Mirai: Slice of Heaven

I’m sharing a link to Mirai’s latest blog post which shows how the property came into existence. But I wanted to add my own thoughts on this if I may.

Having been to Mirai, I mention that from time to time around here 🙂 , I can say that it’s not a property, it’s one of those special places that you come across that is good for the soul. I’ve found a few over the years, many not bonsai related, such as Crater Lake in Oregon, Hornhead in Donegal, Kinbane Head in Antrim, Tookalup Lookout in Western Australia, among the Redwoods in Kings Canyon National Park in California to name a few. But I’ve been to a few bonsai related ones too. Willowbog Bonsai in the North of England has a special feel to it that I always enjoy. Peter Warren’s garden in London and Michael Hagedorn’s place in Portland both have a great vibe about them as well, but Mirai for me is as special as they come. I truly can’t wait to get back.

Click on the image below to read the blogpost.

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Boston Ivy

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

Belated July Break photos

Since retirement I have a new tradition of my own. I make sure I’m not in Northern Ireland on the 12th July. Some will know what I’m talking about, for those who don’t, please google, I’m not wasting my time typing it out. I’m glad I got away on the 11th THIS is what happened in my home town on the 11th night

Anyway, I escaped to the far end on Ireland, to my friend Mark’s place. Mark has a great bonsai collection but the main purpose of our trip was to relax and both Mark and Val know how to do that well 🙂 Here’s a gallery of the photos I took, all with my phone. They show my continuing fascination with graveyards (sorry) and where taken in Cobh (pronounced Cove for the uninitiated) Ballycotton, West Cork and Lismore Castle in Tipperary. Some nice inspirational trees in there as well of course.

Peter Warren Weekend @ Munster Bonsai Club

Last weekend I was invited as a guest of Munster Bonsai Club to attend the Peter Warren two day workshop hosted by the Cuan Mhuire Garden Centre in Bruree. I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to watch and listen to Peter at work so popped down to road to Limerick to see the action. Peter flies under the radar in the bonsai world, a self confessed self deprecating personality with a unique but practical approach to bonsai cultivation and design, always putting the tree first over the owner. A true tree lover, you could almost call it Budan love 😉

We had two glorious days in the Limerick sunshine and even had to move outside to stop melting at one point. With 6-7 participants each day and a few added observers we had a pretty full house. It was great to meet up with a few people who to date I’d only texted with prior. More bonsai friendship in action, what it’s all about and makes for a fun weekend.

Congratulations to Munster Bonsai, especially Mark and Michael for organising and hosting the weekend. Your club continues to push bonsai learning and September marks 5 years from the point where we started this journey together in a Hurling Club in Cork. A long way in a short time.

Below is a gallery of some of the photos taken included before and after pics for the overly curious and many shots capturing the days activity. Some are a little out of order but you’ll figure it out.

Summer Accents

Sisyrinchium Rocky Point

Rhodohypoxis Confecta

Sisyrinchium Biscutella

Summer Walks

A gallery of photos taken on some of my walks this summer nearly all in the North Down area. Portaferry, Crawfordsburn, Mountstewart areas. I’ll say it before you do, I have a thing for old graveyards 😉

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 😦

Returned From the Land of the Missing!

I should be ashamed of myself, no posts for months. Excuses a plenty, busy busy (bonsai), Computer issues (hard drive crapped itself), heatwave (sunbathing), surgery (see below), the list goes on. I’m going to try and get back into the swing of posting again, we shall see how it goes. I have a few bits and pieces to cover from the last few months but I’ll drip these up here as a record as I go.

I’m off to Australia in a few weeks so hopefully I can get in the swing of it again and post some good inspirational tree content for you all.

Below is one of my many excuses. I had a ‘Cervical Medial Branch Denervation’ using Radio Frequency. Basically had nerves from C2 to C5 in my neck destroyed to try and reduce neck pain. Early days, we shall see how it goes. NOT a pleasant experience.

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Accent: Sisyrinchium ‘Devon Skies’