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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

President’s Message – Spring 2017

Meetings are held at the Atlanta History Center’s Woodruff Auditorium in McElreath Hall.

Spring Greetings Hydrangeaphiles!

Mother Nature has wicked sense of humor providing record early warm weather with many of our shrubs prematurely leafing out extremely early this Spring. Just in time for three consecutive days of freezing temperatures.  As a result, azaleas, Japanese maples, ferns, and some of our beloved H. macrophyllas suffered the most damage. For future reference, the cultivars that are the least cold tolerant which need to be protected first (depending on time, energy, and the amount of available coverings) are H. macrophyllas ‘Ayesha,’ ‘Mareisii Varigatta’, and ‘Merritt’s Supreme,’ among others.  Fortunately, many of my plants had not fully budded out, therefore I am hopeful we will still have viable buds and flowers in May and June. After spending hours covering many plants, I sadly could not cover all my hydrangeas. So, we will stay tuned! H. arborescens, H. paniculatas, and H. quercifolias are three hydrangea species ­­­­that were not affected by the freezing temps.  In fact, H. quercifolias seem to bloom better after colder temperatures.  As Penny McHenry use to say, “make a rule about hydrangeas, and another hydrangea will break that rule!” For fickle-weather southern locations remontant hydrangeas are the way to go! Our favorites are H. macrophyllas ‘Bloomstruck’, ‘Twist and Shout’ and ‘Lady in Red’.  Their ability to bloom on new and old wood is a good “insurance policy for blooms!”

We are looking forward to our next AHS meeting Monday, April 24th when Dottie Myers speaks to us. Her program is entitled “The Importance of Evergreens in Garden Design.” Please see her bio here on the website. You will not want to miss her informative ­lecture. Dottie is a highly acclaimed and experienced landscape designer.

We will be handing out June 10th tour tickets at our April meeting to all current renewed members! If you have not already renewed your membership after our 2016 tour then you need to renew at the next meeting April 24th to receive your ticket(s). For anyone who cannot attend the April 24th meeting, and have already renewed their membership, we will be happy to mail their ticket(s). The Membership Committee sincerely appreciates you renewing now rather than waiting to get your ticket on tour day. Tickets purchased after 5/31/17 will be $5 more at $35 and $45. You will not have to wait in line at the tour, and there will not be so much data for the membership committee to enter at one time. All the gardens are really close together in the Dunwoody/Sandy Springs area. Dörte Wohman-Schmeita and Scott Grosse have selected some great gardens. We are proud that they all belong to current AHS members! Please bring your check made out to AHS for $30 (single membership/1 ticket) or $40 (family membership/2 tickets) to our April meeting. If you would like to volunteer to be a tour docent and are a current member, please email Eva Kinney (Kinneyeh@yahoo.com) to sign up. There are many benefits docents get. Docents are invited to pre-tour party and a pre-tour the day before the actual tour! We hope you will sign up soon for a 3-hour shift on June 10th!  It is a great experience to be a docent.

We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting, April 24th.

Happy Gardening,

Gloria Ward
AHS President
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