I collected this little Prunus spinosa or Blackthorn back in Spring 2017. It look a while to get roots established with very little taking place in the first year. Last year it did well in the sphagnum miss it was potted in and I transferred it over into a proper mix this spring. It’s new pot is a little grand for it but was all I had on the shelf that would accommodate the roots safely. Stone Monkey pot by Andy Pearson. The tree is unsettled. No wiring or scissor work done. It’s just as nature made it.
Sunday was my last of 6 booked sessions with the Leinster Bonsai Club in Dublin.
It’s been fun working with a group with a varied level of knowledge and ability and trying to pitch each session with just the right balance of theory vs Practical. In the last two years I’ve completed 12 sessions with them and enjoyed every one. I just hope they have too 😂
Plans seem to be afoot for continuing the relationship but spread out more evenly over the calendar year.
A massive thank you to Tom and Paul for all the organisational work and of course to those taking part during the last six months. Also thanks to Max who always grabs some photos during the sessions which I never remember. Here are the ones I stole from yesterday’s session. A tree critique that turned into a practical session 😀
On Saturday I took a day out of one to one workshops to do a Theory and Practical Repotting Day with Munster Bonsai Club at Bruree in Limerick.
I had been asked to focus on this in a session to aid newer members in getting the fundamentals right and gain some new skills.
We had a run through of the why what when and how via PowerPoint and Q&A before a Practical session with club members repotting their own trees and helping others.
I think this was one of the best feel good club days I’ve ever experienced from the outside. A great club. A massive thank you to all those who yet again came out to support a club event. They have been coming thick and fast for a club pushing their learning hard.
Here’s some photos from the day some mine some stolen.
It’s been a busy week down in the South of Ireland doing some one to one sessions with friends from Cobh, Cork, to Limerick then Dublin. Some good times had and great trees played with. A little styling and refinement and, as you’d expect, some repotting.
Here’s some photos from the trip. snow on the way home as usual in Dublin. Thank you to all who supported the road trip. Back again images weeks for another round.
I run a study group once a month for some friends who want to learn more. This has become two separate groups, one on a Friday evening, one on the Saturday morning.
This Weekend we were putting together some trees with rock.
First up was this shore Pine which had some initial work done by Peter Warren in 2017 and was recently rewired by myself.
The tree in September 2017 as raw material.
prior to wiring 2019. after wiring.
The rock collected by a friend over 20 years ago at Blessington lake Dublin
The work. The original plan had to be changed after the heavy roots on the tree wouldn’t let us place the tree on the highest portion of the rock. We looked at other planting options and liked the drama of the option selected.
If you are reading this and are within travelling distance of Newtownards near Belfast feel free to join us once a month for sessions like this.
After a few years to recover and a little tightening in I had this material to work with.
After a little cleaning out.
In 2016 after further chasing in some initial primary branch placement was made.
In 2017 it got it first basic styling.
This was it last week ready for its second styling.
Time for work.
Still a ways to go but I’m loving this species more and more. Deadwood needs refined and I may need welding gloves on the next time I wire it but I’m happy with the results so far. It’s a keen back budder. It’s due a repot so I’ll see what pot size I can reduce it into to.
I was asked to work on this Korean Hornbeam and on Wednesday I managed to grab a few hours to get it wired. As is common with hornbeam, many branches had crossed or where curling inward. This was a reset for the tree to get structure back on track.
Tuesday was a first session with a new customer. Paul has been doing bonsai for a while but has decided to up him game. I spent the day helping him with a few projects and some repotting. Paul’s garden is pretty special too. Here’s some photos of the day.
Monday saw me with Derek sorting a few trees out. Repotting and a little wiring on the agenda.
First up was a maple that had been recovering for a ew years in a box. Now we’ll on the up again we transferred it into a pot. Derek had a few options but most were too small.
We opted to use a round Gordon Duffet pot he had lying around😂 I only wish it were mine. The other gives the tree a little space in which to continue its development
This was the tree back in the late 80s
Next up was a pine, species unknown. He collected the seed from the Botanical Gardens in Dublin many years ago. The tree got a reworking having had some initial work done by myself a few years ago at a club workshop.
The tree was repotted into a Magic Ceramic pot that Derek picked up last year. We even found a nice widening buttress buried in the box. It’s got a longer needle but back buds well and seems to reduce well.
Another repot was this larch which had been a taller tree last year before being reduced to the bottom branch. Pushing hard for a shohin image but it’s on the larger side. It went into another Magic Ceramics pot.
A Chinese Juniper landscape was next. I doubt this tree had been repotted properly in the last 20 years but now under Derek’s care it was time for a freshen up.
A busy day with Derek but productive and great craic as usual.