Matthew’s Juniper

My son, Matthew, has been showing an interest in bonsai and I’m keen to support it. I spent some time with him today working on a Chinese Juniper. The juniper was given to him by my friend Stephen who wanted to make space on his benches. I’ve always liked the juniper and Stephen decided to give it to Matthew so I could prove it was worth keeping 🙂

It needed a thinning out to remove weak foliage and was then wired, by me, Matthew had visitors to entertain. We gave the bark a scrub and weeded the pot, then added Lime Sulphur. He likes that bit. 🙂

I forgot to take a before shot but this was it a few months ago.

This was it after some work. Some final tweaking of foliage required but we ran out of time.

The foliage needs to gain some more vigour and I plan to foliar feed during the year.

Brilliant Blog

Check out this link to a blog by Peter Tea, a bonsai arist from California who is currently studying under Mr Junichiro Tanaka owner of Aichi-en Bonsai Nursery in Japan.

His latest post on the restyling of a red pine will show just how worthwhile it is to follow him on his journey of discovery in Japan.


Easter Walk in the Woods

My family and I went for our traditional egg throwing/rolling session in the local woods followed by a bit of a walk. The bluebells are just reaching their peak flowering and it was beautiful to see the blue carpet wherever you looked.

It’s mostly a Beech and Hazel wood and many of the Beech are well into the growing season.

This is the battle ground for the egg rolling where I regained the winners title this year 🙂

Tree roots criss cross all the paths and the ground actually feels and sounds hollow under foot in many places.

Flowers can be seen everywhere. Here’s our native Bluebell, not the Spanish one that seems to be taking over!!

Some of the Yellow Gorse/Whinbush flowers. The air was heady with the scent of coconut from these stunning flowers. Pity they are too problematic for bonsai.

Some of the Blackthorn were still holding onto their flowers.

One of my favourite photos of the day, an old Beech ringed with a patch of Bluebells. New Beech seedling can also be seen reaching for the light before the parents shade them out.

Ferns starting to emerge.

After a nice walk I just had to take a seat 🙂

Mariusz Pics

If you want to see more pics from our ‘muckers day out’, Mariusz has added some on his blog which can be viewed by clicking the image below.

Root over Rock X2

My 2 root over Rock Cotoneasters are  starting to flower. This first one is going to have the apex layered off next week. I would have already done it by now but I haven’t been able to get any sphagnum moss as yet!

My little one is one of my favourite trees at the moment. (that changes on a daily basis!!)

Elm Recovery

It seems this Winter has taken it’s toll on Chinese Elms. I’ve spoken with quite a few people across the UK who have Elms that are dead or suffering. For many years people have been leaving their Chinese Elms out of doors during the mild Winters. This year they are finding out what a risk that can be. I have a few myself and they have been slower to open this year, even after being protected all Winter.

The elm below belongs to a club member who has been working hard on this tree for a number of years to remove faults and create ramification. He brought it to the meeting a few weeks back and there was absolutely no signs of budding. I offered to put it into my poly tunnel to see how it responded. After  nearly 2 weeks I couldn’t see any movement and feared the worst. Yesterday I gave it another look. After a few days of really warm weather I was pleased to see loads of little swelling buds. A small amount of fine ramification may have been lost but this can be replaced quickly.

Hawthorn Airlayer Update

Last year I layered the top of this Hawthorn Case Study HERE

This is the parent plant today. A few flowers at the top. The apex is going to be removed to a lower branch.

This is the layer!! Growing strongly and surprised me with the abundance of flower. These will be removed shortly so as not to stress the tree .

I honestly think the flowers on Hawthorn are under rated. How nice are these?

What a difference a day makes

Yesterday my Beech had about 4 green leaves showing. This was it today!!

Guess today’s heat worked its magic.

Wildwoodbonsai Blog

Always on the look out for decent Bonsai Bloggers from around the world, I can happily plug this UK based one from Will Baddeley. Will is a previous winner of the UK New Talent Competition and is a regular on the IBC Forum. Some beautiful bonsai progression photos showing trees created from native material.

It is now on my bloggers list. Click on the Banner Below to visit. Enjoy.

Cotoneaster Tweaking

Part of our day yesterday was was taken up by this Cotoneaster belonging to Stephen. When I was at his home the other day I said it could be a really nice tree with a little more work on the deadwood and and some wiring. We agreed at the time to give it a whirl the following day. Here is the tree on Monday at Stephens place.

It’s an urban yamadori tree and if memory serves me right, it was salvaged from a school grounds. A few ugly rots at the bottom need to be removed to reveal a better nebari underneath, This can’t be done in total just now. The deadwood at the top needed some work with a view to eventually joining it with the deadwood at the bottom left of the tree. Some adjustments to the foliage should also help pull the whole image together.

Here’s some of the work getting carried out.

This is the original front as the tree was potted but a view more from the left would show off the deadwood to better effect.