WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2012/2013

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/92498

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Page 27 of 203

the green scene "plant a christmas rose, and be merry" More about Hellebores The past decade has seen much breeding of the hellebore genus both in Europe and the United States with H. niger, H. orientalis, and H. argutifolius the leading subjects. H. niger (Christmas rose) cultivars feature the species signature white flower with prominent golden stamens. Some to look for are: 'JACOB' – reddish stems hold aloft 15 to 20 pure white flowers which mature pink; a compact six- to eight-inch plant 'JOSEF LEMPER' – large white flowers three- to three-and-a-half inches across are offset by deep green foliage; reaches eighteen inches 'CINNAMON SNOW' – creamy white flowers tinged yellow which become a cinnamon color blend nicely with the reddish stems; approximately fifteen inches H. x hybridus cultivars feature a range of colors from purples, pinks, and reds to white, green, and near black. Look for: 'ROYAL HERITAGE' (sometimes called 'Royal Heritage Strain') – rose-like cup-shaped flowers almost two inches across emerge in nodding clusters above the deeply lobed glossy green foliage; mature height about two feet 'PINK FROST' – two-tone pink white flowers turn red as they mature and are nicely offset by the silvery foliage and red stems; fifteen inches tall LADY SERIES – contains ten hybrids with colors from metallic blue and yellow to pink and white, green, and purple, including a double flowering mix in a range of shades. The series is noted for its bushy, clump forming habit; approximately fifteen to eighteen inches tall with leathery dark green foliage that shines H. orientalis (Lenten rose) A real stunner is 'BLACK DIAMOND' with two-inch-plus flowers that are dark purple, almost black; emerging new foliage is also purplish; fifteen to eight- een inches Do remember that severe winters can damage the foliage on hellebores, so cut back the stems after flowering to encourage fresh foliage and plant them in masses for an attractive ground cover. peratures plummet below freezing, storing the moisture in their roots. As temperatures rise the moisture is returned to the flowers, which is why the flowers look so fresh emerg- ing from snow and ice. These herbaceous evergreen perennials are typically long-lived plants and usually do not need dividing; in fact it is healthier for the plants if you do not divide them, as they do hate to be moved. They do quite well in pots as I discovered quite by accident when I pur- chased a hellebore and did not plant it before winter; the ground froze and the pot went into the garage. It was the only time I had a Christmas rose bloom at Christmas, lasting well into the New Year and serving as a great addition to the seasonal bouquet. So chase away melancholy, plant a Christmas rose, and be merry. 26 WellesleyWeston Magazine | winter 2012/2013

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