Dear Hydrangea enthusiasts,

Welcome to the December 2010 newsletter for Hydrangea PlusŪ.   It is sad to say goodbye to 2010 but we are looking forward to a great hydrangea year in 2011.  We wish you and your family a very happy and safe holiday season.  Thank you all for a wonderful 2010 and thank you for allowing our family to grow hydrangeas for you. 

What’s happening…
As I write our newsletter, we are in the midst of a storm.  For those of you who live or visit the Pacific Northwest in December, you are probably thinking, what’s so new with a winter storm?  Construction has begun and we’re building an arc.  We will take two of every hydrangea we grow and we’re moving to higher ground.  I am kidding, we are on a hill but the nursery’s water reclamation system is on overload.  Three inches in three days and no end in sight!

With the holidays upon us, don’t hesitate to think about giving a hydrangea or gift certificate for your favorite gardener.  I will continue to process email gift certificates and ‘save the space in the garden’ cards up to December 23rd.  The last day to order gift certificates via snail mail delivery is December 19th but I can email it to you for you to print out.  The certificates make great stocking stuffers or that perfect special gift for the gardener that has everything.

Social Media
Visit our Facebook page at to or just search for Hydrangeas Plus while in your Facebook account.  We are up to 7700 fans.  Thank you new fans!  We’re also on Twitter, hear me tweet!

Preliminary schedule for 2011
I made a few adjustments to the dates and added a talk at the American Rhododendron Society convention for May.  I am truly honored to be asked.

January 24th – Shipping resumes – anticipated but weather permitting
February 12th – Insights into Gardening (Benton County Master Gardeners – Oregon State University Lasalle Center)
February 18th, 19th & 20th – Yard, Garden & Patio Show (Oregon Convention Center – Portland) selling hydrangeas and speaking on Friday, February 18th at 3:30pm.
March 18th & 19th – Hydrangeas PlusŪ open house, Annual spring break sale at the nursery
April 2nd Annual Gardenpalooza (Fir Point Farms – Aurora, Oregon from 8am to 4pm)
April 23rd – May 7th – Annual Overstock Sale at Hydrangeas PlusŪ, daily
May 12th & 13th – American Rhododendron Society Annual Convention (Heathman Hotel - Vancouver WA at 9:40am both days)
June 6th & 7th OR 11th & 12th – Hydrangeas PlusŪ open house (depending on blooms)
September 8th, 9th, 10th & 11th – Gardenpalooza – The Tour at Hydrangeas PlusŪ, daily
October 10th – Mid-South Hydrangea Society (Memphis Botanical Garden -  Tennessee)

See more details on our website.

Garden Excavation
Hydrangea Heaven is proceeding and we have made some significant progress this fall.  We remodeled the deck but broke a few water lines but we finally got some hydrangeas planted.  Climbers, Paniculata and macrophylla, both mophead and lacecap are in the ground.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed that they have enough time to get established before it gets cold here.  I know they are getting enough water.  Check in with us on Facebook and twitter to see and hear about our progress.

Winter Tips for Hydrangeas
Winter protection for hydrangeas comes in various forms.  Many parts of the country have to worry about several winter elements while others shouldn’t be concerned at all.  Newly planted hydrangeas should be protected (mulch, mulch, mulch) just to ensure they are well rooted and survive through the winter.  In my last newsletter, I talked about four conditions that cause damage to shrubs in the winter:  wind, frozen precipitation, salt and changing temperatures which can dramatically affect the hydrangeas ability to grow and bloom.

Other experts may disagree on the hardiness for the families in hydrangea but here are my recommendations.  Keep in mind the wind chill.  This temperature grid is for dormant hydrangeas.  Sudden drops to freezing temperatures after moderate cold periods for instance can really cause damage to stem tissue. 

Arborescens = hardy to about -20 degrees to -30 degrees
Petiolaris & Quelpartensis = hardy to about -20 degrees to -30 degrees
Paniculata = hardy to about -20 degrees to -30 degrees
Quercifolia = hardy to about -10 degrees to -20 degrees
Serrata = hardy to about 0 degrees to -10 degrees
Macrophylla = hardy to about 0 to -10 degrees
Evergreen hydrangeas = hardy to about 20 degrees

Mulch and burlap wrap can keep the hydrangea warm enough but be sure to wait for leaf drop before covering and mulching to keep fungus and mildew away from the plant.  I have received many phone calls and emails about container hydrangeas this month.  I recommend moving the containers into an unheated but sheltered area or insulate the containers by wrapping with bubble wrap if temperatures drop below 20 degrees.  Just remember to keep those containers moist.  Even though the plant doesn’t have green growth, the roots should not be allowed to dry out.

New Varieties for 2011
This decision gets tougher and tougher every year.  As you know, I like to try all the new hydrangeas before deciding what to offer to my wonderful Hydrangeas PlusŪ customers.  There are so many new varieties on the market right now, not all are worthy but many are not available to us small growers in all sizes.  I am always crossing my fingers on a few varieties that I tested last year but have yet to receive confirmation I’ll receive them in 2011.  I have many in test mode right now including some new Oakleaf dwarf cultivars, double blooming mopheads and dwarf Paniculata.  But, here is what we’re offering next year for sure!

Paniculata Phantom – A luxurious and full blooming conical blooms that stay upright, bloom early and color to pink/green in the fall.   Show stopping!
Macrophylla Lemmonhoff – Big, big blooms with deeply serrated leaves and petals, biggest leaves need a afternoon shaded area.  Big blooms can be a rich blue or deepest pink.
Macrophylla Konigstein – One of the truly darkest deep purple to red!! blooming mophead we’ve seen with great green vibrant leaves and a compact stature.
Schizophragma Brookside Little Leaf – This small leafed but with extremely deep serration and a white lacecap bloom.  This climber will be a vigorous grower for you in sun or part shade.

I may add another if I get confirmation that I was able to procure another new cultivar but for now, enjoy the pictures I post on Facebook about these new varieties!

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Kristin VanHoose
Hydrangeas PlusŪ

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