Many Hands Make Light Work

I dread to think how I would have potted up the Escallonia last night without help from John, Ben, Michael and Ben. Yes, there was two Bens 🙂

It was getting dark so many of the photos are crap but you get the drift.

Getting a bit of glare off the top of the old shiny head there 🙂

This was it today in the Tunnel. I added a top layer of Sphagnum moss to aid humidity and keep the surface roots moist.

Escallonia Dig

I decided to collect this Escallonia from my Dad’s garden today. I had chopped it back last year in March in preparation for collecting this year. You can see posts about this HERE and HERE.

I forgot to lift my camera and had to resort to the mobile phone for photos. Below you can see my 85 year old Dad hard at work, something he’s done all his life. He’s fitter than I am!!


We also had another helper, Bobby the Robin was in around our feet lifting grubs to feed it’s first brood of the year. My Dad has about 20+ next boxes up around the place!

I’ve still to pot this up and am hoping that a few mates will being coming over tonight to give me a hand!! Photos to follow tomorrow.


Cork Bark Elm Air layer Repot

Another Air Layer from last year. I decided to repot this one also. I was amazed just how flared the nebari had become in a short time.

This was the layer last year, full post HERE

This was it at the weekend before repotting.

Again with the roots raked out and the layering moss removed.

Before potting up I was able to removed the stump at the bottom. This helps flare out the nebari even more.

Due to the roots still being delicate, I used bamboo canes over the outer spread to hold the tree in place. These will eventually rot away in the pot.

Potted up and a bit of a trim.

Field Maple

This is one of the trees I have on the For Sale List this year. It’s a Acer Campestre or Field Maple. It was repotted this year after it’s first wiring. I had been doing a lot of clip and grow for a few years to prepare it for wiring. It has just come out in leaf and I thought I’d share.

With my hand for scale. A chunky tree 🙂

For Jamie

Jamie is our Club’s youngest member at 15 years old. He’s also one of my top comment makers here on the blog.

After the last workshop at which he did a lot of repotting, he left most of the trees with me for protection in my tunnel. I thought I would share them here so he can see how they are doing.

This is a raw piece of juniper material gifted to Jamie by Ben. Very generous! This has absolutely bounced in the few weeks that it’s been in the tunnel with a lot of fresh new growth.

This is his Japanese Maple that had a major clear out last year and was repotted in February. Nice new red leaves appearing.

This is a Berberis Stump that Jamie collected himself from a garden. It was a little bigger when he brought it to the workshop but the remaining stump is going to make a nice little tree with some time and proper technique. Jamie has plenty of time to make a great collection of bonsai.

Big Bumble!

Managed to snap a few quickies off when this big bumble bee paid a visit to my Fuji Cherry. Focus not great but he just refused to sit still 🙂

Yesterday’s Walk up Cavehill

Had a lovely walk with family friends and dogs up Cavehill yesterday morning. Sadly the view over Belfast City was obscured by haze but that’s better than the usual cold rain we normally get up there!

Looking up to the destination, McArts Fort.

The Cave in Cavehill.

Belfast lost in the haze.

Following the dogs, brothers can be seen in the distance.

Last years Haws and this years buds on a Hawthorn.

Jackdaws nesting on the cliff.

What’s that strange shape on the fort?

Two brothers acting like complete eejits 🙂

Stephen, aka Bonsai baker, with Belfast lurking somewhere behind him!

Cliff top dog, Heart in my mouth!

Looking down over Belfast zoo.

Some nice flowers emerging, no clue what they are though!

Cotoneaster Air Layer Repot

Some of you following the blog may remember me air layering this cotoneaster last year.

The original Post can be viewed HERE

Today I decided to repot the layer to allow spreading of roots and to get it into a more suitable pot. I had picked up a Stone Monkey Pot for it at the BSA Auction and was keen to get it potted up.

This is it after 7 months after removal in a training pot.

I was able to comb out the roots and remove the bulk of the layering sphagnum moss.  It had even issued roots from the lower branches into the soil! This is the Stone Monkey pot ready for the tree. What I love about this little pot is that even though it’s small time has been taken to add wire holes. A big help.

And the little tree potted up. It needs clipped in a little further but I’ll let it settle in it’s new home for a few months before I do anything else.

For the Record…

Just wanted to make a note on the blog that today was the first feed of the year for my trees. This is after all meant to be my bonsai diary, or that’s what it started out as 😀

Everything that hadn’t been repotted and was showing signs of growth got some green dream today.

Coltsfoot Accent

Nothing like a sunny day to get the most out of this Coltsfoot accent.