Dear Hydrangea Enthusiasts,

Happy New Year!
Welcome to the first edition of 2005 for our Hydrangeas Plus® newsletter.  We here at Hydrangeas Plus hope you and your family had a wonderful Holiday season. 
We’ve had some unusual weather here again in the Willamette Valley.  We again have been pelted with freezing rain that built a quarter inch of ice on almost everything.  The good news is that the weather forecast has predicted our temperatures will be just 30 degrees in just another day.  Everything looks like it's made it through our second consecutive New Year's ice storm.  Many of the plants hadn't lost all their leaves so hopefully this blast of winter weather will get those last few to fall.

We’ll start shipping again in February.  It is usually the second week that we begin shipping but it really depends on the weather.  Last year we started the first week but the weather was so warm!  We'll keep you posted on the website with a more definite shipping season start date.  As always we will contact you before we ship for those orders placed in colder zones.  It's really important that we ship the plants after your frost date has past.  If you don't get frost, we'll ship your order as soon as possible.

Yard, Garden & Patio Show in Portland, OR - Where Ideas Grow

We are participating in this wonderful show again.  Hydrangeas Plus will be selling 30 to 40 varieties of hydrangeas from our of booth.  Our booth numbers are 1736 & 1738 right across from the Rose Garden featuring the 2005 AARS winners in bloom!  Please come visit us and place your orders for spring or buy some new hydrangeas to take home.  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.

If you haven’t been to the Yard, Garden & Patio show, it will be more than worth the cost of the ticket.  Not only will you grow some ideas of your own with wonderful new varieties and colorful plants but ProGrass, the featured sponsor, is giving away a yard makeover to a lucky household in the Metro area.  There is a wonderful gazebo being given away by Garden Gallery Ironworks, worth over $5000, which will be showcased in the fantastic central exhibit called ‘The Plaza’ sponsored by Mutual Materials.  There will be 10 beautifully landscaped gardens, a wine tasting Pavilion with 15 wineries, and over 60 hours of FREE seminars with speakers from all over the world, United States & the Northwest.   Even yours truely will be speaking on Friday at 3:30pm in the Marquam Room.

The show is February 18, 19 & 20th at the Oregon Convention Center.  Hours are 10am – 9pm Friday & Saturday then 10am – 6pm on Sunday.  Watch for coupons in the Oregonian.  Admission is $11, Free to kids 12 and under.  Watch for coupons for discount admission in the Oregonian newspaper.  Join us at Portland’s True Garden Event.

The New Catalog is coming, LAST CHANCE FOR A FREE COPY!!
Yes, we're still working on the catalog.  Sorry for the delay but we always forget who much effort this takes to put it together.  We really took this catalog to the next level and added more hints and tips plus 12 new varieties making the catalog 40 pages!!.  We are making our last effort to get your address updated in our mailing list.  To receive a FREE catalog, just sign up online with a login and password by Monday, January 24th and be one of the first to receive the catalog.  If you haven't ordered in the last year, we may not have your address. Just sign into our website and set up a login and password and we'll be sure to send you a catalog for FREE!

New varieties
We are offering many new varieties in our fantastic new catalog and website for 2005.  We went Oakleaf crazy with this issue of the catalog.  These varieties are in limited supply and will sell quickly so order quickly.  I will send out our next newsletter before I make these available for sale so our valued newsletter subscribers won't miss out.

Quercifolia Alice – A wonderful seedling from Dr. Michael Dirr
Large creamy white panicle blooms that grow about 10” although could be smaller or larger depending on your location and the exposure to sun.  Dark green foliage in Summer turns deep red in the Fall as the panicle blooms age red.  Dr. Dirr named this seedling after Alice Richards, a graduate research technician in the University of Georgia’s famed horticulture department.  This variety has been grown for years and has sparked interest from many nurseries in the southern US so expect this variety to be a favorite for years to come.

Quercifolia PeeWee – Compact form of beloved Oakleaf family
This offering is an awesome dwarf growing to just two or three feet tall.  However, this cultivar has been known to grow larger in rich and fertile soil.  Compact panicles of creamy white show lots of fertile flowers and turn deep red in the Fall.   This cultivar is a great selection for those gardeners with small spaces to fill but who want the dramatic color of the Oakleaf hydrangea.

Quercifolia Snowflake – Our favorite Oakleaf hydrangea
Our cultivar stays 5 to 6 feet, which is quite compact for the Oakleaf family.  The double blooms are very full and large and will flop over due to the weight.  You won’t mind the floppy nature when the blooms fade to pink and the leaves turn red in the Fall.  This is a must for all Oakleaf loving gardeners!  We grow it in our garden just for the Fall color.

Quercifolia Snow Giant – Large double blooms on this wonderful Oakleaf
This medium sized Oakleaf has double petals and can be confused with ‘Snowflake’.  However, this variety will grow larger and have wider but slightly smaller blooms.  The wide panicles turn crimson red while leaves turn deep red.   We love this Oakleaf for its consistent showy blooms!  It is quickly becoming a favorite around the nursery.

Quercifolia Snow Queen – Blooms stand upright on this majestic Oakleaf
This wonderful variety of Oakleaf is impressive with its strong growth and upright panicle single blooms.   Growers consider this variety one of the best of all Oakleaf cultivars.  Gardeners love it for its faithful blooms, gorgeous deep green leaves and fabulous Fall color.  If you’ve got the space, this is a must have Oakleaf cultivar.

December's features were
Arborescens Radiata - Lacecap version of popular ‘Annabelle’
Aspera Robusta – The Granddaddy of the Asperas
Schizophragma hydrangeoides ‘Moonlight’ - A beautiful climbing cousin of Petiolaris

November's features were
Macrophylla Blue Danube – Large blue blooms on this prolific plant
Serrata Diadem – The crown jewel of Serrata
Macrophylla Fuji Waterfall - Cascades of double white blooms

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.  We won't ship until you're ready.  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.

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.

Q:  Do you sell the 'Shooting Star' hydrangeas?

A:  We don't offer the Shooting Star hydrangea. It is actually a patented variety and we don't offer patented varieties. The patented is held by a grower in California called Half Moon Bay.

I believe that the true name of this variety is Hanabi which means falling or shooting star in Japanese. That's a real loose translation, however.  Some say it means Fireworks or Sky fire.  There are several varieties of hydrangea that are close and have the same bloom and cascading effect. We are offering a variety called Fuji Waterfall next year. I suspect this variety is also sold as Shirofuji. They all look so close to each other.

Thank you for your question. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.

Q:  I am looking for different types of hydrangeas similar to the ones we saw growing in Scotland this fall.  Would like to get the maroon-colored hydranges plus other different colors that are not common in this area.  Is that a possibility?  If you get this, hope you can help me.

A:  The color really depends on the acidity and aluminum available in the soil.  Many of the greatest burgundy hydrangeas will be purple in acidic soil.  Some of my best are
Miss Belgium
Ami Pasquier
Gertrude Glahn

The degree of redness can be altered by increasing pH. To add more purple tones, lower the pH.

Look at our discussion on color on the website.  You just have to know what type of soil you have and what to do to change it.  A good soil test is the best place to start.

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Kristin VanHoose
Hydrangeas Plus®