Proof of Life #2

This one is for Geraldine and in a way Mr Snart as well. I have been looking after these two trees since the last Willowbog Bonsai workshop. I just want to update Geraldine on the progress.

First is her Itogawa Juniper. It had been slow to respond after the work done last Autumn and Peter suggested that we repot into a larger pot with a greater surface area to push it on. The old mix was compacted and the pot was restrictive. This seems to have done the trick.

Next up is her Shohin Trident Maple root over rock. It was defoliated and repotted to deal with similar problems to the Juniper. I have already had to shorten extension growth twice since then.

Proof of Life #1

This is specially for Mario who was getting suspicious that I hadn’t posted any photos of his Itogawa Juniper.

Here you go mate. It was very slow this Spring and I felt a slightly larger pot than it was in would help give it a lift in this development stage. It’s now in the pot your black pine was in.

The Sacrifice branch is gone, it was putting a lot of effort into that and I felt it was better to push on with areas that were more important. As you can see, new growth is forthcoming.

You are getting a fair amount of juvenile foliage too but at least it’s healthy.

Bonsai Blogger

I start things and after a while I forget. One of these has been my posting of good bonsai blogs that catch my eye.

After reading a post this morning from Salva in Malaga I felt the need to start this again. Click on the banner image below to visit a post from him regarding work on a Juniper. Blog now added to my ever growing favourites list on the sidebar. Obviously in Spanish, Google Translate to the rescue.

Rose Show

I had the pleasure of judging the bonsai entries at the Rose Show in Belfast yesterday. I small local flower show held as part of the bigger Rose Week event at Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park.

The bonsai aspect was small, our club supports the Rose Society by always getting a few entries in to fill the space and add interest for the public. As far as bonsai go, it’s not what we aspire too in our own displays with the usual low tables and cramped space. For that reason and the poor photos that resulted from inside a marquee, I’ll not bombard you with poor quality photos. I will however share some photos taken from within the park itself  showing both the roses and some nice trees.

First, photos from inside the flower show marquee during judging. The rest from within the park Rose Gardens and Japanese Garden. When I show the Rose name it’s because is a highly perfumes variety that my wife is determined to add to our garden.


Full Head of Flowers

This Hosta has produced it’s best head of flowers to date. It’s one of my fist mini hostas, variety unknown which is a pity.


Even drinking Japanese Beer!

Tray Revision

Hard to believe, but despite the rain here this month, there has still been a few days were my accent/mame gravel trays have dried out too fast. On the advice of a friend I decided to swap the grit, which was quite large, with small grain clay [tesco cat litter].

I wasn’t able to do this on my own due to the shoulder so I recruited my son Matthew to help out. He has an interest when I can eventually pull him away from the computer.

Job done, thanks Matthew.

Through The Keyhole

I thought I would show you part of my body that I normally keep under wraps 🙂

Don’t get too excited. I was with my surgeon yesterday for my first check up since the op and he handed me photos taken by the camera during the keyhole surgery.

He said that red isn’t good, here’s my first two pics!


After removing the inflamed tissue he put this bad boy to work removing some bone. 80,000 rpm. My first thought was, would it work in the makita?!

This is the final one showing a nice gap for my tendon to move around in without any more aggravation.

Kurume Azalea Festival

Nekotoban was kind enough to share these photos with me in a recent email and I thought I would share them with you lot as well. Photos taken at the Kurume Azalea Festival back in April. What I’d give to go and see this for myself!

Satsuki Flowers

This is a satsuki azalea that I grew from a cutting. It was in my flower bed for about 6 years and was lifted last year. I just love the flowers, no idea of the variety. Any knowledgeable folk out there who know, please comment.

This is the trunk, early days but might be interesting in a few years.