Buxus sempervirens ‘Argentea’ • Variegated common boxwood

Buxus Boxwood ツゲ 黄楊 tsuge

We have only one of those densely growing upright common boxwood shrubs, maintained at about 2′, situated in a row of different boxwoods and hollies along the E Path toward the end of Area F. Boxus ‘Argentea’ is easily spotted for its variegated leaves;  it’s a very hardy evergreen.


SJG • 3/30/17 – Buxus sempervirens ‘Argentea’ – at the end of Area F, along the E path


SJG • 3/30/17 – Buxus sempervirens ‘Argentea’ – close-up of the variegated leaves (Area F)

From ShootGardening UK: […] Argenteo-variegata’ is a slow-growing, evergreen shrub. It has small, dark-green, shiny leaves with creamy margins and insignificant flowers in spring. It responds well to frequent clipping, making it a good candidate for topiary. […] Toxicity: Ingestion may cause stomach upset. Contact may cause skin irritation.
Flower: Pale-yellow, Insignificant or absent in Spring […]

Wikipedia on Boxus sempervirens: […] Buxus sempervirens (common box, European box, or boxwood), is a species of flowering plant in the genus Buxus, native to western and southern Europe, northwest Africa, and southwest Asia, from southern England south to northern Morocco, and east through the northern Mediterranean region to Turkey. Buxus colchica of western Caucasus and B. hyrcana of northern Iran and eastern Caucasus are commonly treated as synonyms of B. sempervirens. […]

Box remains a very popular ornamental plant in gardens, being particularly valued for topiary and hedges because of its small leaves, evergreen nature, tolerance of close shearing, and scented foliage. The scent is not to everyone’s liking: the herbalist John Gerard found it “evill and lothsome” and at Hampton Court Palace Queen Anne had box hedging grubbed up because the odor was offensive, Daniel Defoe tells.

Several cultivars have been selected, including ‘Argenteo-variegata’ and ‘Marginata’ with variegated foliage; such “gilded box” received a first notice in John Parkinson’s Paradisi in Sole Paradisus Terrestris (1629). […]

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Picea abies • Norway Spruce

Picea Spruce トウヒ / エゾマツ 唐檜 / 蝦夷松 tōhi / ezo-matsu

There are 2 of those coniferous evergreen trees in our garden (+ several others: black spruce, 2 types of Japanese spruce and a Serbian spruce).  One Norway Spruce grows in ZZE, and it’s hardly ever inquired about due to its location along  a heavily wooded backroad close to the west fence, and the other grows on the west border of M – highly visible from many places on the path, and attracting attention for it’s large, 6″cones.


SJG • 11/8/16 – Picea abies / Norway Spruce  on the bend from East to North Path (west boarder of Area M)

The one in area M is pruned a way up from its base, well above human eye level; that pruning makes it depart from its customary conical form or ‘christmas tree’ appearance that people are used to – perhaps they inquire from confusion – I’m yet to ask the gardeners for the reason of such unusual pruning  – the bottom branches could have been damaged or in a way of comfortable path strolling….

It’s a magnificent looking evergreen,  commanding attention with its over 75′ height  and attractive, huge cones.


SJG • 11/8/16 – Norway Spruce BRANCHES, typically hanging downwards,  and CONES that are the largest cones of any spruce (ours are 6″+ long)

From NorwaySpruce.com: […] The Norway Spruce is a native of Europe, and is commonly called the mountain spruce there. Due to its hardiness and adaptability it has been introduced around the world and thrives in the plant hardiness zones of 2 to 7 where there is adequate rainfall of at least 25” per year. […]

From Wikipedia: […] The Norway spruce is one of the most widely planted spruces, both in and outside of its native range, and one of the most economically important coniferous species in Europe. It is used as an ornamental tree in parks and gardens. It is also widely planted for use as a Christmas tree. Every Christmas, the Norwegian capital city, Oslo, provides the cities of London (the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree), Edinburgh and Washington D.C. with a Norway spruce, which is placed at the most central square of each city. This is mainly a sign of gratitude for the aid these countries gave during the Second World War.[…]

From WindbreakTrees.com: […] It will grow to 100+ ft tall and 25+ ft wide, it is very wind firm due to its large spreading root system, and tough flexible wood. It can live a very long life in windbreaks of over 100 years in most soils, and is the most common old windbreak tree in the midwest. Due to its shape, heavy snow and ice storms cause little damage. Deer will not normally eat this species unless there is nothing else available. […]

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Bryophyta • Moss

モス • Goke • Mosu


Sugi/cryptomeria moss – one of the most prized mosses in Japanese temples

One of the most frequent questions from visitors in our Seattle Japanese Garden is about moss, because we have so much of it and people notice its calming effect  as soon as they enter the Garden.

