Hornbeam Reset

A little hornbeam brought to me this week for a reset. Branch structure cleaned up and wired.

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Trophy Trees

Here’s a selection of photos from the Trophy.

There’s Always One

This was the most used phrase on this trip away with friends 🙂 Folk getting lost, falling asleep, trying to open their hotel room with a credit card, Getting threw out of the demo for eating mustard dripping hotdogs in the front row, breaking a pot on a trader stand, trying to bluff their way into the priority boarding queue for their flight, the list was endless. But what a great few days we had on the road at the Trophy.

Here’s a few general pics of our travels. Photos of trees in exhibition to follow shortly.

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.

Accents Emerging

I love this time of year, watching each plant and tree waking up. These two are showing signs. A Mukdemia Rossi and Muscari.

Shohin Course With Morten Albek

Once again I was delighted to be asked to review the latest Bonsai Empire Course. This time we have a new face in front of the camera. Morten Albek is well known in the European bonsai community and more specifically the shohin side of things. The course was a pleasure to watch, and as we’ve come to expect from Bonsai Empire, of a high production quality and content.
For a non native English speaker, Morten’s English is probably easier to understand than my Northern Irish accent 🙂 He has laid out the content in small easy to follow lessons that you will be able to dip in and out of at your leisure. Content feels a little different to the preceding courses in that you are with Morten in his garden looking at the bonsai and displays with him. A refreshing change. The course covers a lot of basics of bonsai that refer not only to shohin but bonsai in general. We see wiring, repotting, care, and pruning all covered. The highlights for me though were the sessions on display and pot selection. Another plus point for many people out there will be his use of humble material for his creations showing what can be achieved with a little time and effort. Not all bonsai enthusiasts have the ability to afford top quality yamadori, indeed most people reading this blog with be on a tight budget.
If I was to be critical , only two things come to mind. I would have loved to have seen the display lecture being more extensive and perhaps with more content coming in 2019, this may well be part of the expansion. The other thing I noticed was a little bit of repetition in some areas. Morten even acknowledged this by stating that he was saying it again as it’s important. Either way his points were well made. I look forward to seeing what’s added next year and at the $44.99 price, one off payment for life, I think the course is a great starting point for anyone wanting to delve into the world of  shohin bonsai. Morten will be a good guide to get you going in the right direction. Well done Morten and Oscar, another bit of quality content for online learning. Interested, HERE is a link.

Boston Ivy

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

Summer Accents

Sisyrinchium Rocky Point

Rhodohypoxis Confecta

Sisyrinchium Biscutella

Kusamono Workshop @ Bud

When I was in County Clare on my travels I did a Kusamono workshop in partnership with Ray at Bud Garden Centre. Being a bit of a passion for me and also catching on fast with the folk down there we thought we’d give it a whirl with limited numbers due to space available. We even had sign ups from people outside of bonsai which was great. Here are a few photos of the planting created on the day.

This was A first Bud/Eejit collaboration and watch this space for future events in the Bunratty area.

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.