Orange Dreams

Orange is a favorite color here at the Fairegarden. We even did a post about it one time, click to view it here-Orange You Glad, if you wish. But while that hue is well represented in the summer flowers, it is much less common in the spring garden. Above: Narcissus ‘Tahiti’ fronting Japanese Quince, Chaenomeles japonica.


Gypsy Girl


Gentle Shepherd

Orange Purissima

There are a few bulbs that sport it.

There are some flowers that might be called orange, but are actually more coral, still a lovely color. The first wave of seedlings are blooming from a Chaenomeles mixture sown in early 2008.

The newly emerging foliage of the small shrub, Spiraea japonica ‘Magic Carpet’ is a reddish orange, with copper highlights.

Heuchera Tiramisu

Heuchera Caramel

Heucheras with names like Caramel and Tiramisu are admired as the sun illuminates the brilliant leaves. Would you kindly excuse me, please, while I go rustle up a little sweet snack, these plant names are making me hungry.

But the excuse real reason for this rambling on about the official color of the University of Tennessee Volunteers is the small maple tree given by the offspring as a Mother’s Day gift last May, Acer palmatum ‘Orange Dream’.

Orange Dream was diligently watered through extreme drought conditions to insure the best chances of survival all summer into fall until the hose set up had to be disconnected for winter. The hose is back in place, dragged up the steep slope along the fenceline and propped on a bench to gently add moisture to the special tree as needed.

As the foliage has emerged, we are stopped in our tracks as the garden perusal path takes us along the middle terrace.

The new baby leaves positively glow. What a beauty she is.

My deepest thanks to the kids, and especially daughter Semi for presenting us this tree. It will be cherished forever.

Love you,
β™₯ Frances

This entry was posted in Plant Portrait. Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Orange Dreams

  1. Larry says:

    I have an orange dream on order for this spring and can only hope for as lovely a plant as yours… spectacular! Larry

    Thanks, Larry. I hope yours is as wonderful as this special tree is here. It had already turned mostly green by the time it was gifted, but had a delightful fall color as well. It really lights up the space this spring. πŸ™‚

  2. What an extraordinarily arresting acer Frances, something tells me they know you well! I love orange too, and am waiting for my orange tulips to open, but wishing I had planted them in a better place.

    Thanks Janet. My family knows that the way to my heart is with plants! I will be getting more of the orange purissima, they are amazing. Mine are in the black garden, looking good with the black mondo grass and emerging purple emperor sedum foliage. πŸ™‚

  3. Layanee says:

    That dream is a reality. Do the leaves fade to green or stay bright? I have seen a A. palmatum which retains its orange coloration. This one? No matter, love it!

    Hi Layanee, thanks. The leaves turn green but the trunk is somewhat red, must have some coral bark maple in the bloodline.

  4. Les says:

    Orange is one of my favorite colors in the garden, and almost universally disliked by my customers, but we know better. If you like ‘Orange Dreams’, ask for a ‘Katsura’ for your next birthday.

    Thanks Les, I always need ideas of what to request for my birthday, which is coming up. But as a fellow Taurean, you knew that. I saw a photo of the emerging Katsura leaves in a magazine recently. Wow! πŸ™‚

  5. Darla says:

    I love that double daff and that magic carpet is just over the top! These colors almost look like fall…hey, no matter the season they are easy on the eyes…

    Hi Darla, thanks and so nice to see you here. Magic Carpet is amazing. I keep them pruned small to get the brilliant color of the new leaves, and to have more space for other stuff of course! πŸ™‚

  6. Nice to see your orange blooms! It is kind of hard finding really orange flowers–I love butterflyweed and trollius and geum for that reason, but it’s way early for them!

    Hi Monica, nice to see YOU! The Asclepias might be the most true orange of them all, but those orange purissima tulips are vivid. The geums are great, but don’t like our climate and conditions much. I have tried many of them and they are alive, is about the best that can be said for them. Some of the daffs, like Gentle Shepherd have a dark orange trumpet, stunning and eye catching. πŸ™‚

  7. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Orange is a color I like too Frances. You have some beauties in your garden. The Caramel heuchera is one of the heucheras that thrive in my garden. I don’t have much luck with those new varities. Have a great weekend.

    Thanks Lisa, glad to hear you like orange, many do not. I am trying to change minds, here. HA Caramel is one of the villosa heucheras, those do much better in our climate. Check out which ones have that genetic makeup and you will have success and save money, too. They would look lovely in your shady spots, good drainage is a must. πŸ™‚

  8. Randy Emmitt says:


    Orange Dream is really something! You captured so many beautiful photos of the oranges in your garden, I liked the quince too.

    Hi Randy, thanks. I was excited to see the quince babies finally blooming. Sometime I wonder at the seeds I buy, though. What was I thinking moments for sure! πŸ™‚

  9. gail says:

    Frances, Orange Dream is a beauty….Her emerging leaves look like an exquisite creature spreading her wings for lift off. What a wonderful change from Bloodgood’s burgundy. There are so many fine maples~ I read in your reply to Monica that your prune Magic Carpet~ Late winter? xxoogail

    Hi Gail, thanks. Orange Dream is really glowing on the slope, a living dream! I prune Magic Carpet a couple of times, or whenever I think to do it, but always before the new growth of spring. It flowers on new growth, so sometimes I give it a second cut for fall blooms and some prettier new foliage, when I remember to do it.

