|Plant of the Month|
Beautiful shrubs for the Garden!!
H. arborescens -
Hydrangeas have been garden favorites for many years and understandably so! The diversity found in this family of flowering shrubs is impressive. They are usually grown for their large clusters of showy summer flowers but their value in the landscape goes well beyond their beautiful blooms!
The Five Types
There are five different types of hydrangea and each has it's own unique characteristics. Most thrive in full sun or part shade and they prefer moist, well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter to perform their best. For pruning purposes, it is VERY important that you know which type(s) you have in your garden - so SAVE the LABELS!
See our 'Tip of the Month' for pruning methods.
A wonderful species that includes the popular cultivar 'Annabelle' which produces huge white flowers up to 10" across. These hardy hydrangeas bloom from June - August and grow 3'-5' tall. This species prefers partial shade. The flowers are excellent for drying and using in fall arrangements. Zones 4-9.
Watch Mark's video tips on growing 'Annabelle' and drying hydrangea flowers.
Hydrangea paniculata - This tall variety grows as a large, upright, spreading shrub or it can be developed into tree form through pruning. It produces large conical flower clusters from July to September and grows 10' - 25' tall. One of the most cold hardy types of hydrangea. Zones 3-8.
Hydrangea 'Annabelle' at Viette's
H. macrophylla -
Watch Mark's video tip
on how to train Hydrangea 'Tardiva'
to tree form.
Hydrangea paniculata 'Tardiva'
These are commonly grown hydrangeas that produce large blooms on wood produced the previous year. This species includes the mophead hydrangeas with their huge round flower heads and the lacecap hydrangeas which bear round, flat clusters of tiny fertile flowers surrounded by a ring of showy open petals. The bloom color may be pink or blue depending on the pH of the soil they are grown in (blue in acidic soil, pink in basic or alkaline soil).
The flowers of H. macrophylla are excellent for drying. This species is less hardy than the other species and in colder regions of Zone 6, they may grow well but not be "bloom hardy" meaning that the plant survives but never or rarely flowers because the flower buds are damaged during the winter. Protect the stems in winter by packing them with straw, tying them together, and wrapping them with burlap.
Recently, several hardy reblooming cultivars have been developed from Hydrangea macrophylla. These include the Endless Summer Collection. These shrubs bloom on both new and old wood and are hardy to Zone 4.
Hydrangea 'Endless Summer' is a reblooming form of H. macrophylla
Hydrangea quercifolia - Named for its deeply lobed oak-shaped leaves, Oakleaf hydrangea is noted for its brilliant deep reddish fall color. Large erect clusters of white flowers grace the shrub in summer with peak bloom in July. This species grows 4' - 8' tall and is hardy in Zones 5-9.
Hydrangea anomala ssp. petiolaris - This is a hardy climbing hydrangea which can reach up to 80' tall if left unpruned. The strong vines have attractive cinnamon brown bark and beautiful clusters of white flowers from June - July. They grow well on brick or stone walls, or on arbors and trellises. Zones 4-7.
These are amazing shrubs and every gardener should find a place for at least one or two in the garden!
Come visit Viette's and see how magnificent these can be as mature specimens in the garden!
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|When You're in |
Visit our friends at Packsaddle Ridge Golf Club for a breathtaking round of golf after a visit to the Viette gardens.
was voted #5 "Best New Affordable Course" by Golf Digest in 2003. This public 18-hole championship golf course is nestled in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley and features a challenging course with incredible views of the Appalachian Mountains and the valley below.
3067 Packsaddle Tr.
Keezletown, VA 22832
October is a glorious time to be outside in the garden!
|Tip of the Month|
Lately, we've been getting a lot of questions on the radio, on our discussion board, and in our garden center about when is the correct time to prune hydrangeas. This is a great question because when and how you prune your hydrangeas can mean the difference between having multitudes of glorious blooms or . . . no blooms at all!
The trick is in knowing which of the five different types of hydrangea you have. So, when you plant, be sure to save the label! That way, when it comes time to prune, you can do it correctly without sacrificing the beautiful blooms. Keep in mind
that certain types of H. macrophylla
may not ever bloom for you if they are not bloom hardy in your area.
Tips for Pruning Hydrangeas
Even though there are five different types of hydrangea, each of these falls into one of two pruning groups, based mostly on whether they bloom on wood produced in the current year (new wood) or wood produced in the previous year (old wood).
Pruning Group 1
This group includes the species that bloom on old wood
- Hydrangea macrophylla
(aka. mophead, lacecap, bigleaf, hortensia, or florist hydrangea) and Hydrangea quercifolia
- Flower buds of these hydrangea are formed in August through October depending on the species.
- These hydrangea do not necessarily require annual pruning.
- Prune these, if needed, right as the flowers begin to fade usually in mid-summer.
- To be safe, DO NOT prune them after July.
- For mature established shrubs, the regular removal of 20% of the oldest stems (cut at soil level) will keep the plant vigorous and blooming well with larger flowers. Do this in the spring.
