What to do with Japanese maples 

I have a small garden, but I have many Japanese maples. I'll count them later, but there are a lot, four actually planted in the ground (intentionally), and a veritable host in a variety of amateur bonsai. They love Seattle and its shadowy skies and general dampness, the proximity of the ocean, the clouds that come in heavily laden, the rain.

I have a small garden, I’ll say again. But for some arcane reason the trees last year sent out a sign amongst themselves to be fecund, to share pollens together and…

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First Rule 

It only needs to be said once, but you have to remember to tell it to yourself every time until it is second nature.

If you are using hand pruners, always go in closed.

Always go in closed.

That’s what you say every time you reach into that shrub towards a branch that’s in there deep. Because if you don’t, your pruner will get caught, and you will cut your plant.

If it’s closed, you just snake your way in to the target unhindered. Sidle right up to cut it at its base, then open and cover the job. Get out.

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For years now I have operated unknown, unseen, gardening in the shadows.

In the rain, yes.

In the late evening as light fades, the western sun long set behind the crest above my garden, clinging in the dimness at the edge a small cliff over a sodden valley.

And at night, with lights, to the perplexment of my neighbors as I grew my garden higher and denser to block them out.

My garden is hidden from view by my house above it. Shielded from wandering eyes. But the bees find it, and the insects and creatures…

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