Hydrangeas are in full bloom in pots, gardens and on mailboxes across Douglas County just in time for the annual Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival this weekend.
Thousands are expected to flock to Douglasville for the eighth festival, which will be celebrated with a flower show, garden tours, artists’ markets and more events hosted Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at locations across the county.
The 2015 theme blossom is “Madame Emile Mouillère” (Hydrangea macrophylla), a classic white French Hydrangea that grows well in Douglas County. The flower is an heirloom plant that has graced gardens for over 100 years.
Jeri Farmer, who started the Hydrangea Festival in 2008 with friend Susanne Hudson, said the festival has become a signature event for the county over the past seven years.
“This festival has indeed become a signature event, bringing visitors from over 56 Georgia cities, 12 states and three foreign countries,” Farmer said. “The Flower show has won top state and national awards in its category for all seven years and we have now been named the Hydrangea Capital of the South by Garden and Gun Magazine.”
The Standard Flower Show, French themed “Ooh, La, La,” will take place in the atrium of the Douglas County Courthouse. Last year’s show featured 437 horticultural entries, 24 design entries and 47 special exhibits. The show will be judged by independent judges certified by the National Garden Clubs, Inc. who will be greeted at the courthouse steps at 9:45 a.m. Saturday morning.
Entries of blossoms, blooms, stems, shrubs and trees in 66 categories are open to the public. A listing of the categories is available on the festival’s website. The Standard Flower Show will be open to the public from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The French-themed flower show will be accompanied by “French Twist,” an exhibit in the Courthouse Gallery.
Outside the courthouse, there will be a farmers’ market, a home and garden market, a flower market, a craftsman’s market and an artists’ market, all of which are open to the public from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The Master Gardeners Vegetable Garden and Scarecrow Exhibit, back for a second year, will be set up behind the Douglas County Public Library on Selman Drive.
Miniature Gardens in Wheelbarrows, a festival favorite, will also return for a third year at the Old Douglas County Courthouse in downtown Douglasville. The designs are kept secret until the festival’s opening.
Any Douglas County resident can submit entries to the Standard Flower Show, the Miniature Gardens in Wheelbarrows, and the Scarecrows at no cost.
The Cultural Arts Council on Campbellton Street will open a butterfly garden for the public to enjoy at no cost Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Also Saturday, it will host “Chalk It Up To Colorful Gardens,” a $5 sidewalk chalk event in which kids and adults can create their own sidewalk garden in a space of three square feet. Also for $5, kids can design and decorate two flower pots to plant flowers in. The child will keep one and the other will be donated to a hospital, hospice or shelter.
Tickets for a tour of six private gardens, including Southern Living Magazine’s Garden of the Year, are $25 and may be purchased at the Douglas County Courthouse.
The first ever Hydrangea Run 5K through the streets of Douglasville will take place at 7 a.m. Sunday beginning at the Douglas County Courthouse. Registration begins at 6 a.m. and is also available online at www.dcroguerunners.com
The Festival is organized and produced by the Douglas County Tourism and History Commission, the Douglas County Department of Communications and Community Relations, the Douglas County Board of Commissioners, and the city of Douglasville Mayor and Council. Its purpose is to beautify our community; preserve our history, historic places and heirloom plants; and display our community to the world.
Festival sponsors for 2015 include Benchmark Physical Therapy, Gentiva Home Health Care, and Coca-Cola.