I've fallen in love...

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Clueless 1 v2, Jul 9, 2022.

  1. Clueless 1 v2

    Clueless 1 v2 Gardener

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    I've fallen in love with Japanese maple. My son decided our next project should be to build a small Japanese garden, so we've cleared an area, and a few weeks ago I bought some young plants. I went for azalea, blueberries (ok not Japanese but they are quite zen in their own way) and a small Acer.

    We've just potted things on today and moved stuff to the newly prepared area. While sat back admiring our work, I was quite taken by the way the sun was shining through the red leaves of the acer. I'll attach a pic but it doesn't do it justice.

    Trouble is, acers are either very small, or very, very expensive. Is there anything cheaper or faster growing that will give me the same effect?
     

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    • Sian in Belgium

      Sian in Belgium Total Gardener

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      Very, very occasionally, Aldi/Lidl sell them. If you get there on the day of the offer starting, you can get some good plants….
       
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      • groundbeetle

        groundbeetle Gardener

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        I have seen them in Morrisons for something like one pound.
         
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        • Clueless 1 v2

          Clueless 1 v2 Gardener

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          You can pick up small ones cheap enough at the supermarket. Bigger ones are insanely expensive.

          I'm wondering if there's something that would give a similar effect but that grows much faster and much taller.
           
        • Perki

          Perki Total Gardener

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          does it strictly have to be japenese ? Phyocarpous / cotinus may be worth looking at . Some prunus family ( flowering cherry ) have dark burgundy leaves , maybe some berberis .

          It is hard to beat the beauty of Acer and they are pricey but you are buying time they take a while to get to a good size. If your heart is set on acers its best to start saving up .

          They is one plant that has just sprung to mind which can match or even surpass an acers beauty Cercis Forest pansy stunning plant but you'll not like the price similar to acers .
           
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          • Christine Treharne

            Christine Treharne Apprentice Gardener

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            A lot depends on how much room you have, Sambucus have gold and also dark leaved varieties ,
             
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            • NigelJ

              NigelJ Total Gardener

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              Some people don't like the smell of the foliage though and they will need regular pruning.
              Aldi and Lidl have Japanese Acers about once a year in late spring/early summer.
              When young they can grow quite fast, I've had seedlings reach 3-4 ft in a couple of years and I find that smaller plants settle in better.
              If you go to a few plant sales and shows you sometimes find a bargain. Failing that there are specialist nurseries that sometimes have sales otherwise it's a case of saving the pocket money.
              Unfortunately I don't have the conditions to indulge in them, most parts of my garden drain very freely and is prone to cold winds from the sea in spring.
               
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