Ben’s Beech Group

I plan on looking back at a few of the trees worked on over the weekend, as does Peter on Willowbog Chat. As Peter didn’t get a chance to work on this one, I thought it was safe to share.

This was a beech group that Ben had in a pot for 4 years. They are young trees but even still they can make a nice image. Ben had brought the group to a meeting and I suggested that they would look better on a slate. It just so happened I had one lying under a bench that was big enough, and gave it to Ben. I also suggested that a few thicker trees would greatly improve the image as well.

Ben took me at my word and brought it along on the Sunday along with a few Beech that were recently liberated from a garden.

If it was just a matter of lifting the existing planting out of the pot and popping it onto the slate, it would have been easy. No tie wires even needed as the trees were all meshed together after a few years in a pot already. Our problem was that a few new and bigger ones had to be added. I had 2 choices, split the whole group up and start again or fit the new ones in around the existing trees. I opted for a bit of both. I liked the positioning of the original trees but I split the group in two creating a gap for the new ones. I drilled the slate and wired these in place and also added a few tie lines for the original trees as well. The whole lot where then covered in keto and then moss.

Ben was pleased with the result and I feel the slate works far better than the pot in this sort of forest planting. Now he just has to keep the birds away from the moss 🙂

Here are a few photos of the action. Sorry no starting shot of the original group. I honestly thought I had one somewhere from the meeting Ben, ah well.

Ben me and Ovidiu doing a little manoeuvring.

My secret technique of using the force to position the trees 🙂

Ben checking that the work is up to standard.

Adjusting the heights of a few trees to make a better design.

The finished forest at the end of the day. The new trees are slightly darker bark for now but this will even out with equal exposure to the sun.

Ben emailed these photos taken in 2007 when he put the original group together. I believe it was his first attempt at a forest.

Bonsai Mirai

Tony posted this on his blog and I just had to share it too. It’s video featuring Ryan Neil’s ‘Bonsai Mirai’ Nursery. A truly fantastic video, quality production and some absolutely stunning Bonsai. If this is what’s to come out of the USA in the coming years, we are in for a real treat. Yamadori to die for!! I’ve watched it 5 times!


Artist Takanori Aiba

The wife spotted this article in the daily Mail. Interesting work. Click on the image to see the article.

… and the Sunday workshop

I’ll be going back over some of the trees worked on individually but in the mean time here’s another gallery for you to see the action.

It was a long day, workshop started at 10am and I think we sat down in front of an open fire at 8.15 pm.

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Bonsai School

Just getting around to sorting out the photos from the weekend. Here’s the photos from the Saturday School session.Peter Snart from Willowbog focused the day on Forest Plantings. Part of the day was taken up with a demo were we put together a slab of Spruce. I was able to get involved a little with placement and getting my hands messy with Keto and moss placement .

Further info can be seen HERE on the Club blogsite.

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I was seriously considering not posting at all to day but I can’t let a good run end so easily 🙂

Just spend a very busy 2 days hosting our Club Bonsai School and Workshop with Willowbog Bonsai. I’m shattered now and Peter is already away to bed. One of the main reasons was the wiring of Hugh’s Scots Pine. Phil helped a little with it on the day 😉



Starting to Move

I checked most of my trees last Sunday and didn’t see many signs of Spring. Then, 4 days later, I checked again. This was what I found on Thursday!

These are fast swelling flower buds on a Fuji Cherry.

These are Trident Maple buds, 3 different trees.

I even saw a cloud of midges outside our lounge window! February? What’s going on!!

Cork Bark Elm Winter Image

I eventually got around to taking a few snaps of this Cork Bark Elm yesterday.

I’m trying to keep a decent record of it through the years to capture how the ramification improves.

It’s field grown tree and this is now it’s 3rd year in a pot from collection.

Grown from a cutting, it’s taken 11 years to get it to this point.

Back To School 2012

Just spent a few hours in the garage with the Bonsai Baker getting it sorted for this Weekends Bonsai School.

I can’t believe that it’s been a full year since our club started this event. Basically we bring Willowbog Bonsai to us three times a year. The Saturdays are a school based set up followed by a workshop on the Sunday. All the club members get to have a browse through Peter’s pots, tools, trees etc. This is no small thing for us as Northern Ireland doesn’t have anything even remotely approaching a Bonsai Dealer.

Anyway, here’s the garage after a little work, already to rock and roll.

Noelanders Video Series

Here’s some more photos and footage taken at the Noelanders Trophy by Hans Vleugels.