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Alan Payton Rhododendron Display Garden

The Alan Payton Rhododendron Display Garden was started in 2002 and dedicated in 2003. It now hosts over 80 varieties of rhododendrons, 15 varieties of groundcovers, and eight ornamental trees. The peak bloom is in late April and early May. However, there is usually something blooming in the garden from early April through September.

Due to the sun exposure of the garden, many of the rhododendrons are of the small-leaf type (lepidotes). There are also a number of large leaf rhododendrons (elepidotes), evergreen azaleas, and deciduous summer blooming azaleas. The garden contains a balanced mix of old timers, plants that are currently available at local nurseries, and new introductions that are not widely available as yet.


The Massachusetts Chapter is an affiliate of the American Rhododendron Society which is a non-profit organization dedicated to the study of, and the education of the public on the genus Rhododendron. The display garden at Elm Bank is intended to partially fulfill that mission by demonstrating the wide variety of rhododendrons that are hardy in New England. Chapter activities include evening and afternoon meetings, plant sales, flower and foliage shows, garden tours, seed and cutting exchanges, and the propagation of rhododendrons for our members. The annual American Rhododendron Society Sale is held in May at Elm Bank.

The display garden was named after Alan Payton, a past member of the Chapter and in whose name a substantial donation was made to support the maintenance of the garden.

For more information about the Rhododendron Society Garden please view the map of the garden and the plant list.

About the Massachusetts Horticultural Society

Mass Hort logo newFounded in 1829, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society is dedicated to encouraging the science and practice of horticulture and developing the public's enjoyment, appreciation, and understanding of plants and the environment.

2017 Calendar & Courses

2017 Calendar and Courses

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