Viette.com
March E-News from Viette's                               Volume 8: No. 3

Lori Jones, Editor                                                                                             March/2012

Phlox subulata
Spring is in the air!


The warm days of spring
are on the way!  
 
Are you prepared? 
 

Find out what you should be doing in
the garden right now to prepare for
the coming season!
   
Quick Links

Plant of the Month 

Phlox subulata
Phlox subulata creates brilliant splashes of color in the
early spring
 

 Phlox subulata  

Mountain Pink 

 

Wow - what is that bright patch of color covering the side of that bank?
 
Phlox subulata
(a.k.a. Creeping Phlox, Moss Phlox, Mountain Pink) is a native treasure which kicks off the perennial year with a profusion of colorful blooms in early spring - a welcome sight after a long winter.  

Named the "utilitarian easterner", Phlox subulata stands high in the ranks of rock garden plants because of its ease of culture and its prodigal display of flowers. Its carpeting evergreen foliage soaks up full sun as well as bright shade and is useful as a ground cover on a sunny slope or bank. These low-growing phlox are also excellent as edging plants, in the rock garden, or tucked in a rock wall.
Phlox subulata 'Candy Stripe'
Phlox subulata 'Candy Stripe' fills the garden with early spring color.
Wonderful Choices
Growing 4" to 6" tall, these colorful phlox thrive in average, sandy or loamy, well-drained soil. There are many attractive selections and hybrids available including 'Emerald Blue' with its dense covering of lavender-blue blossoms, 'Candy Stripe' with unique white and pink striped flowers, and 'Scarlet Flame', the brightest red creeping phlox.

Companion Planting
These early spring blooming perennials are wonderful planted with spring bulbs and other rock garden perennials. Andre plants these phlox among pastel tulips as well as candytuft (Iberis), big, multi-colored Pansies, Scilla, Crocus, and Snow Drops. 
Phlox subulata 'Fort Hill'
Tulips grow up right through
the colorful blooms of
Phlox subulata 'Fort Hill'


Brighten up your spring with some colorful
Phlox subulata!
One of a Kind! 
A NYO Viette Daylily
Our very unique
"Name Your Own Viette Daylily"
 
Looking for a unique and unforgettable gift? 

Don't know what to get the special person in your life who has everything?
 
Show someone close to your heart that you really care about them by naming a daylily in their honor. Each of these personally hand selected, one-of-a-kind daylilies are hybrids of some of the very best Viette daylilies.

There is nothing like  
it in the world!

What could be more memorable than giving a gift of a beautiful one-of-a-kind daylily named after someone special to show your love or appreciation? 

These show quality Viette hybrids will also make a wonderful heartfelt tribute or memorial. Honor a holiday, an achievement, an anniversary, or a special occasion with this unique gift.  
 
 
You can officially register your daylily on the Daylily Registry of the American Hemerocallis Society. 
 
This is such a cool idea! It's so much better than naming a star! Divisions of your beautiful daylily can be shared with family members and be enjoyed all summer long right in the back yard! 

Give us a call today at 800-575-5538 for more information on purchasing this unique gift.
Let us know the colors you are interested in and we will e-mail you pictures of several daylilies that you can choose from.

SAVE THE DATES  

Upcoming Appearances 

Andre Viette

April 14th

The Great Big Greenhouse
   Richmond, Virginia.
Andre will be giving a seminar in the afternoon.   
Watch for details

April 28th - 1:30 PM  Merrifield Garden Center 
   Gainesville, VA location
Andre will be presenting a gardening seminar: 
"The Exciting World
of Perennials"
 
More information

Hope to see you there!

Tip of the Month 
"March" into the Garden this month!
 

Spring is practically here! Many of us have been waiting all winter to get outside and work in the garden. The mild winter experienced in many areas of the country has pushed the season ahead a bit - but don't be fooled!  

Cold weather is still a threat.  

  

Keeping that in mind, here are some things you can get started on this month.

Holly pruned to just bare branches
This holly was pruned to bare branches in spring 2011.

 

Trees & Shrubs:

Pruning

Severe pruning of certain overgrown trees and shrubs such as holly, boxwood, rhododendron, and yew should be done now while they are still dormant. This is a great way to bring them down in size if they have grown too large for your space. These plants can be pruned heavily until just bare branches remain or you can even cut them back to one to three feet above the ground.

This type of severe pruning

Holly less than a year after severe pruning
Less than a year later, the tree has filled out well

is not always 100% successful but a very high percentage come back with beautiful new growth! Watch a video tip of the this holly being pruned.

  • After severe pruning, fertilize your shrubs with Plant-tone, rock phosphate, and green sand according to the Viette recommendations.

Thin flowering trees and shrubs. March is a good time to assess your flowering trees and shrubs and thin out some of the interior growth. We recommend thinning up to 20% of the live growth so that the crown is more open. This will improve not only the symmetry of the plant but also its overall health. This 20% recommendation does not include dead and damaged wood which should be removed as soon as it is discovered. Thinning of spring blooming trees and shrubs can be delayed until after they finish blooming. Watch a video tip on thinning spring blooming hydrangeas.  

