West Coast USA Road Trip – Help Required!

This is a shout out to all those who follow along over on the West coast of the United States.

I’m over on holiday this May/June  starting off in LA and then travelling  north with a final stop in Seattle. I have a basic route showing my stops below. I think the only one missing is Pismo Beach.

I was hoping to pick your brains about good ‘tree places’ on my travels. That’s big trees, old trees and of course small trees.

There are so many places for sequoia/redwoods that I’m bamboozled! At the moment it looking like Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon as my stops. I had hoped to make it over to see the Bristlecone Pines but the timings look to have made that difficult bar a driving all night type scenario.

I’m stopping to see the old Monterrey Cypresses at where else… Monterey.

I’m hoping to stop with Michael Hagedorn on my trip and I’m staying at Bonsai Mirai for a few nights. Pacific Rim Bonsai Museum and Bonsai Northwest are on my final leg.

What am I missing guys?

Is there anything between San Francisco and Sun River? I have a little more flexibility there to fit more in 🙂

I’m open to suggestions in the comments section or send me a private message via email to bonsaieejit@gmail.com.

Tenerife – Hotel Botanico

This retirement lark is good. I had a last minute holiday recently to Tenerife and the Hotel Botanico. I can not praise this place enough, a top notch Hotel and Spa.

The usual photo on the way in.


Arrival at the hotel.


View from room.


Great rooms


First ever letter with a wax seal lol



Mount Teide from the balcony.


The Hotel gardens were special.


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The spa and hotel pool areas.

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Great food.


and to top it all, the hotel had it’s own Bonsai collection ! They hold a workshop for guests every Tuesday morning but sadly that was my day or arrival and departure, so I missed it.


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I never recommend hotels to people as everyone has their own tastes, but this place I would recommend to anyone. Gandalf was even staying there 🙂





The Grand Floridian Bonsai Adventure Part 2

Having left Ricks house we followed him over to Paul’s home. On our way Rick stopped to show us one of his collecting sites for Bald Cypress. (I have it marked on the Satnav 🙂 Only joking Rick, they are safe from me, for now) This one is a typical shot of bonsai folk talking about the thickness of their trunks 🙂

and the site itself ..

We travelled onto Paul’s beautiful home and were ushered out the back to the pool area where Paul keeps his bonsai. This was a beautiful set up and Paul has done what I dream of having.. a compact collection of bonsai. They say that the wise ones do this 🙂

One of the first things I noticed was the variation in the types of bonsai that Paul had. Not just in variety but also in style as well. Ever the Ficus where of different varieties.

Again, the backdrop isn’t perfect to see these trees at their best and many of them can be viewed on Paul’s website www.orlandobonsai.com

This Crape Myrtle caught my eye. It had a powerful little trunk and a lovely small leaf. I was informed that the foliage was grafted on from a dwarf variety. The flowers are also beautiful. They reminded me of how the escallonia flowers on extension growth. You have to put up with this if you want colour.

One of Paul’s smaller Ficus.

Another Ficus and a Black Pine.

Some of these I just can’t remember what they are! I’m sure Paul with check and help me out. Being a talented photographer as well, I’m sure he has better photos as well.

Possibly Buttonwood??

Trident Maple

Another Big Trident recently defoliated.

A beautiful Bougie.

Spotted this fruit on one of them. Not sure what it’s called either! Should have taken notes!!

A big Literati Bald Cypress

There’s another one in the sixth photo down that has a sacrifice branch at the apex. Going to be a stunning tree. I just love their foliage.


Whilst I was snapping away, the craic continued in a cooler spot. We were all amazed by just how many similarities we had with bonsai problems. One issue that did raise it’s head was the pronunciation of a few words. Aluminium or Aluminum wire was discussed and we had to point out that it was our language first so we had to be right 🙂

Stephen and the chaps.

Myself with Paul and Rick.

I would just like to publicly thank both Rick and Paul for taking the time on a very hot Sunday morning and afternoon to show us their collections. As I say to anyone on here, if you are in Northern Ireland, look me up and come visit. Rick, I’ll happily take you out for a real pint of Guinness 🙂

I have more photos from my holiday of inspirational trees in the wild and nature in general that I will be posting over the next week.

I’m Back!!

Well, that’s me back home after 4 weeks in Florida on holiday. It’s now 2am and I can’t sleep with the jet lag time zone change thingy 😦

I had a great holiday, swam with dolphins, saw Gators and a Bald Eagle in the Wild and was nearly struck by lightning at the pool last week!! The loudest thing I have ever heard barr one 😉

I didn’t announce on here that I was going away. Not a good idea to advertise that you are away from home and all your trees are just sitting there in your garden! I have been posting the odd thing to give the impression that I’m still at home. I had made a few draft posts before I left. 🙂

Once I get sorted, I have plenty to post. I made a few new bonsai friends in Florida and now on my return, my trees are all over grown and crying out for some TLC. A big thank you to the 4 guys who have been watering for me in my absence.