The cycle continues: shimpaku with Bjorn Bjorholm

Nebari Bonsai

Last month, Bjorn spent a day in Birmingham and we wired out a shimpaku I bought in 2013. During Bjorn’s last visit in March, 2014, we discussed a plan of attack for this tree; repot into good soil first, grow it hard , and when runners are appearing, prune it back to remove thin, weak growth, long runners, and remove growth appearing straight up and straight down.
As Don received in in 2009:

The tree in early 2010 in a private collection in OK:


The tree after being wired out by Maro Invernizzi in 2010:


Back in Don Blackmond’s nursery in 2013:


In Birmingham; as purchased December 2013:


March 2014. After removing wires applied in 2010, cleaning the wood preservative off the dead wood, cleaning the live vein, removing the awkward lower left branch, and potting into a mix of akadama and lava rock, into a current generation Yamaaki pot:

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Please support the Portland Bonsai Village

Michael Hagedorn


The Portland Bonsai Village has just launched an Indiegogo campaign to help raise funds for our new programs. If you don’t know about Indiegogo, it’s like the alternative, quirky version of Kickstarter. The Village has always been a grassroots endeavor, and today we’re seeking your support to grow our grassy shoots a wee bit higher.


We’re creating the first bonsai community outside of Japan where I live in Portland, Oregon to better share bonsai to the greater community, with programs that stretch from Village bonsai classes for serious aficionados, to a CO-OP offering bonsai products made here, to bringing bonsai into classrooms to nurture the seed of beauty and responsibility in youth. And this campaign is the beginning of that dream.

Here’s our short introductory video on the Indiegogo site, featuring Matt Reel, Bobby Curttright, and myself (which clearly proves that we’re not actors posing as bonsai artists):

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Junipers of Bonsai Mirai

Nearly there 

Hawthorn looking great Owen.

Owen's Bonsai

There are still a few clusters of flowers left to open but not far off full bloom.

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Rhododendron ‘Blue Diamond’

Not it’s best flush of flowering, but it’s overdue a repot and a new pot next Spring. Still eye catching though.


Plant ID’s Please

Anyone identify these two? The first one is Epimedium but I can’t find the name of this variety. There’s hundreds of them out there! The flower on this one is stunning.




And this one I’ve no clue, very slow to open and I have only one flower and one leaf to share with you.


Spring Beauty At The International Bonsai Arboretum

Valavanis Bonsai Blog



Spring is my favorite time of the year, and also the busiest especially if you have many deciduous bonsai. In addition to transplanting and shaping emerging buds of developed bonsai must be pinched. This requires pinching many times over several days because the buds do not open at the same time on each bonsai.
Joe Lentner spent many hours pinching and trimming Japanese maple bonsai
All of this work can not be done alone. I’m fortunate to have many good friends who volunteer to help me create and maintain bonsai as well as preparing for classes and in the garden as well. My “Monday Senior Crew” came many more days during the week this spring. Each Monday there are eight of us transplanting, pinching, wiring, pruning as well as cleaning up. Because of their dedication and hard work my bonsai and garden look pretty good now.
Rick Marriott preparing container

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Kusamono – Rose and Epimedium Akebono




One to One – Field Maple

I had a one to one session on Tuesday night and was rather taken with this Field Maple, Acer Campestre, that was one of 4 trees worked on in the session. The tree had been purchased from Kaizen Bonsai a few years back and some of Mr Potters carving was clearly evident. I think this species in under used here in the UK. Yes, I know it a little coarse in the branch structure, but the species bring so much more to the table in the way of character.DSC_0331


We were limited to what we could do with the tree in leaf but were able to make a few decisions and remove a few unwanted branches. A partial defoliation was done, a bit early but not an issue with this species. A new front was found and a slight change in potting angle for next Spring. The tree will get a full wiring in the Autumn and will be a very nice rugged image in the years to come.