When we bought our house (green then - now it has blue vinyl siding) in January 1987, there was a lovely Japanese maple tree barely taller than I am in the front yard. I knew, looking at that leafless tree, that it would be beautiful. Silly to say I bought a house based on a yard tree (there were many other reasons to choose this one:) ... but that tree was definitely a factor. Turns out our Japanese maple is the sort called Bloodleaf - it is red all the time. In fall, the leaves turn a brilliant red (vs the gentle maroon red the rest of the seasons it is in leaf:). As you can perhaps see in the photo above - taken yesterday - its leaves have not turned for Autumn this year.
In spring, this tree is weighed down by seeds - many hundreds of maple flyers have fallen from it over the years and some of them have taken root. The base of our tree is covered in pachysandra ground cover so the little seedlings have to compete vigorously even to sprout. Currently there are three of our tree's scions growing where we have transplanted them (no, four) into other places in the yard.
The first rescued babies grow in a small square bed beside our carport. I think there was a round yew bush there (I barely remember it:) that got smashed by icy snow one winter. We cut out the dead remnants and planted into the space two small maple seedlings the next spring. The bed is in a fairly shady location so they are still about my height, years later. Japanese bloodleaf maples are apparently the fortuitous result of many cross breedings and have complex parental lines, judging by how widely the seedlings from this tree vary in appearance - from heavily dentated leaf edges to smooth, from plain green leaves to brilliant red, with fall colors from bright red to bright yellow. Here is a photo of the two first babies now:
No, only one of the two. This one is much like the parent; it's sibling growing beside has less red in the leaves during spring and summer. (My right side neighbor's house is in the background).
The second baby we transplanted to sit in the front of a narrow bit of yard between my house and my right-side next door neighbors. Over the years my neighbor and I have tried to grow a number of different things in this bit of yard including several different ground covers. The little tree was put into a space left from the death of something else that I no longer remember. Hmm. Baby number two is much like the mother Japanese maple but turns colors earlier in the fall. Here it is, photographed the same day as the mother tree (top of this post). As you can see, the baby is much brighter red than its mother. :)
This little tree is much taller than its two siblings nearer the house. Seedlings respond rapidly to the available sunlight and grow quickly as possible so they can take advantage of any clearings in a woodland. Our front yard, tiny as it is, definitely qualifies as woody. :)
Just closer to the house in that same thin slip of side yard we once had a cherry tree I _thought_ was called Chinese or Kwanyoon; looking at Wikipedia, it is probably yet another type of Japanese cherry that blooms later than the more iconic Sakura tree, having pendulant and extravagently doubled flowers. It was a beautiful tree and bloomed extravagently every spring for years. Sadly, this variety of cherry trees are determinant in growth - they die after a certain number of years. When this tree died, my neighbor cut it out and we replaced it with yet a fourth seedling from my Japanese maple (since they compete well in an understory, shaded habitat). This one turns yet a another color in the Autumn:
Its leaves range from brilliant yellow to yellow-with-red-edges to dark red. Maybe this is because it does not get as much sunlight as any of the others ... I don't know how much Autumnal color is affected by genetics and how much by environment (nature or nuture, isn't that always the question?:).
Anyway, that original Japanese maple has given us many years of color stimulation and I appreciate it very much. When we move, I will be sorry to leave it behind! :) The intense scarlet red it turns in Fall is a joy to my heart, especially with bright blue November skies and sunlight behind the leaves. :)
I have spent much of this past week indoors and lazy. My husband's car was in the shop for three days this week (and thus I was wheel-less as he used mine to commute). Saturday I went out to run errands and to visit two of my favorite retail shops - Springwater Designs and The Queen's Ink. I surprised myself by spending modestly in each place (despite my plans when leaving home:) - I think I am overwhelmed by possessions right now and have expended whatever amount of possession-gathering energy I might have. Grin. I know it won't last. Yet more grins!
I have been knitting away still on my Star Burst Cape project (eighth down on this page) with the 'opal' yarns in aqua and rose pink. I spent most of Saturday evening watching various shows on Netflix, knitting away. I had to stop in the late evening as my shoulders and upper arms were feeling a bit of repetitive motion stress. :P Have to baby this aging body of mine.
I have been trying to clean off my computer desktop and sort through the various craft patterns, tutorials and such that I've gleaned off the internet this year. Digital magazine issues I've bought....imagined projects I've accumulated but not started. You know, 'stuff.' :) I came across a Stickie note titled '2016 Goals,' clearly written sometime last November before Thanksgiving (when my brother Alan died and my life became a different story entirely). The things on this list are still on my mind .... maybe with different intentions or ideas than a year ago. Here they are, in no particular order:
- 2016 GOALS
- Town & Country quilt - daiwabo neutrals
Hillside Houses quilt - bright batiks
- Finish Millefiore!
- Trees quilt
- Scrappy Mountain Majesty
Thistle Flower quilt
- Plaids in a triangle design - log cabin or thousand pyramids
- 365 Days quilt in indigos
This is a pretty ambitious list! I usually do that - plan even more than I can humanly accomplish, just to keep my options open. :) Some of these might get lower priority in my next Goals list ... I know for sure I want to finish my Millefiore and work on Town&Country and 365. I have a number of bee blocks for the Trees quilt and the Thistle quilt that I'd like to use....no telling what I will actuallly accomplish since I really have to finish assembling my sewing room before I can easily work on anything large. :)
I have tons of things that need doing here at home ... and no current amibition to do them. Story of my life. :P Gotta get my energy together and dig in!