Nice Impostors

I planted up a dwarf Horsetail in this pot about 4 years ago and promptly neglected it among the others on my bench. Over the four years I had a few neighbouring plants move in of there own accord and have now made this their home. It’s also made my feeble efforts at kusamono look average.

New additions include, Rowan, Cotoneaster, Viola, and whatever the hell the big tall thing is. No clue, obviously brought in by the birds.

Accent: Natives

Rustyback Fern with Sedum gifted to me from County Cork and now in a Magic Ceramic Tray/tile.

Sea Thrift planted onto rock from the West of Ireland.

Accent: Edelweiss

A dwarf form of Edelweiss. Potter unknown.

Accent: Vitaliana


Loving this little native of Sierra Nevada. Maybe I’ll get to see some in the wild this month.

Pot Wallsall Ceramics.

Accent: Sisyrinchium Devon Skies

It’s had to beat a Sisyrinchium at it’s peak. This ‘Devon Skies’ is a new variety to me this year and seems to flower a little earlier than my other varieties.


Scilla siberica

This one keeps on giving, continuous flowering for over a month now and the seed pods now add to the look. Pot by Magic Ceramics

Bonsai 30

As most of you who follow my blog will know, I’m part of the Northern Ireland Bonsai Society. We have a special event coming up in September when we officially celebrate the 30th anniversary of our club. We are calling the event BONSAI 30. We have lined up an exhibition of bonsai from across Northern Ireland and from Republic of Ireland to showcase during this weekend event. We have worked with Belfast Parks to enable us to deliver this event at the Belfast Autumn Flower Festival at Botanic Gardens in Belfast on 17th & 18th September. We even have some guest exhibits coming from across the water in Scotland.

We aim to make this a fun event with free kids workshops and stands from Ikebana international among others, even a few trade stands. Plenty more to see both at the Fair and also around Belfast.

This is right in the heart of Belfast with plenty of hotels nearby along with shopping, restaurants and the odd bar 😉 The flyer for the event is below please share freely and if you feel the urge to pop over into Belfast for the weekend, the City Airport and a short train journey will bring you to us.

Kusamono Workshop

Better late than never, I’m posting a few photos from the kusamono workshop back at the start of June. June has been a hectic month for me and I’m only catching up on things now.

I must say that these workshops are probably the best days craic you’ll have here in my garage and that’s saying something. There’s been countless sessions here over the years, mostly bonsai orientated, but for sheer enjoyment these have been a treat to host. I only wish I could post a few of the other photos I have from the day but sadly I don’t want to offend anyone :-O

As you can see most photos have people smiling or laughing, just look at the delight on Ben’s face below.

Even from behind you can tell Kris is smiling. Just look at that high cheek dimple 🙂

However I did keep them busy…

We kept Bob outside… Only joking, despite his American origins he’s been in Northern Ireland longer than the Scottish and English contingent at the workshop put together.

Some of the efforts from the day, they’ve still to fill and mature but are all great starting points. First the kusamono.


Even some Kokedama, mostly from the mossball king on the day, Kris 🙂

I’ll finish with Ben having a zen moment between his usual bouts of hyperactive verbal Englishness!

Next kusamono workshop will be Saturday 20th August.

Esprit Bonsai – Soldanella

Another great article from my plant swapping buddy Xavier in Esprit Bonsai issue 82. And even better, my Soldanella in a Magic Ceramics pot made an appearance.



A nice article on the Pacific Bonsai Museum too, hoping to visit myself next year at some point.


Valerian as Kusamono?

I’m excited to see how this turned out. I love seeing Valerian growing out of old walls but it’s a little big for accent culture. Then my friend Mark, Rusted root bonsai gave me this really old lump of Valerian removed from a quarry I believe. I popped it into this pot and am watching with interest to see how pot culture shortens the flower stalks, if it flowers this year that is. I know Mark has a few more on the go so we’ll see what happens. Well done Mark for thinking outside the box. The fact that it is already a very old plant with lots of character makes it even more interesting. There’s even a little Sedum that was growing with it in the quarry.