April E-News from Viette's                                   Volume 11: No. 4

Lori Jones, Editor                                                                                               April/2015

Viette gardens in spring
Happy Spring!

April is a wonderful time to be out working in the garden.

Plant a new tree or shrub, prepare a new perennial bed, plant your potatoes, but don't get too ambitious and set out your tender annuals or tomato plants, there are bound to be some chilly nights still ahead of us!
Quick Links
Plant of the Month
Fern and hosta garden
Ferns and hosta create a
lush woodland retreat

Got Shade?
Get Ferns!
For the gardener that is "blessed" with shady areas in their yard (yes, I said blessed), there are more fantastic plants available than you might imagine.
Think foliage!
The "discovery" of foliage as accents in the perennial garden has led to incredible developments in ferns, hosta, Heuchera, and Pulmonaria among others. In fact, for certain perennials, the focus has been more on innovations in foliage than in the flowers. This has been especially true for the shade loving perennials. Shade gardeners can take advantage of this and plant some extremely exotic foliage plants.  
Ferns combine with Rodgersia and other shade loving perennials
Ferns combine well with Rodgersia and other shade loving perennials

Natural beauty  
Ferns are a wonderful addition to the shade or woodland garden. They provide a beautiful natural look in the garden and they intrigue us with their form and grace. Their leaves vary in color and texture from the delicate, lacy, light green fronds of Maidenhair Fern to the bold, leathery, deep green fronds of Christmas Fern. Ferns have become so popular that every year new and even more exciting cultivars are being developed. 
Maidenhair fern emerges among Japanese anemone plants
Maidenhair fern emerges among Japanese anemone plants
For me, ferns evoke memories of quiet walks through the misty woodlands of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Up there, the cool, moist forest floor is covered with an abundance of different kinds of ferns. At our house, there is a wooded "swale" that we have nurtured as a natural woodland garden where azaleas, ferns, hosta, and wildflowers abound - but the ferns are the highlight. Their great diversity in foliage is a wonderful compliment to the large-leaved hosta, Polygonatum, native hollies and, of course, the huge oak and hickory trees.     
Fern fiddlehead
Fiddleheads are tiny fronds
all rolled up in a ball!


The fiddleheads are one of more interesting stages of fern growth. In the early spring, the emergence of these fascinating fiddleheads provides additional interest in the garden. Seeing how these tightly coiled packages unfurl into delicate fronds is certainly an amazing thing!
Fiddleheads unfurling
Fiddleheads beginning to unfurl

Fern Favorites 
Cinnamon ferns ( Osmunda cinnamomea) are fun because they have the interesting fertile fronds that poke up from the center of the clump like big cinnamon sticks - hence the name. They are large and bold and make quite a statement in the garden. 
Cinnamon Fern
Cinnamon fern with fertile fronds
Japanese Painted Fern
Another one of my favorites is the Japanese Painted Fern ( Athyrium nipponicum 'Pictum'). Andre's father, Martin Viette, actually introduced this fern into the nursery trade from the gardens of Alex Summers on Long Island. It is a delightful fern with bright silver, red, and green variegation. I have some planted around a beautiful weeping Japanese maple - talk about a striking combination.
Japanese painted fern
Japanese painted fern
Ghost Fern
Ghost fern ( Athyrium x 'Ghost') is another neat fern variety. It's a hybrid of Japanese Painted Fern and Lady-fern with silvery pale green fronds - stunning. That would be awesome with a Japanese maple backdrop or planted among some of the red leaved Heuchera cultivars!   
Maidenhair Fern
Maidenhair fern ( Adiantum pedatum) has graceful spiral fronds! It looks so delicate in the garden with bright green foliage swirling around on dark stems - an amazing splash of texture to the woodland garden.
Maidenhair Fern
Maidenhair Fern
Add some ferns to your gardens today!

Save the Date ...   

Harper's Statuary
& Water Gardens
April 24 - 26


All water garden supplies on sale
Including fountains,
liners, pumps, aerators, water plants, and landscape stones! 
, get expert advice
and answers to all your water gardening questions from our seasoned staff.

Watch for more details 

to come! 

Join Our List
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"
or listen live from our flagship station WSVA.

You can also listen to podcasts.  


Viette Discussion Board
Tip of the Month
April Gardening Chores and Tips 


It's spring and time to get outside and tidy up your lawn and gardens. Here are some valuable tips and gardening chores for these beautiful April weekends.

Insect Control 

Tent caterpillars

Tent caterpillars:

Soon we will begin to see the webs of tent caterpillars forming in their favorite trees. The best time to control these pests is when they are small. The young caterpillars can be controlled safely (without harming beneficial insects) by spraying Bonide BT Thuricide.


