August E-News from Viette's                                Volume 8: No. 8

Lori Jones, Editor                                                                                                  August/2012

A beautiful hosta garden at Viette's
The beautiful shade gardens at Viette's will give
you loads of ideas for landscaping in the shade!
August is the
perfect time to
"Garden in the Shade!"

There are loads of beautiful perennials, trees, and shrubs
that just love the shade! 

Come to Viette's for a
visit this August!

We have some amazing shade
gardens that you can wander through
to get some terrific ideas for
your own landscape
Quick Link

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Viette Garden Center
or order by phone at
(800) 575-5538 

Click here to view photos of many of our daylilies online!

Plant of the Month
Hosta sieboldiana 'Aurora Borealis'
The Ultimate
Shade Perennial 
Hosta or Plantain Lily is o
ne of the best, most versatile, and truly spectacular perennials for the shade or part shade garden. There are literally hundreds of varieties to choose from - almost too many!! There is a Hosta for virtually every niche in your landscape. The diversity is endless! The Viette Farm has over 200 varieties on display in their gardens. 

Why Hosta?
Hosta are normally grown for their foliage effect in the garden and because of their extraordinarily beautiful foliage, they have an extremely long season of interest. Most hosta quickly grow to their mature size in just one or two seasons. In fact, one of the nicest features of hosta is that they only get better and more spectacular with age!
Hosta dominate the shade gardens at Viette's
Hosta dominate the shade
gardens at Viette's
Hosta can be used in mass plantings as a ground cover, as an edging plant, in the rock garden, or the larger and more unusual varieties can be used as spectacular specimen plants. 
Hosta can make a beautiful ground cover for the shade garden..
Hosta can make a beautiful ground cover for the shade garden.
Extreme Diversity
The diversity of the hosta foliage is one of its most valuable attributes. Leaves can be all shades of green, blue-green, powder blue, and many are variegated with gold or white. The newer cultivars such as 'June', 'Paul's Glory', 'Orange Marmalade', 'September Sun', 'Fire and Ice', and 'Wolverine' have increasingly unique variegation. Variegated hosta and gold-leaved hosta like 'August Moon' and 'Sum and Substance' can literally light up a dark corner of a shade garden!
Diversity in leaf texture also makes Hosta really unique. Leaves can range from silky smooth as in 'Royal Standard' and the plantaginea cultivars to heavily corrugated as in 'Love Pat' or the sieboldiana cultivars.
Click here for a list of great hosta varieties. 
Hosta sieboldiana 'Elegans' has huge textured blue leaves.
Hosta sieboldiana 'Elegans' has huge textured blue leaves.
One Tough Perennial!
Hosta are tough, reliable, and easy to grow. They are almost "fool proof" having few disease or pest problems. Slugs can be a problem, chewing holes in the beautiful leaves. Diatomaceous earth, silica gel, or a product called Sluggo may be sprinkled around the plants to ward off these pests. Many of the newer hosta cultivars have been hybridized to be slug resistant. Cultivars such as 'Bright Lights', 'Krossa Regal', 'Love Pat', the tokudama hybrids, and any varieties that have foliage with heavier substance tend to be more slug resistant.
Unfortunately voles and deer are also "Hosta lovers"! Voles can be discouraged by lining the planting hole and mulching around the stem with Espoma Soil Perfector. Spray your hosta with Hot Pepper Wax to deter deer from their munching. 

