New photo tour of our Japanese Maple Garden

Discussion in 'Maples' started by JT1, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Atapi

    Atapi Active Member

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    Hi John,

    I would like to echo with KT4 about your pruning technique esp. with some video or photos about the tech that you mentioned from your earlier post:

    'Another technique is to plan a couple seasons ahead and remove one out of two leaf pairs (on every pair) on a branch that is destin to outgrow the space. By doing this a couple seasons before the branch is a problem, allows more lite into the branch. The idea is to promote back budding and new branching closer to the trunk. As those branches develop, the original branch can be cut back without creating a big void in the tree. The new branches will have developed enough to keep balance in the tree.



    Many thanks again,
    Steve
     
  2. Atapi

    Atapi Active Member

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    Hi John,

    I hope to find you well and happy. I know you are quite busy this summer and i am about to begin to tackle my JM garden project next month. So i have a few basic questions that I hope you can share some of your experiences back when you started yours.
    I am planning not to dig nor till up the lawn but using the 'no-digging' method by cutting the grass as low as I can then cover them with wet newspaper/topsoil+compost+manure... then begin planting my JM trees around November time frame then cover the landscape with pine bark nuggets.
    - Can you share with me how you did you start/built yours?
    - Are you using sprinkler system or dripping on yours for watering?
    - Will the pine bark nuggets help control the weeds later?

    I will build three sections (1000sqft, 600 sqft and 800sqft). Any recommendation is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again, Steve
     
  3. amazingmaples

    amazingmaples Well-Known Member

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    I have some comments.

    I would recommend digging out the sod since leaving it in only can lead to issues and really does benefit the bed. I have dug up beds where it had been left in and after years it still remains.
    Irrigation is very important. I have the standard pop up sprinkler heads but I am replacing it this next winter for the system for what I have for my potted trees. That system is like a drip but with small heads which can spray each plant. Some of my bigger trees get two or more heads. The nice thing about this system is that as plants grow the little heads can be moved to avoid conflict. Also with this system it is easy to repair if damaged by a shovel and with as much as my plants move a line or two are being broken.
    As for digging out trees winter is good but so is later winter early spring before trees leaf out. That allows more time to get your beds ready.
    Out here in PNW I use a mulch call black bark which has composit in it and it works great. I also use it in my mix fir the potted trees.
     
  4. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    This summer is flying by and then our basement flooded with storm 6" of water back-up through the drains after 7" of rain in 3 hours. What a nightmare!

    For starters, there is something I learned very early in my garden design; take the time to Do it right the first time, otherwise it will come back to haunt you. All the so called short cuts (like using newspaper) will cause problems later that takes all the time your saving x 10 to correct the problem later. I think it will cause long term issues for the Japanese maples with disease and drainage issues, along with impacting the root development while trying to establish in the new planting site.

    I like to use a hose and a serrated knife to cut out my beds. The hose allows you to quickly lay out the outer edge and quickly make changes to the shape by moving the hose. Make sure you have some nice curves to add movement and interest to the landscape. A combination of beds with nicely planed curves can add a sense of depth and movement. Also plan your curves so that it is easy to mow along without having to depend on a string trimmer to get into tight areas every time you mow. Be sure to look at the placement from a variety of view points (out windows inside your house and then along commonly traveled areas, such as, sidewalks, driveway, and along the street in the front yard) to make sure everything is in balance.

    Once the beds are laid out and cut along the hose with a serrated knife (a few inches down). Once the cut is made, spread the grass apart, so that you don't loose your line when you move the hose away. You can then use a shovel to remove the grass and roots. I like to use the knife making a horizontal cut, as I roll the sod away. I find this easiest, but it all comes down to personal preference.

    I also like to make a shallow trench along the outside edge of the bed. This serves several purposes:
    -keeps the bed separate from the grass
    - " mulch from washing into the lawn and grass cuttings from going into the bed
    -provides a margin for error when cutting the lawn
    -provides an area for excess water to gather and drain away from the beds (mine drain out on to the driveway). If you have any clay in your soil, the clay can be used to line the bottom of the shallow trench, so that the water does not erode any soil away and so that it's harder for grass to spread into this very shallow trench.

    Irrigation is very important. I still need to install a system. I plan to go with a drip system with emitters, for all the reasons Charlie mentions. Also get one that has a sensor that measures for moisture, so that the system is not running when it's raining. Before winter, you can connect an air compressor to blow out the lines, to prevent freezing. It's also very easy to expand these systems and they are also easy to maintain.

