I haven't posted to this forum in a while, but I was going through pictures from this season and thought I would share these two photos from the first week of April and the first week of August. What a difference a few months makes. Dan
You have a fabulous garden, and I'm always amazed at the health of your plants. Do you have any tips for us?
I would love to see a slide show of your entire garden, if you have one. :-)
Yes agree w k4. Nice work Dan.
Do you use salts/chems for fertilization ?
Thanks K4 and hn. I'll try to answer the fertilizer question soon, when I have a bit more time. Just wanted to say thanks before going to work. K4, here's a link to some photos from my garden, some of which you may not have seen yet. Thanks again, Dan
Here is a link that might be useful: dansgrdn photos
I see you are a fellow zone 5-er. It is always great to see other people experimenting in a zone that some think impossible for Japanese maples. I wonder -- do you do anything special for the winter? Do you wrap them / cover them?
The more I see, the more impressed I am! WOW!! Keep it coming!
"Do you use salts/chems for fertilization?" hn
Let me preface it by saying that in general I do not fertilize my maples. Not that I have anything against it. It's just that I have limited space, and I'm in no big hurry for my maples to get any bigger and outgrow their space, plus I have a tendancy to plant things really close together, and sometimes wish that they would grow slower than they do. To answer K4's "tips" question, my rule is, plant it in the ground if you have space for it.Site it right (ie. find the right microclimate for it if you're pushing zones) and keep it watered and don't let it dry out. I like to plant maples in the ground because it is alot more forgiving. I also have things in pots, but 90% of my trees are in the ground. Usually the things that, at one point of the season get fried for me, are in pots, and the longer you have things in the ground, the greater the root mass, and the more resistant they are to drying out. My personal opinion is that leaf scorch comes more from a lack of water than sun exposure. I also ammend every bed that I plant in. Not just the hole, but the entire bed. This is primarily because I have cruddy, extremely heavy clay soil. Most of my beds are raised beds or low burms for this reason. The picture of 'Yuri hime' in another post, is in one of the few beds that isn't raised. It was ammended with compost for several years and then just mulched the next few years with pine bark (fine to medium grade). I think the "living mulch" (creeping jenny)has also helped with water retention this year, but looking at the picture I'll probably pull it away from the trunk about a foot, so I don't have any problems with the trunk.
Back to the fertilization issue. The one bed that I did heavily fertilize, was the bed that the A.p. 'Kamagata' was in. I started that garden April '07, and was impatient to get a "mature look", so I used rich, bagged soil, mixed with pine bark fines and composted manure. I also mixed in osmocote and tilled it all together. Later that first season, I used miracle grow twice with the garden hose applicator, in early May and mid June. The second year I used miracle grow once in May, and then used "Super manure" (dehydrated poultry manure) in late June. This was all for the benefit of the hostas and perennials, but I imagine that the maples benefited as well. Finally I'll include some before and after pics of this bed to show the results. The biggest thing planted in the bed was a small B&B Tsuga canadensis 'Pendula'. Most of the others were one gallon perennials and trees with a few exceptions that were 2 gallon size. Here are the results. It's still a work in progress, but for a 1 1/2 year old garden, I'm pretty pleased. Thanks, Dan
P.S. I'm by no means an expert. I've only been growing Japanese Maples for 7 years. These are just observations I've made during that time, from hands on, trial and error, in Zone 5 Tinley Park Illinois. Two last pics. One of my oldest Japanese maples. (7 years in my garden) Acer shirasawanum 'Aureum'.
and a picture from Spring with a few of my favorite maples and conifers.
tj, I forgot to answer your question. No, I do not wrap my maples for the the winter. My biggest problem is rabbit/squirrel damage, on my really small trees. I've considered caging these few smaller maples this winter for this reason. Thanks, Dan
Thanks for the detailed explanation.
Your work there is spectacular, thanks for sharing that too.
Thanks for the info, Dan! Very helpful. Your place is nothing short of spectacular! Even the rocks (I love rocks!)
Dan, is that parviflora 'Bergman' front right? If so is it a strong grower?
hn, you're right, that is Pinus parviflora 'Bergman'. Stanley and Son's lists it as growing 8" per year. I've only had it since late last year, so it isn't completely established yet. I love it's dense habit and slightly curled blue needles. It's definately a favorite, and I have quite a few parv's. You can't go wrong with this one and I highly recommend it, if you don't already have one. Thanks, Dan
"I'm by no means an expert"
Who are you kidding. The progression of your garden is remarkable. I am a professional, and I work with designers all the time, the flow you have w/your plants is the mark of a GREAT gardener
Thanks for the nice comments kmanzfive. I really appreciate it, especially from a pro.
I spent the weekend extending one of my beds, and built a two and a half ton wall out of Chilton drywall. It's going to be primarily conifers, but also has 3 Japanese maples. I love this stuff! Thanks again, Dan