I have a confession to make. My eyes have been wandering. There are some pretty young things in town and they’ve been tempting me away from my true love.
This time of year can be a real challenge for the devoted cone-head. Ordinarily it is a very rare instance when my eyes can be drawn away from my true love of conifers. This time of year though, when the Japanese maples dress themselves in their delicious hot red and orange and yellow foliage – sigh – even the most loyal can be drawn to their seductive beauty.
Acer japonicum ‘Vitifolium’ is one of those beauties that is the most difficult to
resist in my garden right now. This shapely small tree does tempt me in the spring with its bright green fresh new foliage and tiny white flowers surrounded by red bracts. During the summer months, ‘Vitifolium’ is easier to resist as she makes a nicely textured filler in the garden. But, in the midst of autumn, she becomes a stunning beacon of seduction that I simply cannot take my eyes off of.
The autumn colors of ‘Vitifolium’ begin with golden tones that quickly brighten to yellow. Then, seemingly overnight, her intense scarlet tones will appear making her absolutely irresistible! Placed near dark green, blue or golden conifers she will boldly cry out, “Look at me!”
Yes, I feel as though I have betrayed my love because I know that ‘Vitifolium’ will not be the only seductress to tempt me away from my conifers this autumn. I will enjoy the show knowing that in just a few weeks, those beautiful colors will all be blown away or swept into the compost pile, while my conifers, my true love, will be waiting for me to return my adoration to them.