    A combination of pine bark and corn gluten will help prevent weeds. Corn gluten is a gentle fertilizer and a natural germination preventer. It works well for all my plants and the lawn. You have to put it down a few times a year. The key is to know when weeds germinate in your climate to stay ahead of the weeds. The key is to get it down before the weeds germinate, it will do nothing to stop the weeds if you put it down after germination. In my area, this means putting it down mid to late March, July, and September.

    I found using landscape fabric does not work. It impacts waters ability to saturate the entire bed evenly, eventually the mulch breaks down, then weeds grow on top of the fabric and sometimes down through the fabric. Then the surface rooting plants start to run roots along the top of the fabric. Long term, it's nothing but problems. If you are using stone as mulch, then landscape fabric can be beneficial, but with mulch it's a nightmare long term.

    I plan to post more consistently, maybe every other day, to provide more information on planning and design. We have family visiting with us over the next two weeks; so it's difficult to spend too much time on UBC. Otherwise I will be in trouble with my better half, since it's my in-laws that are visiting :-)
     
  5. Atapi

    Atapi Active Member

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    Hi Charles,

    Thank you so much for your comments. I coupled yours with what John just shared and decided to dig out the sod instead. I am very much interested on the dripping system that you mentioned. I plan to running the pipe and install several water faucets when i dig up the yard so it will make the dripping system a bit easier later on.
    I am thinking to keep about 1/3 of my JMs in the pots so this dripping system will definitely become flexible for me when it comes to moving them around just like what you ahev set up with yours.
    I can't wait to get started and I hope i can learn more from you, John and others JM experts.

    Many thanks, Steve
     
  6. Atapi

    Atapi Active Member

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    Hi John,

    I am sorry to hear about your wet basement, I hope everything is OK now.
    Also thank you very much for taking time from your busy schedule to reply to my email.
    As I wrote to Charles, I will dig up the sod knowing this work will break my back with a lots of intensive labor instead of going with an easy newspaper's way :).

    - What is your thought between tilling the entire area with the roto-tiller that I can rent from Home depot vs. removing sod?. If I remove the sod, will I still need to till up the soil underneath the sod?.
    - And do you put anything onto the soil after you removed the sod i.e. manure/compost/topsoil, leaf mulch...?
    - Can I begin to plant the JM trees this late Falls (Nov/Dec) or should I wait until Spring?. I am in zone 6 (Northern VA).

    I am working on designing the borders per your recommendation and I will keep you posted on the progress cause I know I will need more suggestions from you and Charles.

    Thanks again and I wish your family and your in-law a pleasant weekend, Steve.
     
  7. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    I've removed several lawns in my time, so thought I might add a few comments.

    Roto-tilling the old lawn is not a good idea because it will spread the grass roots around and they will start growing again in no time; you really do need to physically remove the turf. Luckily, grass is a shallow rooted plant so you only really need to remove the top two inches or so of soil.

    Removing turf is hard work but not as bad as it might first seem, particularly if you tackle it when the soil is in the right condition. In other words don't attempt it if the soil is dry (too hard) or very wet (too heavy), but aim for a mid level of moisture and the turves will be much easier to handle and a sharp, flat spade will cut through the soil like butter. The best thing to do with the removed turves is stack them upside down in an out of the way place and leave them for a year, by which time all the grass will be dead and decomposed and the you will be left with a pile of very high quality, humus-rich, loamy topsoil. Quite handy for a soil amendment if you dig out another bed next year, or just to add to the garden.

    If the soil under the sod is very compacted (from people walking on the lawn if it is a high traffic area) it might need tilling, but more likely it can be agitated with a garden fork to loosen it enough. If it is a low traffic area and the soil is loose structured no tilling is needed.

    I would recommend September as a good month to plant this year, as this coincides with the initiation of a period of (storage) root growth. If the area is not going to be ready till November I would consider it safer to wait till spring to plant the maples.
     
  8. Atapi

    Atapi Active Member

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    Hi Maf,

    I was wondered what I would do with those sods that we dig up. Thank you for an excellent recommendation. There is not much traffic in the area that I will work with so may be I just need to use the garden fork like you suggested.
    BTW, I may not get the beds ready until late Oct time frame so here is my follow-up question: would it be OK if I can move the trees then?. I thought it would be less disturbance to the tree and its root when they are going to dormant in late Nov/Dec time frame.

