2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 380,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 16 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Happy Christmas

Where did this year go?

I find myself at home today, finished work for a week and tempted to open a bottle of something tasty. Apologies for the lack of posts lately, I had a near fatal experience with ‘Man Flu’ all last week but I’m glad to get it out of the way for Christmas.

Thank you to all those that follow my blog, or even just pop in now and again from a wee look. I appreciate you comments and feedback but most of all, your friendship, even if it’s from a far.

I’ll leave you with this lovely photo of one of Ken To’s sculptures, just click on the image to visit his site.

I hope you all have a great Christmas.


Upcoming workshop

Munster Bonsai Club

10/01/2015 Saturday at 10 am to 5 pm

we will having our first workshop in 2015 as usually with ours best friends Ian and Phil both from Northern Ireland Bonsai Society.

trees critique

Trees styling

Selling area

All are very welcome. For more details please contact Piotr at twinsrat.bonsai@gmail.com or 0867705560

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Burrs X in 2015

Behind the Scenes With Shuuhou

Bonsai Prelude

Just a couple videos I picked up from Hidemi Kataoka’s Facebook page. Hopefully I’ve gotten this to at least a couple of you before you saw it yourself. You can follow his Tokoname page here.



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Kingdom of Mourne

Had the pleasure of working down in the Kingdom of Mourne last week. Some snow about on the peaks and some great scenery.






And also this old deciduous tree along the roadside near Castlewellan.






Very Old Mountain Hemlock Styling-

Michael Hagedorn

This antique tree was collected some years ago by Anton Nijhuis of Vancouver Island, Canada, and was recently brought to Oregon, USA. We reworked it here last week for a client. The dynamism of the low descending branch and its bumping movement definitely made for a fun styling. We couldn’t wait to finish it!

Curiously, the entire tree is a rooted branch. It has somewhat larger needles than most Mountain Hemlocks have, and Anton said that it seemed like a strain of hemlock localized to that one mountain, and he’d not seen it elsewhere.

Here’s a photo essay of our restyling. Enjoy!

DSC_0674 This was the Mountain Hemlock before we did anything.

DSC_0679 …after shortening a few jins and tipping the tree to our new inclination, and finding our front. Like so many front choices, it was a balancing of goods and bads…

DSC_0682 Bobby refining a jin.

DSC_0706 …wiring from the bottom up…

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Winter Image: Trident Maple



Sequoia Sempervirens Update

Did a little more work on my Sequoia Sempervirens last weekend. An odd choice of tree to work on especially in the UK, but I have enjoyed growing this from a 6 inch nursery tree to this. Been trying to pick up a few tips from the West Coast Americans on their traits as bonsai with varying advice being given in return.


First styling

Some carving in September with Peter Snarts assistance and advice.





and now…

Trying to get the rising branches to behave. They have a natural tendency to pop up. Here you can see the first branch wired.

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This was done before raffia and taping up in an effort to set it more permanently in position. A groove was cut along the length of the branch for the initial 6 inches and then sealed with paste, raffia’ed and taped. I did this on a few of the heavier branches.

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This was the tree after wiring and thinning out. I’m learning a lot about this species as I go along. A fun journey. It continues to grow when most other species have stopped. I now see what branches are likely to be thrown and how to work with this, hard to explain. Give this tree another 3 years and I reckon I’ll have a pretty decent image, but then I love tall trees.



Magic Ceramics

I’ve just posted a sales page for accent pots by Magic Ceramics. Magic, or to be true to his real name ‘MACIEJ’ Targosinski is a great bloke who I met through the Leinster Bonsai Club.

He has a passion for bonsai especially mame but has turned his hand to ceramics. I asked him to make some more accent pots and well, things got out of hand 🙂 So here we are now with myself helping him promote his accent pots via my blog. He has a great range of ideas and sizes with glazes galore! He has another batch coming before Christmas which I can’t wait to see.

I’m not making money out of this partnership although I do get my pick of the pots which is a nice perk 😉 I think that it’s important to support new and local talent and Maciej certainly fits the bill.

If you are interested in any of the pots please note the reference number and enquire via my ‘Contact Me’  tab at the top of the page.