Monday, December 26, 2011

A Colorful Conclusion

As 2011 draws to a conclusion, 
my Japanese maples have come to a colorful conclusion this year.

I was concerned that the heat and drought would take its toll on the maples this year.   A couple of the maples went into early dormancy and dropped leaves early, but most of the trees put on a great show despite the difficult summer they endured.

Every year this display gets even prettier as the maples grow in size 
and my collection grows in number.

Three new varieties were added to my garden in the past year.   Last December I added Peaches & Cream, in the spring of this year I added Shaina, and this fall I added Tamukeyama.

Unfortunately Peaches & Cream lost its leaves early this fall, but then when the temps cooled down a bit and we got some rain, it tried to rebound and started putting on several new leaves again.   Here's a picture of "spring" leaves in the fall (and notice the crispy leaf, as well).

Shaina is an upright dwarf variety that will only grow about 5 feet tall and wide.   It has red spring and fall color.

The latest addition is Tamukeyama.  I got this variety just because the name is so fun to say :-)   Tamukeyama is a weeping dissectum variety that will eventually grow to 8 feet tall and 12 feet wide.   Red spring color changes to green during the summer.   Here is Tamukeyama shortly after planting in October.

Then returning to red in the fall, here is Tamukeyama in December
(with Oshio-Beni and Red Select in the background).

Here are some of the other maples dressed in their autumn color.

The bright foliage of Viridis really stands out against the dark glossy leaves of the 'DD Blanchard' Magnolia

Sango Kaku (Coral Bark)
has varying shades of orange and yellow fall foliage and an added bonus of red bark during the winter



Inaba Shidare

Orangeola and  
Mikawa Yatsabusa were transplanted last winter, but both adjusted to their new home without any trouble.

Red Emperor holds its color well through the summer.  

This was a gift from a friend.  
I have great friends, huh?!!


I love how the fall foliage of the Oakleaf Hydrangea in the foreground makes a beautiful combination with the maple

Red Select

I have 23 Japanese maples in my collection as of now.    

As the year comes to a conclusion, I have come to the conclusion 
that I might just be addicted to Japanese maples!
(just a little bit?)

H'm...I wonder if I have room for a couple more...

Toni :-)


  1. Wow Toni, I've been missing out! Those are gorgeous! I've never really tried Japanese Maples but now I've got to find a few that will take the full sun here and do well.

  2. What a lovely collection of Japanese Maples. I love them too, and would like to have more.

    So far, I have a coral bark maple and a volunteer of unknown variety that germinated in my yard. I have kept it in a pot for two years, and it just went into the ground. I am hopeful.


  3. 23! They are all so pretty! I have killed a few - I decided I just didn't have the right touch, and resolved not to try any more. But these pictures make me think maybe, just maybe, I should try again!

  4. Hi Toni.... I sure am glad that I logged on today... I had been wondering how your maples did with all that heat... amazing to say the least! I am confused about one thing however... the tamukeyama that I have stays red all season... any thoughts? And by the way... there is always room for more... there simply has to be!! I have some concerns for mine as we have an open winter so far... I did wrap all fifteen with burlap, however and mulched the bases heavily after wrapping them about the trunks against critters... also gave extra protection to the graft sites... so fingers crossed! Larry

  5. I too am addicted to them and my business logo is one. I do not have any in my yard after Walter Rabbit ate mine, but almost every client gets one or more. I love the colors, but I really adore the texture of them. The nursery farm grows many, but even he does not have 23 different varieties. What a nice collection you have.

  6. Hi Toni, you have a very beautiful garden! I can't relate to autumn as we don't have that season, but it is one of my most cherished views from the temperate climes. I always love to open blogs only to see the colors. Happy New Year!

  7. Lovely plants. I would love to become addicted to them, too, but so far I've had very little luck with them. I think there is something about my soil and climate which just isn't very welcoming to them, but your pictures make me want to try harder.

  8. @Prof: I would be interested to find out if the maples could take the full sun in your area. Certainly not here! A little bit of morning sun is all they can take.

