Dear Hydrangea Enthusiasts,

Welcome to 2007!
Welcome to the February 2007 edition of Hydrangeas Plus® newsletter.  We here at Hydrangeas Plus are excited that the growing season is starting after a cold January.  The weather is finally cooperating nicely and hydrangeas are slowly coming to life.  

Our catalog is finally finished and for those of you who signed up for the mailing, it should be in your hand as we speak.  Get those orders in early.  I'm already short on a few varieties of plants.  Website is updated.  I just have some pictures to upload and I'll be all set.  Our new size (one-year hydrangea in a 4" or 3.5" pot) should be ready in mid-April.  Not every variety will be available in this size but most will be available for sale sometime this spring.  I'll get a good count of these in March.  Since this is a new size for us, I want them to be perfect.

We starting shipping the last week in January.  The hydrangeas are looking fantastic.   Is it June yet?  I'm so ready for blooms!

Yard, Garden & Patio Show in Portland, OR - It's a garden party.
 (http://www.ygpshow.com)

We are participating in this wonderful show again.  Hydrangeas Plus will be selling 30 to 40 varieties of hydrangeas from our booth.  We're in the Green Market booth number 1 this year.  Please come visit us and purchase some hydrangeas and place your orders for your spring planting.  We're offering the hydrangeas at below catalog prices so it will be a great time to pick up those hydrangeas you've been looking for at a great price.  Including our new offerings!  You won't be sorry for attending the show either.  Click here for other highlights of this year's show.  

Breathtaking Display Gardens: Ideas, inspiration, innovation! - Over a dozen display gardens are the heart and soul of the Yard, Garden & Patio Show. Vibrant colors, intoxicating fragrances and rich textures will welcome you into these exquisite outdoor living retreats. Brought to you by Proven Winners and Mutual Materials, the gardens are designed by top landscape pros and expert contractors. These spaces inspire ideas that can be applied to every type of garden from South Waterfront condo terraces to charming urban backyards to large suburban half-acre lots. Designers will be on-hand to offer tips and guidance. For more information on these remarkable displays click here.

Free seminars and demonstrations: Show & Tell for grown-ups - You Grow Girl" author Gayla Trail is just one of this year's celebrity seminar speakers. Gayla brings a hip and humorous how-to approach for crafty gals who want to get their garden on. Whether you're transforming a tiny condo balcony or a suburban backyard into the lush garden of your dreams, Gayla is chock full of fun and funky projects that make gardening more than just growing plants.  All seminars are free and brought to you by Monrovia! For more information about these wonderful seminars click here.

Hundreds of exhibits to shop - Celebrate spring without digging too deep into your own green.  Looking for a fabulous patio set? Lush plants and flowers? A charming glass greenhouse? Shop from more than 300 gardening and outdoor living exhibits.  For those of you looking for that hard-to-find plant, be sure to stop by the Remarkable Green Market. Tropicals, succulents, heather, Oregon natives, specialty varieties...the list goes on and on!  10% of all sales go to the Oregon State University Master Gardener program. Best of all, retrieve all of your purchases at one convenient location with complimentary parcel pick-up.   For more information about the exhibitors click here.

Don't forget to download your discount ticket worth $2 off admission (click here).

The show is February 23, 24 & 25th at the Oregon Convention Center.  Hours are 10am – 9pm Friday & Saturday then 10am – 6pm on Sunday.  Admission is $11, free to kids 12 and under.  Join us at Portland's True Garden Event.  That's the Oregon Convention Center.  Remember, this is the show that is developed, marketed and presented by the Oregon Association of Nurseries.  It's largest consumer gardening event in the US that is exclusively produced by a state association and volunteers.  Come out and support your local green ware companies.

Hydrangea meetings around the country this month
American Hydrangea Society Winter Meeting - Monday, February 12th - Atlanta Botanical Garden - Day Hall
7:00PM Registration and Social time  7:30PM Dr. Todd Lasseigne - Plant Taboos:  Hydrangeas your Grandmother didn't tell you about

Mid South Hydrangea Society Meeting - Monday, February 12th - Memphis Botanical Garden
7:00PM  Eddie Aldridge of Birmingham (and Hoover's Aldridge Botanical Gardens)  - History of Hydrangea quercifolia 'Snowflake'

Blue Ridge Hydrangea Society Meeting - Saturday, February 24th - NC Arboretum
1:00PM Elizabeth Dean of Wilkerson Mill Nursery - Hydrangeas: The old, the new, the dependable, the cantankerous, and the ones you just have to have

Do you know of other gatherings where HYDRANGEAS are the topic?  Please let us know.  We'll publish your event in our newsletter and get the word out!  Please, just Hydrangea gatherings.  Contact me if you need some information about Hydrangeas.  We provide FREE information.  Hydrangea Lovers, unite!

