November E-News from Viette's                   Volume 9: No. 11

Lori Jones, Editor                                                                                           November/2013

Late fall garden  
November is the time
to get ready for the
winter season! 

There are loads of late fall
garden chores to keep you busy
on these crisp November days.

What a glorious time to be out working in the garden!

Find some great tips below.

Don't forget to clean your bird feeders before you put them out this month. 
Quick Link
Fence post snowman
Holiday Decorating Workshops
Don't miss out on these great demonstration workshops coming soon!
Plant of the Month
Japanese maple in June
The weeping cultivars have a beautiful shape that adds interest to the landscape through all seasons.
Acer palmatum
Japanese Maple
Japanese Maples include some of the most beautiful of all the maple species. Their diversity in form, size, and color lends itself to many different uses in the landscape from specimen or accent trees to groupings for a border planting. The dwarf forms can even be planted in large containers if garden space is limited. 
Beautiful contorted trunk and branches add interest to the garden
The beautiful twisted shapes of the branches and trunk add interest to the winter garden.
Elegance in Form
These exceptional maples have the most wonderful, artistic branching structure which adds interest to the landscape, especially in the winter.
branches of the more upright forms tend to develop a layered look similar to the growth of flowering dogwoods. The weeping forms have a round, pendulous shape with graceful arching branches which can be lit from below to create a lovely effect at night in the winter garden.
Japanese maples have glorious color in the spring.
Japanese maples have glorious color in the spring.
Attractive Foliage
Though some Japanese maples have deep green summer foliage, many cultivars have leaves in various shades of red or burgundy and some cultivars even have unusual variegated foliage.

Without a doubt, the most prized attribute of these beautiful trees is their outstanding fall foliage. Brilliant shades of crimson, orange, yellow, or purple light up the autumn landscape with blazing color. Spectacular!
Brilliant fall color!
This little Japanese maple has brilliant fall color.
Leaf shape varies within the species as well as leaf color. Two cultivar groups are recognized within the Japanese maple species.

The Dissectum Group includes the cultivars with finely cut, fern-like foliage. These cultivars tend to be lower growing and form graceful, shrub-like mounds.

The Atropurpureum Group
includes cultivars that are more upright in growth habit with bronze-red-purple leaves that are not as finely divided.

Japanese maples provide brilliant fall color.
Striking fall color.
Hundreds of different cultivars are available - it's so hard to choose! Be sure to talk to a reputable nurseryman to determine the best varieties for your area and landscape needs.
Japanese maples are beautiful with a blanket of snow.
Japanese maples are beautiful with a blanket of snow.
Japanese maples perform best when planted in the high shade of taller trees and protected from strong winds. Too much sunlight and exposure to high winds can cause leaf scorch but too little sun can cause the leaves to lose their beautiful reddish color and turn a muddy green. Plant in moist, well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter and slightly acidic. Keep well watered especially until established.
Japanese maples make beautiful accent trees.
Japanese maples make
beautiful accent trees.
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Did You Know?
Protect Your Tender Shrubs This Winter
Hydrangea macrophylla
Hydrangea macrophylla may need winter protection in colder zones so
the flower buds don't freeze.
In colder zones, fig trees and certain shrubs like Hydrangea macrophylla, miniature roses, and newly planted roses should be provided with some sort of winter protection.
A good way to accomplish this is to surround the shrub with black roofing paper and carefully pack straw or oak leaves inside around the branches and stems. Use stakes to hold the cylinder of roofing paper in place. If the shrub is very wide, you can carefully draw the branches together with twine and then make your enclosure of roofing paper. The black roofing paper is ideal because it not only provides a wind screen, but it also absorbs heat from the sun and keeps the shrub warmer in the winter. You can use burlap in the same way but it doesn't absorb heat the way the roofing paper does.
Oak leaves are the best type of leaves to use as an insulator because they are more resistant to rot and seem to drain better. Maple leaves, sweet gum, and tulip leaves mat easily and get mushy when they get wet. They also breakdown faster than oak leaves. Pine needles are also a great choice for insulation.

It's not too late ...
It's not too late to plant spring bulbs. Now is a great time to take advantage of late season sales on daffodils, tulips, and minor bulbs. These can still be planted as long as the ground is workable. Be sure to amend the planting hole with Espoma Bulb-tone according to the label directions. This will give your bulbs a boost when they begin growing in spring.
Got 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
8:00-11:00 on 
"In the Garden  
with Andre Viette"
Click for a station list or listen live on our flagship station, WSVA, in Harrisonburg, VA.
Listen to podcasts of the show.
Tip of the Month
Frost on a Miscanthus plume
Frost on Miscanthus plume

Winter is on the way ...      


