Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Japanese Maples Line The Sidewalk

Its been raining quite a bit here on the north coast during winter, more than in the past two years since we moved here. This winter has been warmer than the past two winters as well. We had another 6.0 earthquake last month a few weeks after the first 6.5 earthquake, but it was minor since it was farther away from Eureka, just a small shake and it was finished as soon as it started.

Our home was a part of the beautify Eureka project. This project provided free trees to place into the sidewalks in front of homes throughout Eureka streets. Our trees were planted a few weeks ago after a long wait. Families that accepted the trees were given a choice of trees to choose from. Our lot is big enough that we received three trees for the front of the property. I chose three japanese maples to be planted in front of our house. The previous home owner gave the front and back yard an asian flare, designing the front trellis, gate and back yard bench in this style. I wanted trees that would not get too big and have some space in the leaves so the house would not be covered up too much. Asian design is not what I would have chosen myself for our garden, my wish has always been for a cottage garden effect surrounding our Victorian. I guess you could say we have both in our garden, adding in cottage garden plants along with the structure already in place. The style is minimal so I think these two styles will live together well enough since I'm not going strictly by planting only cottage garden plants. The structure of the original garden has been in place for many years, planted by the previous homeowner. I don't want to disturb most of the structure of the garden since many larger shrubs and plants were well established when we moved here. The japanese maples should fit in perfectly in front yard and give the house a nice look once they are fully grown.

For now the japanese maples trees are very small, two of them probably no more than four feet tall and one of them is over five feet tall. The largest of the japanese maples is starting to leaf out this week. I wish they were all uniform sizes but you can't be choosy with free trees. The program workers set the trees up with a pipe at the base of the trees to collect rainwater so this is helpful for the young trees. I'd like to underplant the trees eventually with white alyssum and blue lobelia. If this works well then planting some grape hyacinths at the base of the trees may look nice mixed in with the alyssum and lobelia during spring. I think the japanese maples will go perfectly with the style of the garden. For now I have to wait to see the full effect until the trees grow bigger in the coming years.

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