The BIG DREAM thread.

Discussion in 'Maples' started by bub72ck, May 26, 2015.

  1. bub72ck

    bub72ck Active Member

    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    VA
    Ok so I have been thinking about this for a while. I have been collecting Japanese Maples for a couple of years now and have made the decision to turn my landscape into a Japanese Garden with an emphasis on maple cultivars. I say Big Dream because I see how much work, time, and money will be involved in my endeavour and I know some of you have already completed some or all of this process. I would like to know about your Japanese Maple garden. Your ambitions that have already come true and also what you want to see in the future. This thread is intended to be in-depth. There are a few topics I would specifically like input on and you are welcome to discuss anything of your choosing under the umbrella of Japanese Maple Gardens. Part of this stems from my interest in what you have done and want to do and the other part stems from just being overwhelmed with what is ahead.

    How do you go about planning your beds?
    Do you start and finish one bed at a time or do you have several beds in progress?
    How do you choose your maple cultivars?
    What size trees do you buy?
    How long has your garden been in progress or how long did it take to finish?

    Here is an overview of my homesite and garden ideas. In my mind I have split the project into four phases. I am currently in the latter stages of Phase One and beginning work on phase two. Phases three and four are in my back yard and much of what I do back there will come from your advice and recommendations.

    I have 5 beds in the front yard and in front of my house. Most of them are finished. I may add one more maple to those beds and it will be something small. I have three Crimson Queens that were already in place when I purchased the home. I have added a Seriyu, Red Pygmy, Butterfly, and a Japanese Sunrise in these beds.

    Also in the front yard I have a bed down each side of the property. On the left side I have an Ukigumo and a Shishigashira. I don't really have any additional room in this bed for maples. At the back of the right side I have a Sango Kaku in front of a fence. The rest of the right side is what I am calling Phase Two of my project. The only thing in the bed so far is a Beni Kawa that I purchased last year that really needed to be planted. I have been clearing out brush and weeds in this bed to begin the next planting process. I will get some photos up for you all tomorrow so you can see everything I am talking about. I would feel comfortable with another 4-5 maples in this bed without crowding. My new Shigitatsu Sawa is the only JM I have already purchased that will go in this bed. I also have some cool variegated conifers and a Fatsia Japonica coming that I am going to plant.

    The only thing I have done in the back is plant the Bloodgood I purchased last week so it can start growing. Just along the perimeter of the back I could easily plant 30+ maples so I am just getting started.

    I am really looking forward to seeing your gardens and hearing about your plans for your JM collections. I would consider this the pinnacle of Japanese Maple nerdery. :) Nobody I can speak to in person has any idea how cool of a hobby this is but I know you all do.
     
  2. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,011
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    Have a look at my website and in particular the Maple Showcase pages. In relation to the actual building of a Japanese Garden I have written a book which can also be accessed on the site.
    It is a terrific adventure and one which I am sure you will enjoy immensely :)
     
  3. bub72ck

    bub72ck Active Member

    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    VA
    Just ordered a copy of your book. I have spent some time on your site as well but will investigate further.
     
  4. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,011
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    Thanks
    Book will be on its way tomorrow :)
     
  5. Atapi

    Atapi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    189
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Hi,

    Is that you, Paul?. From the description of your yard and JM trees, I was guessing it was you. If I am wrong, I am sorry.
    This is 'steven' in Fairfax station, VA. Drop me a call at your convenience, I can share what I have learned from building my JM garden.
     
  6. bub72ck

    bub72ck Active Member

    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    VA
    I'm not Paul but I would love some information on your JM garden. :)
     
  7. bub72ck

    bub72ck Active Member

    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    VA
    OK, here are some photos of my Phase Two project. I am in the process of clearing out the brush, weeds, and overgrowth from this bed and will soon begin planting JM as well as other plants and shrubs. I have uploaded the photos from right to left so you can get an idea of the progression. The photos were taken at about 7 P.M. and the sun would be at 5 o'clock to me and behind the house. The AM sun the bed will get would be at about 10 o'clock to me.

    You can see the Sango Kaku directly in front of the fence and behind the Azaleas. In the second photo I have the Beni Kawa in the ground and my Shigitatsu Sawa which will also go in this bed. I'm also looking to add 3-5 other maples in this bed. Not sure what they will be but I am leaning towards some sort of Acer Shiraswanum (most likely Moonrise), a green weeping variety, and a couple others I have yet to choose. I have found a couple of conifers that will work in the shady conditions that will go in here and a Fatsia Japonica. The rest will probably be Hosta and Ferns.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. bub72ck

    bub72ck Active Member

    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    VA
    WOW so a ton has changed since I posted these pics the other day.