  

Rejuvenate overgrown multi-stemmed shrubs such as Lilac or Forsythia in March before growth begins. To rejuvenate these shrubs, completely remove 1/4 to 1/3 of the stems and cut remaining stems to 12" to 18" above the ground. It may take 2 to 3 years for your them to bloom again but it is well worth the wait for the beautiful new blooms! Watch a video tip on rejuvenating shrub lilacs.  

 

Spring planting and transplanting  

Trees and shrubs can be transplanted now as long as the ground is not too cold or wet. Pack a ball of soil between your hands - if it crumbles easily, you can safely work the soil. Tips for transplanting...

 

Spray with a horticultural oil spray

If you didn't spray Bonide All-Season Oil last month be sure to spray now. This is one of the most important sprays of the year because it smothers over-wintering insects, eggs, and immature stages!

 

Perennials:

  • Rake  old foliage and other debris from your garden in early spring.
    Rake old foliage and other debris from your garden
    in early spring.
    Finish cleaning your perennial beds of dead foliage.
  • Cut back ornamental grasses and other herbaceous perennials that you kept through the winter.
  • Fertilize and amend your perennial beds now if you didn't do it last month. Espoma Plant-tone is a great slow release organic fertilizer for sun plants and Espoma Holly-tone is good for shade loving plants.
      Viette recommendations for preparing the bed. 
  • If your peonies were affected by botrytis last year, spray the emerging shoots with a fungicide like   Mancozeb or liquid copper. Follow label directions.

Lawns:

  • If you have problems with crabgrass in your lawn, March is the time to apply a crabgrass preventer. This is a pre-emergence herbicide that prevents crabgrass and many other grassy and broadleaf weeds from germinating. Espoma, Bonide, and Scotts all have pre-emergence weed controls that can be applied now on your lawn. Always follow label directions. 
    • Do not use pre-emergence weed killers if you are planning to seed your lawn this spring. 
  • Now is a good time to overseed thin areas in your lawn. Scotts has many different premium grass seed mixes including their EZ Seed Seed mixes and Turf Builder 2-in-1 Reseeding Mixes.  
  • Apply an organic fertilizer this month or next but wait until the end of the month to apply chemical fertilizers. Many of the pre-emergence weed preventers are mixed with fertilizers.  
Bat house
Bat house

General Tips:

  • Clean out your birdhouses early this month so they are ready for the new season!
  • Got mosquitoes? Get bats! Did you know that one bat can consume 600 mosquitoes in an hour? Put up a bat house! It may also help keep them out of your house!

 

 Daffodils and More!
Don't Miss It!  

2012 Daffodil Festival  
March 24th - 25th, 2012
Gloucester, VA 

Enjoy a full weekend of family fun at the 26th Annual Daffodil Festival in beautiful Gloucester, Virginia.

Join Andre Viette at The Daffodil Festival! 
     8am-11am on Saturday morning:
"In the Garden with Andre Viette" (Live Remote) 

Live Broadcast of the National Call-in Radio Program from the Colonial Courthouse!  

Andre Viette Stop by to hear for yourself as Andre helps folks solve their gardening mysteries! 

 
Join Andre Viette
for an informative gardening seminar at the Colonial Courthouse on Saturday,
March 24th at 1:00 pm 
    

From the Viette's Views Blog ...
02-23-2012 15:28:20 PM

It was predicted but I didn't believe it. They kept changing the projected totals in the days prior to the storm. First it was 5"-8", then it was 1"-3", then it was 3"-5". The question was, should we get my old 1948 John Deere tractor started and put the plow on? Nah! We probably won't [...]...�

 

Bat house02-16-2012 14:21:38 PM

The squirrels are hungry. I know that - but this winter has been plenty warm enough that they shouldn't have to be chowing down on all our birdseed! Yet, there they are every morning swinging from the feeders, hanging upside down or sitting in the seed trays, joyously dining at the "Jones' Bird Cafe". For [...]...�

02-08-2012 15:10:04 PM

Old-time saying? Yes, but this age-old bit of weather lore is nonetheless a fairly accurate predictor. Moonlit nights are clear nights. Clear nights mean no cloud cover to hold in daytime warmth which results in a rapid temperature drop through the night. Sunday night we had a beautiful, bright, almost full moon and by Monday [...]...�

 
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Andre's Next AAA Trip
London, England

including Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and the Cotswolds

  

July 3 - 13, 2012Beautiful English  countryside

 

Join Andre and Claire Viette  on this fabulous adventure to England. Visit England's Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and HRH Prince Charles' gardens at Highgrove House, and journey to the picturesque Cotswolds. Enjoy guided tours of many beautiful, historic gardens including Hidcote Manor and Blenheim Palace.
Also visit Bath and Stonehenge.
 Don't miss this wonderful 10-day trip!

Click here for more information.  

Click for a brochure about the trip. 

 

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