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.
Tuesday was a first session with a new customer. Paul has been doing bonsai for a while but has decided to up him game. I spent the day helping him with a few projects and some repotting. Paul’s garden is pretty special too. Here’s some photos of the day.
I was offered a few field grown Zelkova recently. I had passed comment to the owner that a few of the tougher trees could be used to create a group. As part of a little deal I got to dig up and create the group for myself.
These photos show Stephen and I collecting the trees from the ground, thinning out and planting up a group. One went to an individual pot as it was required for the forest.
I’ve had this Elm group for a while on my For Sale list but I think the cracked red Cat litter tray was putting a few interested folk off. I decided to transfer it over onto a slate to make a better image.
I’m doing a little Winter care for Valerie at the moment and have her collection here with me. This Larch group is one of my favourites. Bought about 6 years ago from Willowbog Bonsai and had previously been part of a large collection of larch owned by an enthusiast in Scotland.
For personal reasons Valerie wasn’t able to get near her trees too much in recent years but is now all guns blazing and is determined to make the best of her collection. I saw this group a few months ago and told her it would need to be wired over the Winter. She took me at my word and had it fully wired for the December meeting. A great effort made with the wiring. A few issues with it as I pointed out to her on the night, a little too much wire and some not applied correctly but the biggest compliment I can pay her is that it was functional, I could place every branch without changing the wire. Many struggle to get this right.
I did a little shaping and pruning and this is what it’s Winter image looks like now.
The Elm forest from recent posts has be growing vigorously since it was moved to it’s new home on the slab. This is it sitting in the poly tunnel a few days ago. Going to need a trim soon, need helpers to lift it out though 😦
What else would you do on a Saturday night when the wives are at work 🙂 Phil and I got together to repot our jointly owned Elm Forest. The full history of this so far can be viewed HERE
Not a pot as such, we have opted for a slab. This slab was kindly donated to me via Paul Bowerbank from the Swindon Bonsai Society. It was a bit of a struggle to get it to me! The postman would have had a hernia!! Paul knew I was attending the BSA 2012 Exhibition at Willowbog Bonsai and he bribed Bob Bailey to bring it up for me. They must be good friends, I would have refused 😀 Bob did me proud and I was able to collect it at Willowbog. This is the slab with the marking of where we felt the planting would be a best fit. We needed to reduce the overall size of the slab a little to allow for a better fit and also to be more manageable. Here you can see that Phil took a angle grinder to it to get the right shape. Its’s a total coincidence that it looks like the outline of Africa!
We set about preparing it for the elms to be transferred over to it.
Here is a gallery of our steps over the 3 hours required to get it completed.
The before photo
wires added to slab
A little mix added to help raise the centre
Phil has his own ways of doing things!
tie wires cut underneath first
up and over onto slab
some positioning of trees required
thought given to adding cotoneasters as part of the landscape
ready for adding
preperation of mud mix to hold otter edge in place
some lichen added for colour
little flash of red
Phil finishing mud mix
Rolf Harris, ‘Can you tell what it is yet?’
Moss akadama dust and a secret ingredient
TA – DA!
Mud wall going on
moss ready and waiting
now for the moss
bit by bit
mossed up and ready for photos
a spray of water for the moss
gruesome twosome for scale
take a walk in the forest
outer edge, little willow in background
moss seed heads
hope you enjoyed our efforts
It’s a two person lift nd will take up a lot of room in the garden, but it’s a great group to see in the flesh. Photo as usual, don’t do it justice. It will be a long time before this needs moved again. It is a vigorous grower and needs a lot of attention but that’s why it has developed so fast. Not bad for field grown cuttings started 12 years ago.