January E-News from Viette's                       Volume 8: No. 1

Lori Jones, Editor                                                                                          January/2012

Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost'
2012 PPA Plant of the Year - Brunnera 'Jack Frost'

  Happy New Year from Your Friends at Viette's!

Here's to a year of
great gardening weather
with beautiful blooms,
bountiful gardens, and
no pests or disease!
Quick Links

Plant of the Month 

Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost'
Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost'



'Jack Frost' 


2012 PPA  

"Plant of the Year"


Commonly called Perennial Forget-Me-Not, Brunnera macrophylla is a lovely clump-forming perennial that is a wonderful addition to the woodland garden or shady border garden.
The species has large, heart-shaped deep green leaves that remain attractive all season long. The relatively new cultivar, 'Jack Frost', was first introduced in 2000 by Waters Gardens. This beautiful Brunnera has a dramatic silvery white frosting overlaying the dark green foliage such that just the narrow green leaf veins and a vivid green edge shows through. The striking silvery foliage is great for bringing life to dull, low light areas in the garden.
Beautiful frosted leaves of Brunnera 'Jack Frost'
Beautiful frosted leaves of
Brunnera 'Jack Frost'

Beautiful Blooms

In April and May, airy sprays of delicate electric-blue forget-me-not-like flowers rise above the foliage on slender stems. These beautiful flowers sparkle and dance in the dappled sunlight of the early woodland springtime. This is definitely a must-have if you have a shady spot!
Brunnera 'Jack Frost'
Dainty blue flowers dance above the striking frosty white foliage.

Brunnera 'Jack Frost' performs best in the shade and prefers rich, moist soil. It makes a wonderful specimen plant in the garden but is also great for naturalizing along a shady garden path or along a woodland stream. Brunnera is easy to grow and will thrive in the garden as long as it is kept in evenly moist soil that is rich in organic material. Wait until spring to cut back the old foliage as this will help protect the crown over the winter.
Companion Planting

These beautiful spring bloomers are wonderful planted with spring bulbs and other shade loving perennials. The red leaved Heucheras are particularly striking companions to the silvery leaved 'Jack Frost'. Other plants that grow well and look great with Brunnera are Hosta, Astilbe, and ferns.


Upcoming Appearances and Shows


February 9-12

Maymont Flower & Garden Show

Join Mark Viette for a gardening seminar on Saturday, February 11th.

Watch for details!  


March 24-26

Daffodil Festival  

A full weekend of family fun at the 26th Annual Daffodil Festival in Gloucester, VA.  

Join Andre for a live broadcast of "In the Garden with Andre Viette" on Saturday morning and a gardening seminar in the afternoon.

Click for more details! 


Hope to see you there!

If you enjoy our newsletter, please pass it along to your gardening friends!
Tip of the Month

Now that the Holidays are Over ...          


Once the holiday season is over, many people wonder what they can do with their leftover Christmas trees and greens. Here are some unique ways to "recycle" your greens in an eco-friendly way. 

Give it to the birds! When you are finished with your Christmas tree, don't send it to the landfill - your wild bird friends will LOVE it! If you place your leftover tree near your bird feeders, it will provide a great hiding place for them this winter. The easiest way to set it out in the garden is to drive a tall post (like a T-post) into the ground and place the tree down over the post so the
Pine cone bird seed and peanut butter treat.
Pine cone bird seed and
peanut butter treat.
post is running up beside the trunk. Then just tie the trunk to the post near the base and at the top to secure it and keep it upright.
You could even consider decorating it for the birds by hanging bird seed pine cones, strings of cranberries or popcorn, bird seed bagel rings, or slices of fruit from the boughs like ornaments!
View Mark Viette's video tip about this neat idea!

Protect your tender plants.
Another idea for reusing your leftover Christmas tree is to use the cut the boughs to protect some of your more tender perennials in the garden. We often cut the branches off our tree in preparation for taking it out of the house after Christmas. These boughs make wonderful "blankets" for the plants. They are perfect for covering "over eager" daffodils that sometimes pop up during a warm spell in the winter or for protecting evergreen perennials from winter burn during the cold, dry days in January and February. This is also a great use for the evergreen boughs that you may have cut for holiday arrangements.
    View Mark's video tip for more information.

Keeping Your Holiday Plants
Caring for holiday plants after the Holidays
Amaryllis, Poinsettia, Christmas Cactus ...
These plants have beautiful blooms during the holidays and well after but what should you do if you want to try to keep them around for next year?

Spent flower stem cut back  after the flowers have faded.Amaryllis -
  • When all the blooms on a stem have faded, cut the stalk off about 1" - 2" from the base - be careful not to injure the foliage.  
  • After all the stems have been cut back, move the plant back to a bright, sunny window to grow.  
  • At every second watering, add a half dose of liquid bulb booster or African Violet fertilizer.  
  • When nighttime temperatures remain above 60�F, you can transplant your amaryllis bulbs outside in a sunny location to grow for the summer.

A beautiful pink poinsettiaPoinsettia -

Even if you don't have a green thumb, the poinsettia can provide enjoyment throughout the year as an attractive green foliage plant.  

  • When the bracts age and lose their aesthetic appeal, usually by late March or early April, cut the poinsettia back to about 8". The amount you cut from the top of the plant will depend upon its shape; some plants will need more pruning than others to achieve a full, rounded canopy.  
  • After cutting, the plant will look quite stark, but by the end of May you should see vigorous new growth. 
  • When nighttime temperatures average 55�F or above, place your plants outdoors in indirect sun where they can bask in the warmth of spring and summer.  
  • Continue regular watering during the growth period.  
  • Fertilize every 2 to 3 weeks throughout the spring, summer, and fall months with a well-balanced, complete fertilizer. 
  • Pruning may be required during the summer to keep the plants bushy and compact, but do not prune after September 1st.

Holiday cactus - Bodie Pennisi, University of Georgia, Bugwood.orgChristmas Cactus -  

After they finish blooming, Christmas cactus need a rest period of about a month.

  • After blooming, place the plant in a cool room and water sparingly. It may lose some leaves but this is not a problem.
  • Do not fertilize or prune during this rest period.
  • Christmas cactus can be repotted if needed during this time but keep in mind that they bloom best if they are slightly root bound. 
  • Once new growth begins in the spring, usually around March or early April, you can resume normal watering and fertilizing with a liquid houseplant fertilizer.
  • Pruning to reshape the plant and encourage branching can be done in the spring once new growth begins. 
  • When nighttime temperatures average 55�F or above, the plant can be placed outside in a shady or semi-shady location if desired. Avoid exposure to direct sun as this can burn the foliage. 
A Little Bit of Spring in the Middle of Winter!
Don't Miss It! Virginia Home & Garden Show
January 14 & 15, 2012
This exciting event at the new Meadow Event Park in Doswell, Virginia will provide eager homeowners, the opportunity to see, compare and buy the latest products and services to beautify their homes and yards.
Landscapers will create beautiful gardens and be on hand to inspire you to take your yard to the next level.
Shop for the latest in home decor and get advice from the area's best decorators. See the latest in kitchen design & discuss the latest options to upgrade your kitchen to the perfect gathering place.
 Andre Viette

Join Andre Viette
for an informative gardening seminar on Saturday,
Jan. 14th at 2:00 pm.
Andre's seminar will be followed by a Question & Answer session and Meet & Greet.

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 in your area!
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 NEW radio
show as well as tips and other gardening information.

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Andre's Next AAA Trip
London, England

including Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and the CotswoldsBeautiful English  countryside


July 3 - 13, 2012


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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