Tuesday, August 7, 2007
There is a Japanese maple to fit every garden
One of the most striking characteristics of a Japanese maple is the colour of the foliage: crimson, gold, pumpkin orange or multiple shades of green.
The Japanese maple is also known as Acer palmatum; it's dramatic and unforgettable and provides vibrant fall colour in the garden. Although Japanese maples come in a number of varieties of greens - for example the cultivar 'Versicolor' has green foliage mottled with white and pink - the majority of people tend to prefer the familiar crimson.
When it comes to Japanese maples, there is a variety available for every gardener, suited to any size of garden. Interestingly, the hardier forms of Japanese maple are the larger leaf varieties with green-coloured foliage. Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood' is one of the hardier red-leaved maples for sheltered gardens in the Toronto area.
A number of varieties have foliage that change colour with the seasons. In shadier conditions, some Japanese maples will appear less red and display more shades of green.
Some varieties, like 'Katsura,' will change colour depending on the season. There is lots of opportunity to design contrasting shapes, colours and textures with companion planting around a Japanese maple. The red foliage of a Bloodgood Japanese maple will contrast well with hostas underneath of a green gold colour. As you can tell, the possibilities for design are limitless.
Japanese maples are such a versatile plant with many forms and varieties available. Here are five distinct shapes of Japanese maples:
- Upright single stem in a tree form,
- Upright multi-stem shrub,
- Mounding multi-stem shrub,
- Dwarf varieties.
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