Our Japanese Maple
Many Southern gardens display with pride the lovely Japanese Maple. Above is our maple planted fifteen years ago. Each spring, part of our daily conversation includes an update on the unfolding leaves of this elegant part of our garden. Actually a large Asian shrub, the Japanese Maple turns shades of deep red and purple each spring and fall.
According to Sherrard (2017), the Japanese Maple has been a symbol of grace in many Asian cultures for hundreds of years. The tree is associated with peace and serenity and represents balance and practicality. Sherrard also notes that the maple represents pure elegance and an “educated sense of tastefulness.” So special is the tree that an entire field of Asian art has been dedicated to this shrub.
If you plant a Japanese Maple in your garden, this action symbolizes the welcoming of autumn as a friend. The star shaped leaves are often paired with deer as common symbols of the arrival of autumn. We enjoy our maple most in spring as a conversation piece and a reminder that as we age, some things are always beautiful and forever a part of us.