Viette's Have the Best!
Whether you're a collector of fine Hosta or just love the spectacular show of beautiful foliage, we have the cultivar for you. Last fall we dug and potted up over 50 different varieties from Andre's personal collection. Many of these are still available in our garden center. Some of these varieties, including the spectacular 'Sea Lotus Leaf' and 'Wagon Wheels', are not available anywhere else in the country - after all Andre is one of the original charter members of the American Hosta Society and he has some NICE ones!!
Hosta 'Sum and Substance'
Hosta 'Sum and Substance'
Save the Dates
Enjoy an Afternoon with Andre
Andre Viette  Sunday, August 12
1:00 pm
Merrifield Garden Center
12101 Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA

  Limited seating available
Please RSVP to:
703-222-4200 x61826

Thursday, August 23 
2:00 pm 
Lewis Ginter
Botanical Garden
1800 Lakeside Avenue Richmond, VA

Limited seating available
Please RSVP to:
804-281-7100 x61963

Andre will offer some of his best easy gardening tips, plus present highlights of his upcoming 11-day Southern Caribbean cruise, which will include an exclusive visit to his home in St. Thomas, USVI.

Light refreshments
will be served.
Sponsored by
AAA Mid-Atlantic
If you enjoy our newsletter, please pass it along to your gardening friends!


Gardening Questions?
Andre  answers a listener's question during a broadcast of 'In the Garden' 
Listen to Andre on the radio every Saturday morning from 8-11 on  
"In the Garden
with Andre Viette".
Click for a station list or
streamed live from our
flagship station WSVA.
Listen to podcasts.  



Mark Viette  answers a listeners call during a live broadcast. 

Now you can listen to Mark every Sunday morning from 8-10 on  


"Easy Gardening"  

with Mark Viette.

Visit the "Easy Gardening"
website for live streaming and podcasts of Mark's radio show as well as tips and other gardening information.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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   Visit our
Discussion Board!

Use the convenient search key
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 It's easy.

Tip of the Month

Create a Beautiful Woodland Retreat      


A lovely statue completes this corner shade garden filled with hosta, Brunnera, ferns, and Virginia bluebells.
A statue completes this corner shade garden filled with hosta, Brunnera, ferns, and Virginia bluebells.
If your home is surrounded by woodlands and shade, don't despair - create!

Paint a beautiful landscape with a woodland garden.  
Woodland gardens can be an early spring paradise and a cool place to retreat in the heat of a summer day. Begin your painting with the backbones of the garden - the beautiful understory trees such as the spring blooming dogwoods and redbuds. Add splashes of colorful foliage and bold strokes of coarse texture mixed with delicate dabs of finer foliage. Complete the scene with an interesting focal point, perhaps a rustic bench, a piece of statuary, or a large urn planted with beautiful shade loving annuals.
Hosta, Rodgersia, ferns, and Trollius
Hosta, Rodgersia, ferns, and Trollius combine to create a stunning effect in the shade garden.
The Palette is Broad!

