Friends of Laurelwood Arboretum will host a Rhododendron Festival the weekend of May 19 and 20 at 725 Pines Lake Road in Wayne. “Rhododendrons are Laurelwood’s signature plant, and seeing the more than 60 varieties in bloom throughout the arboretum is one of the year’s most memorable experiences,” said Joseph Di Giacomo, Master Gardener and Chairperson of Laurelwood’s Rhododendron Study Team. “Our rhododendron collection includes more than 400 named hybrids and species, many of which were raised and planted decades ago.”
During the two-day festival, visitors and their families can enjoy peaceful walks surrounded by majestic flowers, guided tours to learn more about the rhododendron collection, and opportunities to learn about the Knippenberg legacy of rhododendrons, as well as how to care for their own rhododendron plants.
On Saturday, May 19 at 1 pm, trained guides will take visitors to the best spots for viewing rhododendrons in bloom. The tours are free. Motorized carts driven by Friends of Laurelwood Arboretum volunteers are available for those who are unable or do not wish to walk.
Saturday at 3 pm there will be a rhododendron care and pruning demonstrating by Elaine Fogerty, Executive Director of Laurelwood Arboretum. Participants will earn how to maintain and care for rhododendrons and selectively prune the plants to improve their growth and increase bloom density. The program is free for members of Friends of Laurelwood Arboretum and $15. for nonmembers.
On Sunday, May 20 at 1 pm, there will be another round of free guided tours.
Sunday at 3 pm, Di Giacomo will present, “Laurelwood’s Legacy: Hybrid Rhododendrons.”
He will talk about the role Laurelwood’s founders, Dorothy and John Knipppenberg played in hybridizing rhododendrons on the East Coast and about the arboretum’s renowned collection. The program is free.