Exfoliating bark adds interest to winter gardens

newspaperWhen winter removes much of the foliage from your garden, you can depend on colorful branches to provide visual interest, according to Augusta County horticulturalist Mark Viette.

“You can choose trees that have a specific exfoliating bark that is beautiful in the winter and even attractive during summer months,” Viette said. He cited the Chinese dogwood, which sheds bark in the winter, creating a dappled effect on the trees’ trunks and branches. “Cherries have beautiful bark. It can be quite shiny when they’re young,” Viette continued. “But remember this name: the Japanese tree lilac. Here in our garden, we have planted a few of these easy-to-grow, yellow-blooming trees. They bloom sometime toward the end of May and early June.”

Another of Viette’s favorite trees with exfoliating bark is the crapemyrtle. “Just imagine how a giraffe’s neck looks,” he said by way of description. “This is a small tree with trunks that do not typically get too large in diameter. You’ll see alternating colors, cinnamon and a pale, almost white color on them. And it’s kind of neat the way this bark just peels off the tree, leaving really smooth, almost velvety new bark.”

He recommended the Natchez variety of crapemyrtle. “It has a pure white flower. It may not be as pretty when it blooms as the pink- and red-blooming crapemyrtles, but it does have the best exfoliating bark.”

Viette and his father, Andre Viette, operate Viette Nurseries in Fishersville, and he appears regularly on Virginia Farm Bureau Federation’s weekly television program, Real Virginia, seen on most public television stations in Virginia and on RFD-TV. Real Virginia also can be viewed at VaFarmBureau.org.


UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Feedback from buyers: “Got the Book in the Mail Saturday, and could not put it down! Great read and great photography as well! Love all of the books I’ve received, but hands down, this is my favorite!” – Russell

Buy here.

augusta free press news
augusta free press news
augusta free press news