Month: November 2011

The Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park

During Thanksgiving break my family and I took a trip out west to beautiful San Francisco.  Our oldest son was turning 18 during that time plus we were also visiting some colleges in the area that he was interested in attending. It was a perfect opportunity to fit in some wonderful family time. We did the normal sightseeing stops; Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, Chinatown, Coit Tower, Fisherman’s Wharf and a few museums.

Much to my delight, we were able to fit in a visit to The Japanese Tea Garden in the heart of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. The Japanese Tea garden is considered the oldest public Japanese garden in the United States. The garden features many classical elements such as; an arched drum bridge, pagoda’s, stone lanterns, tranquil koi ponds, native Japanese plants, stone paths and a Zen garden. In March and April Cherry blossom trees bloom throughout the garden. However, even in the fall I found the garden to be spectacular with its natural beauty and tranquility…








My youngest son, Nicholas on top of the Drum Bridge



Stone Pagoda and bronze cranes in Main Pond



Alexander, the” birthday boy” standing in front of the Buddhist Pagoda



Drum Bridge





Koi Pond

Zen Garden

Large bronze Buddha

A clipped hedge in the shape of Mt. Fuji.

Of course, I could not close without a photo of the Golden Gate Bridge...







My Love Affair with Japanese Maples

My love affair with Japanese Maples started five years ago, starting out with 4 large (Dissectum) Japanese Maples which quickly  morphed into 25  (19 different cultivars).  I guess you could say I have started a small collection of Japanese Maples  in my garden landscape which I am sure will continue to grow over the next several years.

Japanese Maples are known for their lacy and delicate foliage, their elegant architectural form, and their beautiful foliage colors both in the spring and fall, making them excellent choices for your landscape. Below are some of the Japanese Maples in my garden showing off their fall and summer colors …


FALL FOLIAGE…Acer palmatum ‘Mikawa yatsubusa’

 A beautiful dwarf Japanese maple. Leaves emerge light green with red tips and turning yellow to red in the fall. 3′


FALL FOLIAGE…Acer palmatum ‘Mikawa yatsubusa’

 The leaves unfold in the spring to a green, and then are exceptionally beautiful in the fall turning yellow to red.

SUMMER FOLIAGE… Acer japoncium ‘Full Moon Maple’



FALL FOLIAGE… Acer palmatum ‘Watnong’- (Dissectum)

New growth begins red that later turns pink- red with emerging green. Beautiful in that many colors – red,pink and green- can appear on the tree all at one time. In fall the leaves are scarlet. 5-10′

SUMMER FOLIAGE… Acer palmatum ‘Watnong’ – (Dissectum)


FALL FOLIAGE…Acer palmatum ‘Orangeola’ – (Dissectum)- Recently pruned
SUMMER FOLIAGE… Acer palmatum  ‘Orangeola’ Dissectum



FALL FOLIAGE… Acer shirasawanum ‘Autumn Moon’

 In spring, the leaves turn a pale yellow green that deepens to golden tones late summer/fall.

Protect from afternoon sun.

SUMMER FOLIAGE… Acer shirasawanum ‘Autumn Moon’



FALL FOLIAGE… Acer palmatum ‘Waterfall’  (Dissectum)

 Has a beautiful cascading manner, turns a beautiful shade of gold/crimson in fall. 5-10′


SUMMER FOLIAGE… Acer palmatum ‘Waterfall’- (Dissectum)



EARLY FALL FOLIAGE…Variegated… Acer palmatum ‘Oku Kuji Nishiki’ – (Matsumurae)


 A variegated Japanese maple, with small green and white leaves with a hint of pink in spring.




 A finely dissected maple, has light orange-red leaves. 5-10′


FALL FOLIAGE…Acer palmatum ‘Twombley’s Red Sentinel’

 A columnar Japanese Maple whose brilliant red foliage lasts through summer, turning crimson in the fall. Shines in my landscape. 10-15′

FALL FOLIAGE…Acer palmatum ‘Ryusen’

 A cascading form which has a lacy appearance with wonderful  orange-red fall color.



Japanese Maples are beautiful in so many ways, and in so many seasons.

No wonder I love them so much!













November GBBD

Here’s whats blooming in my garden.. for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day…


Camellia sasanqua old fashioned favorite.



'Diamonds Blue' Delphinium



Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide'




Some of my shrub roses are still hanging on even after some cold weather..


Red and Pink Knockouts



Shrub rose 'Amber'



White Climbing rose 'Iceburg'


Check out more GBBD posts at:







Camellia sasanqua… a Fall Southern Classic

Fall is the time for one of my favorite evergreen shrubs to shine… the sasanqua Camellia.

My three sasanqua Camellia’s are in full bloom right now and really putting on a stunning show. This fall blooming Camellia starts flowering in my garden late October and will last until December, but November is when C. sasanqua’s peak in my garden. I have about a dozen camellias in my landscape,  (mostly C. japonica, late winter/early spring blooming), but welcome the floral simplicity of the C. sasanqua  in my autumn landscape.

  Sasanqua Camellia ‘Yuletide’ is a favorite in my garden, with single brilliant red blooms and prominent yellow stamens, which blooms now and sometimes until Christmas.

Sasanqua camellias are the easiest camellias to grow as they can take just about any exposure from partial shade to full sun. These evergreens will grow 8-10′ tall (some can get bigger) and there are even some dwarf varieties that stay under 5′.

This is an unidentified sasanqua Camellia in my garden with single pink blooms.

The photo below , C. japonica (winter blooming) Nuccio ‘Bella Rosa’, has formal 4″crimson red blooms with a long winter blooming season , even though right now mine is loaded with buds and blooming ( go figure).

Now is the time to shop for Camellia sasanqua in nurseries because they are in bloom and you can easily decide which color and variety you would like to add to your garden.

So search out one that you will like and find a home for one of these striking evergreen shrubs in your landscape.

For more information on camellias:












My Fall Kaleidoscope…Fall Color Project 2011


Dave, at  The Home Garden, has been giving bloggers the opportunity via ‘The Fall Color Project’


to share their posts & photo’s on fall color in their area .

This will be my first year participating.


In the fall , my landscape changes into a kaleidoscope of color, with hues of yellow, red, orange, brown and green.



Hydrangea quericifolia ‘Snowflake’

Ginkgo biloba ‘Mariken’-  Dwarf Gingko


Abelia ‘Rose Creek’


A ‘Window View’ from inside my house…..



Acer shirasawanum  ‘Aureum’ known as ‘The Full Moon Maple’ has brilliant orange, yellow, and red fall colors.


“Autumn is a second spring, where every leaf is a flower” ~ Albert Camus