Busy Week on the Road

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.


Shore Pine Rock Planting 2

Saturday’s study group also got to play with rock. Another Shore Pine being placed on a rock from Lough Corrib County Galway.

The tree previously styled.

Playing with options. We ended up changing plans yet again and grinding away rock to allow better placement.

The rock had a large hole in the middle which had to seal with mesh from underneath to allow for more substrate to be added.

The photo doesn’t do the rock justice. It has lots of character and I look forward to seeing this composition mature.

Shore Pine Rock Planting 1

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.

It’s Time

The Trophy has arrived. Well, almost, I start travelling early tomorrow to spend Friday and Saturday at the Trophy. I’m normally only there for a few hours in and out on the same day. However this year seven of us are heading over together and meeting up with a few other travelling Irish when we get there. Looking forward to seeing old friends and quality trees. Hope to see some of you there.


The Bonsai Experience – Belfast 2015


Belvior Forest Walk

Took our regular Sunday walk in Belvoir Forest Park in Belfast this morning. It was one of those days when you see unusual things. When we reached the river a seal popped up and followed us for a while, I think it was fascinated by my dogs. The feeling was mutual 🙂 It must be a good few miles up river from Belfast Lough as you can see in the map below. We left the river and came back past it later on but on the other side and low and behold, there it was again.

While we where watching in a Kingfisher flew past, Stephen first even sighting which made it special. Add in some other local wildlife and it was a great walk.

Won’t be walking for a while now as I managed to wreck my ankle in the kitchen on the return home! It never ends lol

Stormont Estate

I took a short walk around part of the Stormont Estate this morning in Belfast. This is the home of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Some great views, a bit of history and lovely gardens.

Storm In a Teacup Bistro

Sight seeing in Belfast

Getting our bearings


Parliament Buildings

Front and centre

Allie reading up on her History



Signing of the Covenant

From the roof photo

Interesting point about tree planting

Who is Carson?

Statue on top of Parliament

Happy Stroll

Statue donated by Coventry, same statue also in places named on stones

Leafy paths everywhere

Smell the Roses, ‘Governors House’

‘Blue Moon’

Sunflower with radial bees






















Sunday Walk – Cavehill, Belfast

Sunday saw Stephen and my brother Phil join me for a hike up Cavehill overlooking Belfast. A lovely warm morning but a bit of a lung buster!

Snart on Tour Stop 2

Our second stop was Belfast, a few quick messages to be done and just enough time for Peter to get a look at the City Hall, Minus the flag, and the view from the top of Victoria Square.

Phil The Fingers Stag Night

If you follow this blog you’ll know that one of my closest friends, in bonsai or otherwise, is Phil, known for doing his best to get a two fingers salute into every photo I try and take.

Well, Phil has found someone that is willing to marry him, and I’ll be honest, he’s punching well above his weight 😉

Last night saw a few of us head out for an amazing meal at Macau on the Ormeau Road in Belfast and then on to a local bar for a few drinks. Some of us missed the real stag night and we decided to do a night out in Belfast instead.

Not many photos taken, but this one taken by ‘Eeyore’ also known as Mark, Phil’s brother and best man, pretty much sums up the night.

From left to right, Stephen the Bonsai Baker, me, tucked away at the back as I didn’t even bother to wear a proper shirt, Phil who you will notice is actually a lot smaller than Stephen, and lastly Sam, who yes Mark, is my brother 😉




Highlights of the night, good company, good food, Hugh’s Japanese toilet story, Phil kissing the bouncer and getting a kiss back, the Froch v Kessler fight, me not wearing a stripey shirt, and the best one, Eeyore not knowing that Sam was my brother. I can vaguely remember something about white shoes too!

Phil lining up the jagerbombs


The lone stag, a quiet moment of contemplation? Aye right  ❗ Strange to see his back without the Stonebridge Landscapes logo.