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How My Garden Grows

I promised myself no more Japanese maples. Thirteen in the ground and a seedling in a pot should be enough. (I once read that no garden should have more than a single Japanese maple, but I was already too far gone for that advice!)This May photo shows 'Bloodgood', just one of the Japanese maples featured throughout my garden.

But there is a space in my woodland garden that needs a small tree, and I have been thinking about it. 

Summer is the worse time to plant anything here, with high heat and unpredictable rainfall. June was extremely dry, though we have had more rain in July. I won't be planting anything till at least September.

So what was I to do when I recently found Japanese maples for half price at my favorite nursery? Walk away? I had come to the nursery to find a single petunia plant to replace one that had died, but a quick peek at the Japanese maple inventory wouldn't hurt. I had no intent to buy.

It's a long way from a petunia to a Japanese maple, but somehow I came home with no petunia but two Japanese maples. I fell in love with both and couldn't make up my mind, until I realized I had space for one in the woodland garden and also another in the front garden. 

So here are my choices, both types of Full Moon Japanese maples:

Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium', which has apple green foliage and small reddish flowers in the spring. The deeply lobed leaves are noted for their crimson fall color. This little tree should grow to about ten by ten feet:

Acer japonicum 'Vitifolium', which has huge leaves reminiscent of grape vines. It also is known for its brilliant fall color, turning various shades of red, orange, and gold. This tree grows a little larger than the other, to about fifteen feet:

While I was in the plant buying mood, a few days later I also purchased a weeping deodar cedar, Cedrus deodara 'Prostrate Beauty'. It reminded me so much of my beloved 'Feelin' Blue', and it was marked 30% off. I am afraid I am fanning my plant fever, despite the sweltering summer! I am planning to put it in the front garden near one of my new Japanese maples:

I refuse to admit addiction, but I do feel a rush of joy when I see these plants, still in their pots, nestled close to the house near the water faucet. I will plant them out this September. And so my garden grows, and I am fortunate that I have the space!

For more information about planting and growing requirements, see my posts Japanese Maples in My Garden, and The Tree of the Gods, about Deodar Cedars.


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Reader Comments (30)

I'm always happy to read about gardeners who are not able to say 'no' if they get in a nursery. The trees are beautiful, have lots of joy with them.

July 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjuhmeli

How could you not want or "need" more Japanese maples. I'm up to two dozen, and I'm probably not done. One per garden? That's just wrong.

July 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLee May

Hah, Deb!! Didn't I just read exactly the same thing in an e-mail from my friend, who has a large woodland garden. Here's what she said: "...yesterday I bought 2 Jap maples for $5--for both and boxwoods were going for $2---can you imagine----god knows when I can plant them…"
:) So there's no use trying to talk yourself out of buying a beloved plant - especially if it's ON SALE!

July 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAstrid

Joy! I love your first picture, and your choice of Japanese maples can not be faulted...

July 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJack Holloway

You buy maples, I can't resist a rose...... Such is life... Love the Deodar Cedar. will be awesome in your garden. Great to see you on Thursday!

July 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChris

I really love all the different Japanese Maples...I always dreamed of having a garden full of them, but not in my climate with the cold wind....so I will admire yours!

July 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDonna@Gardens Eye View

I do think you have an addiction, but I can see why you fell in love! Luckily your garden seems big enough to fit all those trees into it. we don't have fall color here in the tropics, so I enjoy seeing it in the blogs of others.

July 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAfricanaussie

That is hard...I love Japanese Maples. I often promise myself not to get more hydrangeas, but...
If you have a spot, I say go for it. :)

July 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Sage Butterfly

Plant what you love, and hang the design advice! (Assuming you can keep the plants alive in that location, anyway, which is usually my problem!) This is the season to buy plants, if you can keep them alive until fall to plant. I've got a small collection of my clearance finds going on my patio...

July 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIndie

Love it!! We are SUCH kindred spirits and I would have come home with those same plants. Who needs petunias?

