WellesleyWeston Magazine


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/936516

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Page 57 of 227

S T E V E M A A S writer one day a woman walks into a cubby-hole office at The Gardens of Elm Bank with a little terrarium. Inside, wrapped around a stick, is a two-inch weevil-like worm. She suspects that the jointed, ivory-colored creature has something to do with the sawdust at the base of her rhododendron. Just another case for the botanical Sherlock Holmes of the Massachusetts Master Gardener Association, which operates a help line based at the headquarters of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society in Wellesley, among many other activities. "It was the most disgusting worm I've ever seen," said Dianna Kanter of Wellesley, who became a certified Master Gardener two years ago. But that didn't stop Kanter from pursuing the case. After consulting with her fellow Master Gardeners, Kanter learned that the worm was a rhodo- dendron stem borer. "This creature basically tunnels through the roots or lower branches of your rhododendron, sawdust falling out as they munch through," she said. "You have to have good tolerance for ick," said fellow Wellesley resident Melinda Rayburn Smith about being a master gardener. And you also need the tenacious curiosity of a detective. "I think it's like a murder mystery," said Kathie Skinner, another hotline volunteer. "I'm a murder mystery person. I like figuring things out." P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y P E T E R B A K E R 56 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 8

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