New varieties
We are offering new varieties on the website for 2007.  We are constantly looking for new varieties, too.  I have some other varieties to offer later this spring so keep visiting.

Hydrangea Aspera Mauvette - Fabulous mauve-est of the Aspera
Hydrangea Serrata Intermedia -
Imagine a hedge full of color and blooms all season long
Hydrangea Serrata Shirofuji -
A rare white blooming Serrata - snow capped Mt Fuji
Hydrangea Macrophylla Izo No Hana - Flowers of the Izo peninsula
Hydrangea Macrophylla Blauer Zwerg - The hydrangea truly named the Blue Dwarf
Hydrangea Macrophylla President R. Touchard - Here comes the prize of cut flowers
Dichroa Febrifuga  – Hydrangea like foliage that stays green all year long
Hydrangea Quelpartensis – Originally from the Quelpart Island of Korea
Hydrangea Serrata Miranda - Showy and super hardy but as dainty as a princess


Heronswood
Most of you are familiar with the closure of Heronswood in Washington State. The Pacific Northwest Horticultural Conservancy has been established to purchase and preserve the garden with the goal of creating a horticultural and educational center in partnership with institutions such as the University of Washington. If you're interested in helping with their mission, please see their website at www.pnhc.org.

Memorial for Penny McHenry
The Atlanta Botanical Garden is honoring Penny by naming the new hydrangea collection in Penny's memory, Penny McHenry Hydrangea Collection.   Please indicate on your check that your donation is in memory of Penny McHenry and send it to the Penny McHenry Hydrangea Collection. 

Please mail your donation to:

Atlanta Botanical Garden
1345 Piedmont Ave.
Atlanta, GA  30309


Belgium Hydrangea Conference
All you hydrangea fanatics out there, need an excuse to go to Europe?  Visit the Mallet mecca for hydrangeas?  There is the International Hydrangea conference schedules for 2007 at the Ghent University Botanical Garden in Belgium.  The dates are August 16 - 19, 2007.   All the experts IN THE WORLD will be there for this wonderful conference.  Start saving your pennies - or $100s!  More information to follow about coordinating US registration.  

See more on the website at www.hydrangea2007.be/en

Office hours for 2007
How can I specify my office hours?  Hmmmm.  I am generally in the office everyday but remember, when you call you're talking with the owner or our immediate family and not some customer service representative that knows nothing about hydrangeas. Be patient with us - as long as you leave the correct phone number and I can understand your message, I will get back to you within a few days.  If you don't hear back, please try again.  Or email us.  I do answer every question on email and it's usually quicker than call backs. But, check the email address.  My email is info@hydrangeasplus.com or directly at kristin@hydrangeasplus.com.  Be sure to type in your email address correctly if using our online form from the website.  You cannot believe the number of email messages I respond to that bounce due to incorrectly typed email address.  Sometimes I can figure it out but sometimes, I'm at a loss.

I am in the office Monday & Tuesday, 8 to 3 (PST) and Thursday & Friday, 8 to 3 (PST).  That is, when we're not planting hydrangeas, propagating hydrangeas, cutting hydrangeas or shipping hydrangeas. Again, please leave a message.  I will get back to you as soon as possible.


Winter tip - salt and hydrangeas
If you salt your drive and walk ways, the run off could be harming your hydrangeas and other plants.  We recommend using non sodium chloride based salts like calcium chloride, sawdust, fireplace ashes or gritty sand.  There is a new product on the market called CMA (Calcium Magnesium Acetate) that will actually help your plants by replacing important trace elements.  You may have to sweep the residue of some salt alternatives after the ice is gone but your plants will be much happier.

Salt overdose wont appear until later in the growing season.  Plants will slow their growth and leaves will pale and be much more susceptible to the sun.  Hydrangeas may or may not bloom after a salt overdose but if they do bloom, petals will be smaller and bloom time will be curtailed.

If you must use salt, some tolerant varieties of plant material are Daylilies, Junipers, Spruce, and some varieties of Sedium and Syringa lilacs.

Commonly Asked Questions

Q:  I live in the mountain area of North Carolina.  If I order from you when will the order be shipped?

