WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2012

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.

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"add star quality to your fall garden" the green scene called ray flowers as they radiate, star like around the edge of the cen- tral disk. The rays provide the true color and are mistakenly called petals. The real flowers are in the central disk and, if you look closely, you will find many tiny tubular flowers crowded together that provide an overall gorgeous effect. While many of the asters we are familiar with grow along roadsides and the edges of fields and are somewhat weedy looking, the many hybridized types are worthy of gracing the autumn garden scene. One of my favorite New England aster hybrids is 'Purple Dome'—a compact mound 18 to 24 inches, with deep blue-purple flowers. At the taller end, measuring three to four feet and providing a punch of bright rosy flow- ers that measure almost two inches across, is 'Alma Potschke.' Another tall beauty, more subtly colored, is the salmon shaded 'Harrington's Pink.' The taller types should be pinched back by half in mid-June and may need staking. The New England asters also do well as cut flowers. The New York aster, another lovely field weed, has some worthy cul- tivars that are shorter, making them suitable for pot culture, fronts of beds and borders, or along path edges. An old-fashioned cultivar is the diminutive, nine- to twelve-inch 'Professor Kippenberg ' with lovely blue-lavender flowers that are semi-double. There is also the 'Woods' series often listed as A. x dumosus, 'Wood's Pink,' 'Woods Purple,' and 'Wood's Blue,' all soft colors and standing about 12 inches. A bit taller and harder to find but quite handsome is 'Winston Churchill' with its red flowers rising up to three feet. And for the lightly shaded side of your garden, the white wood aster, A. divaricatus, provides sprays of white flowers in a cascading drift up to three feet. The heath aster, A. ericoides, has a profusion of tiny white flow- ers with needle-shaped foliage similar to heath, hence its species name. If you'd like to add star quality to your fall garden, the aster will certainly be a guaranteed hit. 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. 19 fall 2012 | WellesleyWeston Magazine

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