Part of designing, installing and maintaining any garden is knowing where to go for quality plant material. This is particularly true of Japanese gardens.
At the beginning of our trip, we were thrilled to find Bill Hudgins’ Lush Life Home and Garden in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, Georgia. Hudgins is known for the 200-plus varieties of maples he’s collected.
At the mid-point of our journey in Fort Worth, I was quite literally jumping up and down and clapping my hands at the variety I saw when Bill and I drove in to Metro Maples on South Dick Price Road.
There are more than 15,000 maples from which to choose — more than 100 varieties of Japanese and Shantung maples including several patented varieties such as Acer truncatum ‘Fire Dragon’ — in sizes ranging from one-gallon pots up to 45-gallon pots.
Self-described “owner, grafter, salesman, yard man, hose dragger, web updater, bookkeeper” Keith Johansson has been seriously collecting maples, azaleas and rhododendrons in hot climates for 27 years. Jeri Bisel, his wife, and Scott Hubbel, the intern who came for two weeks in 2007 and stayed, round out the full-time crew at Metro Maples. All were on hand the day we visited.
I truly appreciate Keith’s attitude, perhaps best summed up with this remark: ” When walking through the garden, no king ever had it better.”
The company maintains an excellent, informative web site: http://www.metromaples.com/
Metro Maples does not ship. The nursery is open to the public from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Monday through Friday, appointments must be made.
Keith is the current president of the Maple Society, North America Branch. The fifth international maple symposium plus post-conference tours will be held in Seattle and Portland in October. The conference is October 19-21 and the tour October 22-24. For more information, go to the web site of the Maple Society: http://www.maplesociety.org/
All photos in this blog that are not credited to others are by K.T. Cannon-Eger. Click on any image to see it full size.