In full bloom: Rhododendron shows spring has sprung — and gone

Spring comes and goes each year, but that doesn’t stop Ridgefield residents Marilyn and Vincent Maneri from marveling at its magic.

The couple moved to Ridgefield in 1962 and have lived in the same house for the last 55 years.

They have built their lives, raised their children, and grown some beautiful flowers.

On one side of their property stands three plants with hundreds of flowers grown on them called rhododendrons.

These flowers look very similar to hydrangeas, which are a more common plant in this area. According to Vincent, rhododendron flowers best grow when there is something acidic in the soil. He believes the increase in growth over the years is due to the limestone rock that surrounds the area.

“I use to soil the plants but after a while, they just kept growing by themselves with no help from me,” he said. “Every year, they get bigger and bigger — and I haven’t fertilized them in 30 years.”

His wife, Marilyn, added that the flowers only bloom around Memorial Day weekend and last for about 10 days after that.

“They will all eventually fall off, they are only this bloomed for a few days,” said Marilyn.

This type of flower has been extensively hybridized, and cannot be purchased like the original plant Marilyn and Vincent have been growing over the decades.

The whole bush itself is about 20-plus-feet high and about 40-feet wide.

The Maneris believe by this time next year, it will grow another four to five feet in width.