The Japanese Maple Garden

And now here comes my favorite part of the patio project so far. No project feels quite as complete as when you finally plant something. OK I suppose that only holds true for gardening projects but it really is the exciting part! Welcome to the Japanese Maple Garden! It’s a small raised bed made from the edging stones that I used around the patio. To either side of the garden are the beginnings of pathways to the yard. They will be worked on in subsequent phases of our backyard project with the sidewalk pathway on the left tentatively scheduled for next year. I have to make sure I can get the work crew back for phase 2…oh wait, that’s me! The pathway on the top side of the garden will be natural stone stepping stones inset in the grass so that I can mow over them easily.

The Japanese Maple Garden could not possibly be planted without what? The Japanese Maple! He’s standing over there on the left side of the picture below. On the right is a Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’ I picked up for a dollar last week, I love those discount racks! Mr. Morning Light will only be there until the Japanese maple gets well established. I wanted a plant that would help shield the young maple from direct sunlight for a little while and an ornamental grass fit the bill. I might divide it in the spring. After I move him I have my eyes on some Muhly grass that would look really nice next to the Japanese maple.

Here’s a view from the other side of the garden which would be on the patio. The pots on the far side are two lemon trees and a grapefruit tree I grew from seed. I won’t show you how they look right now as they suffer from SNS (Summer Neglect Syndrome). I put them farther away from the house than I should have to conveniently water them. The grapefruit doesn’t look bad but the lemons aren’t very happy citrus trees right now. I hope they can make it through the winter in the garage alright! Anyway they are off topic, back to the Japanese maple garden!

Here is the miscanthus. It’s planted on the western side of the garden and should help deflect some of the late afternoon rays.

Here’ s the maple. I potted it up for the summer and kept it watered but it’s roots overtook the pot and needed a larger place to grow. Fortunately now it has a new home! It’s a little dry around the edges but it should bounce back shortly.

I also planted two discount threadleaf coreopsis plants in the garden. I’m not sure of the variety but they have a light purplish to pinkish colored bloom. On the other side will go two discount Penstemon ‘Husker’s Red’ that I have in pots on the front porch. I’ll move them into the ground before temperatures fall too much.

To prepare the new bed I double dug the ground to a shovel’s depth. Then I covered the turned turn with newspaper and filled with dirt that was used in the patio excavation. I added a bag of peat moss to the top of the soil but I need to go back with a cultivator and mix it in more with the soil. Peat moss can add some good organic nutrients. Then I planted and mulched around the plants with a little pine bark mulch. I’ll come back and add more to the rest of the bed when I get the chance.

Here’s the bed from the patio view. On the right I’ll put the penstemon and close to the patio I have a place to plant another plant. That spot is still open for now!

12 Replies to “The Japanese Maple Garden”

  1. Those edging stones are really neat and the garden looks great. I bet the J. maple will grow quickly. You grew lemon and grapefruit trees from seed? How cool. Now that summer is over they should not have to worry about SNS anymore should they?:)

  2. looks great Dave! I like the stones too – nice soft color and soft edges.

  3. Hi Dave, The Japanese Garden is lovely and before you know it that tree will be tall and even more beautiful.
    Edging sure makes a bed; yours is perfect.


  4. I really like the way you’ve incorporated the bed into the pathway pavers. Very interesting and something I would never have thought of.

  5. Your patio gardens are looking really great, Dave. Make sure you take a photo of the whole project when you’re done for the year so we can get the full effect. 🙂

  6. Tina,

    I grew the lemon trees back in college. I put some dirt in a dixie cup and dropped in some seeds from a store bought lemon. they’ve never produced anything but they did flower one year. Spider mites are a bad problem with citrus.

  7. Gardengirl,

    Thanks! I liked the same feature on the edging stones. It looks more rustic with tumbled edges.


    I hope that little maple grows fast. I’d love to see that area take off. I may tweak the edging a little from time to time. Maybe I can convince Jenny to let me make it larger! 😉

  8. Marnie,

    I needed something to soften the hardscape areas and I thought it would be the perfect home for the Japanese maple. Then everything else came from that basic idea.

  9. Nancy,

    I definitely will! Although most of the plants will probably have lost their leaves by the time I get things ready. I really can’t wait to see how it looks next year after all the plants get back to growing!

  10. Oh I love Japanese Maples and that’s a perfect spot for one. The bed looks great!

  11. What a lovely new garden bed. I like the paving stones around the edge & the organic shape. Your little Japanese Maple will be quite happy here. In a few more years this bed will be lush & full. 🙂

  12. Great looking bed Dave. I too like the stones & their softness. The little Japanese Maple should provide a bit of shade in a couple yrs. Over all I think you have done a superb job. Will be glad to see the whole project when you are finished. Maybe Jenny will let you fudge a little on the size.

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