President’s Letter - Winter 2023

President’s Letter - Winter 2023

Happy New Year! For those of you that don’t already know me, I’m Jennifer Petritz, the newly elected President of the American Hydrangea Society. I’ve served as a board member for the past five years in the role of the AHS newsletter editor. I’m excited to pick up the baton from our wonderful past President Eva Kinney and help move AHS forward in its mission to “study and learn about the genus Hydrangea, its species and cultivars, as well as its culture, habits, hardiness, and performance.” I know you will all join me in expressing deep appreciation to Eva and the entire board for their leadership and commitment to AHS over what has been a challenging few years. Not only did our organization survive the plague, but we thrived and found new ways to connect with our members. We are resilient. 

I gave up long ago on making New Years resolutions and have instead chosen a word to guide me throughout the coming year, I have chosen the word “Resilience” as my word for 2023. It is an especially appropriate choice as I survey the damage in my garden from the late December freeze. I’m sure many of you are also doing the same. As I try to assess which plants will bounce back this spring and which will need to be replaced, I am reminded that the garden, and indeed the gardener, are resilient. While losing some plants may be inevitable, it will present an opportunity for me to go through my many AHS Garden Tour notes of hotly desired new plants to find some replacements. One garden that I know I took copious notes in was member and master gardener Linda Cline’s beautiful garden which was on tour a few years ago. Linda will be our winter meeting speaker at the Atlanta History Center on Monday, February 27th at 7PM. She will give us her “secrets to success” with hydrangeas. She will also be answering questions that we all have about proper planting, pruning, fertilizing, as well as giving us her tips on how to propagate favorite hydrangeas. You won’t want to miss the slideshow of Linda’s fabulous garden!

Looking ahead to April, (and aren’t we ALL looking forward to April?!) AHS will welcome back Carol Reese as our speaker. Carol will be giving us a new talk, “How Does Your Garden Glow?” about using light in the garden as a to guide siting our plants, and will give us some plant suggestions that can create a light of their own. If you’ve never heard Carol Reese give a talk then you are in for a real treat. She is an excellent speaker and horticulturist. This is sure to be an interesting evening.

Your AHS board is currently hard at work exploring possibilities for a plant sale early this year. We are currently waiting to see the condition of hydrangeas from Dr. Michael Dirr’s breeding program at PII after the December freeze. Stay tuned for more details about if and when we can make this happen. We have also finalized our gardens for the 2023 Garden Tour. We are so grateful to the many members who kindly offered up their gardens for our tour. If you have a garden you’d like us to consider for a future tour, please reach out to our tour co-chairs Gloria and Dörte at gardentour@americanhydrangeasociety.org.

2023 is already shaping up to be a busy year at AHS. We look forward to seeing you at our meetings, volunteer work days, and Garden Tour. Spread the hydrangea love and invite your friends, neighbors, and anyone you know who enjoys gardening. We are a fun and welcoming bunch!

Wishing you a healthy and resilient New Year,

Jennifer Petritz
AHS President

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