a while back, i decided that i needed a japanese maple in my life. there were some lovely ones at botanica, but they cost as much as a sofa. a friend told me she could bring me as many as i wanted from virginia, where they'd only set me back $14.99 each at her local home depot. (new york prices pretty much ensures that you think anything you want to buy anywhere else is dirt cheap.) but on her next trip, something got in the way of her driving a truck full of trees through four states, so my search continued. that's when i discovered mazzone hardware in carroll gardens. i love a good hardware store (which it definitely is), but mazzone also has a sizable nursery, which makes it the best hardware store ever in my book. and the people there are so nice! they carry a wide selection of plants, ranging from edibles like herbs and bok choy to shrubs and trees like azaleas, peonies, and of course, japanese maples.
i walked away with this butterfly japanese maple and have loved it ever since. it has reddish branches in the early spring and pink-tinged leaves that become a variegated white and green later in the summer. even though it's about 8 feet tall in its pot now, i'll probably insist on taking it when/if we move.