Japanese Maple

March 25, 2015 Acer 014


Japanese Maples are such graceful, lovely trees.  I’ve admired them for a long time, but have not, until now, purchased one.

Although Bonsai culture remains beyond my reach, when the opportunity to purchase two little Acer palmatum ‘Peaches and Cream’ arose yesterday, I decided on the spot to grow them.


March 25, 2015 Acer 017


These are very young grafted trees, purchased in 3″ pots from a local garden center’s seasonal grand opening sale.

Synchronistically, some might say, I had just spent an hour exploring several interlinked sites on growing Bonsai earlier this week. 


March 26, 2014 acer 001


I’m now following Ben at Scratch Bonsai and Adam’s Art and Bonsai Blog.  I love studying these trees growing in pots or simply on slabs of stone.  Their will to live and determination to carry on in difficult circumstances inspires me.

And so when it came time to pot up my two little Acer trees yesterday, I had read enough to know to add a large amount of perlite to my good quality potting soil mix, and to add a little extra fertilizer.  There are stones in the bottom of the two pots, and I planted the trees at precisely the same level they were already growing.


March 25, 2015 Acer 015


And that was it…. nothing fancy here- just a standard ‘potting up.’  I am going to just let these guys grow this season, in partial shade. to see what they will do on their own.

I don’t know Acer palmatum personally yet.  I need to watch them for a while, and learn a whole lot more about Bonsai before offering them more than water, light and air.  (Ben just sent me this link to Bonsai4Me, and I’m looking forward to exploring this site for useful tips and information.)

Are you growing anything new this season?  Have you been tempted by the glossy winter garden catalogs to branch out  into any new gardening projects?

Winter remains a time of rest and renewal; a fertile time to make plans for the growing season ahead.  Now that it is officially spring, and March has nearly passed, the time has come to muddy one’s hands and brings those plans to life.


March 25, 2015 Acer 013


Woodland Gnome 2015


About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

19 responses to “Japanese Maple

  1. How very Zen-ny of you. Keep us posted.

  2. I’m sure these little acers will bring you a lot of joy! I inherited an acer when we came here and it has become part of my rockery. It adds so much character to the garden, and autumn colour too. One new plant I am growing this year is a dwarf Euonymus alatus for some extra shades of red this autumn.

    • Euonymus alatus grows in many of our community’s gardens…. including ours 😉 It was one of the first things I really noticed here- beyond the trees- because it turned such a glorious shade of red that first autumn. And the berries! Gorgeous and a feast for the birds. We also have a crop of seedlings which are now several years old and growing in the shrubby border near the top edge of the garden at the street. Some areas of the US consider this shrub invasive now because the birds spread the seeds so prolifically. I’m happy to have a very mature (read: huge) one smack in the middle of our front border- which is grand central station for our resident song birds. I’m glad you’ve found a dwarf variety. It definitely packs lots of color over a long season 😉 How lovely to inherit an established Acer! Definitely a gift from the former owner 😉

      • I’m glad to hear the berries are popular with the birds as they are not keen on my Euonymus europaeus berries – no idea why! I can’t wait to see that autumn colour!

        • I could stare at those scarlet leaves for hours, just drinking in the color. Our berries are picked clean early in the season- long before the holly. Maybe our neighborhood hosts species which like them 😉

          • The birds here have so many other berries to choose from i think they eat their favourites first! 😉 The elderberries disappeared at record speed last autumn so they must have been particularly good. When I saw all the birds on them I didn’t have the heart to pick any for myself!

            • See, that is exactly my problem with the traditional “Forest garden” concept- where one plants non-traditional food sources for oneself within one’s own forest garden. I’ve read a number of the books…. yet when I see the wildlife attracted. with you, I would rather leave the crop for the creatures who truly need it. We harvested maybe a half dozen pears last year and we always harvest what figs may come. Yet I didn’t touch the berries on the Autumn Olive last year and the birds absolutely flocked to the shrub as soon as they ripened enough to eat. They were gone in maybe 3 days. And we didn’t get a single Hazlenut from our 3 clumps. (squirrels took those…) I’m planning to plant a S. “Black Lace’ this week, and have gooseberries on order. And how many do you think we’ll actually harvest? 😉 At least by adding new species of berries, we have more lovely birds to watch 😉

              • The squirrels shared our massive hazelnut harvest with us last year for the first time… we got whole bowlful! They actually left so many ripening on the trees. This year there won’t be as many though, as some trees had to be shortened, so the squirrels get to keep the lot. 🙂

                • Some suggest wrapping the tree in netting ahead of the harvest… I don’t believe ours even get to ripen. Soon after we notice the green pods the hordes descend and attack the lot of them! So glad you were left at least a bowl-full 😉

  3. Bonsai is great fun; I hope you will try it with your new acer.

  4. Sweet new babies! I adore Japanese maples. So graceful. I planted an ‘Autumn Moon’ for a client two years ago and it sounds like yours may be a similar cultivar. I would love a lace leaf maple, but have yet to see one that is priced in my range. They can be quite expensive!

    • They can, which is why I haven’t purchased one previously 😉 All trees were half off yesterday, plus another 20% for rewards club members….. which left this tree infinitely affordable! 😉 I’ve learned that Japanese Maples self-seed in our area- almost an invasive- and I’ve found a “volunteer” growing in our front border 😉 yes, the leaf shape is nearly identical between A. ‘Autumn Moon’ and A. ‘Peaches and Cream.’ I believe the coloration of A. ‘Autumn Moon’ remains a bit nicer through the summer 😉 Very sweet babies, and I’m so excited to watch their leaves unfold 😉

  5. I love Japanese maples. It’s going to be neat to see your trees grow. You did a beautiful job. I love the pot!❀

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