  10. Orange dream is truly dreamy. I love orange too; it speaks to me. H.

    Thanks Helen. I am glad you love orange and can hear it’s voice. πŸ™‚

  11. Laurrie says:

    I planted an Orange Dream Acer palmatum last spring… a stunning little tree. Mine has very green bark, which is odd, but interesting. I will have to be satisfied looking at yours leaf out in this post, it’s too cold here for mine to open its leaves yet. It’s such a lovely tree… mine got summer scorch, though, despite watering and some afternoon shade.

    Hi Laurrie, thanks for adding that. I have noticed the bark to be almost coral on this Orange Dream. I wonder about the differences between them. Summer was very droughty here last year, I am sure the tree would have died without the extra and regular watering on our steep well drained slope. It does get afternoon shade. May yours give you great joy when the warm weather opens its leaves. πŸ™‚

  12. Valerie says:

    Orange and yellow in the garden always say”hey look at me”
    The daffodil in the first picture was gorgeous. V

    Thanks, Valerie. The daffodil Tahiti was one of the ones here when we moved in, lucky us! After the drabs of winter, I am all for spring color, all colors and mix ’em up! πŸ™‚

  13. I have fallen in love with your maple! Never seen ‘Orange Dreams’ and I’m stunned by the color!

    Of course, I’m a big fan of orange flowers!

    Thanks, Cameron. I did not know it was going to be this brilliant, it really stands out. Glad to hear you are a fan of orange, too. πŸ™‚

  14. Leslie says:

    All your oranges flowers and foliage are lovely…and I am in the non-orange lover camp. I have, however, added a bit of red and very little bit of yellow to my garden. Who knows, someday I might get to orange!

    Hi Leslie, thanks. I was slow to join the orange lovers society as well, and still have few reds, but understand, with age, the need for these hot colors. The way they brighten the garden overall is the best selling point. πŸ™‚

  15. Marguerite says:

    That tree is a show stopper. I’m not a huge fan of orange but even I would like one of those.

    Hi Marguerite, thanks. The leaves are not really orange, but appear so from a distance with the golden hue and red edging. The name is good marketing though. πŸ™‚

  16. Nell Jean says:

    Your orange bulbs are stunning and the heucheras are scrumptious.

    Orange is one of my fav garden colors. California poppies are blooming here tempered by blues. Orange roses are spectacular in a garden. Maybe even those who don’t care for orange could use some palest apricots and creams.

    Thanks Nell Jean. I adore California poppies, we can get one or two to germinate here, but nothing like our home in souther CA where they had gone crazy. I love those apricot roses, too. People who don’t like orange are missing out! πŸ™‚

  17. carolyn says:

    After that breathtaking garden walk all I need now is an “orange dream ” popsicle, Frances. I sell a lot of the “orange dream’ Japanese Maples, well actually it sells itself. What a beauty!

    I don’t see any orange irises. Something to consider for your next orange bloomer.

    BTW, send us some of that beautiful Tennessee Spring weather. I’ve had a real bad case of the epatoozies this winter.

    Thanks Carolyn Gail. I was wondering if this would bring you over here! I remember your beautiful Japanese Maple, August Moon? What a specimen it was. This reminds of that somewhat. We do have an orange iris, I think the name is TN Volunteer, a passalong from my neighbor. It is not iris season here yet, usually they open in early May, but things are blooming early this year, so who knows. I will surely post the orange iris, just for you! May your spring come soon! πŸ™‚

  18. I think orange is a joyous color. It works well with southern sunlight too. I love your sweet tree. You know I have a soft spot for the small maples. Semi is such a lovely daughter. I like that you said “I love you.” at the end.~~Dee

    Thanks Dee. I am glad you see the value of orange. It does take strong color to stand up to southern light, as you say. Pastels can get washed out. Semi is lovely and sweet as can be. πŸ™‚

  19. Lola says:

    You have the most fantastic colors. I really like the Tahiti. The little tree is a treasure for sure.

    Thanks Lola. Tahiti is wonderful, here already when we bought the property and a pleasant surprise when it opened for the first time. The tree is very special, yes.

  20. Rose says:

    Usually, orange is not my favorite color, except for Illini Orange:) But I think you’ve changed my mind, especially with this beautiful Japanese maple–what a stunner! And I, too, have a propensity for choosing plants with yummy-sounding names, including ‘Tiramisu’ and ‘Creme Brulee’.

    Hi Rose, hooray! I am hoping to change, or at least open minds here. Names of plants do affect me, too. I would love to have the job of doing the naming, and will have fun when my daylily seedlings come of age. πŸ™‚

  21. Livia says:

    Orange is my favorite color! IMO it is a neutral color in the garden, it really goes with anything. Thanks for the lovely pictures.

    Thanks for visiting, Livia. It sounds like we are on the same page about orange. It gets a bad rap sometimes but is really wonderful in the garden. πŸ™‚

  22. Sue Langley says:

    I like orange. My Mom said, if it’s in nature, a color can’t be wrong. I believe her.

    I believe here as well, Sue. I sing the song that nature is the best artist, and she mixes orange with all the other colors beautifully! πŸ™‚

  23. Pingback: The Orangeman Cometh « Fairegarden

Comments are closed.