Posts tagged Acer palmatum ‘Butterfly’

Meet the Departed

It was sheer magic for me when I was home at Kilbourne Grove, even with all the weeding. I was very happy to see how much plants had grown over the summer, but there were a couple of casualties as well.

Why are they always one of a group? It just makes it so much hard to have a uniform presence, I know, don’t tell me, the magic of Mother Nature. I am sure that everyone knows I am trying to start a pleached lime walk at Kilbourne Grove. It was planted in 2009, you can read about that here. I planted the bare root dormant Tilia early that spring and one never developed its leaf buds. So in 2010 I replaced that tree, and as they came in lots of 5, added to the length of the walk. This spring, despite all leafing out and looking wonderful, when I returned in August, one had dead leaves.

 It was the smallest of them all, and had been struggling to grow. And now has failed. I am at a bit of a loss as what to do now, I can order 5 more trees from Yesterdays Garden, but only need one, and certainly can not extend it any more. I did read somewhere that professional gardeners will heel extra trees in somewhere, in case of a tree dying in an avenue. Then they have one at hand to replant. How many years could I leave extra trees in my Kitchen Garden, before they would be too large to move? Some thought is required.

And of course one of the Amelanchiers in my Allee did the exact same thing. And one of the trees that had been planted almost three years ago, not one of the newer ones. This tree will be a lot easier to add in, luckily it is on the end of the Allee.

When I was living in Toronto, we had a number of Japanese maples in pots on our terrace. It was lovely having something growing (and hiding much of the concrete) all summer, and I used to heel them into the Kitchen Garden for the winter, before dragging them out the next spring and moving them back to Toronto. When we got the news we were moving to Barbados, I had to permanently plant them into the ground at Kilbourne Grove. All came through their first winter nicely, and looked lovely when I left the end of May.

But when I returned the ‘Butterfly’ Japanese Maple was crispy as well.

And it had been so gorgeous when I left…  However all was not lost. Look down, all the way down, can you see…

Look at all those lovely new shoots,

 how pink and white and green they are, is seems I might have a ‘Butterfly’ shrub instead of a standard, and that is perfectly fine with me.

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A Love Affair

I am on a bit of a Japanese Maple kick these days. I blame Loblaws!

They have always been expensive trees to buy and I never once thought about investing in one.  Sure, I thought they were beautiful and I enjoyed seeing them in other people’s gardens.

All photographs taken at Marion Jarvies garden, (not my own, boo hoo).

Last Fathers Day, I started down that slippery slope.  Loblaws had Japanese Maples for sale in two gallon pots for $20.00!!!!!!!!!!

How could I resist? Obviously I couldn’t, so I bought three.

Two of them were ‘Red Dragon’ a red cutleaf variety, and the third ‘Waterfall’ has a green cut leaf.  I put them in pots on my shady terrace in Toronto and enjoyed them all summer.  When winter started approaching, I googled ways to look after them. Margaret Roach one of my favourite garden bloggers, also has Japanese Maples in pots in her garden in upstate New York. She moves them (with a hand truck or dolly) to her barn, where they stay all winter.  I do not have a barn, but I do have a garage, so I thought about this.  But when I was living in Kingston, I used to just bury the plastic growers pot of my ‘Bloodgood’ in the garden. It lived a number of years this way, and when I moved to England, I gave it to my dad.

So last fall, I buried the three plastic pots in my Kitchen Garden and piled a few leaves over top of the pots.  If they did not make it, oh well, I had enjoyed them all summer (and a mighty expensive annual they would be).

This spring they were perfect and I gave myself a major pat on the back. And I had to reward myself, and Loblaws once again led me into temptation.  This year I purchased another ‘Red Dragon’ (what can I say, I love red) and also ‘Butterfly’ a green and white variegated leaf with a bit of pink spring and fall.  This one is not a cut leaf weeper, I was branching out with more of an upright variety.

But there was a Japanese Maple that I had lusted after for many a year. The Coral Bark Maple or ‘Sango Kaku’ was so amazing. The leaves have a red edge on them in the spring, red stems as the leaves turn green in the summer, and the most amazing coral bark all winter.  It is also one of the hardier Japanese Maples.  When I saw it for sale right around my birthday, I knew it was just meant to be.  Not $20, but at only $55 I could not say no.

I thought that it would be easier to photograph the leaves, rather than the whole trees, but the colour is not as great as I would like.  In the top row, we have ‘Red Dragon’ and then also ‘Red Dragon’, however this one is not as red as the first, maybe not as much sun as it is on the other side of the terrace. In the second row, ‘Butterfly’, can you see the tiny bit of pink on the leaf, then ‘Waterfall, and on the end, ‘Sango Kaku’, now in her summer outfit of plain green leaves, but with a lovely strip of red on the stem.

Here you can see (most) of them on our terrace.  In a couple of years I will probably plant them directly in the glazed pots and then will have to follow Margaret Roach’s advice and take them into my garage for the winter, but this year I am going to bury all six in the Kitchen Garden.

Next year, will the love affair continue?

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