    Again, thank you very much for your comments, Steve.
     
  9. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    1. The trees that you plant in the pot, how often you have to repot them to avoid rootbound?
    Container grown trees usually need to be re-potted every 3-5 years. I like to add sharp silica sand into my mix (sharp sand grains that are the size of a match stick head). This promotes fine and fibrous roots (which are responsible for feeding the tree water and nutrients). The root hits this sharp piece and divides, which cuts down on long and leggy roots. The long roots help anchor the tree when planted in the ground, but serve little purpose when the tree is container grown. I use to put large container grown trees in the garage during the winter, but now we use large burlap tubes stuffed with oak leaves to insulate the pot and the root mass. It ends up looking like a burlap donut with a pot in the hole. Also consider adding a fresh coat of mulch to the root surface to keep them insulated during winter and protect them from hot sun in the summer.

    2. What do I need to start planning? i.e. design the shape of the landscape, type of border, type of trees that go with each other...

    Consider different garden styles and find one that appeals to you. I find picture books are best. By looking at several pictures and styles, it will feed your creativity, then you will find yourself coming up with ideas for your own yard.

    Spend time outside in the space and take it all in. Notice how the sun hits things at different parts of the day, identify areas that are full sun, morning sun, afternoon sun, and shade. Designate these into areas, so that you will know what plants to look for that will do well in those areas. Keep in mind, as this garden comes together, micro climates will form of part sun or dappled sun in areas that were once full sun, because the canopy of some trees or plants will provide a new growing environment. Also consider the surrounding environment and prevailing winds. Notice areas that offer protection from the wind, maybe consider putting more delicate varieties in these areas that need protection from dry winter and summer winds. Also consider areas that may be between two structures or near corners, that may increase wind velocity, because stronger varieties may need to go there or some plants that don’t mind all the wind.

    Look out windows from inside and consider those views in your design. Think of the idea of being indoors in the winter looking out and the beauty you will see during all of the seasons. A great garden can be enjoyed from inside and out. Consider framing those views with plants that will add interest and depth. Is there anything that you want to block with plantings to give privacy or to help keep the view feeling natural. Also go along commonly traveled areas, sidewalks, driveway, street view, or as you go around a corner; what do you see, what can be done to add interest to those areas. What can be added (shape wise) to complement the architecture of your house, what color could be used to pop out.

    Create a spot in the garden to enjoy it. Consider a patio or deck. Consider your needs for size. Do you usually have a small gathering or do you have a large family or network of friends that you like to entertain. Think of this as an outdoor living space and a place to enjoy your garden. Consider things like neighbors, noisy air conditioners, or busy roads when selecting your spot. You want it to be peaceful. Also a place that is sheltered from the elements is nice too. There is no sense of having a patio when it’s located in full afternoon sun and it’s completely unbearable. If it’s your only option, then consider placing trees that will provide some shade. Or a structure like a gazebo that will make it more enjoyable all day long.


    This is a long topic, so I will add more to continue my answer...
     
  10. Atapi

    Atapi Active Member

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    Hi John,

    Thank you for your wonderful insight. I have learned a lot from you, Charles, Maf, and others and I am now ready to build mine. I will send along a few photos when it takes place in October. But please don't stop sharing :).

    Cheers,
    Steve
     
  11. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    More to consider...An important element of a my garden is the use of evergreens for four season interest.

    I think in order to be successful in the winter garden, you must incorporate a balance of evergreens to the deciduous trees and shrubs. I do believe there are deciduous trees and shrubs that contribute to the winter gardens appeal through form and bark color or texture; but they alone can't carry the garden through the winter. With a balance of evergreens it gives us the opportunity to have year long color, texture, and in some cases even privacy.

    I think for most of us growing up over the last 100 years, we have been jaded by the old fashioned idea of foundation planted evergreen Yews and the giant pyramid spruce that reminds us of Christmas. So when the word evergreen is mentioned it's what unfortunately comes to mind.

