“Keeping Hoover clean and green” is the motto for the city of Hoover’s Beautification Board. Among their accomplishments are City Arbor Day, Tree City USA Program, and Litter & Recycling programs. But, did you know this 20-member volunteer group played a role in getting the Snowflake Hydrangea named the City’s Flower? Resolution 3626, adopted April 3, 2006, reads in part: “…be it resolved, by Mayor Tony Petelos and the Hoover City Council … declare that from this day forward the Snowflake Hydrangea is to be the Official Flower of the City of Hoover.”
The Snowflake Hydrangea was a “chance seedling” from the parent plant, the Hydrangea Quercifolia (oak leaf). Discovered in Lipscomb, AL, Loren Aldridge and his son, Eddie Aldridge, visited the site to find a plant that was not in good condition. They began cultivating and propagating the plant successfully. By 1970, they sought a patent to help the plant to become known. After front-page coverage in the American Nursery Magazine; a feature in an Atlanta paper; and Frenchman Andre Briant’s coverage in a 1991 international catalog, the Snowflake’s popularity took off. Today it is known around the world.
When Willie Edmiston retired, he became involved with Aldridge Gardens and the Beautification Board. An article that ran in the Birmingham News suggested that Hoover could become the Hydrangea City. Willie and Dr. Vasha Rosenblum pursued it with a Ten Point Plan and grants—presenting their program to the City Council.
“The rest is history,” said Eddie Aldridge who gives full credit for the Hydrangea’s new status to Willie Edmiston. “It was an honor for us to have the Snowflake picked as the city flower, and since the gardens are there in the city, it’s even more appropriate.