The Bulb River – Sandwich, Massachusetts - Atlas Obscura
The Bulb River is permanently closed.

The Bulb River

35,000 grape hyacinths flow like water down a garden hill. 


The wind blowing through 35,000 bright purplish-blue grape hyacinths creates the illusion of a true river on the grounds of Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich, Massachusetts

Like any river, the Bulb River is bordered by “eddies,” in this case made up of 1,500 bright yellow daffodils to compliment the lovely purple-blue flow. They are arranged at intervals on both sides of the river, which flows down a gentle hill and winds around the trees and bushes that populate the grounds.

The Bulb River was the brainchild of Les Lutz, Director of Horticulture and Facilities Management at Heritage. The bulbs typically reach full bloom in early May, around Mother’s Day (on which day, mothers get in free). In addition to being stunning to look at, the river of grape hyacinths also smells wonderful. Nothing says spring is here like fragrant, blooming flowers imitating a flowing stream.

Aside from the brilliant floral river, the most impressive collection on the 100 acres of gardens is probably the Dexter rhododendrons. Thousands of rhododendrons, cultivated by the land’s former owner and well-known rhododendron hybridizer Charles Owen Dexter, dot the land. They typically bloom in late-May/early-June. 

Know Before You Go

According to staff, the river is only in bloom for about a week.

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