President's Message – Fall 2019

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

President's Message – Fall 2019

Dear Fellow AHS Members and Prospective Members,

I look forward to seeing you at our next meeting on Monday, October 28, 2019. We are excited to host the Atlanta History Center’s (AHC) own Sarah Roberts, Vice President of the Goizueta Gardens and Living Collections as our speaker.  Sarah’s topic for the evening will be “Goizueta Gardens; a transformation”.  Social time begins at 7:00 pm and the meeting at 7:30 pm. The meeting will be held in the Woodruff Auditorium in McElreath Hall at the Atlanta History Center.

As an added bonus for the evening, Proven Winners has graciously donated eight cultivars of Hydrangea arborescens for an AHS fundraiser. There will be two options for the fundraiser – a silent auction with sets of all eight cultivars and a straight purchase of three random cultivars. All bids and purchases must be done during our social time before the meeting. More details of the Proven Winners sponsored fundraiser will be in the AHS 2019 October Membership Newsletter. *This will be a separate and additional fundraiser from our normal raffle so plan to arrive at 7:00pm.

As we continue with our mission to help others study and learn the genus Hydrangea, the AHS will be donating some of the Proven Winners Hydrangea arborescens to the Atlanta Botanical Garden, the Atlanta History Center, and Smith-Gilbert Gardens.

As many of you know, AHS lost Past President and Newsletter Editor, Sandy Jones, this August to a sudden illness.  Sandy was President from 2010-2014 and has been the Newsletter Editor since 2010. Sandy helped the AHS grow in so many ways, sharing her passion in the activities of the AHS through our newsletters. I miss our dear friend and strong supporter. Sandy had planned to step down as Newsletter Editor after the October 2019 issue with Assistant Editor, Jennifer Petritz assuming the position. I am very grateful to Jennifer for graciously stepping up earlier than she expected. Jennifer’s expertise as a horticulturist will certainly be an asset and I look forward to reading her articles. 

June 8, 2019 was the AHS’s Twenty-Fifth Garden Tour. I would like to thank all those who participated in this wonderful albeit damp event. Despite the rain we had an overwhelming turnout. Hydrangea enthusiasts came from Tennessee, Ohio, South Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama, and of course many parts Georgia. The hydrangeas were in full display from the added moisture and what is a little rain to a gardener! Special thanks to Gloria Ward and Dörte Wohmann-Schmieta for their tireless efforts searching for the perfect hydrangea gardens in close-proximity to each other. What a treat they found in the five spectacular gardens for the 2019 Tour. The AHS is deeply grateful to our Tour Garden Hosts – Betty and Tom Dworschak, Bob Eanes, Carole and Jim McWilliams, Fran and Jerry Scher, and Donna and Jim Waldron. Each of their gardens were beautiful in so many unique ways. I would also like to thank Carole and Jim McWilliams for opening their home to us for the Pre-Tour Appreciation Party. A fun time was had by all and we were grateful to be inside when the rain arrived. As you know, the AHS is always looking for gardens for future tours. Please contact Gloria or Dörte if you would like to submit your own garden or someone else’s garden by emailing to gardentour@americanhydrangeasociety.org

I would also like to give the AHS Board a heartfelt thank you for their abundance of help with the tour. Many hours were spent organizing the membership list and tickets, arranging finances, publicizing the tour, identifying hydrangeas, organizing and preparing for the Pre-Tour Appreciation Party, photographing, editing and publishing photos, and organizing the seventy-eight volunteers. Speaking of volunteers, where would the AHS be without our generous and dedicated volunteers? Thank you cannot express the gratitude I have for each of you who helped to make the tour a success!

For many years now, the AHS has had the good fortune to hold our meetings at the AHC. To enable this, we make a required financial “donation”, with insurance, and are also required to help maintain and develop the collection of the AHC’s hydrangeas through volunteer workdays. Our volunteers in the past have planted and pruned hydrangeas, tidied up the gardens, fertilized, spread mulch, and helped with inside special events – all the while visiting and learning from fellow AHS members and the AHC staff.  For those of you who have a physical challenge of working in the garden, we have a few inside opportunities. I invite you to join us in fulfilling our required volunteer hours again this year. Please look in the AHS October 2019 Membership Newsletter for upcoming volunteer dates, times and events. Please contact AHS Volunteers Chair, Liesl Marmon at volunteers@americanhydrangeasociety.org to let her know you would like to help.

Your AHS Board continues to strive to bring you the high quality speakers and events you have come to expect. In order to meet these challenges and to align with similar gardening organizations, the AHS Board voted to propose to raise the membership fees. The proposal was sent to members thirty days before the upcoming vote. The vote by the general membership will take place at the October 28, 2019 AHS Meeting. Passage will be by a simple majority of those present at the meeting per AHS Constitution Article 5 Section A.

The annual membership proposed fees retroactive to June 9, 2019 (day after the 2019 tour) are: 

$35.00 per individual (includes one garden tour ticket, 3 emailed newsletters)

$50.00 per household* (includes two garden tour tickets, 3 emailed newsletters)
*household is defined as 2 people residing at the same physical address

$35.00 per individual or household outside the USA (3 emailed newsletters)

As we come to the end of the AHS’s Twenty-Fifth Anniversary year I cannot help but wonder what the founding and charter members think of our organization now.  Have we carried their legacy in the direction they approve and are proud of? I hope so and I hope with our members’ involvement we continue to study and learn the genus Hydrangea and share our passion with others. As always the AHS Board welcomes your feedback. Please send me an email at president@americanhydrangeasociety.org

With appreciation, 

Eva Kinney, AHS President

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