Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Maple Fest stars - part 1

by aleks
11/6/11 Edit:  added a few pics to show how the fall maple color progressed
(click on the pics to see them large)

Last week I went to the Garden and recorded all the displayed maples to share with the world,   and here they are:

SJG • 10/19/11 Koto-no-ito
1.) Acer palmatum 'Koto-no-ito'.  There is one before the entrance to the Garden and a few more inside; depending on amount of light they receive and probably something (scientifically) else, they are getting into their autumnal dresses at different speed.

The one in the pic on the left, as well as the one on the East path  of the Garden are still rather completely green.  The one on the West path, close to the moon-viewing platform is quite orange and red.  Koto-no-itos reside in areas A, F and V.

And here is the colorful one and its leaves:
SJG • 10/19/11 - Koto-no-ito

SJG • 10/19/11 - Acer palmatum Koto-no-ito leaves

2.) Acer palmatum 'Inazuma' - Keiko informed me that Inazuma means 'lightning' in Japanese  (soon  Keiko and I will write a communal post about certain maples and their names):

SJG • 10/19/11 - Acer Palmatum 'Inazuma' near the entrance gate.
It's the biggest brown mass, right  above  a small something in the foreground
(I should have asked Tony to take the pics:( )

SJG • 11/1/11 - The same Acer Palmatum 'Inazuma' 2 weeks later; the small
'something'  in the foreground turned out acer palmatum dissectum,
here already in nearly bye-bye stage.

SJG • 10/19/11 - Acer Palmatum 'Inazuma'  leaves

3.)  Acer palmatum 'Sango-Kaku', Japanese coral bark maple:

It also lives near the Garden entrance, a few steps north  of Inazuma.  You may not notice it immediately, because it sits closer to the fence than the path.
SJG • 10/19/11 - Acer palmatum 'Sango-Kaku', Japanese coral bark maple;
it the one non-green color in the pic, towards the fence, Area C
SJG • 10/19/11 - Acer palmatum 'Sango-Kaku', Japanese coral bark maple;
bark and leaves

4.) Acer palmatum dissectum, Japanese lace leaf maple:

There is one in areas B, C and Y.  I never noticed the one in Y, but the ones in B and C usually are mentioned right at the beginning of the tours, because they are both close to the entrance and both about 100 years old - these specimens grow very slow, so they were already quite mature when set in the Garden 50 years ago - now one of the crown  jewels.

SJG • 10/19/11 - Acer palmatum dissectum, Japanese lace leaf maple:
Yes, I can see why labels are un-Japanese - while they help us identify the tree, they
ARE quite unsightly - that ugly white strip just offends  the eye...  

SJG • 11/1/11 - The same Acer palmatum dissectum, Japanese lace leaf maple.
2 weeks later, now in true fall color
When recently looking for haiku about autumn leaves I learned that the phrase  'red leaves' usually denote the summer, not autumn; I think it's because many maples native to Japan start with red leaves in summer, later greening, yellowing or doing something totally unexpectedly spectacular.  Such is the case with lace leaf maple, which starts with new red leaves and ends with orange through green periods.

SJG • 10/19/11 - Acer palmatum dissectum, Japanese lace leaf maple

5.) Acer japonicum vitifolium, Japanese full-moon maple:
There are two of them, kind of kiddy corner from each other, not far from the entrance, in the areas C and Z, facing the path from opposite sides.  Actually, only one of maples was marked, so when Keiko asked if the other is a 'full moon' I answered 'no', because at the first glance they didn't even look similar to me: one bright red into almost black on the  edges, the other a variety of vibrant hues of orange, red, yellow and even some green still.  Fortunately Keiko didn't believe me and checked the plant book; surely enough they were both full moon maples, again each doing their own (scientifically =  yeah, you guessed it: I don't know what I'm talking about ) different stuff.

