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Showing posts with the label Japanese Gardening

A Third Emperor 1 Japanese Maple - And a LOST Laceleaf JM - May 2024

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This post deposits two things into the [garden diary]:   the loss of a Japanese Maple and the planting of a different one.  First, the loss.  Last Summer, I planted a 2-gallon Japanese Maple that was mis-marked.  It was labeled as an Emperor 1, but was had dissectum or laceleaf foliage .  I marked it as an 'unknown' Japanese Maple - likely a Takukeyama.  That tree was purchased on May 12, 2023, so I had a decision to make.  By May 11th (this past weekend), the tree was not leaf'ing out.  The scratch test showed that the trunk was still alive, but no buds had opened up.  With the one-year warranty running out, I opted to yank it out and get the store credit.   This marks the second loss of trees this year - the first being the Silver Maple that I removed earlier this Spring .  Two trees lost, zero planted.  But, that is about to change thanks to the Morton Arboretum Plant Sale.  A few days ago, I posted about the Sun King Golden Japanese Spikenard (Aralia) that I picked up a

'Sun King' Golden Japanese Spikenard - Aralia cordata - Morton Arboretum Plant Sale

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 The sign at the Morton Arboretum Arbor Day Plant Sale reads:  2020 Perennial Plant of the Year!  A unique addition to your shade garden.  'Sun King' emerges mid-spring with bright gold leaves and reddish brown stems.   In heavier shade, the foliage ranges from chartreuse to lime green.  A hardy, tropical looking beauty that brightens up the shade.   It gets 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide.   I've been thinking about Sun King Aralia for a couple years and I finally pulled the trigger and bought six of them for our backyard garden.   Here's a listing from Proven Winners that describes Sun King : A unique golden-leafed plant for the shade. The color will be brighter yellow in part sun, and more chartreuse or lime green in full shade. Tiny white flowers. After blooming, deep purplish black, inedible berries. Here's the plant tag below: And, here below is a look at the plant in the nursery pot: These are going into a 'Garden Edit' in the backyard and will be part of

Fall Dividing All Gold Hakonechloa Forest Grasses - November 2023

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The star of our garden are the All Gold Hakonechloa Japanese Forest Grasses .  I have two colonies of them - one in front and one in back.  I have a dozen places where I could use more, but they are always very expensive and rarely go on sale.  So...I thought they might be a good candidate for Fall Division.   I selected one to test this Fall - in the front IB2DWs bed.  And only chose one because I haven't divided these before.  They've been really hard to get established, so I didn't want to put too many of them at risk.  But...if this works this year, I'll divide a few in the Spring and then even more come Fall 2024. Here's the before - I was targeting the largest one in the back. And, here's the after -below.  My process for this was to first tie-up the grass blades, so I could get a good shot at digging out the clump.  Below is the grass all tied-up. I opted to divide it FIRST into half.  Then, I took one of the halves and divided that again.  Leaving me wit

Japanese 'Soft Touch' Holly - Ilex crenata 'Soft Touch' - Planted in Back Beds - November 2023

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The fun of evergreens as part of my Fall Planting Sprint comes to an end today with three Japanese 'Soft Touch' Holly.  Named Ilex crenata 'Soft Touch' - these are a little different than most of the Hollys that I've become familiar with over the years.  The name is the big tell - they're not full of sharp points.  I came across a few of these 'larger-than-one-gallon' nursery pots on a bench at the Orange big box store and quickly whipped out my phone.  Here's what the foliage looks like before planting: The page from NC State had me sold enough to put them in my cart.  Here's how they talk about Soft Touch Japanese Holly : Soft Touch Japanese Holly is a dense, mounded, evergreen shrub with a moderate growth rate. Unlike its parent, it will reach a relatively short height of 3 feet and has soft-textured leaves without the sharp spines typically found on Japanese Holly. Soft Touch Japanese Holly glossy green leaves also have an interesting silver

LOST: Japanese Flowering Kwanzan Cherry Tree - September 2023

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Add two trees.  Take one away.  That's what has happened recently with the addition of the pair of Kousa Dogwood trees along the garage wall (pre-espalier) .  And now...the documenting of losing one of the original trees that I planted when we bought our lot:  a Kwanzan Flowering Cherry Tree.   Before we moved in, we planted five trees:  a dawn redwood (Died and replaced), a Chanticleer Pear Flowering Tree (in the back, between the tree swing tree and the Hornbeams.  Still alive).  A pair of Greenspire Linden trees that I've espaliered.  Still alive.  And this Japanese Flowering Cherry tree.  Now dead).    After we moved in, I planted a Corkscrew Willow (dead) and a Crimson King Maple (also dead).   That first year, our landscaper planted two trees:  a Saucer Magnolia and a Flowering Pear Tree.  The first of which died, but was replaced.   All-up, that means that first year (2017), we planted: 9 trees.  5 of which (now) died.  Three were not replaced (Willow, Flowering Cherry,

Anemone 'Lucky Charm' Blooming - August 2023

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There are a few plants in our garden that are there because I was drawn to them.  There are a few that were simply impulse-bought.  There are others that I was influenced by others like Roy Diblik , Austin Eischeid or Erin the Impatient Gardener.   Then...there's this other set:  They are the ones that exist in our yard and garden because of Nat.     That list of Nat-influenced plants includes the Saucer Magnolia and any/all of our Allium.  Another one of those that Nat-influenced plantings are anemones.  I've likely written this story before, but the connection with Anemone flowers comes back to our wedding day.  We've had them (now) in both of our houses (not in Equation Boy/Man and Vic's house that we lived in for two years) since last year when I planted three from Northwind Perennial Farm. Here's a post from more than ten years ago (eeek!  ten years!) of the plant that Nat's Mom gifted us for our garden back in Elmhurst .  And h ere's a post from Augus

Cristata The King Crested Wood Ferns Added - August 2023

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Number 10 on my 2023 to-do list was to keep going on my 'fern upgrade' project.  That means that I need to say 'so long' (not goodbye) to my first fern love - the ostrich fern.  And begin to replace them with better performers.    I've written a few times about ferns that 'look good' after a full, not Summer and documented all of the various ferns in our garden in September .  At that time the Ostrich Ferns look tired and burned out.  The Autumn and Japanese Painted ferns do NOT.  Then, there's Winter - when the Autumn Ferns stick around and add some visuals to the mostly barren garden .   So, replacing Ostrich Ferns with other ferns is something that I've been trying to do - both through divisions as well as new additions.  When I planted the Inaba shadire Japanese Maple, I removed six Ostrich Fern clumps and put them in the far back.  I planted the tree a step-back from the border, allowing for a little planting near the edge of the lawn.   And th

Inaba shidare Japanese Maple Planted - July 2023

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At the Morton Arboretum Arbor Day Plant Sale this year, I came across this sign (photo below) describing a Japanese Maple variety that was new (to me):  Inaba shidare.  It was listed as an Acer palmatum and the photo had red laceleaf foliage.  The sign describes it as "The best of the weeping red laceleaf maples for its leaf color retention in Summer, its scorch resistance, vigor and hardiness.  The lace-like foliage emerges deep purple in Spring, matures to purple-red by Summer and finally turns bright red in Fall."   I mean...what's not to love about that, right?  I had previously purchased a Japanese Maple from the Morton Sale - an Emperor 1 in 2021 - and have been REALLY happy with it in our garden.  So, when I saw this sign for the Inaba shidare, I wanted one.  The only problem?   They were gone.  Sold out.  Or...at least...sold out during *my* visit. Felt a little bit like a 'one that got away' sort-of-deal. So, imagine my delight when I was picking up some