Good to Know

Wisteria needs afternoon sun, pruning to bloom

Are you disappointed that your wisteria isn't blooming this year? Some people have wisteria for six to seven years without seeing a single cluster of white, pink or violet flowers.

If that's the case, your plant could be getting too much shade and not enough afternoon sun, explained horticulturalist Mark Viette. There also could be too much nitrogen and not enough phosphorus in your lawn’s fertilizer.

“The wisteria may have a lot of light green growth, but no blooms,” said Viette. "You may need to shock it back into blooming."

pink wisteria
white wisteria

“Pruning your wisteria will help direct the plant’s energy into producing flowers.”

He recommended trimming one third of year-old, lateral growth back to a bud in mid-August, and then remove another third back to a bud two weeks later. Then in September, cut the same stem back to the last two or three buds on the branch. This process forces all of the plant's energy into producing large flowering buds.

Watch this video: Horticulturalist Mark Viette offers tips on trimming wisteria to encourage flowering in this clip from Real Virginia.

“Don’t take out more than 20% of the growth,” Viette warned. This will avoid the development of excessive new sprouts which is what you don't want, he explained.

It may take more than one year before seeing beautiful, hanging blossoms on a vine that has not flowered for years.

graphic barn quilt graphic barn quilt graphic barn quilt

Explore Virginia’s largest barn quilt trail this summer

With 145 quilt images on display in nearly 100 locations throughout Greene County, the Blue Ridge Barn Quilt Trail is Virginia’s largest barn quilt trail and one of the largest in the U.S., according to the Greene County Department of Economic Development and Tourism.

Launched in 2016, the trail is a collaboration between The Art Guild of Greene County and the county’s tourism program.

Barn quilts are squares of wood painted to look like a quilt block and displayed on or near a barn, house or business. They emerged as a grassroots public art movement in Ohio and have spread to 48 states and Canada.

black barn with quilt
white barn with quilt

For trail participants, “it shows they care about their property and helps draw attention to agriculture,” said Greene County Farm Bureau President Joanne Burkholder.

Workshops have been held in Greene and Madison counties for individuals who want to create their own barn quilt squares.

A trail map is available at the Greene County Visitors’ Center in Ruckersville, and a downloadable self-guided tour can be found at

"With 145 quilt images on display in nearly 100 locations throughout Greene County, the Blue Ridge Barn Quilt Trail is Virginia’s largest barn quilt trail and one of the largest in the U.S." (Click to Tweet)

Curry-Lime Chicken Thighs with Tomato-Lima Bean Salsa

Enjoy this flavorful grilled chicken recipe that highlights some of the fresh tastes of summer.

See Recipe

Chicken is a healthy option for dinner tonight

Whether you’re grilling at the park or chilling at home this summer, chicken is a smart meal choice.

A good source of protein, chicken contains vitamin B12 and choline, which may help brain development in children and aid in cognitive performance in adults. In addition, chicken can act as a mood booster as it has tryptophan, an amino acid responsible for raising serotonin levels in the brain.

Chicken is low in calories, too, with boneless breasts having the least amount—just 114 per piece. Skinless thighs are not far behind with only 119 calories each.

When cooking, remember that poultry should be heated to 165° or higher to eliminate bacteria and reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Be sure to use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature.

"Even though juices might be running clear, that’s not necessarily an indication that something is done,” said Melissa Chase, Virginia Tech’s consumer food safety program manager. She also added that grills tend to cook the outside of foods much faster than the inside.