President's Letter - Fall 2021
Dear Fellow AHS Members
What a spectacular hydrangea season we have had. This year’s garden tour will definitely go down in the books as one of prolific, beautiful hydrangea blooms. Thank you to everyone who helped to make the tour run smoothly and enjoyably. A special thank you to our five garden hosts who opened their gardens for our members to explore their enchanting creations. If you have a garden you would like to share for a future AHS tour or know of someone who does, please contact Tour Co-Chair Dörte Wohmann-Schiemta at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, we look for all shapes and sizes of gardens, and so please do not be intimidated to suggest a garden.
In July, a few of the AHS Board members and our spouses had the pleasure of traveling to Cape Cod for the Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival. I wholeheartedly encourage each of you to visit Cape Cod and experience its beauty. The highlight of the tour was The Hydrangea Test and Display Gardens at Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich, Massachusetts. Mal Condon, who is a member of AHS and the Cape Cod Hydrangea Society, is the Curator of Hydrangeas at Heritage. If you would like to experience a sampling of the Cape Cod hydrangeas, Mo Rocca from the television show CBS Sunday Morning filmed a piece on hydrangeas. He interviewed Mal, the “Hydrangea Guy” as well as other notable gardeners on Cape Cod. You can watch the video by logging onto CBS Sunday Morning or viewing YouTube, ‘Nurturing the Magic of Hydrangeas’.
The inspiration for the Hydrangea Test Garden originated with Dr. Michael Dirr. The garden has blossomed over the years into a gorgeous display with the support of Mike and Bonnie Dirr and Mal’s direction along with the fabulous staff and volunteers at Heritage. As a side note, Dr. Dirr has published a new book The Hydrangea Book: The Authoritative Guide. If you would like to purchase a copy, it can be ordered online at stripes.com or by phoning 217-356-8391. Dr. Dirr will be speaking and signing books at a future AHS meeting in year 2022.
The AHS is proud to be an original donor for Heritage Hydrangea Test Gardens. The AHS Board members were honored to be invited to the ribbon cutting ceremony of the expansion of the Test Garden. All of us who had the opportunity to visit Cape Cod are grateful for the wonderful hospitality we received. It is such a beautiful place!
The AHS Board is always looking for ways to improve your experience with our organization. Beginning sometime in October all potential and current AHS members will be able to join or renew your membership online through a link to “Membership Toolkit”. At this site you will be able to confirm or update your information, pay your dues through PayPal, volunteer for the tour, committee or AHC workday, see the AHS calendar, and reserve plants during a plant sale. Some of you may already be familiar with this site through a school PTO or other similar organizations. Each member will need to log on and set their own password. We believe the “Membership Toolkit” site will help everyone keep updated with all the activities AHS offers as well as to let you check when you paid your dues. You may still pay by check at the meetings, but we encourage you to logon at home to fill out the form. More information will be sent to you once more details become available.
The past year and a half have been challenging for all of us. Just when we thought things were returning to normal the news of the Delta variant was announced. Due to the COVID situation the AHS Board, in consultation with our October speaker, Dan Hinkley, have decided it would be best to hold the meeting through Zoom. An email will be sent to all AHS members with the link to register for the October 25, 2021 meeting. I hope you will be able to join us to hear world renowned plantsman, Dan Hinkley. His talk for the evening surely will be informative and entertaining. Thank you all for your continued support of the American Hydrangea Society. If you have any suggestions, please let us know.
Eva Kinney, AHS President