SJG • 10/19/11 - 5.) Acer japonicum vitifolium, Japanese full moon maple.  The one in area Z (on the left) is still changing colors and wears green, orange yellow and red leaves. The one in area C (on the right) is all in red, with leaves already falling to the ground.
SJG • 10/19/11 - 5.) Acer japonicum vitifolium, Japanese full moon maple, leaves. 

6.) Acer capillipes, stripped-bark maple:

When Forest and I went to look for it in area M we couldn't find it, fortunately Marilyn knew where the one in area Z is (several of us, guides, were waiting for a school bus that got stuck on 520-bridge and we were passing the time re-uniting the labels with the maples).  Now it became apparent why we couldn't locate the first one: they look nothing like a typical maple,  and both specimens are quite large trees, with much bigger than many dainty Japanese maples trunks (YES, green stripped)  and leaves you'd probably not guess being maples.

SJG 10/19/11 - Acer capillipes, stripped-bark maple
SJG 10/19/11 - Acer capillipes, stripped-bark maple leaves.  You can see
that the leaves higher up, above the other tree level turned already,
while the leaves on the lower branches are still green.

7.) Acer palmatum "Burgundy Lace', Japanese maple:

SJG • 10/19/11 - Acer palmatum "Burgundy Lace',
Japanese maple
There are two of them, spreading next to each other in area B, along the path connecting the service road and the main entrance path - they are pretty big, therefore hard to photograph without getting much of other stuff in the pic.  Their crowns form a shady canopy above the path, and you likely only notice them either approaching from the service road or knowing what you are looking for.  In spring their deeply divided leaves are burgundy, becoming bronze in summer and fall.

SJG • 10/19/11 - Acer palmatum "Burgundy Lace', Japanese maple leaves
SJG • 11/1/11 - the same Acer palmatum "Burgundy Lace' 2 weeks later,
now getting redder again

Part 2 of this Maple Fest post coming tomorrow...  Now I'll finish with gratuitous pic of the burning bush, just because it looks stunning:

SJG • 10/19/11 - The burning bush is trained like a tree
above what I think is some sort of azalea

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Maple Viewing Fest & haiku we shared

by aleks
(Click on the pics to see them larger)

You really ought to bring your butt to the Japanese Garden and see it for yourself! Right now! We have about 100+ maples located in SJG and they are presently all outperforming themselves: crimson, yellow, orange and all the shades in between. The Garden's  PTB decided that it's OK to keep the names of the maples in the public view for a while, when they turn colors (very un-Japanese to label anything, if you ask experts), so you can actually find out which one is Yatsubusa (Japanese Dwarf Leaf Maple), Shishigashira (Lion's Mane Maple), red-leafed Omato, delicate-colored  Japanese Full Moon Maple or deeply incised Koto Noito maple.  Happy hunting for them!

SJG • 10/16/11, photo by Tony

 Kobayashi Issa 1808
aki kaze ni o-makase mô[su] ukimo kana

trusting its fate
to the autumn wind...

Translation by David Lanoue

SJG • 10/16/11, photo by Tony
Kobayashi Issa  1819

meigetsu ya go jû nana nen tabi no aki

harvest moon-

fifty seven years
of traveling autumns

Translation by David Lanoue

SJG • 10/16/11, photo by Tony
Kobayashi Issa  1814

yo [no] naka ya inoranu nowaki kitto fuku

in this world

unprayed-for autumn gales

surely blow

Translation by David Lanoue

SJG • 10/16/11, photo by Tony
 Kobayashi Issa   1811
naka-naka ni hito to umarete aki no kure

quite remarkable
being born human...

autumn dusk

Translation by David Lanoue

SJG • 10/16/11, photo by Tony
Kobayashi Issa  1807
jizô sae toshiyoru yô ni ko[no]ha kana

even holy Jizo

is looking older...
fallen leaves

Jizô is the beloved guardian deity of children.
Translation by David Lanoue

Saturday, October 15, 2011

One October tour and three to go

by aleks
(Click on the pisc for lager view)

THANK YOU, Seattle Parks, Arboretum  and Japanese Garden Advisory Council for the last Monday volunteer appreciation string of delightful events, starting from lunch in Graham Visitor Center, tour of Arboretum and desert-happening on the end, with tea and sake in the Japanese Garden itself.   Each event had its own appreciative takers,  I just wish I started with the desert and worked my way back with some time machine, instead of starting from lunch and fizzling out due to remnants of recent cold.  THANK YOU!

