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Japanese maple. Acer palmatum ‘Atropurpureum’- six years on


Photo: Japenese maple in a pot

Photo: Japenese maple in a pot

“Danny can you come down to the garden? I’ve got something spectacular to show you.”
In the summer the Rat Room Velux window is open so I can call up to D. I heard him rumbling down the stairs into the kitchen. He stood at the back door.
“Wow! Where did that come from?”
“It’s that Japanese maple that I bought from Ebay six years ago. It’s been lurking behind the rose bush by the other back door.”
“Well it definitely isn’t going to go back there. I want to enjoy it every day.”

You’ll probably find this difficult to believe but although I knew that this tree was beside our second back door, I hadn’t realised quite how beautiful it is.

I’m in a re-potting frenzy at the moment. This tree really needed re-potting last year but somehow I forgot. When it arrived as a tiny specimen I was a bit disappointed with its shape. But over the years it has matured from gawky adolescent to a show stopping beauty.

This morning it slid out of its old pot with ease. I was expecting a bit of a struggle so we tumbled together into the long grass. Its leaves tickling my face whilst the curious Min Pins observed this madness from a safe distance.

Japanese maples are quite tough and easy to grow. If grown in pots they need to be planted in a mixture of John Innes no.3 and ericaceous compost. Regular potting on is advised but only into a pot 2” bigger. Ideally they enjoy a spot where they are protected from burning mid day sun which can scorch their delicate leaves. And their leaves are a joy as they dance to even a gentle puff of wind.

We are going to stand in the round border so we can admire its feathery beauty as we pass by.

Jersey Plants direct are selling Japanese maples for just £7.99 including postage and have a great range. I must admit I’m very tempted to splash out but the coffers are locked extra tight at the moment. I’ve bought quite a lot of plants from this company and the plants are always good and strong.

Nurtured for a year or two these would make fabulous presents. I spotted on the internet that a 5’ tree like ours is selling for £150!

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  1. pepitos

    I fall in love with the acer palmatum atropurpureum, it is indeed a gift from the Gods. Enjoy it.

  2. kate (uk)

    I had four in pots that have ,variously, been rescued from the ‘doomed plants’ section of our local garden centre, grown from seed, moved from house to house. Three of them we have now planted in the soil in a raised terrace at the back of the main garden border, shaded by the hedge. They are romping, slight set-back due to the cold this winter, but looking so happy to have their roots in soil after, in one case 20, years in pots. Looking forward to them getting tall and becoming a grove of maples.

  3. Danny

    They are the most beautiful of trees, are they not? That particular leaf colour/color tone will match beautifully with our smoke tree – or as I accidentally renamed it – flame tree! Copper beech is another of my favourites/favorites as is laburnum in full bloom.

  4. amalee issa

    “Danny can you come into the garden I’ve something spectacular to show you…” Really Fiona, you are outrageous!

    And long may it continue! Virgos rock.


  5. Tamar@StarvingofftheLand

    What is it about a Japanese maple? WE have a 15-foot one in our backyard, and it’s one of our favorite trees. We also have a couple of seedlings that seem to have sprung up of their own accord, and I cleared the area around them in the hopes that they would thrive — only to find out that they like partial shade! I hope I didn’t doom them.

  6. shelley

    we had a beauriful acer like yours for many years. It lived in increasingly bigger pots and came with us from house to house.It was finally left behind on the last move; i miss it!

  7. danast

    I love them too. There are a few where I live. The colours are wonderful.

  8. Shereen

    What a beautiful maple. I love the vivid colour of the leaves.

    I bought my Mum one for Mothers’ Day about 15 years ago. She’d been dying for one for ages so I went to the best nursery in the area and splashed out £20 on what to me looked like a dead stick in a plant pot.

    Thankfully Mum has two green thumbs and 15 years later her maple, beautifully shaped and graceful takes pride of place in the middle of her back garden.

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