    @Yael: Thanks for visiting! One of my 23 is a volunteer. I am not sure if it is a Suminagashi or a Bloodgood -- it sprouted up near those two trees. I potted it for a year or two, and put it in the ground last year, and it is doing great! I hope yours does well, too.

    @Holley: Hey, if you can grow roses, you can grow maples! A shady spot and a little water, and they are happy :-) I hope you try again.

    @Larry: Interesting that Tamukeyama stays red for you. I was told that Tamukeyama needs a little sun in order to retain its red color through the summer. Since they just cannot handle the summer sun down here, mine will go green in the shade. It would sure be great to have color all season, but I will take what I can get in spring and fall.

  9. @GWGT: Just to clarify, I don't have 23 varieties; I have 23 maples. I have a few Bloodgood and a few Viridis. A couple of the Bloodgood were free from a friend going out of the nursery business years ago, and I love the fall color of Viridis, so I used it in a few places in my garden. The nursery where I usually get my maples has about 50 or 60 varieties and thousands of maples! It's amazing. I am like a kid in a candy store when I visit the nursery :-)

    @Andrea: Oh, I can't imagine not having autumn. I NEED autumn after the summers that we have! Happy New Year to you, too!

    @Dorothy: I do hope you keep trying to grow maples. I don't do anything special for the maples, other than giving them a shady spot. I wouldn't have them if I had to baby them. We certainly have less-than-ideal conditions in Texas, but they usually perform quite well. I'm grateful :-)

  10. Your maples are breathtaking! I am so happy that they showed their colors for you despite the drought. I have several maples but you have certainly inspired me to get more. I would agree that I think you are hopelessly addicted! :)

  11. Toni, those maples are so stunning. I have always, always loved them, but have had no luck here. I do not take care of them the way I should, I realize they need careful siting and protection. Maybe someday I will try again, but for now, I will simply admire them in your garden. What a beautiful display. (I love that stone pathway of yours and the bench and the arch are gorgeous, too!)

  12. Oh my, they are all exquisite. I can see why you would want more! The colors all together are sensational--and the garden setting with the bench is so inviting. I have already grieved the passing of autumn 2011, and yet now you give us one last wonderful glimpse on your blog. :) Happy Holidays!

  13. Japanese maples. Name a better small tree. Very nice tour, I own two bloodgoods and two disectums.

  14. And I thought my 13 Japanese maples qualified me as an addict! Now I know I have a long way to go, and I will be not a bit guilty next time I add another to my collection! Your Japanese maple garden is stunning, truly an example of living artwork.

    I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and I wish you a prosperous 2012, filled with all the things that bring you joy!

  15. 23? WOW!!! They are all so beautiful! I wish I had one in my garden. I always thought they were fussy to grow but they seem pretty tough.

  16. Toni - could you here my deep sigh? I have always loved Japanese Maples but am timid to plant one, being up so far north. The front yard would be perfect, site-wise, but it faces both North and West. The winter winds just scream across the yard in January & February. :(

    P.S. It was great to hear from you! I'm looking forward to being online much more in January...

  17. I love your Japanese maples. I have five or six, and they make my heart sing throughout the seasons. I have 'Tamukeyama' and yes, it is so much fun to say. I also have 'Sango-kaku' which is beautiful three seasons out of the year. This was a rough summer for my maples. I felt for your 'Peaches and Cream.' What a lovely collection and a great thing to obsess over. Happy New Year.~~Dee

  18. What a beautiful collection! Any tree that can look this gorgeous after the summer we've had is a keeper. Japanese maples are some of my favorite plants that I CAN'T grow in Houston.
    Your yard is stunning and 23 cultivars is a worldclass collection!
    Beside Conrad Glassworks, you may have another gardening twin.
    Check out 'Havetid' in Denmark.
    It's on my favorites list. The guy (Joern) is absolutely amazing in the area of foliage plants.
    Thanks for stopping by Tropical Texana and for all the comments.

  19. How lovely! I have ONE Japanese maple in my yard and it suffered horribly in this past summer and I live just a little bit west of you.

    I'm hoping the poor thing is just dormant and will rebound and greet me in the spring!


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