100 Days in Lockdown

For those who follow me on Instagram you’ll know that back on day 1 of lockdown in Northern Ireland I decided that it might be fun to do a daily post there and, thanks to Facebook global domination, share it their as well.

Here we are 100 days later and I’ve decided it’s a nice round number to stop at. I’ve enjoyed doing the posts but time to resume my more chaotic posting system. As you can plainly see I’m also trying to breath life into this blog. As usual I’ll get carried away and no doubt I’ll slow it down to a drip 💧

As I posted precious little here during lockdown I thought I’d add a gallery as well of some of the trees etc that I posted over the last 100 days.

Two Eejits Chatting

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

 

 

One to One with John

Another day with trees in Dublin, this time with John is his beautiful garden.

Some pics.

Bud-Ten Bunratty

From small acorns mighty oaks grow….

It was an absolute pleasure to be be involved with Ray Egan at Bud Garden Centre in Bunratty and watch the first (and not the last) Bud-ten exhibition come together.

Bud Garden Centre in the Shadow of Bunratty Castle

Ray is one of guys who works hard in the background to push bonsai forward in Ireland and do it in the right way. From a chat last year over a few beers when he talked about hosting a Japanese Gardening Weekend at Bud including bonsai, to what just transpired last weekend, it’s been a rollercoaster.

Ray hard at work

Bud is nestled away in a corner opposite the historic Bunratty Castle and although small, offers plants missing from most garden centres. Ray hosts monthly meetings for the Munster Bonsai Club of which he’s a founding member.

Ray asked if I’d help pull the bonsai side of things together and as things progressed I ended up down the rabbit hole 🙂

Ray invited me to judge the exhibition so he could award deserving trees and help encourage exhibitors to push the standard of their display. The exhibits are from various people at a wide range of levels but Ray encouraged many of his fellow club mates to exhibit for the first time for the experience. Here’s the exhibition and the winning trees.

Japanese White Pine Best in Show -Michael Guerin

 

 

 

Higa Siama Japanese Maple Best Broadleaf in Show – Michael Guerin 

Shohin Rack Best Display in Show -Stephen and Vanessa Dodds, Ben Follis, Ray Egan

Best Shohin -Itiogawa Juniper Stephen Dodds

Best Accent – Dodecatheon Paul Lynam 

Best Native Elm -Steven Short

Best Conifer Japanese White Pine- Mark Cashman

Best Tree Pot Combo K. Hornbeam on left in Beko pot – Dermot Woods

Best Mame Musk Maple on left – Kris Stoker

And a few other photos of exhibits

 

 

The accents from the show.

 

WE had some fun social evenings with bonsai enthusiasts from all three clubs in Ireland getting together with our partners for food and drink.

Dangerous putting these girls together!

On the bank holiday Monday, after the exhibition had ended, I delivered a Kusamono workshop for 11 people and afterwards gave a talk on beginning bonsai for the public.

Friends old and new being brought together all weekend.

A massive that you to all those who made the weekend such a success, Visitors, exhibitors, helpers but most importantly to the man below, without Ray’s drive and commitment this simply wouldn’t have happened.

Walks Gallery

I’ve been doing a fair bit of walking this last month and of course the camera comes along. I have a few snaps I’m pleased with and thought to share them here.

Hawthorn Winter Wiring

This Hawthorn has been with me a while. It’s one of the finer growth species and thus not quick to flower as a bonsai. I’m spending a little time to get the placement of primary, secondary right and then build a nice canopy of ramification. The aim with this one was always a natural image of a Hawthorn commonly seen in the Irish Landscape.

Before Wiring

dsc00586

and after

dsc00589

dsc00590

dsc00591

dsc00592

played about with the time lapse app on my new camera and was please with the results. Check out the video.

Mother and Daughter Hawthorn

This is my largest Hawthorn, really starting to take shape. It’s been a long road but I’m starting to be a little happier with it these days. This year saw it’s best flowering to date. Plans afoot for a new pot for next year. I think it’s the most protective mother ever 🙂

DSC_0568

 

DSC_0571

 

Collecting…

I got out collecting again a few weeks ago with Phil. We managed to get back on to our old Hawthorn site. As my shoulder and neck are not really up to the task any more, I had Jeff my spade buddy along to help. It was Jeff’s first time collecting and after wind hail and even snow, it might be his last 🙂

Part of the site

Jeff perched on the edge

Dayglo Phil

Hawthorn

Up in the heights

I see him

That one can stay where it is!

Jeff playing hide and seek, he’s very good at it.

The weather moved in. Grim 😦

Hard to light up 🙂

Some of the booty

Just before I dropped my phone in the muck!

Too big but beautiful, and the trees not bad either.

I got some smaller Blackthorn as well as Hawthorn. At the end of the day I had some potted up and black bagged. Giving this a go to see what the results are like.

That was 2 weeks ago, I opened a bag today and the budding is going well.

A big thank you to Jeff for doing the heavy lifting for me. I haven’t heard from him since! Only joking.

 

Mother and Child Hawthorn

Another Hawthorn wired out before bud break. Not the best time to do this with the sap rising and branches being a little more brittle, but I didn’t want to miss another year. I was stabbed repeatedly even after thorn removal. You never get all the little buggers! This was it before.

And afterwards.

and me for scale

North Coast Hawthorn

I gave this Hawthorn collected up the North coast in around 2003 a rewiring last week. It’s been knocking around my garden for years but it’s finally starting to resemble a tree. In about another 15 years it might actually look the part 🙂

This was it in Spring 2010 when I air layer a trunk off.

October 2010

September 2011, starting from scratch branch wise.

I wired the tree out for the first time in Winter 20114/15 and this was the tree in May 2015 after cutting back the first flush of growth.

And this is the tree now in March 2016 after a second wiring. Just need about 10 times the ramification to make a convincing tree image.