Sunday, March 16, 2014

Foliage Follow-up: New Spring Growth

What's impressing me most in terms of foliage right now is the fresh spring growth on some of my deciduous plants.  The Japanese maples, in particular, can't be ignored.  I acquired 2 new Acer palmatum in February.  At the time of purchase, they both looked like sticks.  One month later, they're fleshing out nicely.

Acer palmatum 'Mikawa Yatsubusa' in mid-February

"Mikawa Yatsubusa,' planted in my new backyard bed, photographed yesterday

Close-up of leaves on 'Mikawa Yatsubusa'

Acer palmatum 'Purple Ghost' at time of purchase

'Purple Ghost' one month later, planted in my side yard



The coral bark maple I planted in March 2011 is running a little behind the 2 new trees but its first new leaves began appearing last week.  The light green leaves stand out against the coral bark.

New foliage on Acer palmatum 'Sango Kaku'



However, the most exciting discovery was that the Itoh peony I planted last May has produced new foliage.  More Itoh peonies have recently appeared in the local nurseries, tempting me with their fat buds despite their hefty price tags.  So far, I'm resolved to ignore their charms until I see whether the peony I've already got blooms for me this year.

Fresh foliage on Paeonia 'Keiko'



I'm afraid that the tree peony I planted in 2011 is still a stick, albeit a stick with tiny pink buds.

Honestly, the plant is almost invisible in my front border



I'm not holding my breath over the prospects of the tree peony but, just this past week, I added another peony to my limited collection.  This one hails from the Mediterranean region and isn't supposed to need the winter chill peonies generally prefer.  It arrived from Annie's Annuals & Perennials in a 4-inch pot so it may be a year or more before its charms can be assessed.  (You can find a photo of it in bloom here.)

Newly planted Paeonia cambessedesii (aka Majorcan Peony)



In response to our recent rain, my grape vine has also produced pretty green leaves.  At this stage it seems possible to believe that maybe, just maybe, I'll get some grapes before those dastardly birds and squirrels strip the vine clean.

Grape vine climbing the arbor my husband built to support it



These are my contributions to the monthly foliage follow-up hosted by Pam at Digging.  Please visit her blog to see her foliage picks this month and find links to other gardeners' selections.


14 comments:

  1. It's nice to see fresh new foliage isn't it? That first maple is so fluffy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And to think, I fell in love with it when it was just a stick!

      Delete
  2. Your new maples look lovely all leafed out, and your peonies too, especially that one that requires no winter chill. I hope your tree peony puts some growth on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 1st year the tree peony was planted (2011), one of the lawn service guys stepped on it and it doesn't seem to have ever recovered. But it's not dead so hope springs eternal...

      Delete
  3. Your maples are coming on nicely.
    I love peonies. Peoeny cambessedii is wonderful. I have 3 Peony rockii which I grew from seed and I can't wait for them to bloom. You have intrigued me with your Peony Itoh. I have never heard of them. Please tell me more about them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Itoh peonies are intersectional hybrids of tree and herbaceous peonies. They're supposed to be more tolerant of our warm weather. The flowers more closely resemble those of tree peonies. One of the California-based growers introduced them with a bang a few years ago and new varieties seem to be showing up each year. They're rather expensive and the jury's still out on whether they can make it in my hot, dry climate.

      Delete
  4. Acers are such a wonderful addition to the landscape and I love the foliage on your 'Mikawa Yatsubusa'...such an interesting plant. It is also nice to see your Paeonia coming up. You are ahead of us in foliage by about a month or so but there are finally signs of spring here!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you're finally getting a well-deserved touch of spring, Lee!

      Delete
  5. Beautiful foliage post Kris - you've bagged a couple of gorgeous Acers. I've 1 Itoh peony - they are not cheap are they? My local nursery is a peony specialist, the prices of some really do take your breath away!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've always coveted peonies, Angie, but the herbaceous species just don't grow here. Believe me, I tried - I even spent 6 weeks pouring ice cubes around a plant one year trying to fake winter conditions, which of course didn't work. Even the tree peonies don't do well here, although I did get one to bloom (once!) at our old house. The Itoh peony bloomed last year but it already had buds on it when I bought it - this year is the true test!

      Delete
  6. Lovely foliage plants Kris! Also the love the very fresh green hue of acer leaves when they have just leafed out in the spring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I admit that I've always had a soft spot for Japanese maples!

      Delete
  7. Japanese maples have the prettiest foliage, even in spring, it seems. Thanks for sharing your spring growth, Kris. We're still waiting on it here in Austin, but it won't be long.

    ReplyDelete
  8. They are growing nicely!
    Otherwise, peonies, beautiful leaves.
    Best regards
    Mariana

    ReplyDelete

I enjoy receiving your comments and suggestions. However, with apologies to bona-fide commentators, due to a significant increase in spam, I've eliminated the option to post comments anonymously.