JUNE 1, 2024

Douglasville/Douglas County GA

About Penny McHenry and the Festival

The Festival is named in memory of Penny McHenry, founder of the American Hydrangea Society.  Penny received a hydrangea from a friend when she lost one of her daughters.  She fell in love with the beautiful plant and began propagating hydrangeas and the rest is history.  She became world famous as “The Hydrangea Lady”.  Penny has been featured in too many articles and publications to mention, however,  Steve Bender, Senior Garden Writer for Southern Living paid tribute to Penny in an article in the July 2006 issue after Penny’s passing during 2006.  Both the “Penny Mac” and “Mini Penny” hydrangea varieties are named in her honor.  Penny’s family has given the Festival permission to name the Festival in honor and memory of Penny.  An exhibit honoring Penny is on display at the Douglas County Museum of History and Art. The Festival was created by Co-Founders Susanne Hudson and Jeri Farmer under the umbrella of Douglas County Museum of History and Art and is supported by the City of Douglasville and Douglas County.  Mark your calendars now so you don’t miss this wonderful event.

From Better Homes and Gardens and Town and Country Magazine, did you know:

Hydrangeas are allergy safe flowers. Hydrangeas are unique because they have super sticky pollen. That makes it difficult for wind to blow the pollen around, making these flowers perfect for allergy-prone gardeners. They’re also fragrance free, which makes them a great addition for those who are headache prone or have sensitive noses.

Believe it or not, you can tell a lot about hydrangea plant care by its name. Hydrangea is from Greek descent: “Hydro” means water and “angos” means jar or vessel. And in fact, hydrangeas need lots of water to thrive.

There are around 70-75 species of hydrangea.

Hydrangeas are actually toxic! The compounds in the leaves release cyanide when eaten, so keep the plant away from small children or pets. Although they’re poisonous, it’s reported that ancient Buddhists used the roots as an antioxidant in tea to cure kidney issues—but don’t try this at home!

Actress Blake Lively used pink hydrangeas in her wedding bouquet.

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