People often ask the question, how do I design my Garden? The answer is simple. As long you incorporate the beauty of Japanese maples into your landscape, there is no wrong answer. Every garden design is quite different and should be. A garden design should express the individuality of each gardener or designer. Think of a garden as a living portrait which you paint with shapes, textures, and colors of the plants you select. This is a living portrait that gets more and more beautiful each year. Not only can you enjoy this art in photos, but you can visit it daily and find relaxation in its essence. Take these tips below on Japanese maple placement in the landscape design into consideration. With these tips you can make your gardens unbelievably beautiful for everyone to enjoy.
The most simple and easy way to add color in your garden design is by using a red Japanese maple. A red Japanese maple provides excellent contrast in the traditional green landscape. Red Japanese maples come in many different shapes and sizes. The larger upright red Japanese maples can produce a lot of color in the garden. Many of the more dwarf weeping red Japanese maples give great color but to smaller space in the landscape. This allows you to determine how much color you want in the landscape and where you want it.
Some Japanese maples can even present great color in the winter garden such as the coral bark Japanese maples . These Japanese maples provide excellent focal points even during the winter due to their bright red bark.
By selecting a Japanese maple that you love and enjoy you can express your personality through the focal points in your garden design. Deciding which Japanese maple fits your personality or the personality of your garden may take more time than less important plant, and that is okay. You will find detailed information on our site that will help aid you in selecting the right Japanese maple for your focal point.
Garden Design Tip #3 - Accent Your Garden With Japanese Maples
Often a foundation planting can become an accent planting to accentuate the architecture of a home or building. Japanese maples can perform well as foundation plantings in the garden design due to their non-invasive root systems. Even after 50 or 60 years, a Japanese maple should not damage the foundation of a home or building. This cannot be said to be true about many other trees and shrubs. This root system also makes them ideal for plantings near rock walls, for water features ( Tip #4), and container plantings (Tip #6).
Water features are often accompanied by Koi. According to a translation from our friend the famous Mamoru Kodama, "Koi and Japanese maples make perfect harmony". With that being said, if you have a koi pond then you need Japanese maples to create that harmony in your garden design.
Laceleaf Japanese maples are perfect selections to go directly on the side of the koi pond or water feature, especially for smaller water features. These weeping Japanese maple selections will cascade out over the water feature creating a more natural appearance. They give a soft display in the landscape with their delicate leaves which flow in the wind like a stream or river. The branching holding these finely cut leaves give this maple the shape of the waterfall. In fact, there is a Waterfall Japanese maple that is often used near ponds or waterfalls that performs well in this garden design. It is a green laceleaf Japanese maple with an exceptional shape and a good fall color. If you are a looking for a red laceleaf Japanese maple, then I would recommend an Inabashidare which is a red weeping Japanese maple companion to Waterfall maple.
For larger water features, taller upright Japanese maples may be used. For a large pond in a traditional and authentic Japanese garden setting, one should use tall green Japanese maples. In Japan, the green Japanese maple is the most commonly used maple in the landscape because they display an elegant summery feel in the garden with exceptional fall color. If you are going for a more modern Americanized Japanese garden, one can add flare with the use of taller red Japanese maples. This is one of our favorite gardening styles and one we highly recommend.
One should take time to decide the background of picture they want to create in their garden design. A landscaper can use different shaped Japanese maples to provide different textures, while using different fall colors to decide how you want your portrait to be painted. Red and orange fall colors are complimented well by golden yellow fall colors. Finding the combination for each particular garden design is up to the designer or artist. This is part of what makes each garden unique and special.
The Moveable Garden
Growing Japanese maples in containers creates a moveable garden. If you decide you want to change your location of a container, you can simply move it to another part of your yard or garden. For those who live in apartments, this allows them to have a garden on their deck. This moveable garden comes in handy for those who know they will living at a location temporarily. Instead of leaving your landscape behind, you have the option to load up the potted maple and take it with you to your new home.
Since Japanese maples grown in containers also are dwarfed to their roots being constricted to the container size, collectors can have more Japanese maple selections in containers in their landscape than if they planted all the Japanese maples in the ground.
The concept of how big a Japanese maple will get in a container is similar to that of how big a goldfish will get inside a bowl. A Japanese maple will grow the size container it is put in. A small container will dwarf the size of the tree from the size the tree would naturally be in the landscape. Dwarf Japanese maples are often used in containers because they get fairly close to full-size in most containers. The best tip for container growing is a well-drained pot.
1. Choose your Japanese maple based on the location you plan on growing your container grown maple (ex. Sun or shade?).
2. Select the container you would like to use. The primary thing to look for is good drainage. You may be able to drill extra holes in non-ceramic containers. At least one drain hole is necessary. For containers with only one drain hole, you may consider lining the bottom of the container with 1-2 inches of medium sized gravel to increase drainage.
3. Soil should be selected based on how frequently you plan on watering the plant. For Japanese maples that will be regularly watered by an irrigation system, a soil with more perlite is ideal. An example of this would be a regular bag of miracle grow mix. For maples that will not be on a regular irrigation system, make sure to add more peat moss to the mixture. This will allow for the maple itself to retain a higher amount of moisture. When adding the soil to the container make sure to keep the root collar and trunk of the Maple at the same level it was in it’s previous container. It is also good to leave at least 1/2 inch to 2 inches of the top lip of the container free from soil. This allows for the maple to be watered effectively.
4. Select a companion plant such as small sedums that can cover the soil-surface to reduce heat and moisture loss for the roots of the maple. When choosing a companion plant it is essential to use only plants with extremely shallow and tiny root systems that will not grow into the roots of the maple.
5. Water frequently based on the finger test. If the soil around your Japanese maple feels dry, water.
6. For small containers (smaller than a nursery 3 gallon) check the root system of your Japanese maple during the winter every 3 years. If the root ball is getting very thick, trim the root system leaving 3/4 of the root system. Add soil as necessary. For larger containers, you can go much longer without root pruning the roots of your Japanese maple. We suggest checking every 7-8 years. For those that do not want to root prune, you can always upgrade your Japanese maple to a larger pot size or put the tree in the landscape, however, with a few minutes of root pruning every few years a Japanese maple can stay in any pot for its entire life.