Entries in Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium'. Acer japonicum 'Vitifolium' (2)


Fall Colors Peak in the Garden

I am listening to the steady drum of rain. It has been constant for hours. I am not complaining, because we need the rain; but the garden today was a sodden mess, cold and inhospitable. Autumn the cat was meowing to go outside and ran past my son when he came in for a visit. She halted at the edge of the carport, tested an icy puddle with her paw and then promptly turned around and came back inside.

The rain should stop by tomorrow, but temperatures will fall to frigid levels tomorrow night. This will be the third hard freeze within a few days. Sometimes autumn will linger into December here, but winter's grip is early this year. A few days ago I caught the garden's fall colors on camera at their peak, but the brilliant leaves you see in the following images will soon be fallen shells.

So here is my farewell to fall. It was glorious!

A view of the Jasmine arch with a Japanese maple in the background:

A blazing dogwood tree with the golden leaves of Chinese Pistache on the lower right:

A view from the patio:

A view of the garden in front of the parking court:

A young hickory tree with brilliant leaves:

Views of a Japanese maple with golden fall foliage - this was one of the unnamed seedlings I planted in 1990:

More colorful Japanese maple leaves:Clockwise from top left: 'Vitifolium'; 'Orangeola'; 'Aconitifolium'; "Seiryu.'

The bronze foliage of a White Oak:

We are blessed with many different oak trees. This is the bark and fall foliage of a Burr Oak (Quercus macrocarpa):

Here are a couple of views from the front lawn:

This is the birdhouse between the drive and the side of the house:

More fall colors; note the arbor that we recently painted. It took a lot of courage for me to do this!

'Waterfall' Japanese maple in the woodland garden:

It was a great autumnal celebration, but the party is coming to an end as grim winter arrives to put all to bed. Sleep well, and we will have another party come spring!


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.