    As you get more and more into interesting and unusual plants or trees like Japanese maples, you can't help but become exposed to those rare and unusual evergreens and conifers usually sold close by at a specialty nursery. The two really work well together in the garden. Both generally are slow growing, enjoy the same soil and moisture conditions, and add great color and texture. The dwarf varieties are also very low maintenance, which is something to consider, especially for someone who is nearing retirement. Don't confuse dwarf with tiny, depending on age, they come in a variety of sizes in the trade. The benefit to dwarf is the extremely slow growth rate, which makes them so easy both from a design and placement perspective, and easy maintenance.

    The slow growth rate, low mantenance, interesting color and texture is not at all what we are use to from our experience with the traditional Yews. There are many evergreens that require little maintenance and look great with out the need of shearing them into a cone, box, or ball which is usually the case with a yew. (not saying that yews can't be well done, in some gardens they are an amazing design element. I am not trying to give them a bad name. It's just that in most traditional suburban landscapes their over use is very boring and leaves a lot to be desired).

    I like the idea of a four season garden. This does not mean that I can be out enjoying it all 4 seasons, but rather it is enjoyable to look at all four seasons. The season that can be most challenging is winter. Many gardens are abundant with color in spring, summer, and fall; but then have no appeal during winter. I want to be cozy inside, trying my best to enjoy the winter season, while looking outside the window at a beautiful winter garden. Like spring and fall is a time for Japanese maples to shine; winter is a time when many evergreens are at their best or at their peak color.

    I encourage you to check out a book called: Designing with Conifers by Richard L. Bitner. There are many books out there on the subject, but I recommend this book because it is new, easy to find to purchase or check out at the library. The book offers many wonderful photos and ideas to inspire your garden design. You can almost learn enough by just looking through the book without even reading it. Sometimes those are the best kind of books for fueling your creativity, because a good photo speaks a thousands words and you do not have to read through all the BS to take away something valuable or useful from the book, like when it is heavy on text. I am not saying this book is not worth reading, I think it is; but what I am saying is if you are short on time this book is very effective at giving great design ideas through it's effective layout and beautiful photography.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2013
  12. Christophe

    Christophe Active Member

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    Thanks a lot for all your advices, always very usefull.

    Could you tell us what your favourite evergreens are as acer companions ?
     
  13. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    I wanted to post some photos of combinations, but weather and life is not cooperating. Too many to list, but here are many that I have good luck growing and a few below are on the wish list:

    Abies pinsapo 'Horstmann'
    (Horstmann Spanish Pin Fir)
    http://www.buchholznursery.com/plant_page.html?id=cc118

    Abies koreana 'Ice Breaker'
    (Ice Breaker Korean Fir)
    http://www.buchholznursery.com/plant_page.html?id=26c91d

    Larger than Ice Breaker is the parent plant-
    Abies koreana 'Silberlocke'
    Silberlocke Korean Fir
    http://www.buchholznursery.com/plant_page.html?id=bf31f

    Juniperus horizontalis 'Blue Pygmy'
    Blue Pygmy Creeping Juniper
    http://www.buchholznursery.com/plant_page.html?id=1a9fbc

    Juniperus horizontalis 'Mother Lode'
    Mother Lode Creeping Juniper
    http://www.buchholznursery.com/plant_page.html?id=26ddec

    Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca Pendula'
    Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar
    http://www.buchholznursery.com/plant_page.html?id=cc909

    An upright variety that is more compact than the traditional blue atlas cedar:
    Cedrus atlantica 'Horstmann'
    Horstmann Atlas Cedar
    http://www.bizonnursery.com/material.html?0=2557845&1=Cedrus+atlantica+Horstmann

    Buxus sempervirens 'Aurea Variegata'
    Variegata Boxwood
    http://www.bizonnursery.com/material.html?0=1314056&1=Buxus+sempervirens+Aurea+Variegata

    Cedrus deodara 'Silver Mist'
    Silver Mist Deodar Cedar
    http://www.bizonnursery.com/material.html?0=2548272&1=Cedrus+deodara+Silver+Mist

    Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Aurea Nana'
    Golden Dwarf Hinoki Cypress
    http://www.bizonnursery.com/material.html?0=1315742&1=Chamaecyparis+obtusa+Aurea+Nana

    Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Aurea'
    Golden Hinoki Cypress
    http://www.bizonnursery.com/material.html?0=1340427&1=Chamaecyparis+obtusa+Aurea

    Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Blue Feathers'
    Dwarf Blue Hinoki Cypress
    http://www.bizonnursery.com/material.html?0=1315748&1=Chamaecyparis+obtusa+Blue+Feathers

    Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Chirimen'
    Chirimen Hinoki Cypress
    http://www.buchholznursery.com/plant_page.html?id=f56be

    Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Fernspray Gold'
    Fernspray Gold Hinoki Cypress
    http://www.bizonnursery.com/material.html?0=1315798&1=Chamaecyparis+obtusa+Fernspray+Gold

    Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Hage'
    Hage Hinoki Cypress
    http://www.buchholznursery.com/plant_page.html?id=cca58

    Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Lemon Thread'
    Lemon Thread Cypress
    http://www.bizonnursery.com/material.html?0=1316504&1=Chamaecyparis+pisifera+Lemon+Thread

    Cupressus glabra 'Raywood's Weeping'
    Raywood's Weeping Cypress
    http://www.bizonnursery.com/material.html?0=2546040&1=Cupressus+glabra+Raywood+s+Weeping

    Picea omorika 'Nana'
    Dwarf Serbian Spruce
    http://www.bizonnursery.com/material.html?0=1318755&1=Picea+omorika+Nana

    Picea omorika 'Peve Tijn'
    Peve Tijn Serbian Spruce
    http://www.buchholznursery.com/plant_page.html?id=26c327

    Picea omorika 'Pimoko'
    Pimoko Serbian Spruce
    http://www.bizonnursery.com/material.html?0=2553779&1=Picea+omorika+Pimoko

    Picea orientalis 'Skylands'
    Yellow Oriental Spruce
    http://www.bizonnursery.com/material.html?0=1318886&1=Picea+orientalis+Skylands

    Picea pungens 'The Blues'
    The Blues Colorado Spruce
    http://www.bizonnursery.com/material.html?0=2555880&1=Picea+pungens+The+Blues

    Picea purpurea
    Purple Cone Spruce
    http://www.bizonnursery.com/material.html?0=1318944&1=Picea+purpurea

    Pinus densiflora 'Golden Ghost'
    Variegated Japanese Red Pine
    http://www.bizonnursery.com/material.html?0=1319017&1=Pinus+densiflora+Golden+Ghost

    Pinus densiflora 'Oculus Draconis'
    Dragon's Eye Japanese Red Pine
    http://www.bizonnursery.com/material.html?0=1319261&1=Pinus+densiflora+Oculus+Draconis

    Pinus mugo 'Carsten's Winter Gold'
    http://www.buchholznursery.com/plant_page.html?id=1a8d46

    Pinus mugo 'Sunshine'
    Sunshine Mugo Pine
    http://www.buchholznursery.com/plant_page.html?id=d142a

    Pinus parviflora 'Glauca'
    Blue Japanese White Pine
    http://www.buchholznursery.com/plant_page.html?id=bf34e

    Pinus parviflora 'Ogon janome'
    http://www.bizonnursery.com/material.html?0=1350690&1=Pinus+parviflora+Ogon+janome


    Pinus parviflora 'Tanima no yuki'
    Tanima no yuki Japanese White Pine
    http://www.buchholznursery.com/plant_page.html?id=ccfbb

    Pinus sylvestris 'Nisbit's Gold'
    Nisbit's Gold Scotch Pine
    http://www.bizonnursery.com/material.html?0=2557851&1=Pinus+sylvestris+Nisbit+s+Gold

    Pinus thunbergii 'Shirome janome'
    Shirome janome Japanese Black Pine
    http://www.buchholznursery.com/plant_page.html?id=cd6c0

    Tsuga canadensis `Aurora'
    http://www.stanleyandsons.com/product/tsu-1060/tsuga-canadensis-aurora.html

    Tsuga canadensis `Gentsch White'
    http://www.stanleyandsons.com/product/tsu-1340/tsuga-canadensis-gentsch-white.html

    Tsuga canadensis 'Jeddeloh'
    Jeddeloh Dwarf Canadian Hemlock
    http://www.bizonnursery.com/material.html?0=1320977&1=Tsuga+canadensis+Jeddeloh

    Tsuga canadensis 'Jervis'
    http://www.venerogardens.com/Catalog/Conifers/tsugacanadensisjervis.html

    Tsuga canadensis 'Little Joe'
    Little Joe Canadian Hemlock
    http://www.buchholznursery.com/plant_page.html?id=cf4c0

    Tsuga canadensis 'Minuta'
    Minute Canadian Hemlock
    http://www.buchholznursery.com/plant_page.html?id=cf4cf

