An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

April 18, 2008

With Colors Like These, Who Needs Flowers?

When most people think of Japanese Maples (Acer palmatum) and color, their thoughts think of the autumn foliage, for which they are well known. However, their spring colors are just as intense, and in a few cultivars more so. Perhaps the glare from Azaleas and other spring flowers distract us from the Acer foliage.

I shot the following photos earlier in the month at the Pinkham Garden , at work and a couple at home. This is Acer palmatum 'In the Pink'.
'Mikawa Yatsuba' underplanted with Juniperus 'Mother Lode'
'Orange Dream'
Two shots of 'Ueno Homare'

'Koto No Ito'
Two shots of 'Peaches and Cream'

'Beni Schichihenge'
Acer shirasawanum 'Aureum', Golden Full Moon Maple
Acer shirasawanum 'Autumn Moon'
'Kamagata' aka 'Eagle Claw'
'Ukon' and 'Burgundy Lace'
'Villa Taranto'
This 'Butterfly' was another customer return that was half dead and I put it in a pot to see what would happen.
Finally, this unknown burgundy leafed variety was one of three I got for $5.00 when I worked for the now defunct big box store, Home Quarters. My supervisor said that since it no longer had leaves, he wanted them marked way down. However, I paid full dollar for the Sun Goddess Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla 'Sun Goddess') that sits in front of it. I don't think the two would look half as good without being paired with the other.


  1. I have been watching my first ever baby Japanese Maple for the leaves to get big enough for a picture because the color already is so nice.

  2. You're absolutely correct on this, Les; the foliage colours of the Japanese maples are breathtaking. I was admiring my nurseryman friend's in his warm greenhouse yesterday, including several that you have here. I only have Bloodgood and some seedlings that he gave me to cold test against our rude winters, but others in slightly warmer zones have nice assortments. Yours are marvelous, I'm sure in all seasons.

  3. Ooh, I love the golden full moon maple. Bought a teeny little one for the first time this year. It's the best color!

  4. Beautiful Photos. I tried to grow a Japanese Maple in my last yard but it fried. That was an expensive mistake. I'll be looking for a better spot to grow it at my new home. Yours are just stunning.

    I wanted to tell you that I've been trying to fav you on blotanical and can't for some reason. It will let me fav others but not you?? I also wanted to say that I do think that the LA Reynolds is a memeber of the tobacco clan.

    LA Reynolds of the 1900's was a nursery that helped with the landscaping of the highways being built during that time. It was more of a commercial landscaping company until Mr. Long took it over sometime in the 1990's.

    Part of my research on genealogy work is leading me toward documenting the history of big tobacco and furniture in NC.

    Thanks for visiting my blog and I sure appreciate the work you do. I've worked in the plant industry for 30yrs and mostly for the private nursery. It's only recently that I went to work for a grower--I'm not sure I like what I'm learning.

  5. Everyone - thanks for all of the nice comments, but for most of these I am only the photographer. All but two of the plants belong to someone else, but I do get to enjoy them.

    Anna - I know in the south the Japanese Maples would prefer a little protection from the afternoon sun.

    Thanks for the update on the Reynolds clan. I grew up in Richmond which at one time was a big tobacco town, and my hands were tainted by working for a tobacco processing factory between semesters in school. It was an experience I learned from, but never want to repeat.

    I deal with growers from all over the country, and like individuals, they are all different. Some are are full of dedicated professionals who sell a good product at a fair price. Some make it very hard to do business with, and there are many other examples. There are lots of fish in the sea if things don't go your way.

  6. I loved Home Quarters and Hechingers too! That has been a while.