According to local literature by Arthur Lee Jacobson ‘The Crytogamic Carpet –Mosses in Seattle‘,  we might have about 100+ or more different mosses here, in the city of Seattle.

SJG has its own moss blog now, and its 2017 goal is to describe about 10 most prevalent ground mosses… Tree mosses and rock mosses are next.  You can visit it at: https://sjgmoss.wordpress.com



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Enkianthus perulatus • White Enkianthus

Enkianthus • Pagoda Bush • ドウダンツツジ • 満天星 / 灯台躑躅 • dōdan-tsutsuji

There are 3 white enkianthus bushes in our garden:  one inside the tea house garden (NW corner of Tea House), one in Y close to stream, and one, perhaps the most visible because it grows near the junction of 3 paths close to the SW corner of the roji (hedged tea house garden), on the north end of ZZE area.   Enkianthus varieties are often grown for their springtime  tiny,  bell shaped flowers and  year-round appeal, but enkianthus  perulatus is known for its distinctive fall coloration, when its leaves turn spectacular brilliant red.


SJG • 10/19/16 – Enkianthus perulatus on the north end of  ZZE area


SJG • 10/19/16 – Enkianthus perulatus fall LEAVES

From Learn2grow: […]
Family – Ericaceae
Botanical Name – ENKIANTHUS perulatus
Plant Common Name – White Enkianthus

[…] Picturesque in habit and offering showy pinkish white springtime flowers and brilliant red fall foliage, white enkianthus is one of the most prized woody shrubs for a garden. Native to the upland beech forests of northern Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands of Japan, this slow-growing deciduous shrub is rare in commerce but choice enough to make it worth seeking out. If well-placed, mature specimens develop into beautifully rounded, medium-sized shrubs with tiered branches. This species was introduced into North America around 1860.

From great plant picks: […] Outstanding Qualities
Enkianthus perulatus is grown for its wide, dome shape rather than the columnar form of Enkianthus campanulatus. The fall color is a screaming scarlet red which makes for a real standout in the garden. This compact deciduous shrub has red-tinted young branches with mid green, elliptic to obovate toothed leaves. Pendant umbels of up to 10 urn-shaped white flowers appear in early spring. […]

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Acer palmatum var. dissectum ‘Garnet’ • Japanese Laceleaf Maple

Acer • Maple • カエデ • 楓 • kaede

Our Garden has only one, growing in the area W, by the exit from tea house garden.  It is a graceful and weeping small tree with lacy, deeply cut leaves, very well visible from the West path (behind the tea house garden), especially in fall when its deep brownish-red leaves turn into stunning and vivid red.


SJG • 10/19/16 – Acer palmatum dissectum ‘Garnet’ – Area W, by the roji exit


SJG • 10/19/16 – Acer palmatum dissectum ‘Garnet’ – fall LEAVES

From Missouri Botanical GardenAcer palmatum var. dissectum ‘Garnet’ 
Common Name: Japanese maple
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Sapindaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 6.00 to 9.00 feet
Spread: 8.00 to 12.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Reddish-purple […]

Acer palmatum, commonly called Japanese Maple, is a deciduous shrub or small tree that typically grows to 10-25′ (infrequently to 40′) tall. It is native to Japan, Korea and China. General plant form is rounded to broad-rounded, often with low branching. […]

‘Garnet’ is a dissected form that typically matures over time in an upright-pendulous mound to 6-9′ tall. Deeply cut, 7-lobed leaves emerge red-orange (color of the garnet gemstone) in spring with good color retention until mid summer before fading to purplish-green. Foliage turns red in fall. […]

From Royal Horticultural Society: […] ‘Garnet’ is a medium-sized deciduous shrub. Leaves with usually seven deeply dissected lobes, deep brownish-red throughout summer, slightly brighter in autumn. Small purplish flowers are followed by red fruits […]

From About-Garden: […] “Dissectum Garnet” is one of the top selling Japanese maples ever. It has been popular around the world for many decades. Its filigree leaves are deeply cut = dissected, hence its name. They look like giant snowflakes cut in pieces and densely cover even young plants. The colour show begins with vibrant red in the spring, turning crimson red in early summer and deep burgundy in late summer, finishing up with vivid reddish-purple in the autumn. […]

For autumn’s color comparison: different acer palmatum dissectum in our garden:


SJG • 10/19/16 – ‘Red’ Japanese Lace Leaf Maple ‘Atropurpureum’ in B – fall color



SJG • 10/19/16 – ‘Green’ Acer palmatum dissectum in C



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