- Deadheading or removing the spent blooms can be done continuously through the season.
- Some evidence indicates that leaving old blooms on the plant through the winter may help protect the tender buds below them. In colder areas, consider leaving them and removing them in the spring after the shrub breaks dormancy.
- Dead and damaged stems should be removed whenever they are noticed.
- Oakleaf hydrangea does not require annual pruning and should be pruned mainly to remove dead or damaged stems or to limit its height.
- Watch Mark's video tip on "Why Hydrangeas Don't Flower"
Pruning Group 2
This group includes the species that bloom on new wood
- Hydrangea arborescens
(smooth hydrangea), Hydrangea paniculata
(Panicle or PeeGee Hydrangea), Hydrangea anomala
(Climbing Hydrangea), and reblooming varieties of H. macrophylla
such as 'Endless Summer'.
Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'
- These species of hydrangea produce flower buds on the current season's growth about one or two months before they bloom.
- In general, these can be pruned after they finish blooming up until they begin producing flower buds in the spring; i.e., fall, winter, or early spring.
- H. paniculata does not require annual pruning except to remove wayward branches and stems. This species can be developed into a single or multi-stemmed tree by maintaining just the desired number of stems/trunks and pruning out all but the upper branches. It can also be cut back to 18" - 24" from the ground to rejuvenate the shrub and to limit its size.
- H. arborescens cultivars such as 'Annabelle' can be pruned to the ground in the fall or late winter before active growth begins in spring. This promotes large flowers! If your Annabelle hydrangea tends to flop over from the weight of the flowers, try pruning to 18" - 24" rather than cutting them to the ground. This will allow the stems to thicken and provide stronger support for the large blooms. Watch Mark's video tip on pruning Hydrangea 'Annabelle'.
- Reblooming types such as 'Endless Summer' can be deadheaded throughout the season to encourage continuous bloom.
- Climbing hydrangea requires little pruning except to limit its growth to the space you have. Early spring or in summer after flowering is the best time to prune this species.
- Dead or damaged stems should be removed whenever they are noticed.
October Lectures and Events at Viette's!
Saturday, October 6th at 1:30 pm
Wednesday, October 10th at 1:30 pm
Customer Appreciation Days & Fall Garden Tour
PLUS enter a drawing for a $100 Shopping Spree
Enjoy a guided tour of Andre's beautiful fall gardens with a member of our Garden Center staff and enter a drawing to win an on-the-spot $100.00 Perennial Shopping Spree!
Saturday, October 13th at 1:30 pm
The Art of Creating Miniature Landscapes -
A Hands-On Workshop
Join special guest Pam Shank of Landscapes in Miniature for wonderful workshop where you will learn to make a whimsical fall-themed miniature garden by actually DOING it! During this hands-on workshop, participants will craft a miniature garden planter from start to finish, receive tips and complete instructions, and will take home their completed planter at the end of the workshop.
Pam will provide everything you need to create a beautiful fall-themed miniature garden! This is a messy workshop - we will be playing in the dirt - so please dress accordingly.
$55 fee includes all materials and instruction needed to create your own miniature garden.
Please pre-register by calling us at 800-575-5538.
Saturday, October 20th at 1:30 pm
Attracting Wild Birds to your Home & Garden
Join Mark Viette for this informative seminar and learn the best ways to attract a wide variety of our feathered friends to your property. Mark will discuss how different types of feeders and even different food types will bring many different species of song birds to your home and gardens. Free Lecture
A Great Idea!
Make Your Own Compost!
Bins holding three stages of compost allow a
continuous supply of finished product.
Compost is an excellent, nutrient-rich, soil conditioner which is produced when organic matter (such as leaves, grass clippings, and other garden waste) is broken down by fungi, bacteria, worms, and other small organisms in the soil.
October is a great time to think about creating a compost pile. Now that fall is in the air, the autumn leaves will begin to fall and with garden clean-up close at hand, there is plenty of readily available composting material!
The following are a few tricks to keep in mind when you create your pile.
- Locate your bin in a level, well-drained area with good sunlight & air circulation.
- Your compost bin(s) should be at least 3'x3'x3' to ensure proper heat build-up.
- Keep the proper ratio of carbon-rich ingredients (browns) and nitrogen-rich ingredients (greens), generally 25-30 parts brown to 1 part green.
- Do not compost any plant material that shows sign of disease in case your pile does not get hot enough to kill the disease organisms.
- Keep your pile moist but not wet. If it becomes too wet it will begin to stink!
- Turn and mix your pile with a pitchfork every 3-4 weeks to increase aeration and ensure that the whole pile begins to decompose.
Using shredded material and turning your pile more often will produce finished compost much sooner - perhaps in 1-2 months rather than 4-5 months.
Click for more information on composting
|On the Viette's Views Gardening Blog|
|Andre's Next AAA Trip|
February 18 - March 1st, 2013
11-Day Southern Caribbean Cruise
View from the Viette home
in St. Thomas.
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 more information