Cindy Bolz’s Asian-style backyard of Japanese maples


June 06, 2024

I’ve precisely one Japanese maple in my backyard, inherited with the home. However I’ve loved the swish great thing about its foliage and type for a few years. So think about my delight once I visited collector Cindy Bolz‘s backyard in Farmers Department, an internal suburb of Dallas, the place she’s rising sixty Japanese maples on an average-sized lot. Sixty! And that doesn’t embrace her cover timber that present the shade Japanese maples want in a Texas summer season.

Acer palmatum ‘Shishigashira’

Lots of Cindy’s timber are small and sluggish rising, and a few she grows in containers. Others are sufficiently big to shade a backyard bench. And regardless of the rising quantity — 60, bear in mind — Cindy can immediately rattle off the identify of every one when requested.

Cindy bought her first tree in 2000 and introduced it together with her when she moved to her present residence in 2001. It was the start of a Japanese maple obsession.

Acer palmatum ‘Garnet’ (entrance) and ‘Bloodgood’ (again left)

Her assortment finally gave rise to her total backyard. As she introduced residence every new maple, she created just a little backyard round it with complementary crops. Each time she acquired one other one, she carved out extra garden and constructed out the backyard. And so forth and so forth, till she had a serene Asian-style backyard with a number of seating areas and paths to discover.

Acer palmatum ‘Butterfly’ (foreground)

Typically, a collector’s backyard can appear to be, properly, a group, with little thought given to design. However Cindy has a discerning eye for contrasting shapes and textures, exhibiting off the distinctive types of her maples, drawing guests by means of the backyard, and creating vignettes to get pleasure from alongside the best way. She’s additionally helpful with instruments and isn’t afraid to strive making no matter she wants, as I’ll present you.

And now let’s stroll.

I’d hardly stepped into the backyard when a small, potted Japanese maple, displayed on a pedestal and illuminated in a shaft of daylight, caught my eye. I headed straight for it however acquired sidetracked by a Cousin Itt of a plant: a weeping Japanese maple, Acer palmatum ‘Ryusen’.

Right here’s that ‘Ryusen’ with Cindy for scale.

Simply past is a flagstone-and-gravel patio with the little maple on a stacked-paver pedestal. (Cindy constructed her pedestal after I posted about making one; click on for directions.) The pride-of-place maple is a brand new selection, as but unnamed, bought from Scott Hubble, the proprietor of specialty nursery Metro Maples in Fort Value, which I visited final spring. Cindy says it’s “certainly one of solely six on the earth.” Alongside the fence grows variegated privet, which Cindy has pruned up like small timber.

A pedestal is a good way to show a treasured potted plant.

A big ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple shelters this small patio. Past, one other patio with a shoji-style backdrop beckons.

Cindy added Asian type to her backyard with this DIY challenge on a clean shed wall. “I wished to show my shed wall right into a shoji wall of types,” she advised me. “I purchased 1×2 lumber, measured, sawed, painted, and nailed it to the wall.” She discovered the brass Asian characters at an property sale and stuck them to the wall too.

An 18-year-old ‘Tama Hime’ dwarf Japanese maple is displayed in a pot on the finish of a ribbon of clipped boxwood. ‘Viridis’ (inexperienced) and ‘Dragon Tears’ (pink) maples add extra leafy texture.

On one facet of the patio, coralberry cascades from a container — a wise thought for holding this beautiful runner of a plant.

On the opposite facet, a copper-tube fountain drips steadily right into a bowl of water. That is one other of Cindy’s creations. She let copper tubing heat within the solar so it will bend simply with out crimping. Then she gently formed a bit like a sweet cane and hooked it as much as a small pump. To create extra curiosity, although, she added a second copper tube with a spiraling form. This one doesn’t really funnel water in any respect. It simply appears prefer it does.

View to the ‘Bloodgood’ maple

A glass-mosaic birdbath provides shade that harmonizes, I think about, with the maples’ fall hues.

One other containerized water function, this one with a bamboo fountain, accents a swath of liriope.

‘Butterfly’ Japanese maple shows vibrant variegation. A sluggish grower, this one is 12 to fifteen years outdated and never even 3 ft tall.

A more in-depth take a look at these cream-and-mint leaves

A gracefully pruned ‘Garnet’ Japanese maple screens the eating patio.

Rusty pink leaves overhead

Oakleaf hydrangea, big liriope, and loropetalum make a fairly shade combo.

In a fence nook, Cindy made a solo seating space with a stone bench, Asian lantern, and bowl fountain. Grey river rock beside the fountain provides the thought of a small pond.

Lengthy view throughout the backyard, beneath the ‘Bloodgood’ maple

A easy and candy vignette skirts the textured trunk of a tree: river cobbles, pink-flowering oxalis, and chartreuse ‘Everillo’ sedge.

Close by, one other good combo: Oregon grape holly, ‘Sparkler’ sedge (certainly one of my favourite shade crops, however so arduous to search out these days), and purple oxalis

White-veined hardy Dutchman’s pipevine (Aristolochia fimbriata), a perennial vine groundcover, provides distinction with rambling, rounded leaves. Cindy loves that it attracts black pipevine swallowtail butterflies, which lay their eggs on it. The caterpillars nibble it down, however that’s OK as a result of it leads to extra butterflies.

I walked by means of Cindy’s backyard a number of occasions, taking in all of the views she’s created to show her maples.

On the best way out, I admired an enormous ‘Feather Falls’ carex in a tall pot on a pedestal that Cindy constructed herself. She purchased 2×12 lumber at Dwelling Depot and had them lower it in line with the measurements she wanted. She screwed the boards collectively to make two packing containers and painted them black. Then she stacked them with three giant Saltillo tiles for a tiered impact. It appears nice together with her pink brick home and the black pot.

Exterior of the gate, a textured grey pot comprises boxwood, ‘Angelina’ sedum, and some different small crops.

Cindy continues her Japanese maple assortment within the entrance basis mattress, which is edged with a ribbon of pink and grey river rock. Acer palmatum ‘Fireglow’ provides a splash of wine-red foliage. Beneath it, flanking a lantern, are two smaller maples, ‘Golden Falls’ and ‘Sister Ghost’. Don’t you’re keen on the names?

Purple-veined sorrel, ‘Purple Dragon’ persicaria, and smoke bush proceed the pink theme within the understory layer.

My due to Cindy for reaching out and welcoming me and my good friend Cat for a pleasant backyard go to!

To study extra about Cindy’s backyard, take a look at this text and video:

Up subsequent from my Dallas journey: A go to to North Haven Gardens nursery in Dallas. For a glance again on the Plano prairie backyard of Michael McDowell, click on right here.

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Digging Deeper

Come study gardening and design at Backyard Spark! I manage in-person talks by inspiring designers, panorama architects, authors, and gardeners a couple of occasions a 12 months in Austin. These are limited-attendance occasions that promote out shortly, so be part of the Backyard Spark e mail record to be notified upfront; merely click on this hyperlink and ask to be added. Season 8 kicks off in fall 2024. Keep tuned for more information!

All materials © 2024 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized copy prohibited.



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