Whether they are native species or cultivated forms, the number of wonderful plants that thrive in the shade is amazing. Shade loving species are often better known for their foliage than for their flowers. Since capturing the available light is more important than conserving moisture, many plants that have evolved in woodland habitats have developed very large, bold leaves. Some of the best known examples are Hosta, Ligularia, Rodgersia, Bergenia, and ferns.
Woodland plants can add a variety of interesting textures to the landscape as well. Japanese Painted Ferns add a delicate, lacy texture with their colorful silver, red, and green fronds while the leathery-leaved Christmas Ferns bring a coarser texture to the garden. The large, heavily corrugated leaves of some Hosta cultivars make strong focal accents. The beautiful Epimedium provides a mixture of textures with their delicate flowers on fine stems dangling above attractive heart-shaped leathery leaves. 
Colorful spring flowers and eye-catching foliage make Pulmonaria a great choice for the shade.
Color in the Shade
Color doesn't always have to come from flowers. All-season color can be introduced in the woodland garden through the use of foliage - splashes of silver and green from Pulmonaria, reds and burgundy from Heuchera, stripes of gold and white from Hosta, Tricyrtis, and Polygonatum. Shade loving plants with silvery foliage are great for bringing life to dull, low light areas of the garden. Brunnera 'Jack Frost', the PPA "Plant of the Year", is a striking addition to a shady corner!
Anemone September Charm
Anemone 'September Charm'
But don't get me wrong, you can still have a beautiful palette of color in the shade with flowers! Consider another fantastic group of plants for the woodlands - Astilbe. These plants have lovely foliage and amazingly colorful, often fragrant plume flowers in shades of red, pink, and white. They bloom for weeks in mid summer and provide bold splashes of color to your woodland scene.
A colorful fall bloomer for the shade is the Japanese Anemone. These plants have attractive foliage all season and reward you with dazzling blooms in the fall. Anyone who visits Andr�'s gardens in the fall can't helped but be overwhelmed by the masses of color provided by his plantings of Japanese anemones. 
Need more color?
Consider interspersing some colorful shade tolerant annuals into your woodland landscape or hanging colorful baskets of annuals from lower branches of your trees.
Dicentra spectabilis 'Gold Heart' has striking golden foliage that will brighten any shady corner.
Dicentra spectabilis 'Gold Heart' has striking golden foliage that will brighten any shady corner.
Woodland Gardens Offer Spring Bouquets   In early spring, most deciduous woodlands actually get quite a bit of sun. Many of the shade tolerant flowering species take advantage of this seasonal variation in light by producing their flowers in the spring before the trees fully leaf out. Pulmonaria, Dicentra spectabilis, Alchemilla, Epimedium, Helleborus, and Bergenia are all wonderful spring bloomers that welcome in the spring season with a flush of color. You can add drifts of early spring color to your woodland garden by naturalizing spring blooming bulbs like Narcissus, Crocus, and Muscari.
Ilex 'Sparkleberry' brightens the winter garden at Viette's.
Ilex 'Sparkleberry' brightens the winter garden at Viette's.
A Place for Birds
Woodland gardens offer your wild bird friends many places to forage, play, and hide from predators. Consider plantings that provide food sources for the birds in winter. The deciduous holly, Ilex verticillata, tolerates high shade and produces attractive red berries that the birds love. Dogwoods and crabapples are also great for providing food and shelter for the birds in winter. A source of fresh water will draw in many song birds, especially in winter when water in liquid form may be scarce! The addition of bird houses attached to trees in your woodland retreat will provide additional housing space for bluebirds, wrens, and other desirable species.
Great Perennials for a Woodland Garden
    Anemone japonica

    Aquilegia - Columbine
    Asarum - Wild Ginger
    Astilbe spp.
    Bergenia spp.
    Dicentra - Bleeding Heart
    Epimedium spp.
    Ferns -
    Helleborus spp.
    Heuchera - Coral Bells
    Hosta spp.
    Ligularia spp.
    Polygonatum 'Variegatum'
    Pulmonaria - Lungwort
    Tricyrtis - Toad Lily
    Viola labradorica - Violet

Great Shrubs for the Woodland Garden
spp. - Beautyberry
    Clethera alnifolia - Summersweet
    Corylopsis - Winter Hazel
    Fothergilla gardenii
    Hydrangea macrophylla
    Hydrangea quercifolia
    Ilex verticillata - Winterberry Holly
    Schizophragma - Climbing Hydrangea
    Viburnum spp. 


MayLecturesAugust Lecture Series at Viette's! 

Hosta are great companions with other beautiful  shade perennials.


Wednesday, August 8th at 1:30 pm  

Saturday, August 11th at 1:30 pm 

Gardening with Hosta & other Shade Perennials 

Ferns, hosta, and Helleborus add texture to the shade garden What is shade? Many gardens start in the sun and end up in the shade! Learn all about creating a beautiful shade garden and selecting the proper plants. By following a few easy steps for color and low maintenance, you can make your shady spots come alive with Hosta and other shade loving annuals, perennials, and shrubs. Free lecture  


Wednesday, August 15th at 1:30 pm 

Saturday, August 18th at 1:30 pm  

  Hummingbird and Butterfly Gardening  

Black Swallowtail butterfly on BuddleiaWho doesn't love to see the colorful butterflies and hummingbirds skirting and flitting around the gardens? Did you know there are plants which act as "hosts" for the butterfly larvae and plants which supply nectar for the adult butterflies and hummingbirds? Come to this valuable seminar and discover the marvelous perennials, annuals, and shrubs which will attract these delightful creatures and keep them coming back for years to come! Free lecture


Did You Know?
White grubs; David Cappaert, Michigan State University,
White grubs; David Cappaert,
Get Those Grubs!