    1. Brush, weeds, and overgrowth are almost all gone. I couple more hours work and it will be ready to begin planting.
    2. My wife and I have decided to add a small patio space in this bed. It will be 10'x10' and be right in the middle of the bed. I was standing in the bed as I was clearing everything out and the view across our yard is so great. We will add a fire pit and a couple of nice chairs to keep it simple. I can get the project done for about $300 so probably not much difference in planting that space full of maples and other plants.
    3. I've purchased a few more maples to go in this bed. I bought a beautiful Koto No Ito (photo below), a nice Waterfall and have ordered both a Hippy Fin Mo and a Moonrise maple which are not here yet. The Koto No Ito has gone where the Sango Kaku was behind the Azaleas and honestly I think the Beni Kawa that I have is actually a Sango Kaku as well. It was not labeled when I bought it and the lady at the nursery speculated it was a BK but the two trees look exactly the same so I moved one of them into a pot for the time being. I got it for $20 so either way it's a nice tree.
    4. I got my Japanese Variegated Pine in the mail this week and it's very small so I am going to give it some time to mature in a pot before planting it in it's home. Also, my Fatsia Japonica has shipped. I have to move an Azalea and will plant it as well.

    More pics to follow tomorrow. If anyone else has big dreams with their garden or yard please share them in this thread.

    Thanks!

    EDIT: Also had a visitor today. As I was clearing out my bed and hauling the debris to the end of the road I noticed a 3ft black snake crossing my neighbors driveway. I wanted to make sure he didn't come into my house or building so I watched him slither across my yard and through the bushes and on through the neighbors yard. I don't like snakes but no reason to harm him as he was just passing through.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Cjart

    Cjart Active Member

    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    89
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho, USA
    bub72ck, I think your project is fascinating. It looks like you have a lot of land to work with. How big is the area that you are working on? I have a fairly small area to plant in. Carol
     
  10. bub72ck

    bub72ck Active Member

    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    VA
    Thanks Carol. The current bed runs about 10' in front of the fence, turns and runs 45' up the side of my front yard, and then turns again and runs another 12' along the road. The bed is as much as 10' deep along the side of the yard so I have a LOT of room for planting in just this bed. I have debated on how to plant the maples and have decided, at least for the front yard, to make a few specific choices for maples so I can showcase them individually instead of having a bunch of them close together. I may do that in the back yard one day just so I can have lots and lots of different cultivars. It is almost 40 yards from one side of my property to the other so the maples over by the driveway do not compete at all with the maples that I will plant in this bed. Yet, when I stand back and look at my yard as a whole, you can clearly see the different bursts of color that each tree will offer. I think I will probably end up with 18-20 maples in the front yard when I am done. Many of them are and will be smaller as well.
     
  11. bub72ck

    bub72ck Active Member

    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    VA
    Received it yesterday. Looking forward to reading it over the next few days.
     
  12. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,011
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    That was speedy
    Hope you enjoy :)
     
  13. bub72ck

    bub72ck Active Member

    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    VA
    Big weekend ahead. My family is going out of town for a few days so it will be me and the dog outside working in this bed. I have an awesome trip to visit the Brothers Nichols at Mr.Maple down in North Carolina on Sunday. I've been wanting to visit them for a while as they are only 90 minutes away. I only hope my wallet makes it out of there alive. :)

    I am finalizing part of the design for the bed and will need to pick up some additional plants to get in the ground. I have five maples already for this bed plus whatever I come home with from NC to go in as well. I will have plenty of time to give some updates over the next few days.
     
  14. Atapi

    Atapi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    189
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Hi, I meant to get back with you about my lessons learned on building your dream garden until now.
    I started mine around falls 2013 after I have been collecting JMs since 2006-2007, some are in the ground but most are still in-pots. I saw what JT1, Charlie (Amazing Maples), and few other JM enthusiasts have and I began to build mine. And these JM lovers have given me lots of advise even JT1 drew a few pics :)) for me on how to mound my trees above the ground cause I have so much clay underneath.
    I included a few pics taken this May

    There are many lessons that I have learned in the last three years such as:
    1. Placing the trees for their color coordination in the Spring as well as falls
    2. Space them out for future growing
    3. Watering (running the irrigation for 80+ trees). I don't have an ideal JM lighting of morning sun and afernoon shade but mine is reversed. So last year most of the leaves get burned with the hot afternoon sun. I will try to manage the watering system better this year so I can enjoy the falls foliage. And hopefully the trees are getting more vigorous now than last yr.
    4. Maintaining: weeding, feeding, pruning,...) constant job!

