The Japanese Maple is just starting to show its leaves. This is such a pretty tree. I have it in a corner of the side yard where it gets some morning sun. It is near the lorapetlums, and repeats the color of that shrub’s leaves. The repetition of color helps to unify the garden. These trees really cannot take our southern sun, so they need to be sited carefully. Too much hot sun can scorch the leaves. I have another one that will have to be moved this year. The taller trees that were protecting it from too much sun came down in Katrina. Last year the poor thing really didn’t do well, so it will have to be moved. I am thinking about putting that one in a container because it is small, and I really don’t have a place to put it where it will do well. In researching Japanese Maples, I found that they will do well in containers and this way I will be able to put in an area that does not have hot afternoon sun. These trees will grow just about anywhere the soil is well-drained.
The blue bell-shaped flowers of the Flax Lily (Dianella) have just started opening up. This is the green variety. The variegated one has not started blooming yet. After the flowers fade, this plant displays blue berries that last through fall. It is supposed to be a tender perennial, but I haven’t had any problems with this in zone 8 where we had several hard freezes this year. I first saw this plant two years ago being grown in a large sugar kettle in front of a bank. It was blooming, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some. I was so happy when the first nursery I went to had some. That is when I bought both the green and the variegated flax lily. Last year I bought another variegated one because it adds so much to the border. This year I am going to divide them and space them around the garden. These plants do not like the hot afternoon sun. I keep mine well watered, so I have not had any problem with too much sun.
Both of these plants do well with morning sun, and I look forward to the Japanese Maple’s red leaves and the flax lily’s blue flowers as spring marches on here in South Louisiana.