Garden Changes

Two weeks ago I started the process of removing the grass from my back garden. More space for display and additional drainage due to seasonal flooding were my aims.

This was the starting point.

First step was getting a micro digger in.

Next up was 16 tonne of stone, some decorative some for drainage.

Then it was time to start adding trees. I opted to use temporary bench legs while I figure out the layout that suits me best. I’ll replace them when I’m 100% on the spacing etc. I’ve also a few monkey poles to add and some underplanting. I’m also looking for a nice piece of bog oak to use as a sculpture/feature. I’m still looking.

That’s the front part of the garden nearly complete. Next up is the back with a new Polytunnel.

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Fencepost Cedar

Well that’s what I call it. I’ve played with this tree for years watching it progress slowly. It adds a bit of colour in the display and despite all its faults I still like to stop and look it it, even though it’s usually to figure out what I’d like to change 😂

some older shots of it over the years. Back when I made a Horlivka of the carving 😀This was it in 2016

Blackthorn

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.

Boston Ivy

A little Autumn colour on this Boston Ivy. Two photos taken a week apart.

Special Guest

I had the pleasure of having Jeff Banning from the Ayr Bonsai Club and President of the Scottish Bonsai Association visit my garden back in the good weather. I’d met Jeff when I was over as guest speaker in Ayr last year. He was visiting Northern Ireland with family and managed to squeeze in a short visit with me. Great to catch up Jeff.

Looking Down

I can’t do any fancy drone footage, but when I’m up a ladder cleaning out my gutters I was able to take a few snaps without falling off!

 

Hosepipe ban at the start of the Summer did the grass the world of good 😦

Iwasaki Japanese White Pine

I’ve been looking for a Japanese White Pine for a while, but something a little different than the usual shaped pines we see everywhere. Back at the start of the Winter I was offered one that fitted the criteria.

Peter Warren of Saruyama Bonsai had imported some JWP that had been part of the Daizo Iwasaki collection. I had the pleasure of wiring one of them back in January 2017 whilst studying at Saruyama Towers. I think this was the catalyst to my desire for one. Peter had sold one in the Autumn of 2016 but it just come back into his hands as part of a swap deal and I jumped at the chance of buying it.

This is it back in Japan where Peter first spotted it.

The tree arrived with me just before Christmas, along with Mr Warren 🙂 This is a few angles before we started work.

Getting down to work with the professional.

and afterwards……

I love this tree, a spreading multi apex image and out of the normal cookie cutter Pine image. A few branches are a little behind development wise, especially around the back were we brought up a back branch to make the highest part of the tree. A few branches will be removed within a year or two. The last video clip is probably the best way to view it. It helps give a view of it’d funky quirky style and shows the real age and character in the trunk and branches. I look forward to developing this tree further, it should be a fun journey.

Thanks as always to Peter Warren, the most genuine bonsai professional out there, and, as the music playing in the last video says, ‘Go your Own Way’. 🙂 Let’s not run with the herd.

 

Mame Fuchsia

A bit of a surprise to see this little one flowering so early.

Hawthorn Winter Wiring

This Hawthorn has been with me a while. It’s one of the finer growth species and thus not quick to flower as a bonsai. I’m spending a little time to get the placement of primary, secondary right and then build a nice canopy of ramification. The aim with this one was always a natural image of a Hawthorn commonly seen in the Irish Landscape.

Before Wiring

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and after

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played about with the time lapse app on my new camera and was please with the results. Check out the video.

Berberis First Wiring

This berberis was ready for it’s first wiring. I wanted to give it a first wiring last year but it budded out before I got near it.

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I wanted to make a few further decisions about trunk selection and get the basic branch structure going in the right direction. A very brittle tree to work with and covered in tiny thin thorns, painful. This was the result. Early days with this being it’s first sighting of wire but great potential going forward.

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For earlier posts on this tree see: Just acquired  and Berberis Clump Repot

Seen here in 2014