A:  In your area, I would guess March 15 - April 1st.  I'll email you before I ship so that I don't ship them too soon.  It's best to wait to ship until the last chance of frost has passed so that the plants have the best possible chance to bloom.  A late frost can nip the buds and reduce the number of blooms.  A hard frost can really damage the plant to the point of losing it.  Please take care in your ship date selection.  I do the best I can with my limited knowledge of geography and weather.

Here's a rule of thumb but is by no means always correct:
 
Zone 9/10 - February
Zone 8 - March
Zone 7 - April
Zone 6 - May
Zone 5 - June

We charge your credit card at shipping time, not at the time of order.

Paniculata, Arborescens and Petiolaris only orders can be shipped out earlier than indicated. These varieties are NOT susceptible to frost.  As soon as your ground is soft enough to dig a hole for planting, we can ship these varieties.  To some degree, the serratas can be shipped out early too.  I'll try to watch for orders like this and send you an email.

Q:  I read the FAQs but am not sure of the answer to my question. I would like to purchase one or 2 PeeGee Hydrangea trees...If I put the order in now, will you "hold" the trees for me until my ship date (april/may - I'm on Long Island in NY) or would I have to wait until April to place the order?

A:  Order now and we can hold them until you're ready.  There is a location on the order form that asks for ship date.  We will email before we ship.  I haven't sold out in the last few years but just in case, it's a good idea to reserve them.
 
The shipping costs are going to look way too big.  We use USPS or UPS GROUND for the trees.  USPS will charge just the actual weight and not dimension like UPS does so we'll use our discretion in selecting the method.  The boxes are 64 x 9 x 9 and I can put at least three trees in there.  I will adjust the order for shipping charges when I figure new rates then send you an email with the corrected total.  If the trees aren't too leafed out, we'll ship via UPS Ground.  When they start to leaf out, I'll ship USPS Priority Mail.  The Paniculata trees are not susceptible to frost and weather like the other hydrangeas so we should ship them as soon as you can get them in the ground.  That is, when the ground is unfrozen enough and you can get the holes dug in the ground.  This is the only product we sell that is shipped bare root so we ship them out only in the spring prior to Mother's Day - before they have leafed out too much.
 
Thank you for your inquiry.  Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Q:  If I purchase three glowing embers now, will wait till spring 2007 to mail them to me? You tend to run out of the three year olds. Thanks for your time and consideration

A:  Yes, we can wait until the spring to ship them.  There is a place on our order form that asks for ship date.  We will always email before we ship to check weather and make sure you're able to plant them right away.
 
We like to wait to ship until the last chance of frost has past (unless you don't mind covering the plants for a while).  We usually start seeing the plants leaf out about March 1st which is probably a bit early for your part of the country.

Q:  The weather here in Maryland has been unusually warm - I have 20+ "old wood" bloomers. Any suggestions so that I make sure they bloom? When it got warm early last spring, I "lost "my uncovered plants and I didn't get any flowers during the summer.

A:  The best advice is to cover them with a light frost cloth or old bed sheet.  The warm weather followed by an extreme cold front is the most damaging for the hydrangeas that bloom on old wood.
 
Thank you for your question.

Q:    I live in Orlando, Florida and have over 16 of your dwarf hydrangeas. The first two years I had beautiful blooms and I augmented the soil and had most blue blooms. However, after the hurricanes of last summer and the wet summer this year-I have had stunted growth, spotty leaves, deformed leaves and few if any blooms. Do I just have to ride it out? Also, I am surprised that all the leaves drop off in the winter even though we don't usually get freezing temperatures. Is this to be expected? Any suggestions on what to plant in between the hydrangeas during the winter months to keep my beds from looking so barren?

A:  Hydrangeas may drop not their leaves but it's unusual that they did so without a frost.
 
The symptoms you describe (stunted growth, spotty leaves, distorted leaves and few blooms) sound very much like soil and drainage issues.  The hurricanes probably saturated the soil and the roots are too wet.  Your wet summer could have also been trouble.
 
I suggest digging them up and putting them in pots, amending the soil to make it better draining and richer of good nutrients.   The hydrangeas will improve almost immediately.
 
I'm afraid it won't get better on their own for some time.  Nature is slow to correct the drainage troubles.  And, in the meantime, the hydrangeas could be suffering and may not be able to recover.
 
I hope that helps.  Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.


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Sincerely,

Kristin VanHoose
Hydrangeas Plus®
http://www.hydrangeasplus.com