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    « Book Review - The American Meadow Garden | Main | Does your Garden Designer Practice what She Preaches? »


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    Yummy maples. Makes me want a slice of apple pie to go with the autumn view. Speaking of food and trees, I've been considering replacing my poor dead baby cherries with katsura trees (Cercidophyllum) that supposedly color well in fall and smell like caramel corn to boot.
    Enjoy your fall, it's definitely winter here. Not that I'm complaining - I need the break this year. Aha, just figured out the REAL reason why you dislike lawn so much - you have to mow it year round in California!

    Had to look katsura up - looks like a beautiful tree with a changing display of foliage color. The leaves remind of Forest Pansy. Sunset says it's a good idea go reduce watering at the end of the summer to promote better fall color, but I'm not sure how much supplemental irrigation your garden even needs.

    You are right, "the tyranny of the lawn mower" is an excellent reason all by itself to get rid of a little turf grass!

    rebecca sweet

    Lovely Fall tout - and NO, I'm not tired of our beautiful Fall colors! Just today, in fact, I took more pictures of the Chinese Pistache trees which just get brighter and brighter with each passing cold night. Thanks for featuring the Agonis - I always forget about that cute little tree!

    I love Chinese Pistache - it's probably my go-to fall color street tree. But it's hard to beat the drama of a glowing Japanese Maple in the fall.


    I love those pebble pots. I have one, a little more rustic looking, and it's one of my favorites. I put King Tut grass in it every year and it makes me ridiculously happy. Lovely post.

    Sounds like the key to the pebble pots is to keep the planting very simple. Of course, it takes an iron will not to shove additional goodies into the container once you get started!

    Town Mouse

    Sounds like fun! Love the maples too, and yes, they do burn easily. But so eye catching.

    I haven't gone the native route like you, Townie, but try to avoid higher water, fussier trees like Japanese Maples. But man, they're hard to resist! If I could choose one tree to magically become a lover of clay soil, low water, low humidity and hot sun, this would definitely be it.


    I just love those Japanese Maples! have you ever seen the small A. palmatum 'Red Filigree Lace'? It's got the most wonderful lobate leafes I've ever seen / gittan

    You and me both! Have not heard of Red Filigree Lace and will have to check it out. For the most part, I find the dissectum leaved maples to be even more susceptible to leaf burn around here, so I tend to avoid specifying them. Although Crimson Queen is a pretty solid part shade workhorse, particularly in a container.


    Thanks for pointing out 'Seiryu'; when I worked in the nursery, that was always the first Japanese Maple I would show to customers - definitely a favorite of mine!

    I was must replying to another commenter that I rarely use the more delicate dissectums since they seem even more prone to leaf burn. Assuming in your rainier climate you have your pick of Japanese Maples. Lucky.


    Another thanks for introducing me to 'Seiryu'. I've just started looking into japanese maples to plant this spring, and that's one of my favorites so far! I love the texture, and the light green in summer / red in fall would be perfect for my spot.


    Beautiful maples.

    Sadly the soil here is too alkaline for them as a rule.

    I really like After Dark, I bet it looks a treat in your California light.

    I like the shape of the pebble pots but not the pebbles.


    It is a great time to see what looks good now. I'm a huge Japanese Maple fan, I wish I had space for more. We're lucky that they love our climate here. I saw similar pots here, and I couldn't decide if I liked them or not, very unique.

    Lucky you, I bet they love the humidity.

    Town Mouse

    Well, truth be told, I have 3 Japanese Maples. One is next to the fountain, in the moderate-water zone where the rhododendron lives, the other two are in beautiful pots from Mountain Maples. I water them every other day in summer.

    I may be a native gardener, but I'm not immune to temptation (and they sure are stunning!)

    Almost every client asks for one. Even if the neighborhood is blanketed with them, they have such a widespread appeal, clients don't care that they're everywhere.


    Great points made on the Japanese Maples. Not the best choice for our climate and a little "Done to Death", but I'm sure that my point of view is in the minority. Agonis flexuosa ‘After Dark’ is a great plant. Try it with Adenanthos sericeus, Lomandra 'Little Pal' (on mass) with a scattering of Macropidia fulginosa for some Down Under Razzle-Dazzle... Year Round.

    Love it when I get plant combo suggestions. Had to look up the Adenathos and Macropidia. I like the Adenathos - sort of like a hipper version of a daylily.


    We had those same pots at the nursery this year. I wasn't crazy about them until we hooked one up to the fountain kit. Much more interesting with water running down the sides.

    And hands down the Sango Kaku is one of my favorite trees. I love the way the branches look in the late afternoon sun or with a backdrop of a dark stormy sky.

    A fountain is a great idea. I bet the pot really sparkles in the sun with the water cascading down the sides.

    Helen Yoest @ Gardening With Confidence

    I love Japanese Maples. In Raleigh, they are major focal. In fact, I had a client who said during a planning session, she wanted to redo her courtyard and wanted to make sure I didn't add anything cliche like a Japanese Maple. When it comes to JM, I'l all cliche. H.

    I know what you mean. Some plants are popular with everyone for a reason.


    I've got a soft spot for maples. Even if they didn't turn amazing colors, they're such graceful trees. If the watering requirements could be worked out with individual watering schedules, I could see a garden featuring a big stand of the pale golden Sango Kaku set against a big block of the black agonis. The red winter twigs and the bright green of the new spring leaves would make for a really cool way to mark the seasons.

    That would look fantastic. There are definitely times when I wish I wasn't bound to the "right plant, right place" aspect of design. Imagine if you could just let your creative side go crazy (although some designers and landscape architects do just that, unfortunately.)

    Alice Joyce

    Agonis flexuosa ‘After Dark’ ?
    Is this a Dodonaea with a botanical nomenclature change?
    A stunner!
    xo Alice

    Now that you mention it, the leaves do remind me of a Dldonaea, so it might be some sort of relative. It you like the drama of black and silver in the garden, this is a great tree for Northern California.


    I'm a natives person but you can't not love these bad boys. I'm so glad to learn 'Sango Kaku' from this blog. A house on our street has some and I've always swooned over them. They're most stunning when leafless, I think. I myself have two Japanese maples. I'll have to get someone to tell me what cultivars they are some time. In fact maybe I'll do a little blog post on them, because they deserve to be celebrated--they are heroes. Though I garden with natives, I didn't oust the existing trees, and those two maples have performed so beautifully every year, including this year, despite some pretty serious root abuse while digging out ivy. Also, I um, don't water them. Well, this year they got a tiny bit, because I put in drip, but for the most part, they have conformed to the summer-dry routine, and yet remained beautiful. Viva Acer palmatum!

    Helen Yoest @ Gardening With Confidence

    Happy Thanksgiving Susan!

    Felicity Kijana

    Beautiful photos. Look very professional.

    What camera do you use?

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