Scale insects on Holly:  

If you notice scale on your hollies, April is a great time to spray them with Bonide All Seasons Oil or Bonide Neem Oil to control scale on their branches. Inspect your euonymus shrubs for scale, too.
Grub Control in lawns:
White grub White grubs are one of the most common lawn pests in the US and one of the most damaging to your lawn. They are the larval form of beetles, including the Japanese Beetle, another well-known pest! The best time to control these grubs is in the spring and fall when they are actively feeding close to the surface.
  • Bonide Annual Grub Beater and Bayer Advanced Season Long Grub Control can be applied anytime from spring through late summer.
  • Keep your lawn healthy. A good lawn care program of aerating, dethatching, fertilizing, and proper watering will keep your lawn healthy and better able to tolerate some grub munching.
  • Always read and follow the label directions when applying any pesticide.

Read more about grubs on my Viette's Views blog.  

Disease Control
Botrytis has infected the growing tip of this peony
Botrytis has infected the growing tip of this peony
Botrytis is a fungal disease that causes blackened spots on buds, leaves, and stems of many perennials including peonies. If you noticed this disease on your peonies last year, begin spraying with a fungicide like Bonide Mancozeb, Bonide Liquid Copper, or Bonide Fung-onil once they emerge in the spring.
  Read more about botrytis on my Viette's Views blog
Black spot on roses:
If you had black spot on your rose foliage last year, begin spraying with a fungicide such as Bayer Advanced All-In-One Rose & Flower Care, Bonide Mancozeb, Bonide Liquid Copper, Bonide Fung-onil, or Bonide Infuse.
Always read and follow the label directions when applying any pesticides!

In the Orchard - Insect and Disease Control
Brown rot on peach
Brown rot on peach
It's time to begin a regular spray schedule for your fruit trees. Use an all-in-one fruit tree spray such as Bonide Fruit Tree & Plant Guard, Bonide Fruit Tree Spray, or Bonide Orchard Spray which combine an insecticide and a fungicide. Follow the schedule recommended on the label for your specific type of fruit trees. Never spray an insecticide when the trees are in bloom!

Lawn Weed Control
Persian speedwell
Persian speedwell
Are broadleaf weeds taking over your beautiful lawn?
Get in there and fight back! There are several good products on the market today that will control a wide range of broadleaf lawn weeds.
  • Bonide Weed Beater Ultra has superior cool weather performance down to 45°F which extends the application window to early spring and to late fall, when weeds are most susceptible.
  • Bayer Advanced Weed Killer for Lawns and Season Long Weed Control for Lawns are also effective.
  • More about controlling lawn weeds ...
Got crabgrass?
  • Bonide Duraturf Crabgrass & Weed Preventer provides pre-emergence control and early post-emergence control of crabgrass. For pre-emergence control apply before the forsythia petals have dropped in the spring.
  • Bayer Advanced All-in-One Lawn Weed & Crabgrass Killer - apply when the crabgrass is actively growing.
Be sure to use these products according to the label directions! Some of these post-emergence weed killers cannot be sprayed around trees and shrubs because the chemical leaches into the soil and can damage tree and shrub roots.

Andre is On the Road this Month!
Saturday, April 11th & Sunday, April 12th
The 29th Annual Daffodil Festival  
   Main Street, Gloucester, Virginia 
Andre VietteJoin Andre for an informative gardening talk on Saturday, 
April 11th at 1:00 pm
"Gardening Made Easy" 

Simple solutions to have a picture perfect garden. Andre will talk about some simple gardening practices that will help you grow beautiful flowers, delicious vegetables, lush lawns, and bountiful fruit crops. He will discuss ways to deal with different plant issues including how to control pesky insects and diseases in your flower beds, vegetable garden, orchard, lawn, or container garden. Andre will also provide tips on lawn care, including fertilizing, watering, and weed control.

Following the lecture, Andre will be happy to answer your gardening questions.

Andre's talk will be held in the Colonial Courthouse.
Click for more information about the Daffodil Festival 
Saturday, April 18 - 1:00pm
The Great Big Greenhouse - Richmond, VA 
The Best of the Best Plants for Your Garden"


Beautiful summer gardens at Viette'sAndre will talk about his personal favorite trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and vegetables.  During the seminar the best soil preparation, planting, watering and fertilization practices will be discussed including common insect and disease problems.


Come armed with your plant problems - Andre can help with some simple, easy to understand solutions.

Great Big Greenhouse is located at: 
2051 Huguenot Road, Richmond, VA 23235   
Phone: (804) 320-1317  Click for details! 


