Welcome to this year’s Bloom Report series. Another year, eh? Time goes on…
As dry and cool as it has been lately in the Monadnock region, it does not appear (yet, anyway) that the bloom at Rhododendron State Park will be affected. If, however, we don’t get some rain here soon, that may or may not change.
I am being ambiguous as usual. It really is hard to correctly predict the future. What looks good now might be different in three weeks.
That being said, I predict that the “peak’ bloom will happen around mid July this year, as always. Despite going through a cool spring, plants in general will catch up when the warmth finally arrives.
Over the eons most all woody plants of the northern hemisphere have developed safeguards against weather aberrations such as this year’s cool spring, including Rhododendron maximus, the native species found in Fitzwilliam, NH. One of the strategies used by native rhododrendrons in this region is to grow in a wet area. Another strategy used is to grow under the protection of evergreen trees. Both conditions are found at the grove in Fitzwilliam, and both of these conditions provide the shelter needed by R. maximus in order to thrive. The large evergreen trees also provide year round shade and protection from winter and summer temperature extremes.
This is all a very simplfied explanation. Plants are much more complicated, and not being a plant scientist myself, I will leave it at that.
As always, even during dry spells, the bugs are thick at the grove during June and July. Come prepared!
Until next week, Ted Lenk
A little information about the place:
- The Rhodo Loop is just over 1/2 mile in length. It is designed for wheelchair access – mostly flat and surfaced with small gravel.
- Although leashed pets are permitted on the Monadnock-Metacomet trail, the Rhodo Loop itself is a “no pets” area. This is an official New Hampshire State Law and if broken is punishable by a fine. More information and a trailmap can be found on the Rhododendron State Park webpage.