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This month in the garden...


"The best way to make sure you're removing a weed and not a valuable plant? If it comes out of the ground easily it's a valuable plant."



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This Month in the Garden (October 2009)

Although October marks the end of the season for Port Washington gardens it doesnít mean the end of color.  Even in small gardens, small trees like this Japanese maple can produce beautiful displays to brighten the autumn.

The warming influence of Lake Michigan allows Port gardeners to grow many plants that canít survive the colder temperatures inland.  Some of the most prized plants are Japanese maples like this one (Acer palmatum dissectum viridis).  This term is applied today to almost any green cut-leaf Japanese maple.  The trees are short and wide with a cascading form.  This tree has stayed at 40Ē tall for more than 8 years but doubled its width.  Its apple-green leaves emerge in spring with an orange picotee edge.  Itís a preview of whatís to come.  In mid-October the little tree is covered in fiery orange and gold.

Japanese maples are tough plants despite their delicate appearance.  Many are hardy to zone 5 and in the north most will tolerate full sun.  The trees require shelter from harsh winter winds, however, and should be planted in a protected area.  This one is protected by a row of twiggy native Arrowwood viburnum (Viburnam dentatum) that echo its vibrant autumn colors.

Japanese maples are available in a wide range of foliage colors and sizes.  They are also excellent for bonsai and container plantings.  This means that with a little extra effort gardeners all over the country can enjoy the graceful beauty of these trees.

This Month in the Garden Archive:

November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
June 2010

April 2010
March 2010
February 2010

January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009

March 2009


Port Washington Garden Club, PO Box 492, Port Washington, Wisconsin 53074
Registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization