Monthly Archives: March 2014

Acer varieties


I had some time spare in the Bournemouth area today so called into the Acer nursery to see what they had to offer. What an amazing place, lovely people and (most importantly) incredible range of beautiful Japanese Maple specimens.

Below are the varieties I selected. There are taller growing trees for the back of the border – the ‘Bloodgood’ will go down towards the fence as it will eventually (50 years or more) grow into a 20′ tree. The smaller trees will go nearer the path.

The photographs are stock photos of how the trees will look as they mature, this is how they are now:


Acer palmatum ‘Inazuma’

Translation: ‘The Thunder’

Variety or Cultivar: ‘Inazuma’ is a mid-sized, deciduous tree or shrub with deeply divided leaves that are rich deep purple red in spring and early summer, turning dark green, then red-crimson in autumn with green veins.

Foliage: Reddish-purple in Spring; Dark-green in Summer; Crimson in Autumn

Habit: Branching, Broadly columnar, Medium

Acer palmatum 'Inazuma' in Summer


Acer Palmatum ‘Beni Otake’

Translation: “Red bamboo”

Variety or Cultivar: ‘Beni Otake’ is an upright, spreading, round headed deciduous small tree or shrub with dark red bark and deeply divided, bamboo-like, red tinged leaves turning red in the autumn.

Flower: Red in Spring

Foliage: Flushed red in spring, Green in Summer; Red in Autumn

Habit: Medium, Spreading, Upright


Acer Palmatum ‘Bloodgood’

Variety or Cultivar: ‘Bloodgood’ _ ‘Bloodgood’ is a large shrub or small tree with dark red-purple leaves, turning crimson in autumn, and small purple flowers followed by red fruits.

Foliage: Purple, Red in Spring; Green, Bronze, Purple in Summer; Red in Autumn

Habit: Tall, Rounded, Compact


Acer Palmatum ‘Senkaki’

Other names: Coral bark maple,

Variety or Cultivar: ‘Sango-kaku’ has palm shaped orange-yellow leaves in spring, turning rich green in summer, turing yellow again in autumn. It has distinctive coral-red shoots and bark for all year interest.

Acer palmatum ‘Sango-kaku’ is: Deciduous

Foliage: Yellow, Orange in Spring; Green in Summer; Yellow in Autumn

Habit: Medium large, Rounded, Compact


Acer Palmatum ‘Shindeshojo’

Variety or Cultivar: ‘Shindeshojo’ is a large shrub or small tree forming thin branches with lobed leaves, bright red when young, white- and pink-speckled green in summer, and orange and red in autumn.

Foliage: Scarlet in Spring; Pink, Green in Summer; Red in Autumn

Habit: Small, Rounded, Compact


Acer Palmatum Dissectum ‘Virides’

Variety or Cultivar: ‘Virides’ are small, deciduous trees with very finely divided, bright-green leaves that turn yellow in autumn before dropping.

Acer palmatum var. dissectum ‘Dissectum Viride Group’ is: Deciduous

Foliage: Bright-green in Spring; Bright-green in Summer; Yellow in Autumn

Tree shape: Small with a spreading canopy


Acer Palmatum Dissectum ‘Baldsmith’

Variety or Cultivar: ‘Baldsmith’ is a small tree with bright orange-red, lacy spring foliage that becomes green in summer and then brilliant orange in autumn. The combination of young and mature leaves in summer creates an attractive mix of red, orange and green leaves.

Foliage: Orange-red in Spring; Bright-green in Summer; Orange in Autumn

Tree shape: Small with a spreading canopy



Woodland planting design – accepted!

Photo of planting designMy latest planting design has been accepted. It for behind a garden pavilion, on the edge of a mixed woodland with tall pines, oaks and sycamore. Quite open though.

The main structure of the design are three long hydrangea drifts. I’ve opted for Hydrangea serrata ‘Grayswood’ as they have quite a delicate flower, achieve a reasonable height without being to vigorous, have amazing autumn colour (both the leaves and flowers turn crimson) and the structure should leave some winter interest.

The drifts are going to be punctuated with seven Japanese Maples of different varieties.

The underplanting is Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Minor’ interplanted with wood anenomies, Hakonechloa macra Alboaurea with snowdrops and Geum ‘Mrs Bradshaw’, drifts of Luzula nivea and stands of Anemanthele lessoniana and Calamagrostis Waldenbuch.

Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Minor’

Wildflower planting area with curved paths and seating area…


Part one: turf stripping, turf wall and laying out paths.

Planting of a native hedge

The guys at Haddon Copse Farm want to re-establish the hedgerows that have been grubbed out over the past few decades and asked me to do some planting for them.

Spraying the grass with weedkiller wouldn’t be appropriate as they’re certified organic. So I suggested that I rotovate where the hedge is to be planted which would have multiple benefit: the grass would be knocked back so it wouldn’t be able to compete so well with the young hedging plants and the soil structure would be improved allowing the hedges roots to establish quickly. We would then mulch with composted woodchip to suppress grass and weed growth.

Unfortunately it has been so wet this winter (in case you hadn’t noticed) that there hasn’t been the opportunity to rotovate – it would have turned the soil into a soup! And they took delivery of the whips at the farm a fair few weeks ago now, with the warm weather they are starting to shoot. So the decision was made to get them into the ground straight away.

First we strimmed where the hedge is going to take the grass right down (which had already been quite well grazed). Then, rather than just shoving the whips into slits,

Whip planting method.

Whip planting method.

Emma dug out a small spit for each whip. This broke up the soil structure where the whip was planted and also allowed the planted whip’s roots to spread out before the removed soil was carefully replaced and gently pressed back in with a toe of a boot.

We planted with the provided species which were: 50% Hawthorne; the rest were equal quantities of Hazel, Dogwood, Field Maple, Blackthorn… and I am sure there are one or two I’ve missed. There is also a quantity of wild rose to plant and we will return to plant these when the rest of the hedges are

Drift planting

Drift planting

planted as I don’t want to split the pack until we’re ready for them all to go in the ground to save the potential for the roots to dry out on the unplanted whips(!)

I opted to plant in drifts rather than purely random to create a more striking hedge – having drifts of 5, 7 or more Blackthorns together will mean a more vibrant display of their late spring blossom.

The other thing I took account of was the soil conditions. In areas the soil was still really waterlogged, if drying quite well in others. In the wettest areas I concentrated the dogwood planting as they do like their feet in water.

So after a relatively slow start as we worked out a system we really got into the planting with Emma doing all the hard work digging the holes and me putting on the rabbit guards, planting the whips, toeing them in and sticking in a supporting cane.

We finished planting just under eighty metres on a double staggered row as the sun went down and treated us to the most beautiful sunset. That’s around three hundred plants in a day (we were too knackered to count them). Now we’ve just got to wait a few years until we can lay it!