My Better Half

It has come to my notice that I have the best wife a man could have. I do not praise her enough. She slaves away tirelessly when we have club events at my home and puts up with hairy men staying over and talking endlessly about bonsai. I just wanted to express my gratitude here on the blog for all to see.

NB: This post has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that see found my WordPress App on her IPad and is now following and reading my posts on it and Twitter.  It’s just a coincidence honest! You will also notice a future lack of references to:

Changes to the Garden

Recently purchased trees

Planned trips abroad for bonsai events

This is also a total coincidence 😆


Dwarf Astilbe

I just love this tiny flower on my dwarf astilbe. I have always loved the big ones but I feel a few more joining the collection next year.

Peter Warren Shout Out!!

I’m Famous 😆

Two more videos just uploaded by ofbonsai Magazine. These two have Peter Warren doing the initial styling  on a big Spruce at a demo in Chicago.

I will say that Peter’s demo’s are certainly all about being a teaching experience. Most would struggle to fill 2hours 30 minutes talking and styling at the same time.

However, at one point he did stray from the tree to give my good self a mention. Rather embarrassing really but at least I have it on tape that someone actually likes me !! If you don’t want to listen to all his pearls of wisdom you can skip straight to this best bit at 45 minutes into Part 2. 🙂



Not quite posted within minutes Peter but not too shabby either 😆  Wish I could have been there too…

Me stop posting…. NEVER!!

Autumn Approaches

Autumn is approaching rapidly for a few trees here. A few larch are showing a tint of yellow. A few Hawthorn have already dropped all the Spring leaves and are sitting with only late extension growth.

My biggest disappointment this year has been this Fuji Cherry. It is showing Autumn colour now and hasn’t  extended even a single shoot this year!  It feels like a wasted year. I experimented with defoliation last year and although it responded well with a new flush in Summer 2011, I think this may have resulted in it sulking this year. Lesson learned. Maybe it wasn’t a total waste after all.


Late Extension

Seems that quite a few of my trees are extending late in the season, well, later than usual.

Trident that has just bombed on this year and a hawthorn that was trimmed back 2 weeks ago.

Happy Ending

After posting about stolen trees yesterday, I read this today on Facebook today. John Romano in the States had a stunning little Juniper stolen and now returned. It has a great story to it and the words are very touching indeed. I’m not sure I could have been so forgiving but, in the end of the day, tree and caring owner are reunited. Here’s the photos and text from Facebook, well worth sharing as a positive story.

To all my bnsai friends -my most beloved and valuable shohin bonsai was stolen today from the nursery where I was teaching my Kaikou Bonsai School students. Mr. Urushibata helped me buy it back in 2007 when I was at Taisho en and Mario Komsta kindly wired it out for me (and then again tweaked it at my home when he visited a few years later). It was grown by a older bonsai grower from a cutting 30+ years ago and owned by him all that time until he graciously sold it to me. I am heartbroken – it has been my friend and I have nurtured it for the short time I have had it. If anyone sees it and can directly help me retrieve it, I will compensate them $500. You can contact me or New England Bonsai Gardens.


It’s been a stressful 24 hours but I want all my friends in bonsai to know that my tree was recovered this afternoon!! It is a long story (one friend said I should have made a Youtube Law and Order video!) that I won’t share all the details of here. The suspect actually brazenly returned to the scene of the crime today!?! and I confronted him and spoke from my heart about how hurt and upset I was, etc. He denied it profusely but eventually was influenced by my honest heartfelt love of this tree and sadness at its loss. I think he acted on an impulsive desire to own something beautiful that he didn’t already have. He gave it back to me and I did not press charges – I just wanted it returned. It made me reflect on the Buddhist idea of impermanence of all things and non attachment. It can be hard especially when you feel violated and something is taken from you in that way. Anyway, the story has many other details that I can share when I see some of you. I sincerely thank you all for your support, prayers, thoughts and offers of additional reward! I sincerely mean this when I say ‘Peace in Bonsai’ as it reflects what John Naka and Mr. Kato so often championed. We love bonsai as an expression of our love of nature, the earth and each other. Thanks again.

Hornbeam Horrors

I found these little beggers on a Korean Hornbeam at the weekend. It wasn’t my one but I’ve seen leaf damage on it as well. I noticed leaf damage a few weeks back and sprayed with insecticide at the time. I was only checking today to confirm that they were all gone. I guess not! I have never had a year like this one for beasties eating my trees. I have sprayed more than normal, but to no avail. Time to bring out the special stuff that I’m not supposed to have any more 😆

This is the damage caused.

They target the new extension growth and that’s were I found this one. The new leaves failed to open out due to the cocoon created.

When I opened the leaves out this boyo popped out and he was quick as lightning!!

This is my Hornbeam exhibiting a lot of late growth and a few chewed leaves too.

Stolen Bonsai Sad Days

I’m amazed just how many great bonsai have been stolen in the last few weeks in Europe! Even more saddened by the fact that the thief is probably known to the tree owners as previously knowledge of the gardens would have be needed.

To help with the hunt for these persons, I’ll do what little I can and post the images here to help stop resale, but to be honest, they’ll be sitting in the chaps back garden. What enjoyment can he gain from these trees is beyond me. Every glance at them is a reminder of the crime and the chance of being caught.

These 2 stolen from Walter Pall.

This one from Hans Kastner Germany

These two Japanese White Pine stolen from Francois Jeker in France.


Ivy Air Layer

I decided yesterday to check on the air layer done earlier in the year on an Ivy. THIS is the previous post about it.

I’ve had to trim back the foliage a few times since the layer was added in May. This was it as I started yesterday.

On removing the black cover and cling film I was happy with the results.

I think this will make a rather nice little shohin. I potted it into a slightly larger pot than required. Nothing suitable on the shelf. Also potted at the wrong angle to ensure that the new roots are sufficiently covered. If the roots are coming out of the bottom in the Spring I might repot properly then. In the mean time it will go back in the poly tunnel to add a little time to the growing season to encourage more root.


For Sale


The observant of you will have noticed a ‘For Sale’ Tab appearing at the top of the blog during the week. I am not trying to start a business or make my fortune at bonsai [Has anyone ever ❗ ] Anyone will tell you that I have too much material sitting about and I just need to thin out. I will not be blogging about every sale trees either, I’ll just add them to the page.

There is an eclectic mix on there already. Some raw trees suitable for beginners, some semi styled trees or pre prepared trees and a few that are pretty much were they need to be. Some aren’t even mine!!

I have sold trees for years to help finance my hobby but these have all been collection only. After selling one through a forum last week I have decided that it isn’t quite as much hassle to post one as I thought.

If you are interested click here for the page and each tree image can be clicked for further information. If you are just being nosey, I’m sure you’ll go ahead and look anyway 🙄