October E-News from Viette's                           Volume 8: No. 10

Lori Jones, Editor                                                                                                October/2012

The Viette gardens are full of color in the fall!


Our October Gardens  

are Brimming with

Beautiful Fall Color!


From colorful blooms to colorful leaves to beautiful berries, 

the Viette gardens have it all!


  Come for a visit and enjoy  

nature's bounteous  

displays in the Viette gardens!


Join us for our special fall events and seminars going on throughout October. 


NOW in the Viette Garden Center:


50% OFF all potted daylilies

50% OFF potted perennials**

** excludes certain Hosta varieties   

Quick Links
Plant of the Month
Beautiful bloom of Hydrangea paniculata
Hydrangea paniculata
Beautiful shrubs for the Garden!!

Old-fashioned Grandeur
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.  

H. arborescens -
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 Annabelle
Hydrangea 'Annabelle' at Viette's
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.

Watch Mark's video
tip on how to train Hydrangea 'Tardiva' to tree form. 
Hydrangea paniculata 'Tardiva'
Hydrangea paniculata 'Tardiva'
H. macrophylla -
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).
Lacecap hydrangea
Lacecap hydrangea
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.


Reblooming Types 

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 macrophylla
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.

Bottom Line
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!  
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.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Having trouble getting through on the radio?
Visit our

Discussion Board!

Use the convenient search key
to see if we have already addressed your problem!
Don't see the answer? Post your question!
It's easy.
When You're in
the Area
Packsaddle Ridge Golf Club. View from the 13th hole.
Got Clubs?

Visit our friends at Packsaddle Ridge Golf Club for a breathtaking round of golf after a visit to the Viette gardens.

Packsaddle Ridge 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
Phone: 540-269-8188
Ornamental grasses stand out against brilliant fall foliage.

October is a glorious time to be outside in the garden!  


Tip of the Month
Pruning Hydrangeas! 


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 (oakleaf hydrangea).
Lacecap hydrangea
Lacecap hydrangea
  • 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 ssp. petiolaris (Climbing Hydrangea), and reblooming varieties of H. macrophylla such as 'Endless Summer'.
Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'
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 

September garden at Viette's 

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 -  

         Fall Edition  


Learn to create one of these cute miniature gardens during our workshop.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  

A colorful pair of cardinals feast at the sunflower seed feeder. 

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!
Bins holding 3 stages of compost allow a continuous supply of finished product.
Bins holding three stages of compost allow a
continuous supply of finished product.
Make Your Own Compost!


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
Snails can cause significant damage to hosta 09-26-2012 15:08:48 PM

"My hosta are getting eaten - there are lots of holes in the leaves ...  

"I just planted four basil plants yesterday and this morning there are small holes in the leaves ...  

"My lettuce leaves have lots of holes in them looking like something has been eating through them at night ... 


These are just a few of the inquiries we've gotten this season about plants (especially hosta) that have holes chewed in the leaves [...]...�


The last instar nymph of the green stink bug 09-13-2012 14:11:14 PM

Oh the trouble we've had with stink bugs in the garden and orchard this year! We've received loads of calls and e-mails about these pesky bugs but especially in the last month or so. Why? Because it's tomato season and it seems that these nasty creatures are as fond of America's favorite garden crop as [...]...�

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 more information
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