President's Letter - Winter 2021

President's Letter - Winter 2021

Dear AHS Members, 

As we leave 2020 behind and begin 2021, one thing I know for sure, gardeners are an optimistic bunch. We dig a hole, drop a small plant in then wait in anticipation for a few weeks or months just to see that first flush of greenery and blooms. Even with all the challenges we have had this past year, I believe the pandemic has brought out optimism and hope for many through gardening.  People who never before had an interest in gardening are realizing the joys and tranquility gardening can bring to themselves and to others. 

Garden nurseries everywhere have been busier than ever. To help accommodate all the new gardeners and keep the previous ones happy, the horticultural world seems to be exploding with new and “improved” plants of which many are hydrangeas.

Kristin VanHoose from HydrangeasPlus Nursery in Oregon, is excited about H. paniculata,’Sunday Fraise’ that looks to be a great compact hydrangea. She also likes H. macrophylla ‘Firefly’, with it’s dark foliage and blooms that remind her of H. macrophylla ‘Sabrina’. For more information please go to hydrangeasplus.com

Tim Wood from Spring Meadow Nursery, Inc said Proven Winners will have three new panicle hydrangeas on the market in year 2021, H.p.‘Limelight Prime®’ an improved, more refined ‘Limelight’, H.p.‘Fire Light Tidbit®’ a dwarf hydrangea, and H.p. ‘Quick Fire Fab®’, an early blooming mophead with lots of wow.  

Proven Winners' new arborescens are H.a. ‘Invincibelle Garnetta®’, H.a. ‘Invincibelle Lace™’, a lacecap which currently is only online but will be available in retail gardens center in the fall. 

They also have a new H. macrophylla series called Wee Bit®,  H.m.‘Wee Bit Giddy®’ and ‘Wee Bit Grumpy®’. Proven Winner describes this series as  “A new series we developed to replace the City Line® series, which are beautiful plants, but essentially florist varieties. These new, dwarf-compact varieties are perfect for forcing, but much better garden plants.”

Not to be outdone are the H. Macrophyllas ‘Let’s Dance Big Band®’ and ‘Let’s Dance Can Do™’. 

New to the hydrangea world, ‘Fairytrail Bride™’ is a cascade hydrangea that was the 2018 Plant of the Year at the Chelsea Flower Show. This hydrangea is sold as ‘Runaway Bride’ in Europe and ‘Bridal Shower’ in Japan. It was introduced by the legendary Japanese breeder, Ushio Sakazaki, the same breeder that has brought so much to the Proven Winners® brand.  ‘Fairytrail Bride™’ also is currently only available online and expected to be in retail garden centers in the fall. For more information on these 2021 hydrangeas please visit springmeadownursery.com or provenwinners.com

If you know of a new gardener please invite them to attend our Monday, February 22, 2021 Zoom meeting at 7 PM with Andrew Bunting, Vice President of Public Horticultural at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. Andrew has had a remarkable career being a curator of nationally renowned gardens, an accomplished author with over 200 articles and his book, The Plant Lover’s Guide to Magnolias . Throughout his career he has shared his vast knowledge by lecturing throughout the world.  Andrew has participated in plant expeditions in China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan and South Africa. Some of the expeditions were with our own AHS, VP,  Ozzie Johnson. Andrew’s talk for the evening will be “Designing with Hydrangeas and Their Relatives”. 

In order to attend the February Zoom meeting, you will need to pre-register.  Registration information will be sent to AHS members via e-mail. Once you have pre-registered, you will receive an e-mail  confirmation of your registration with the Zoom meeting number and password. During the meeting, those attending will be muted and not seen, however, you will be able to type in your questions in the chat room. 

Our 2021 year will continue with our Spring General Meeting on Monday, April 26, 2021 with speaker, Landscape Designer Brooks Garcia.  Brooks’s title for the evening will be “ Using Hydrangeas to Their Best Effect in The Garden and Other Good Bedfellows”. More information on Brooks and his  talk will be included in the upcoming April Newsletter. The Soil3 fundraiser this spring will be just in time for your spring planting so be on the lookout in your email inbox for more information. 

Yes Virginia, there will be an 2021 AHS Garden Tour! Saturday, June 12, 2021 is the date from 9 AM to 5 PM, rain or shine! I would like to thank the garden owners for agreeing to stick with us through this pandemic challenge and for sharing their gardens with you. There will be five beautiful gardens to tour at your leisure. Continuing with the COVID protocols we will have volunteers helping with the tour so please e-mail Volunteers Chair, Liesl Marmon at volunteers@americanhydrangeasociety.org if you are interested in helping. 

We are hoping October finds us returning to the Atlanta History Center for our October 25, 2021 General Meeting. As we have all learned, who knows what tomorrow may bring but we hope you continue to be a member of the American Hydrangea Society and encourage others to join us. 

With hope and optimism for each of you and your gardens,  

Eva Kinney, AHS President

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