SJG • 9/19/11 - you should come and see how it looks NOW!
Yesterday a group from the Bainbridge Island Senior Center visited our beautiful garden to see it in its autumn glory - we had such a delightful time that the tour lasted almost two hours instead the usual 40 minutes.

As much as I enjoy giving tours around SJG to anyone and everyone (even some quirky east coast summer visitors who run ahead of me as soon as I stop to take a breath, forcing me to complete the tour under 30 minutes),  I particularly like visiting the Garden with locals, who give themselves time to enjoy the garden fully, wandering in and out of being guided, stopping to look or listen to something else than my voice, then coming back to ask a question or ponder some detail while sharing it with others.

To be fair to the quickies, I had been in their touristy shoes while traveling and giving only a shallow glimpse to this world wonders, because my time THERE while not HERE was short and a list of things to see overly long.  Most tourists wonder at one time or another how would it be to actually live day after day next to the marvels they visit, but a glimpse is all they get; they do not get to experience how the place changes with seasons, time of the day or different light of the hour, how it goes dark at night or wakes up in the morning.

That particular pleasure of seeing the change is only possible HERE, where we live, so I find it very gratifying to exchange musings on the topic with our city and  neighborhood  people:  some of them remember coming to the Garden through the original East gate, we talk about circumstances of their past visits or about upcoming events in the Garden or, like yesterday, swap tips on how to keep the koi from being taken out by raccoons or herons (Bainbridge Island is very close to Seattle, but has more wild habitat).

Bloedel Reserve • Bainbridge Island, August 2011

The island visitors noted that right now the leaves are turning equally beautiful in Bloedel Reserve - a place on Bainbridge Island close to Winslow, where they came from; we talked about Japanese garden part of the Reserve, and Kubota Gardens in Seattle (which also include magnificent Japanese garden),   about the people who created and maintained those gardens and their history.  All little secrets which make our talk local and intimate, as opposed to the times when the tour is meant for visitors from far away places whom I literally show the Garden off.

Kubota Garden • Seattle, October 2009, photo by Tony

I'm lucky to have four tours this October (more like a summer pace), and most of them local.

1.) Tomorrow's public tour will be celebrating Maple Viewing (reminder to self: take camera along!):  it often attracts people from around here, who come each year to drink the beauty of the leaves turning shades of red and yellow.  I might not have to say much to them, because they are usually busy trying to capture on camera the impermanent moment of autumnal orgy of colors + Mary mentioned that the Taiko drummers are scheduled for about the same time as the tour -  we all know who will win that competition of sounds, so just as well I will be enjoying the drummers play...

2.) Interlake High School Horticulture students - I better study up on maples, which they are particularly interested in... This assignment came with a note: 'Their bus schedule requires them to leave the Garden at 11 AM', which usually means that half-way through  the tour their teachers and guardians get nervous, calculating the time needed to get back to the gate --  merry times, we all get jittery and my sentences get shorter and sorter,  so I can finish one when the final signal for retreat to the gate is given and sudden haste and fever overwhelms everyone.   I haven't solved that problem graciously yet, except asking the students to give me updates about passing time in 5 minutes intervals; oh well, better than bringing the alarm clock to do the same, which crossed my mind.

3.) Seattle University "Philosophy of Art" class students:  they will be visiting  'in respect to their studies of relationship between beauty and knowledge and  its role in human experience'...  That should be super interesting and mercifully no couch to pumpkin event mentioned on that assignment of imposing heigh.