I decided to make a few major changes in the garden today, all of which stem from the need to do something to save the Red Select Japanese Maple (Acer palmate dissect 'Red Select') in the Stroll Garden area.
This poor tree has been sickly ever since I planted him in the location along the neighbor's fence line. The soil is terrible, mostly sand, and in the midst of summer there was simply too much sunlight falling on the tree. It had started off the season with a good comeback after the following year, when I though it was about to die. However, it had suffered a great deal during late July and August of this year when the heat further reduced his foliage. It needed to be moved to a place with less direct sunlight. Problem is, I don't really have anywhere else to place it, or so I thought.
The other problem that was bothering me was the Clumping Bamboo (Fargesia rufa) I had planted behind the Moon Window.
It could be related to how I have maintained them. Each winter the shoots seem to die off and I cut them back in the early spring to make room for new shoots. They always fill back in and look great starting in late August/early September. However, they have never grown tall, at least not after the first couple of years when I first planted them. I don't know why this occurred.
|Moon Window, 2011|
So, I decided to move the bamboo elsewhere and make way for the placement of the Japanese maple in its place. The more shady area will help the maple thrive. The soil here is also different than the sandy soil along the Stroll Garden area.
However, to begin, I had to find a place to relocate the bamboo. First, the plant had grown very wide over the years. As a result, I decided that I would have to split it into several plants. Given its size, this would prove difficult. I had to make sure that I saved enough of the root system for each of the shoots. I was able to split the plant into four sections - one large and three smaller sections.
I then plated the large section along the side of the garden shed on the other side the yard, near the vegetable garden.
These plants will get a bit more sunlight here, especially late in the day. I'm a bit worried about this because these plants prefer shade in the afternoon, and I am doing the exact opposite. Problem is, I have no where else to plant them at this time. If they seem to be doing poorly in the future, I can move them once again.
Now that the Bamboo was moved, I was free to place the Japanese maple in the location behind the Moon Window.
It will be off property, but I can only hope the neighbor doesn't mind. To date, he does not appear to show any interest in what I do along the fence. If anything, this might prove to be an improvement from his view.
If the Maple survives the move, it may have a chance to thrive here. Given that it already has very little foliage, I might be able to shape it to be more like a Bonzai than a Maple. I will not cut any of the existing stems or limbs at this time. I will wait until next year, giving it a chance to get established, before I clean him up.
It's shape does provide more interest in the window, but I will need to be careful over time to ensure it grows away from the fence and window. Given its stem structure and the position in which I planted it, that should prove to be easy.
All I can do now is cross my fingers and hope that all this transplanting goes well. I will discover the outcome next spring. Next, I have to find a solution for the spot where the maple once stood in the Stroll Garden.