Scenic New Hampshire – A portal to all things New Hampshire.

By Ted Lenk

Hey Folks-

After a pretty wet June, it seems that the warm temps of this week are moving things right along in the grove. Typical for July in southwest New Hampshire.

As you can see from the photos (from Wednesday 7/5), there is a lot of new green growth at the grove. This is quite normal for any spring, maybe a little more this year as a result of the extra moisture of June.

view from the bridge halfway along the Rhododendron Loop Trail
A small view from the bridge halfway along the Rhododendron Loop Trail

The amount of flower buds, though, is pretty low this year, due to the mystery of plants. A couple  theories for this:

 It is actually a fact, not a theory, that in most woody plants form their flower buds during the previous summer and fall. Was it a particularly dry summer last year? August 2022 was. Did that affect the formation of flower buds? Probably.

Rhododendrons without flowers
A lot of vigorous new leafy growth-no flowers this year

This year, as is often the case, there is a better show of blooms at the Patch Cottage than can be seen anywhere in the grove, with the possible exception of near the bridge about halfway along the Loop trail. Why is that? It may be that with the extra light found there there is more energy available for making flowers. Another mystery.

Flower buds on rhododendrons
An example of how some flower buds are further along than others.

Secondly, last year was a pretty good show in terms of numbers of flowers. Perhaps the plants are recharging after spending so much energy making flowers. This is common among all the larger woody plants.

Some of the flowers are opening a bit early this year, so any time between now and the end of July is a good time to visit the grove, with “peak” bloom right on schedule-mid July.

rhododendron flower cluster
A small, but mostly open, flower cluster.

As always, the bugs are thick in the grove, so come prepared.

Until next time-

Ted Lenk

The post First Rhododendron State Park Bloom Report July 7, 2023 appeared first on NH State Parks.