I think I should probably share this here. I’ve been poor at blogging of late, Instagram has sucked me in for ease of use and I have neglected my oldest child as a result. I must do better.
Anyway here is a link to last nights live stream with Peter Warren where we take a walk around my garden on a freak windy day and then shoot the breeze over a beer. We even talk about my lack of blogging. Gripping stuff
The tree had been allowed to keep a larger amount of finer branching for the show to show more ramification and also try and get a better balance with the pot size. This resulted in a slightly unkempt image but one I liked. Very hard to prep an Escallonia for exhibition at this time of year.
Back to the present and I wanted to reduce the foliage mass to suit a smaller pot and help reset branches on this species. This needs to be done every few years to prevent inner branch die back anyway. It would also make for a more powerful image with a heavier trunk to branch balance. This is the tree after reduction. You can see how big the original Walsall pot looks now.
And this is the new pot, a pot from Tokaname made by Watanabe Kazuhiro (Ikkou). I feel in love with this one on sight. The glaze with green with an underlying blue, turning blue at the base in drips was just stunning.
Getting the tree ready, time for a proper repot. This tree has always been robust and after a chop back I was confident that a full repot could be carried out.
A watering in.
And potted up in it’s new home.
Top dressed with a moss mix. It will take a few months to fill in again but it will make all the difference to the final image.
Photos don’t do this pot justice. The colours and age of the pot are just perfect. The tree was repotted about 4 weeks ago and the tree is budding up nicely with plenty of adventurous back budding to boot. It next outing, all being well with be our clubs Bonsai 30 event this September.
I love this magazine and not just because they published a photo of my Escallonia in issue #79 It’s a great addition to what’s available in the current market.
Anyway, did I mention that they published a photo of my tree 🙂 In case you missed it, see below. Not just my tree, but also another tree from here in Northern Ireland, my good friend Stephen’s Raft Japanese Maple. These where both exhibited at Bonsai Europa back in October (was it that long ago!) What I liked about the article was that they highlighted what Europa had that was different that other European Exhibitions, namely more deciduous bonsai. I’ll be honest, that’s probably the only reason my tree was featured in the article when so many other top quality trees were available. However it was a very pleasant surprise to turn the page and see my own tree, a first for me.
Having taken a sneaky day off work I decided to do a little repotting. This Escallonia needed done as drainage was poor and I wanted to change the front and potting angle slightly.
Bit of a lip on the pot so out with the root saw.
A good mass of root but surprisingly not totally pot bound. Drainage issue must have been due to compacted fertiliser pellets breaking down into the top layer.
After a cut back and wash out. I did manage to get rid of the very last bit of garden soil.
Back into the Walsall Ceramics pot. I do want to change this at some point but am still looking for the ideal pot. A mix of Akadama and koyodama which proved successful last time.
Potted up and ready for a good watering.
The final image.
The slight front change and tilt below.
Next step will be the treatment of the deadwood. Tricky with the tree as the wood rots fast if wet , but also hard to get the right colouring as jin seal looks too harsh. You’ll see how I get on with this here of course.
This Escallonia is now back out on the bench too. It got some work done during the Winter on the deadwood. Peter Snart kept me right with the carving and I took some time to preserve the inner deadwood. Just opening up now and in a few weeks it will be extending everywhere as usual.
Next Step for the Escallonia was carried out today. I applied the wood hardener to the inside of the trunk with a trusty tooth brush. This was followed up by a fresh coat of lime sulphur.
An hour or so later.
Lime sulphur was applied at 3:1 ratio. It’s very white for now but will fade over the Winter and will hopefully be the right colour come flowering next year. It’s now going into some winter protection.