President’s Letter – Fall 2023

President’s Letter – Fall 2023

Welcome back! Maybe it comes from years of parenting school age kids but I have always felt that a “New Year” of sorts, starts each fall. A fresh start, a clean slate, a chance to improve, it all seems within reach. At the American Hydrangea Society our year starts with our fall meeting in October. For many of you that joined us during our annual garden tour this past June I say an extra special welcome! Our garden tour is just one of the “perks” of joining AHS, we also publish an informative newsletter three times a year and have three general meetings with horticultural speakers whose topics invariably involve discussion of our favorite plant – hydrangeas.

I hope that you will consider joining us at each of our three meetings this year. We will kick off on Monday, October 23, 2023 at 7pm at the Atlanta History Center’s Woodruff Auditorium in McElreath Hall. Our speakers will be Ryan McEnaney and David Roberts from Bailey Nurseries. You might recognize Bailey Nurseries by their Endless Summer® branding and their trademark blue pots at the garden center. Ryan and David will be giving us the inside scoop on the future of new hydrangeas in the marketplace. It will surely be an interesting evening and I suspect that our plant raffle table will include some surprises from Bailey. If you are a newcomer to our meetings, you will want to be sure to make it a little early to peruse our infamous plant raffle table. Make sure to stop and get your free member raffle ticket and perhaps buy some extra tickets. Some of my personal favorite hydrangeas that I grow in my garden are from AHS plant raffles.

I enjoyed seeing so many new and returning members attend our Garden Tour earlier this summer. If you want to relive the experience or if you simply were unable to join us, Julie Taylor Fitzgerald has uploaded her photos from this year’s tour to our website. You can access the photos here https://americanhydrangeasociety.org/Photos. I am very grateful to our tour hosts, Cheri and David Felton, Harriet and Kip Kirkpatrick, Cathy and Hal Raper, the Rogers family, and the Petritz family for generously sharing their gardens. Our tour co-chairs Dörte Wohmann-Schmieta and Gloria Ward really knocked it out of the park to bring us five very different and equally wonderful gardens. They barely rested before diving right into organizing next year’s tour. If you have an idea for a garden that should be considered for an upcoming tour, please shoot them an email at gardentour@americanhydrangeasociety.org.

Volunteers are the backbone of AHS and we simply would not exist without the collective effort of our members pitching in. There are so many opportunities to be involved in our organization, from helping with our volunteer workdays at the Atlanta History Center, to providing refreshments at our meetings, picking up plants for our raffles, volunteering to docent at our tour gardens, being a tour host, these are just some of the ways to become more involved. If any of these interest you, please reach out to a board member at the meeting or email our volunteer chair, Mike Knee at volunteers@americanhydrangeasociety.org. We would welcome your involvement at any level. As with most endeavors in life, many hands make light work. Come, give us a hand!

With dirty hands and a full heart,
Jennifer Petritz, AHS President

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