WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2014/2015

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: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/410492

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Page 25 of 227

W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | w i n t e r 2 0 1 4 / 2 0 1 5 24 cut for some weeks and kept refrigerated to keep them looking fresh; but once you bring them indoors, the needle shedding will begin. To inhibit shedding, re-cut the stem, split it two to three inches from the bottom, spray or rinse the greens with a preservative, then store them in water in a cool place until ready to decorate. When selecting a cut tree for the holiday season, look for spruce or fir as they hold their needles better than others. After you've selected your tree, ask to have about an inch or more cut from the base. When you get home, plunge the tree into a bucket of hot water, letting it drink up to rehydrate. Keep the tree in a cool place and remember to top up the water until you are ready to decorate. You can also spray the tree with the same preservatives to reduce needle drop. Don't for- get your outdoor evergreens either; remember last winter's bitter cold periods that caused damage and death to even established evergreens. Spraying the evergreens with an anti-desiccant before freezing weather sets in will help them survive the ravages of winter. Think green, dream, and deck the halls with evergreen! Florists condition flowers before placing them in arrangements, and the same treatment can be used for freshly cut greens to prevent them from drying out too quickly. A key factor is selection; choose material like pine, cedar, or fir that won't shed needles quickly. Remember to cut the greenery at a 45-degree angle and crush or split the stems two to three inches from the bottom with a hammer. Condition the greens by immersing them in lukewarm water for a few hours or even overnight to soak up as much moisture as possible. If you are not going to use them immediately, store them in buckets of water in a cold but not freezing area like a garage or a bulkhead until ready for use. Do check the water level a few times during the first 24 hours, as they can absorb quite a bit, then top up as needed. There are a few products available at garden centers or florists that will help prolong freshness and prevent needles or berries from shed- ding: look for Holly Dip, Prolong, or Wilt-Pruf. Follow the manufac- turer's instructions and mix the preservative with the specified amount of water in a large bucket or spray bottle. Either dip or spray the mate- rial with the solution so that it is thoroughly covered, let it dry, then store in buckets of water until ready to use. The same preservative mix can be used in vases or containers of greens you are using for decora- tion. If you do purchase cut greens it is most likely they will have been 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. S T E P A N J E Z E K / 1 2 3 R F S T O C K P H O T O "deck the halls with evergreen" the green scene

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