Yesterday I walked through our garden to visit the Japanese maples. Most of the leaves are gone, brown or the colors are muted, but there were a few that were beautiful. I gathered some of the best and brought them inside to flatten in a phonebook over night. Just now I peeked at them: Maiku Jaku, Koto No Ito, Waterfall, Red Select, Villa Tarranto, Orangeola, Osakazuki and more. The colors of the leaves, their beautiful and very different shapes always amaze and delight me.
We lost nearly twenty maples in a late Spring freeze a couple of years ago. Last Spring a freeze caused the branches on the Maiku Jaku to grow inward toward the trunk, and I'm still not sure why it happened or what to do about it. I worry about our maples as we go in to Winter. The mountain climate is much harder on them than I expected, and our efforts to protect them haven't made a difference.