    Tsuga canadensis 'Pendula'
    Sargent Weeping Hemlock
    http://www.bizonnursery.com/material.html?0=1321015&1=Tsuga+canadensis+Pendula

    Tsuga canadensis 'Tiny Leaf Upright'
    http://www.richsfoxwillowpines.com/catalog/?category=2&product=1629

    Tsuga canadensis 'White Fountain'
    http://www.buchholznursery.com/plant_page.html?id=cf600
     
  14. Christophe

    Christophe Active Member

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    Thanks a lot. You are so lucky in the US to have this extensive choice of conifers. In France conifers are not in fashion anymore. I particulary like Tsugas which are sturdy and can grow in the shade. Unfortunatly I've just been able to find Tsuga Jeddeloh last year.
     
  15. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    Here are a few pictures I took this afternoon in between rain.

    The first photo shows a combination of reds, blues, greens, and yellows. What I like about contrasting textures of plantings is that foliage of similar colors, still appear different enough to stand out, especially when you have a contrasting color between them. When you look at the photo, notice all the shades of blues, greens, and yellows. I also love how the burgundy leaves of a Japanese maple play off of the blues, yellows, and greens of the evergreens. Many of the ground cover in the photo is evergreen too.

    In the second photo we have two evergreens that are yellow. The one on the left peaks out in winter, while the one on the left is a peak during the summer. You will also notice the crazy form and deep green color of the Tsuga canadensis 'Tiny Leaf Upright' stands out in front of Acer palmatum 'Garnet' in the center of the photo.

    In the third photo, the ice tight blue color of Abies koreana steals the show during the growing season and still looks great over winter, it almost pops in front of the threaded yellow of Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Lemon Thread'. To the right you will see the cascading green color of the Japanese Garden Juniper grafted on standard, while the blue color of the upright Juniperus scopulorum 'Blue Heaven' stills seems to stand alone as a different color of blue while offering a different texture and form to the combination.

    In the 4th photo, the unusual conifers in the rock garden show up year round from inside, while someone passing by may not notice them until winter, after all the leaves have fallen from the Japanese maples. Although I like all three, I would say my favorite is the unusual green upright - Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Chirimen'.

    In the 5th photo, the slow growth rate of our Japanese umbrella pine, allows us to grow it in a container while still giving it height. The blue of the Japanese white pine stands out in front of the mass planting of Japanese Blood grass around the tree on our tree lawn.

    In the 6th photo, the yellow, blues, and greens work well with 'Atrolineare' in the background and 'Hana matoi' in the foreground.
     

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  16. Atapi

    Atapi Active Member

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    Northern Virginia
    Dear John,

    As always I thank for your valuable sharing when it comes from your true experience. I didn't know there are many conifers species out there, you really get my interest on them now. I am filling in for my JM garden as we speak and these photos & comments are very helpful to me. And I am now looking for a few dwarf conifers to mix in with the JMs.
    BTW, I cliked on the two nurseries that you listed for dwarf conifers and it seems like we have to be a wholesale or a nursery in order to buy (bulk) from them. Do they sell to the amateur or individual grower like us since we don't have space for bulk plants?. Are there other places that we can try?.

    Thanks, Steven
     
  17. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    They are wholesale nurseries that sell to retail nurseries and garden centers. They all sell to nurseries in my area and offer a great online plant catalogue.

    Bizon offers a way to find those retail outlets that they sell to via the following link:
    http://www.bizonnursery.com/retailers.html

    Check it out and maybe there are some nurseries listed that are within driving distance from you. I would recommend doing a Google map search (the near by feature) for "Garden Center" or "Nursery" to see what comes up. Maybe try a 20 mile range, then zoom out and try again at the 50-100 mile range. I guess it all comes down to how far you are willing to go. Many of the nurseries may have a website and you can get a feeling for what they offer. Plan a day trip and check out 3 or 4. Eventually you will find those outlets and know who specializes in what.

    Pay special attention to tags, sometimes you will find Bizon or Iseli tags. If so, see if they are willing to do special orders (sometimes it may not come until next spring, but I have found it's always worth the wait). Or find out what they are getting in for next season and if nessasary see if you can add to their order. Get their contact info and go home and jump on (for example) Iseli's website and come up with your serious buying list (serious meaning, don't give them a wish list of 50, rather narrow it down to a few things you are serious about buying) They will get back to you with availability and pricing. Sometimes, you are best buying what they have there to establish yourself as a good customer, then start making special requests as you build that relationship.

