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Hydrangea speaker to come to Rowan County

By Sue Davis

Rowan County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer

The Rowan County Extension Master Gardener Volunteers are hoping for good weather for their Feb. 13 meeting featuring hydrangeas.

Hayden Shuping and the Master Gardeners are hoping there is no cold weather emergency on this date after the Hurricane Irma-related cancellation in September. Shuping has promised to speak on “Hydrangea: Now, Then and the Basics of Now,” including how to handle your plants after a week of very cold days and nights. The presentation will be at the Extension Office on Old Concord Road.

Shuping, from Reynolda Gardens, will use his enthusiastic presentation to help you fall in love with hydrangeas. Many people remember hydrangeas from their childhood. The good news is that we can now grow many hydrangeas our grandmothers never knew.

Some newer hydrangeas grow in colder climates, some are so small they will fit into the perennial border, and others have amazingly large blooms and deep colors. Come and learn how to grow a colorful kaleidoscopic garden full of these summer blooming beauties. Shuping insists that February is the month to fall in love with these colorful, summer-blooming plants.

Shuping has had his own love affair with hydrangeas since he was a child. He grew up in Winston-Salem and was always a self-described outdoor kind of kid with an appreciation for nature and all things growing. At a young age, his mother and grandmother had him working with them in their gardens. This led him to pursue an education in horticulture at Forsyth Tech.

After college he worked for a large garden center in Winston-Salem and then moved to his current position as greenhouse manager for Reynolda Gardens of Wake Forest University. He is a frequent guest at Paul J. Ciener Botanical Gardens in Kernersville.

In his presentation, he will share with us his knowledge on the different species, the cultivars within the species, both new and old. The primary types of hydrangeas that grow in Rowan County are Mophead and Lacecap, PeeGee, Annebelles and Oakleafs. Each one has its own identity and general care and maintenance regimen. All these mysteries will be uncovered for you.

Perhaps, most important of all, is he will talk specifically about when to prune each type and how to treat them if a late frost nips the bud. Bring your questions and share with the group what you have been dealing with as a hydrangea gardener.

“Hydrangea: Now, Then and the Basics of Now” will be held in the auditorium at the Extension Office, 2727 Old Concord Road, 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13. It will be necessary for you make reservations by calling 704-216-8970 so we can plan for adequate handouts, refreshments and seating.

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