    Lots of work but they are well rewarded when they are showing their coloration and growth. I will eventually need to thin them out since they begin pushing each other.

    I am more than happy to share with you if you have any more question.
    Best of luck to your BIG DREAM, steven.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. ROEBUK

    ROEBUK Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    883
    Likes Received:
    1,262
    Location:
    West Yorkshire, England
    Well done sir..Very nice you must post pics of the fall show,will look stunning !!
     
  16. bub72ck

    bub72ck Active Member

    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    VA
    That is a very nice collection of maples. How many cultivars do you have?
     
  17. Atapi

    Atapi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    189
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Thank you. I believe I have at least 60+ cultivars of Acer Palmatum and 15+ Acer Circinatum, Acer Japonicum, Acer Shirasawanum... Half of my trees are between 5-10 yrs old.
    Believe me, you will accumulate these beautiful trees throughout the years and before you know it, you are running out of rooms.
    Please share your latest pic of your Big Dream garden whenever you have a chance. I bet it begins to look nicer. Mine in the first yr (2014) wasn't look quite like this year.

    Happy planting, steven
     
  18. bub72ck

    bub72ck Active Member

    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    VA
    Here are a couple of photos I took this afternoon. I cut a tree down yesterday so I had to move all of the plants and trees still in the pot in front of my stuff that has already been planted. Behind the pots and already in the ground I have: Koto No Ito (out of the photo to the right), 5 Azalea, Fatsia Japonica, Acer Shirasawanum Moonrise, two more different Azaleas, Beni Kawa (can be seen on the left side of the first photo). You can see the Waterfall, Shigitatusu Sawa, Hippy Fin Mo, Takao, and Saiho maples that are yet to be planted in the bed along with more Hosta, Fern, Juniper, Monkey Grass, Huechera, Oak Leaf Hydrangea, and a couple of conifers. I am also on the lookout for a larger red upright maple that will go in the top corner of the bed. It is coming along nicely but still a lot left to do. The four wood stakes that can be seen in the second photo are the rough outline of the patio that I am going to put in the middle of the bed. It will be large enough for a couple of chairs and a fire pit.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. Atapi

    Atapi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    189
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    For large red upright, I recommend 'Fire Glow' or if you like small leaf like the Atroperpureum then try 'Suminagashi'. My Fire Glow still stays red now while the 'Emperor I' shows more rusted green and they are receiving full sun.
    I like the Heuchera, too esp. those with lime green or orange color. They add a nice contrast to our JMs. You will find so many nice colors from this cultivar.
    I see you have a row of large trees behind your garden, I hope they are blocking for your afternoon sun.
     
  20. bub72ck

    bub72ck Active Member

    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    VA
    I have done some research and narrowed it down to Nuresagi, Sumi Nagashi, Trompenburg, and Shojo Nomura. I ended up giving the nod to the Nuresagi. I have a 15 gallon tree that is about 7' tall that I will be picking up in a few weeks. Have some trees to cut before it can be planted.
     
  21. marymyers

    marymyers Active Member Maple Society

    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Poulsbo, Washington, USA
    I like your choice of Nuresagi. Beautiful tree.
     
  22. bub72ck

    bub72ck Active Member

    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    VA
    Here is a photo of my Nuresagi that the nursery sent to me. I will pick it up in September but I have already paid for it so it won't go home with someone else.
     

    Attached Files:

  23. bub72ck

    bub72ck Active Member

    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    VA
    Waterfall Maple planted today.
     

    Attached Files:

    maplesmagpie likes this.
  24. marymyers

    marymyers Active Member Maple Society

    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Poulsbo, Washington, USA
    Waterfall is one of my favorite green dissectums. Your are picking beautiful trees for your big dream. I started about 7 years ago and It is very addicting. The trees only get more beautiful every year. I have to think of it as an investment in the future of beauty???
     
  25. bub72ck

    bub72ck Active Member

    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    VA
    I consider them an investment. My wife asked me what would happen to the trees if we ever moved. My answer was we are only moving if we can afford to build a custom home. And, if we can afford to build a custom home, I can afford to take most of my trees with me. :)
     
    Jaybee63 likes this.

Share This Page