This three-acre garden is the result of years of effort and study by horticulturists and rhododendron enthusiasts who set out to preserve the achievements of Charles Owen Dexter. In the years following Mr. Dexters’ death, many of his prized rhododendrons were either sold or taken away by collectors. By 1963 there were only 18 of the original 84 known named cultivars remaining on the property. A study group comprised of notable botanical garden and rhododendron society enthusiasts had begun collecting cuttings of known Dexter plants and by 1972 were ready to plant them in this three acre garden. It was also in 1972 that the study group named most of the now known Dexter hybrids, bringing the list to about 150 cultivars.
Due to the efforts of many individuals since 1921, Heritage Museums & Gardens now holds the largest single collection of Dexter rhododendrons. In recent years several new Dexter plants have been named and added to this Garden, which is a tribute to the man who, beginning in 1921, made this wonderful contribution to horticulture.