Sunday Workshop – General

I have decided to split the Sunday Workshop into two parts. This one will have general shots and some showing the progress of other participants trees. I have more to say about my own tree and also Phil’s one, so I’ll do that separately.

I’ve put the photos together as best I can. Most were taken by Ben as I was busy wiring, but they’ll give you a feel for the day.

First is Peter H’s very tasty Spruce. Nice to meet Peter who fitted in well with a pretty mad bunch that Sunday. He even admitted to following this blog!

Before shot

mad movement, love it!

Ryan’s works at pulling the top closer into the trunk to disguise the ‘circle’ gap.

Shari added on the one bit with younger bark.

Peter hard at work wiring

The end result

Mike Box, or Boxie had this scot’s pine with him. Mike is an old friend and was a great addition for us at the workshop. Never a dull moment. 🙂


Boxie’s end result

It’s all go

We did stop for lunch though

Sue’s little Juniper. We didn’t get a photo of her Black Pine. Ben really was slack in his photo duties 🙂

Caz, on her Willowbog comeback working on her Itogawa Juniper. Again, no other photos of this tree.

It was a great day. Caz and Sue left sharp as there was worries about getting home with roads starting to flood. But a few of us stayed to the bitter end. One minor alteration made to save any more drama, you know who you are 😀

Children of the Night Pose ❗


Funny Stuff

If the boss sees this he’ll give them more work to keep them out of mischief 🙂

Ryan Neil – The Willowbog Demo

A few folk have already posted about the demo here.  As I have a bucket load of photos taken during the day I’ll share them here as well.

The day started with us all mucking in to clear a few inches of snow that had fallen overnight. Thankfully those who came all managed to make it there. Getting out was another another story!!

Ryan preformed surgery on a large Taxus Cuspidata imported from Japan, story here. Assisted by Peter Warren he split the live vein from the deadwood to allow him to bring the cascading foliage up and closer to the most attractive part of the tree.

Ryan can certainly keep the audience’s attention with all those present enjoying the day.

Children of the Night!

A strange title for a post, but if you know your movies, you will know this is from a rather old Vampire flick. What has this got to do with bonsai? Absolutely nothing, but for some reason it became the buzz word/phrase for our evening socializing. Long story, don’t ask. We will just say that Vlad the Impaler came up in conversation while drinking red wine and Dave Jones  ran with the theme 🙂

Over the few nights we stayed at Willowbog we had some great times chatting into the wee hours, well late evening, about all things bonsai and a few other things besides. Peter and Jean’s hospitality knows no bounds and having the chance to chat with Ryan Peter W and Peter S about bonsai and life in Japan was one of the trip highlights.




WE even had these two muppets to keep us all entertained 🙂




On our arrival at Willowbog we sought out the boss to let them know we had arrived. As we couldn’t find Jean, we had to make do with Peter Snart 🙂

The Friday workshop was coming to an end with a few members already away but the die-hards with four wheel drive were still there finishing off their session with Ryan Neil. I didn’t want to be in everyone’s faces with a camera but did manage a few shots of how things had gone on the day.

A general shot of what greeted us at the door. Phil the fingers strikes again! 🙂


Peter greets us and looks like he’s had a hard day on the digger clearing the snow. Must be nerve racking worrying about a big event being cancelled due to the weather! Ben seeks revenge on Phil for a long long van ride 🙂 The demo tree for Saturday can be seen in shot, already lifted into place.



We had a quick look at some of the trees that had been worked on during the Thursday and Friday workshops. Some impressive trees.

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As soon as the workshop cleared we got to work to help Peter set up the demo area for the following day. Work for your supper if you like. Peter was putting the three of us up and we were keen to help out as staff as much as possible during our stay.


Peter’s big Yew wheeled into place and ready to go.

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Dave Jones of Walsall Ceramics was also staying and had a great stand ready of any sales.


The road To Willowbog…

Ok, ready to start adding my photos from the weekend.  Spent a good bit of time today recovering, but also thinking about what I saw and heard this past weekend. I have been sorting out my photos and trying to decide the best way to add them here. I have opted for a chronological order but with one or two aspects left out, but to be mentioned later. It’ll take a few days to get them all together so keep stopping by for a look. It will be photo heavy as usual. With bonsai, photos always say more.

First up is the road trip. Phil Ben and I set out early on Friday morning for what proved to  be a challenge in getting to Willowbog Bonsai. The ferry crossing was straightforward but as we approached  our destination the snowy conditions steadily got worse. Along the road I managed to snap a few photos of interesting landscape features and trees. here is a gallery showing a step by step of the journey.

Back Home….

…After an amazing weekend. I’ve plenty of photos and such like to keep me busy here for the week.

I have had numerous requests for the video footage from the demo from those who were there. that tells you all you need to know. This will be edited once my software issues are resolved.

I’m shattered and am going to get an early night but check back for a full run down of a fantastic weekend.

I must finish by saying a massive thank you to Peter and Jean for having three of us as house guests at the same time as Peter Warren, Ryan Neil and David Jones. You are truly special friends.



Demo Day

Anybody who was at the Ryan Neil demo today will no doubt back me up when I say just how enjoyable and educational a day it was.

Ryan certainly is every bit as good as the greater bonsai public say he is. I will be adding many of the 100’s of photos I have taken so far during this coming week. Just not possible to do it now with this internet connection. I will however share the before and after shots of the Taxus Cuspidata that Ryan worked on today. No easy option for Ryan, he wanted the best possible outcome for this year which involved seperating the live vein from the deadwood to allow the image to be compacted more bring the green bits closer to the wonderful deadwood.

Compare where the foliage in in the before photo to were it is in the after. Use the deadwood as a reference. As usual a photo does not do this tree justice.

Workshop tomorrow, after more red wine tonight 🙂


Ready For Ryan

Just a quick post from Willowbog as Peter’s Internet connection is actually Roman soldiers passing a message with flag signals!

All set for Ryan’s demo today. Snow on the ground but Peter’s been out since 5.30am with the digger clearing the road.

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Touchdown Scotland