WellesleyWeston Magazine

SPRING 2015

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/460705

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W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s p r i n g 2 0 1 5 20 "flowers that glow in the landscape" the green scene landscape. Another lovely hybrid is 'Daybreak,' with fragrant pastel pink and yellow flowers, just like a beautiful morning sunrise. It is harder to find but worth seeking out. The aristocrat of all the magnolias is perhaps the magnificent evergreen native Magnolia grandiflora known as the southern mag- nolia. It is in fact hardy to Zone 6. The large lustrous dark green leaves are much used by floral arrangers and nicely offset the very fragrant creamy white cup-shaped flowers. A reliably hardy cultivar is 'Bracken Brown Beauty;' with a compact, dense habit and a pyrami- dal shape, it will get to 30 feet and half as wide. A smaller and slower growing cultivar, 'Little Gem' reaches 20 feet and half as wide with a more shrubby habit and would work well in the smaller landscape or as a specimen near a patio. The cold hardiest and tallest cultivar is 'Edith Bogue,' which has lemon-scented flowers that appear in early summer. Magnolias are well-behaved, preferring full sun but will take very light shade. Avoid planting them in windy locations. Well drained but moist soil suits them, and once established they are somewhat drought tol- erant, but keep them adequately watered in their first season. Pruning is not necessary, and in fact could be detrimental, as the wounds do not heal well, so prune only to remove dead or dying wood. The best time of year to plant magnolias is in the spring, so now is the time to welcome something mag- nificent into your garden. The saucer magnolias are hybrids (M. denudata x M. liliiflora) and are the most widely planted in our area. The characteristic shape is rounded and broadly spreading with age with a mature height and spread of 25 feet. Usually treelike, they can also be multi-stemmed with large cup- shaped flowers that are a rosy purple with white interiors. The flowers are held upright on the branch tips appearing before the foliage. Two good cultivars to look for are 'Rustica Rubra' or 'Alexandrina.' If you are looking for something other than pink or white check out 'Elizabeth,' a deciduous hybrid that is a cross between the native cucumber magnolia, M. acuminata, and M. denudata, with fragrant pale yellow flowers that glow in the landscape. It has a pyramidal habit to 25 feet and about 15 feet wide and is a real show stopper in the RUTH FURMAN is a Massachusetts Certified Horticulturist (MCH). She trained in horticulture in England and spent many happy years working and gardening there. To reach Ms. Furman, email her at: Ruth@wellesleywestonmagazine.com. M E D I A B A K E R Y

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