The Results

A great Accent session yesterday, probably one of the most enjoyable sessions I’ve ever had in my garage come workshop, and there’s been many! A worthwhile endeavour I think with great feedback from the participants. After a learning session combining powerpoint and a selection of accents and plants, the guys got stuck into to creating their own kusamono, shitakusa and kokedama. Great to see them using what they had learned to select plants and then create their own pieces.

Here are some photos of the day and of the planting they produced. Kusamono are just in basic training pots for now.

Final Preparation for Accent Workshop

Spent a little time today getting ready for the accent workshop I’m hosting at my home this Saturday 1pm to 5pm.



I’ve polished off my powerpoint which I’m delighted with and selected examples from my own collection to illustrate.






I have gathered up suitable plants for the workshop and selected some for my demos.


I even have some Magic Accent pots available.


I have space left if you are local and interested. If you don’t know your shitakusa from your kusamono or your kokedama from you nearai, then this is for you 🙂

Workshop includes plants potting mix etc and is a steal at £25 for the day. I’ll even feed you tea and biscuits!


Trident maples at REBS 32nd annual show

Thoughts on shopping for bonsai

Portland Bonsai Village website is live!

Michael Hagedorn

At long last…we have a website.

Thanks to so many of you who donated to our Village Indiegogo campaign, you played a huge role in funding this thoughtfully designed, scrolling website. It was dreamed up by Kathy Wu, who has done a lot of work for some major brands like Nike, Intel, Bridgeport Brewing, Jenny Craig, and the LA marathon. The Village website was definitely a sideline project for her, and we were very, very lucky to catch her interest. She was a delight to work with, three cheers for Kathy!

Also we need to thank our great photographers, Anna Harris and Kozue Takagi. Photography was really important in this particular website, and they really came through with some beautiful images.

Check it out:

Portland Bonsai Village


And finally, thanks to all the volunteers who put their passion and love into this grassroots enterprise, it would not have happened without…

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RIP John

Bonsai has brought me many friends over the years and sadly today I found out that one has left us. John was a ‘quiet gentleman’ who I met through the club about 4 years ago. A self taught enthusiast for many years, he was keen to learn new things. I loved his enthusiasm for learning and his willingness to to get hands on.

Your friendship will be missed John, rest in peace.


Kusamono & Accent Workshop

In an effort to further the knowledge and interest in kusamono I’m holding a workshop on Saturday 29th August starting at 1pm.

The session will look at accents in general and specifically kusamono, shitakusa and kokedama (mossballs). We will look at examples of kusamono, how they are displayed and how plantings work when displayed with bonsai.  Participants will be able to select their own plants on the day, indeed the workshop cost of £25 includes 4 plants (to a max value of £20) from a large selection available! Can’t do better that that!! Feel free to bring your own plants to supplement your options and any pots you want to try. I will also have a selection of Magic Ceramic Pots available for anyone keen to add to their collection.

Workshop open to all, tea and coffee available all afternoon, sign up via  for a fun informal session and walk away on the day with your own special creation.



Some of the plantings on display


Shitakusa: Hosta ‘Surprised by Joy’


Kusamono created at recent demo at Greenmount.


Kusamono created Spring 2015


Kokedama FernsDSC_0827

A small selection of the plants available at the workshop, selected for their suitability for this type of planting and in most cases hard to find at run of the mill garden centres.




The study of bonsai design

Fat Little Trident Maple 2

Nebari Bonsai

Here is the previous post on this one…and here is the update!
It was dug in March and root pruned:





Then some tidying up…
Reopening the callus to keep the cambium moving. Maybe this cut will close in my lifetime…?


This little hole in the back had a softer center; and a chopstick routed it out quickly…down into the soil under the trunk. I used some epoxy putty to fill the hole, and will scuff the bark to expose cambium and get it to crawl across the putty.


A little selection pruning, then waiting until the first shoots begin to lignify!

Growing out in Spring:


It was pinched back in May and then allowed to grow on.
June. Time to defoliate and put a little movement in primary branches:


Emmett approves (of the fertilizer cakes, more likely):

The shortened sacrifice leader will be removed when new growth resumes below it.

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