus. The organization, which is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, will host its anxiously anticipated Rhododendron Festival May 17 to May 25. If you enjoy spending time in the garden - whether at your own estate or within the carefully manicured plots found on local luxury real estate - you can benefit from planning a visit in the near future, as these offerings are sure to provide lasting memories for attendees. 

Festivities to kickoff with walking tours, seminars
In less than a month, the Heritage Museums & Gardens' 2014 Rhododendron Festival will commence, providing participants access to thousands of world-famous flowers in more than 100 different varieties. Covering the organization's 100 acres, these breathtaking colorful blooms can be seen throughout the week-long event, which will feature a variety of activities - from informational discussions to a scavenger hunt. 

Every day, rhododendron enthusiasts will be given the opportunity to gain deeper insight into the Heritage Museums & Gardens' renowned collection of attractive flowers, as docent guides will lead a series of 30-minute walking tours through the grounds. Attendees can enjoy learning about the efforts of the property's two hybridizers, Charles Dexter and Jack Cowles, who helped cultivate the plants that are so well-known and loved today. Discussions regarding the maintenance that is required day-to-day will also be conducted in some of the most spectacular areas for viewing, that the guides will choose daily.

Each Sunday afternoon, behind-the-scenes tours of the Heritage Museums & Gardens' new 30' x 72' plastic covered greenhouse will be offered by director of horticulture Les Lutz. During these events, Lutz will share facts about the recently-constructed structure, teach attendees about the various conservation efforts currently underway and inform them of future plans for the collection of rhododendrons. 

From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 21 expert John Delano and Lutz will host the tour "Rhododendron Redux," during which they will bring individuals to one of the most commonly overlooked portion of the grounds. While this area may not garner much attention, it features a number of rare varieties not found in many other locations. 

Educational workshops to conclude 2014 festival
In between the festivities, those who attend the week-long affair can benefit from participating in any of the planned workshops. On the afternoons of both Friday, May 23 and Saturday, May 24, Lutz will demonstrate in great detail the most effective strategies for propagating rhododendrons. Attendees will learn the optimal conditions for taking the cuttings and what is the best rooting material to use. As space is limited, it is recommended that interested parties reserve their spot as soon as possible. 

The festival will come to a close following the conclusion of the final workshop led by Lutz on the final Sunday. Held from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on May 20 and also from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. on May 25,  the "Everything You Need to Know About Rhododendron Care" workshop will inform participants how to properly maintain, fertilize and prune these beautiful plants. Again, advance registration is suggested. 

Those hoping to attend the festival and partake in the scheduled activities should be sure to visit the official event website, as some offerings vary in price and availability. To learn more, call 508-888-3300 or email info@heritagemuseums.org.