Now stand back because there are two Autumn Blaze maples waiting for me at the nursery.....

July 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Chapman

There's always room for one more maple, especially maples on sale! I have 23 and I'd like to have a couple more. I think 25 sounds like a nice round number :-) A gardener's gotta do what a gardener's gotta do...

You have all that space Deb. I wouldn't worry about having more than one Japanese maple. Plus, maybe the person who said something about having not more than one maple had the Japanese aesthetic in mind. Your garden is so lush and spacious, noone would fault you for buying two more, especially when on sale. ;-)

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBom

Go for it, if you want more Japanese Maples then you have to have them ! Our garden centre was having a half price sale on maples, got quite excited until I read the small print which said, any maple over £100 !! They are so beautiful and especially so in the autumn, you can't go wrong but yes, you do have an addiction !!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPauline Mulligan

If I could grow Japanese maples, I would have a garden full of them, too. And I love deodar cedars - I would have snatched that one up, too. Good decisions! Sometimes we just can't wait for the weather to be perfect.

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHolleyGarden

That rule of only one acer in a garden just sounds stupid. To start with it all depends on the space you have available. For me its Sorbus - I have three now and only a tiny garden

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHelen

Japanese maples are the most beautiful trees I know. I only have two and a little one in a pot. But if I had more space…

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

There's no point resisting Japanese Maples as they are such gorgeous plants. Glad to see you gave in :) there always room for some more as they say!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

Beautiful, beautiful plants. I think the best way to deal with this addiction is to buy more of them until one of three things happens....1. You have no more space. 2. You buy so many that you go off them. 3. You buy them all and have to become a plant hunter to discover a new one.

July 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Gardening Shoe

Who makes such stupid rules? "The more, the merrier especially if you can get them on sale" is what I say. Let's make that the rule.

July 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn

Your new purchases are wonderful. One Japanese maple in the garden---you have got to be kidding.

Aconitifolium is one of my favorite small ornamental trees. It is more shrubby than tree, so give it space and don't prune low. The branches tend to grow more laterally than up. Also, make sure you give it a prominent spot so you can see it year round from inside. Winter form is excellent and the red flowers in early Spring are a big surprise. The fall red/orange color is spectacular.

July 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterReed Pugh

My garden is to Japanese maples what Starbucks is to Seattle or Dunkin' Donuts is to Boston. You can stand at any one place in my garden and look around and see at least four Japanese maples. I think that's the way it should be!

July 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChad B

I have not been able to pick up any "buys" this summer. I know this is the best time to find real bargains. Love Acer palmatum's . I have four in my my small corner plot. One is in a pot, a dissectum in full blown sun. I've found that the dissectums seem to handle the sun a little better. Love your cedar also.

July 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGreggo

Ah a gardener after my own heart...one can never have enough plants.

Love Japanese Maples....

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

You go right ahead and have as many Japanese maples as you want! I have none, and will not be able to add one here. You see, I have nothing but bright hot sun, and it would just burn up. So you enjoy them for me.

July 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobinL

Thanks Deb for stopping in on my series on Chanticleer. I just got back from Maine, and, so much work awaits. I have your addiction to Japanese Maples also, but nowhere to put them in my garden. I only have a small Bloodgood growing now and it is a rescue plant. I would have a hard time NOT buying the two you got, even if I had to give them away.

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

I have full moon Japanese Maples. I don't have the first one in my garden, so I enjoy them in others' yards and gardens, especially yours! They add such color and beauty.

Is plant shopping not the best kind?!

Stay cool! (as you can)

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersweetbay

It's a bit like going to the supermarket to get eggs, but buying a chocolate cheescake instead.

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterb-a-g

You crack me up! Most people don't come home with trees, but that's why I like you. I once bought a tree at the Winn Dixie and another at Piggly Wiggly. All gallons of milk should come with a weeping willow. :)

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCasa Mariposa

Planting a tree is just the best! I don't think you're addicted - a tree is a belief in the future. Christina

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristina
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