We've had several frosts in the Shenandoah Valley and recently, we had our first hard freezes of the fall with temperatures plunging into the low to mid 20's. The time has come (ready or not!) to start putting your gardens to bed for the season.

Here are some things to think about:  

the garden -  
  • Fertilize - If you haven't already done so this fall, fertilize your beds with a slow-release organic fertilizer such as Espoma Plant-tone or Holly-tone. Andr� prefers organic fertilizers because they distribute nutrients slowly and evenly over time, preventing plants from growing in winter or too early spring. Organic fertilizer that is applied in the fall will be available to the plants when they begin to grow in the spring.
  • Water - Give your trees, shrubs, and perennials a good deep watering before the ground freezes. This will generally provide them with the water they need to survive through winter.
    • Remember: Unless there is snow cover, it is important to water your plants during prolonged dry spells in the winter (longer than 2 weeks) to avoid damage to roots and evergreen foliage due to dehydration and desiccating winds.
    • The best time to water in the winter is in the middle of the day and when temperatures are above 40�F.
  • Mulching - After a thorough, deep watering, replenish the mulch if necessary to a depth of 3 inches. This will help retain soil moisture and also help prevent the freezing and thawing of the soil that can cause the heaving of herbaceous perennials and newly planted trees and shrubs.
  • PeachMummiesBrownRot
    Peach mummies caused by brown rot are covered with fungal spores and should be removed from trees
    Tidy up under disease prone trees and shrubs
    - Disease and insect pests can overwinter in fallen leaves, plant debris, and dropped fruit. If left in the garden, these diseases or insects can reinfect your plants next spring. Be sure to rake up and destroy the leaves under your roses, native dogwoods, crabapples, grapes, and fruit trees. Pick up and destroy all fallen and mummified fruit.
  • Cut back and destroy the foliage of your peonies as this may carry overwintering spores of botrytis. As you do this, save some of the old flower stems with their interesting seed pods for use in dried arrangements.
  • Garden Gleanings - If you tend to cut back the perennials in your garden in the fall, save some of the interesting seed pods and dried flowers. They make great additions to your holiday decorations and arrangements. You are only limited by your imagination! Walk around your gardens with a basket and see what you can find!
    • Seed pods of Japanese anemones, blackberry lily (Belamcanda), coneflowers, Siberian iris, poppies, Hibiscus, and yucca are really neat.
    • The dried flowers of Hydrangea, Sedum, Achillea (yarrow), and ornamental grasses are great in arrangements, too.
Fall swag for over the door created from garden cuttings
About the Lawn -
  • Don't rake those leaves, mow them!
    Mow fall leaves to enrich your lawn
    The leaves that carpet your lawn in the fall are full of good organic nutrients. Many studies have shown that mowing these leaves (especially if you use a mulching mower) and leaving the chopped leaves on the lawn, is actually very beneficial to the grass. The nutrients will be slowly released to your grass through the winter months as the the leaves breakdown. Don't waste this precious resource! It's free fertilizer for your lawn!
    • Shredded leaves also make a good natural mulch for your garden. I shred some of my leaves into a compost pile and then use them to mulch my vegetable garden in the summer. It's great for keeping the soil moisture in and the weeds out!
  • When you are finished with your mowing for the year, drain the gas from your mower before storing it.
Around the House -
  • Adult stink bug THIS BEARS REPEATING 
    Stinkbug Invasion! - We are still dealing with it!

    We've been bombarded with calls and e-mails from desperate homeowners that have been plagued by hordes of stinkbugs in and around the house. They seem to be particularly bad this year! They are often seen congregating in great masses on window screens probably because this is an easy place for them to land. Once one lands, it releases a pheromone which attracts all the others in the neighborhood - so it seems!
    How can you deal with them?
    • Stinkbugs like to hide in the leaves and other debris that may accumulate around the base of your house. If you rake up this debris, you will remove these hiding places and this may help to control the masses!
    • Carefully examine the foundation and around windows and doors for cracks and crevices where they can sneak into the house. They will seek out these entry points in an attempt to find overwintering sites. Use caulk and weather stripping to seal any cracks.
    • Bonide Eight can be used outdoors to control stink bugs on ornamental plants as well as vegetable crops and fruit trees. It can be applied to building foundations and to spot treat cracks and crevices according to the label directions. 
    • If you find them in the house, the safest way to get rid of them is to use your vacuum cleaner to suck them up. Be sure to discard the bag when you are finished! 
    •  Bonide Household Insect Control kills stink bugs on contact but also has some residual action that creates a relatively effective barrier around windows, doors, and other areas where they might gain entrance to your home.
      Always read and follow the label directions.
  • Clean and store your plant containers -
    November is a great time to empty and clean your patio and deck pots, hanging baskets, and window boxes. Use a stiff brush and soapy water to clean plastic and terracotta pots. Then rinse and dip in a solution of 1/2 cup bleach to 3 gallons of water. Rinse again and store upside down for the winter.

workshopsSave the Dates! 

Holiday Decorating Workshops 


Thursday, December 5 - 10:30am  

Della Robbia ArrangementArtistic Christmas Designs

   with Jef Naunchik 

Jef has 35 years of experience in creating beautiful artistic arrangements and displays for the holidays. Come to this great workshop and Jef will teach you some unique techniques for decorating at holiday time including a demonstration of how to flock greens. Jef will also discuss incorporating the beautiful new battery operated LED lights into his arrangements.
Learn how to make:
Della Robbia wreaths, topiary trees and miniature Christmas trees, swags with fresh greens, boxwood balls, candle rings, and more!
Learn the art of gilding, how to use a glue pot, and how to make beautiful ribbons.

Saturday, December 7 - 1:30pm
Sunday, December 8 - 1:30pm

Christmas Decorating  

Andre demonstrates how to flock greens.
Andre demonstrates
how to flock greens.

     with Andre Viette


Andre will demonstrate the basics of decorating for the holidays including working with greens to create attractive wreaths and table arrangements. He will also show you how to flock greens to create a glistening snow covered look. Andre will also demonstrate some easy, 5-minute decorating tips for swags and the best way to preserve magnolia leaves and branches.
Learn about:
Preserving greens and Christmas trees, live vs. cut Christmas trees, basics of wreath making including how to make a giant 6 foot wreath, making kissing balls, creating swags and arrangements, making fresh roping.


Read about these fun workshops on my blog! 


After each workshop, Andre will give you a personal tour of Andre and Claire's beautiful home and gardens all decorated for the Christmas season. 

Andre's beautiful This Christmas wonderland takes Andre a full two weeks to complete and includes: 
  • A live Christmas tree with snow and colorful ornaments
  • A live Christmas tree with crystal, pearls, and crocheted ornaments
  • Loads of beautiful arrangements with live greens
  • Gold mantle arrangement
  • Antique, hand-made ornaments
  • Bell collection and colored glass collection
  • Santa collection with over 100 Santas
  • Beautiful manger arrangement
  • Old Christmas card collection, and lots more . . .
  • Plus, many wonderful outside arrangements with beautiful greens and colorful berries combined with antique farm tools, sleighs, and sleds!
Viette Front Porch Christmas
Sign up early - space is limited!
    Sign up by November 18th and SAVE $5.00!

Each workshop is only only $40.00
       ($35.00 if you register by 11/18/12).

Each participant will take home: a bundle of mixed evergreen boughs, 3 wreath rings (8", 10", & 12"), 1 spool of floral wire, 1 large oasis block, a 6" design bowl, assorted spruce & pine cones, a $10.00 Gift Certificate for Viette perennials to be used next season, and loads of great ideas for your holiday decorating!

Pre-registration is required.
Call 800-575-5538 for more details & to register.

On the Viette's Views Gardening Blog
Funnel web on juniper   10-23-2013 14:08:57 PM

Our next door neighbor has planted his bank along the road with blue rug juniper. The other morning when I drove by, I noticed that these junipers were covered with a patchwork of spider webs. It was really neat looking and I had to stop to snap a few pics with my phone. Actually several [...]...�


Beautiful fall gardens at Viette's    10-17-2013 17:34:44 PM

The leaves are becoming more colorful every day. Apples are ripe for the picking, pumpkins and mums abound, bountiful harvests, hay rides ... What a glorious time of year! Fall is also a busy time in the garden. October is the time to begin putting your gardens to bed for the season. Spending a little [...]...�


Woolly bear caterpillar    10-07-2013 14:10:10 PM

Why does the woolly bear cross the road? The woolly bears seem to be on a mission! So many are crossing the road these days - and they're not dilly-dallying either! They're moving along at a pretty good clip - for a caterpillar that is! I find it very curious. Driving to work in the [...]...�

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