Andre's appearance brought to you by Bonide 

Saturday, April 25 - 1:30pm
Merrifield Garden Center - Gainesville, VA
"The Exciting World of Perennials"
Here's a great chance to hear Andre, an accomplished perennial grower, radio host, author, and lecturer. He'll inform and inspire you with great ideas to incorporate into your own garden. 
Garden Center, Gainesville is located at:

6895 Wellington Road, Gainesville, VA

Phone: (703) 368-1919  Click for details! 


Andre's appearance brought to you by Bonide 


Did You Know?
Controlling Deer Ticks is a Summer-Long Task    

Tip modified from Bonide Products


Now that spring is here and the weather is warming up, undesirable critters are going to start waking up and becoming active. This not only includes pests that eat your plants and vegetables but also some nasty pests that can be dangerous to you, your children, and your pets.

Deer tick life cycle with straight pin; Jim Occi, BugPics,
Life stages of the deer tick shown with straight pin for size comparison; Jim Occi, BugPics,
Deer ticks
, also known as black-legged ticks, are one of about 13 species of ticks found in the US. This species (Ixodes scapularis) lives mainly in the eastern US and is associated primarily with the Northeast. Western black-legged ticks live west of the Rocky Mountains.

Adult deer ticks are small - about the size of a sesame seed. The younger nymphs are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence (.) They infest deer and small rodents as alternate hosts and are commonly found in woodland and grassy areas.  
Deer ticks are vector insects and may be the only insect that spreads Lyme disease, a debilitating condition that is rarely fatal, but which is often confused with flu in its early stages. Because of this, identifying and controlling deer ticks is important around houses and in outdoor areas where children, pets and adults gather.

Deer ticks go through four life stages: egg, six-legged larva, eight-legged nymph, and adult. After hatching from the eggs, ticks must eat a blood meal at every stage in order to survive. Ticks that require this many hosts can take up to 3 years to complete their full life cycle.

Lyme disease infections can occur any time during the second or third feeding, however, the insects must be feeding actively for at least 24 hours in order to infect a person with Lyme disease.

Many Bonide products offer fast and effective control of ticks including deer ticks ... 
  • Beetle Killer RTS
  • Eight RTS
  • Eight Concentrate
  • Ant Flea and Tick Killer Granules
  • Dura Turf Insect and Grub Control 5M
  • Total Outdoor Pest Control Concentrate

Always read and follow directions when using insect control products. 

Did You Know?
Liming Your Lawn     
Should you add lime to your lawn every year?
This is a great question!
The ideal soil pH for turfgrass is around 6.5. In the Shenandoah Valley, our limestone based soils are naturally alkaline and may not require a yearly application of lime - in fact in some cases, the pH may need to be lowered!
Always have your soil pH tested just to be sure. Your local extension office can help you with the soil test.
The pH of your lawn soil should be adjusted when the grass is not in full active growth.

On the Viette's Views Gardening Blog 

03-27-2015 17:33:15 PM

Euonymus alatus Euonymus is a large genus of plants which includes many species of deciduous and evergreen shrubs, trees, and vines. Probably one of the most well-known of these is Euonymus alatus (Winged Euonymus, a.k.a. Burning Bush). This deciduous species is especially popular for its beautiful red fall color. Other popular species are the evergreen forms, Euonymus [...]...»

From the Archives ...

Wild onions No - I'm not talking about the onions you purposely grow in your garden; I'm talking about those annoying wild onions that pop up in your lawn every spring. They break dormancy early, much earlier than your grass wakes up from its winter nap and consequently, they are quite obvious in the lawn, standing out against the brownish winter grass. Read more ...
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Join Mark on an Exciting Tour of Ireland
Best of Ireland Tour 

Departs August 20, 2015

Join Mark Viette on this wonderful tour of Ireland!

Experience the Best of Ireland on a 12-day tour.

Best of Ireland Tour with Mark Viette Fly into historic Dublin with a city tour including the Bank of Ireland and St. Patrick's Cathedral (the largest church in Ireland).  Head south with a stop at the Rock of Cashel followed by Waterford with an included tour of the famous crystal factory.  Continue to Cobh, visit Blarney Castle, and perhaps kiss The Blarney Stone en route to Killarney.
the spectacular "Ring of Kerry," offering stunning scenery and tour Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, built in 1425.  View the Cliffs of Moher; discover Galway, the Connemara region, Kylemore Abbey and the Sligo area.           
Enjoy a guided tour of Belleek Pottery, visit Ulster American Folk Park, and explore The Giant's Causeway.
Your tour of the "Emerald Isle" ends in Belfast with sightseeing, including the impressive Parliament buildings, plus you'll visit the world's largest visitor experience, Titanic Belfast.
Join Mark Viette and WRVA Listeners in Ireland -
and don't forget your camera!
Click here for more information or call 888-304-5572
for the latest updates on this exciting vacation! 
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