    It took me a couple of years to really discover everyone in my area, but now I know exactly who to go to for what and who to stay away from too. I have built relationships and many will order just about anything I want. With some, they have even started giving me better pricing, without me even asking. Don't try to build your garden in one year or season. You will really limit yourself on variety. Every season, just about every nursery tries something new, so look at each season as a new opportunity to diversify your landscape.

    I am a believer that it is better to buy in the upper end of what you can afford, for me a few well grown and very nice specimens a season, than it is to buy 10 1yr grafts. The larger stuff is a better value in my opinion, it makes a greater impact in the garden, and is easier to get established. Again, I am a believer that those who try to do a garden in one season are really selling themselves short on quality and variety, that is unless Iseli and Buchholz's best customer is right around the corner from you, but then it's such a hit financially to do it in one season, even if they are and you can...
     
  18. Christophe

    Christophe Active Member

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    Thanks a lot John for your experience sharing.
     
  19. Atapi

    Atapi Active Member

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    Thanks again John. I found at least three nurseries from the link with no more than 60 miles radius. I will pay a visit to them soon.
    I was thinking about to build/complete my JM garden this season :( -- Not any more :)).
    Thank you for your insight!.

    Steven
     
  20. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    Take your time to do it right and you will enjoy it more, while you are doing it, and once it's completed. You will be amazed how one transformation or project leads to another. They all build off each other and some areas of the yard may seem short on ideas now, but it will become more clear when you finish those areas that you are sure about. It's amazing how it all starts to come together when you take thing slow. Then it becomes fun, seeking out new things for the yard and building new relationships with the people you meet along the way; even more importantly it feels enjoyable and less overwhelming.

    Bizon has a nice selection of Japanese maples, conifers, and some dwarf Ginkgo (one of my other favorites- dwarf ginkgos). In the beginning, they were the source of the oldest (oldest to me) plants in my collection. Here is a link to their plant catalogue:

    http://www.bizonnursery.com/catalog.html

    It's not a bad idea to maybe find some things that you are interested in. That way when you go visit those nurseries, you may have an opportunity to meet the person who does their buying and maybe they will add some things for you to their Spring shipment or tell you what varieties are coming next Spring. You will also have an idea of what you are looking for and know more about the plants you see as you shop their selection at the nursery.

    Also consider taking time this winter to research ideas for plants and design ideas. I find after the holidays is a good time. At that point things have slowed down and our weather is awful. The internet and books are good sources. Also if you find a nursery close by that you like, winters are a slow time for them too and you can work closely with them to get things in for Spring.

    Another tip, use Amazon to research books (a great source for reviews). For example if you like Japanese style gardens, search amazon, then sort by review and use the preview feature. Then go to your local library and have them request those books that look interesting via the regional network. It's a great way to get great ideas and the only investment is your time. Maybe some books you check out will be so good they are worth buying, but most you can get what you need from just borrowing them. Our library system allows me to go online and request books from all over and the phone rings when they are ready to pick up at my local branch (I prefer this over going to the library desk and waiting in line) I never used the library, but then I discovered this service and they are my new best friend and a huge help in pursuing any new hobbies. It's all I do to get through the winter.
     
  21. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    PS. In my example above (Japanese Garden style), if you are remotely interested in this style, a book that is short and sweet is A Japanese Touch For Your Garden. It's very easy to find and it's only $0.01 (hard cover copy) on Amazon used. Or go to your library and check it out.
    http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Touc...1-1&keywords=a+japanese+touch+for+your+garden

    I have an older edition but the book has not changed much.
     
  22. Atapi

    Atapi Active Member

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    Thank you, John. I will check out the site tonight.
    In the mean time, I have just reserved a few books on JM and conifers from my local library but they don't have the 'Designing with Conifers' the one that you reco.
    Thanks again for taking time to share with us your passion.
    Steven
     
  23. bub72ck

    bub72ck Active Member

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  24. maplesmagpie

    maplesmagpie Active Member

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    What is the center (main) tree in P5081641a?

    Thanks! LOVELY photos.
     
  25. bub72ck

    bub72ck Active Member

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    Looks like Sango Kaku to me.
     

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