Tikorangi notes: Friday 25 May, 2012

Latest posts:

1) Reviewing our mixed borders (and why the old fashioned activity of reading books can have quite an impact).
2) Iochroma grandiflorum (blue tubular trumpets non-stop for the past seven months or more).
3) Grow it yourself: rosemary
4) It has not been a good year for monarch butterflies in the garden – our garden diary from the Weekend Gardener.
5) Revisiting garden mulch options in Outdoor Classroom.

I can’t think I have ever written about maples (except maybe Acer griseum which is notable for its superb bark). Part of the reason could be that I have never got to grips with names of the cultivars we grow here. I recall Mark and I taking a tour of the British Hardy Plants Society around the garden one time. They were a knowledgeable crew but they also collected plant names as some collect autographs – it didn’t matter if they could never grow the plant in the UK. Every plant had to be recorded. Between us, Mark and I could name everything except… the irises and the maples.

At this time of the year, the maples come into their own. Some have lovely autumn colour. Most have a lovely form which comes into sharp relief as the foliage colours and falls. They are pretty in fresh growth in spring, and fit in very well over summer (as long as they are well sheltered from wind), but it is the bare form that I like the most. They clean up very well with a little pruning and grooming to make excellent skeletons in winter.