Rhododendron Sunday

The charity bazaar was not the only time the public had the opportunity to view Holm Lea. The Massachusetts Historical Commission's record for Sargent Pond references Rhododendron Sunday, when Holm Lea would welcome crowds of around 30,000. In Charles Sprague Sargent and the Arnold Arboretum, S. B. Sutton describes the popular Sundays as follows:

“In Sargent’s lifetime, Holm Lea became a horticultural showcase, and for several years on Sundays in May and June when the lilacs, wisterias, rhododendrons, and azaleas blossomed, the Sargents opened the grounds and glass houses to the public, which reciprocated by arriving in throngs. On these occasions Sargent stood around looking aristocratic and trying not to betray his nervousness over the well-being of the plants” (316).

The photos below show the scale of Sargent's impressive rhododendron collection.

Sargent estate
Sargent estate
Sargent estate
Sargent estate
Sargent estate
Sargent estate
Rhododendron Sunday