August is one of the best times to control white grubs in your lawn. These grubs are easiest to control now when they are small and actively feeding near the soil surface.
Here are some grub controls:
  • Bayer Advanced Season-Long Grub Control 
  • Bonide Annual Grub Beater


Fall Feeding!

August is a good time to begin your fall application of organic fertilizer.  

  • Feed with your lawn with Espoma Organic Lawn Food, Milorganite, or Scotts Natural Lawn Food. 
  • Feed your gardens with Espoma Plant-tone or Holly-tone.
Dividing bearded iris
Dividing bearded iris
Divide Your Iris

If your bearded iris have become overgrown and don't bloom well anymore or have stopped blooming all together, they probably need to be divided.

August is a great time to do this! Here's how to to it: 

  • Cut the back to foliage to 6"
  • Break the rhizomes apart at the joints where they will snap naturally in your hands. 
  • Throw away the old rhizome that had the flower stem.  
  • Cut away any damaged or rotten parts and dip in a 10% Clorox solution for 3 minutes.  
  • Allow to dry and then replant leaving the top of the rhizome exposed at the surface.  
  • Do not mulch.  

Read more about dividing Tall Bearded Iris.  

"In the Garden" Weekend at The Homestead
Need a "COOL" retreat from
the August heat?

 The  Homestead Resort

Join Andre and Claire Viette for a fantastic gardening weekend in the cool mountains of western Virginia.


14th Annual "In the Garden" Weekend


August 17th - August 19th


The Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, VA 


Get away from it all!

Enjoy a beautiful weekend basking in the cool mountain air of this well known National Historic Landmark luxury resort nestled amidst the breathtaking scenery of Virginia's Allegheny Mountains. Enjoy seminars from leading gardening experts, tour the spectacular Homestead Gardens, relax in luxurious accommodations and feast on delicious food. 


As part of this event, you will receive a complementary membership to the American Horticultural Society which includes a subscription to "The American Gardener", the official bi-monthly magazine of the AHS. 


Hurry, don't miss this wonderful "Getaway Weekend"!

Click here for details. Time is running out!  

On the Viette's Views Gardening Blog

It happens every year at about this time. Every single black locust tree on our road turns brown. This occurs gradually over about a 2-3 week period. I first notice it when the leaves begin to turn a dull green. Slowly a light brown cast spreads over the trees and by late July, the foliage [...]...�

07-17-2012 19:26:43 PM

It's time for the 2012 Daylily Festival at Viette's! This is always such an exciting time of the year at the nursery and this year's festival promises to be even better than ever. In its 16th year, the Daylily and Wine Festival has a new partner and a new name! The Viettes have partnered with [...]...� 


Andre's Next AAA Trip

February 18 - March 1st, 2013


View from the Viette home in St. Thomas.
View from the Viette home
in St. Thomas.
11-Day Southern Caribbean Cruise


Mark your calendar to join Andre and Claire Viette on Holland America's Noordam for an 11-day Southern Caribbean Cruise. 


Explore the unspoiled natural beauty and tropical beaches of the Caribbean. Water sports enthusiasts can enjoy diving around colorful reefs, snorkeling in crystalline waters, or sailing on a catamaran. If shopping is your sport, you'll find plenty of places to splurge on duty-free treasures.  


You'll visit 7 beautiful islands of the Caribbean and have the opportunity to enjoy private shore excursions including the fabulous 5 acre hilltop home and gardens of the Viettes.  


Hurry! Time is running out to sign-up for this exciting trip. Beat the winter blues in the sunny Caribbean!  


Click for a brochure with more information. 

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