Best Made Plans….

I had hoped to be more prolific in my posts this year but there’s been a bunch of eejits keeping me busy.  It’s not slacking off either so I thought I throw up some random photos taken over the last week or so by way of catch up and avoid actually doing any real thinking about what I’m posting. 🙂

This is meant to be a kind of online diary after all so adding some pics helps me look back at what I’ve been up to and with who. A big thank you for those who have been keeping me busy. Long may it continue.

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Munster Manoeuvres

A big thank you to all those in Munster stretching from Middleton to Ennis who allowed me to work on their trees last week. Some great craic and I was well looked after at every stop on the way.

Here’s a few photos snapped along the way some general some before and some after.

Grand Tour September 2017

It’s been full on lately with both bonsai and family and the blog has taken a back seat as a result. I’m now playing catch up and thought it only right to share some of the photos from my trip down to Munster to do a few one to one sessions with the folk in the Munster Bonsai Club. A more enthusiastic bunch I’ve yet to meet. I was also lucky to time my visit with their first ever exhibition which, for me, was the highlight of the week.

First up was Mark’s place. A shorter session than usual but we worked late and managed to wire the primary structure into two field grown trees. A first styling for a Japanese Red  and a Black Pine.

The lower branch was left to develope into a second trunk and also improve inverse taper. It can always be removed at a later date.

The next day was at Demot’s, again a first styling on a tall Scots Pine and some tweaking on a few Junipers.

He even gave me a tour of Cobh, the town where he lives and the world’s Second largest Natural Harbour.

Day 3 was Piotr’s place and yet another initial styling of a Pine, this time a Lodgepole.

Next was a little Hinoki Cypress that was in need of thinning and a little wiring.

A Japanese White Pine

and then whilst having a few beers… another pine!

Day 4 was with Michael and a change of species, a yew. Not many photos here as I had a limited time period and a lot to discuss as well as work to get done.

Day 5 was at Steve’s place and saw a fair bit of carving both by hand and with power tools. First was this Yew that had been carved previously but showed a lot of tools marks.

And after some work. Further refinement needed on the deadwood, but a step in the right direction.

 

Some initial carving on a new larch for Steve.

cof

Sadly no finished pics, it was too dark 🙂

Day 6 was the Exhibition and I was delighted to put on a shohin display along with the club members. We set up and had an hour before opening, so we did a critique of the displays with all the club members and exhibitors. I was given a tall Scot’s Pine to style in the demo.

Day 7 was spent with Ray. The main tree was a hinoki cypress that we’d done initial work on 2 years ago. It had grown free for 2 years and was now ready of a new look. We decided to go for a different look that breaks a few rules as far as multi trunk trees go but I feel we created a bonsai that looks like a tree, not a bonsai.

 

 

 

 

We also did a clearing out of a shohin Chinese Juniper. A nice start.

Day 8, my last day, was with Paul. A lover of Japanese Art and by the look of his garden and house, all things Japanese.

Room with a view. A truly inspiring place to stay.

Paul wanted some help with his niwaki style Pine in his garden. Starting at the top and working down 🙂

Afterwards we wired his Japanese White Pine making a few changes here and there to remove faults while keeping the original image that he liked when it was bought. A badly wire scarred apex had to be removed and replaced.

A massive thank you to all the guys who made this tour possible. I was looked after so well at every stop and the craic was mighty. The drive shown by this club is inspiring and this is only their 4th year. To deliver an exhibition to this standard, AND, there where trees there from 10 members, not all from a few with the higher level trees, shows what a fun club they are to be involved with. It was great to meet the newer members at the exhibition and get a chance to talk bonsai and share ideas for the future.

I look forward to seeing you all again soon and exploring new opportunities in 2018.

The leftovers

Last week I did a bit of a tour of Ireland working with some of the chaps from the Munster Bonsai Club and even the odd Leinster man thrown in. I had a great week and was delighted to spend quality time with these guys. As I always say, Bonsai is as much about friendship to me as it is about the trees.

I did post each day last week but that was only a few quick snaps from my phone using the wordpress app. I’ve had time to wade through my camera and have added the leftover photos here for viewing. No order really, all a bit random, but I feel they capture the mood of the week. Thanks again folks for all your hospitality and for the kindness and understanding shown by your better halves. They all deserve a medal putting up with us lot for husbands 🙂

It was an awkward time to deliver work on many of the trees but we still managed some good work nudging trees in the right direction. Much planning was done for the future and hopefully some of the reasons why, when and how we do the work are a little clearer. Here’s the photos.

Initial workings #1 Pyracantha

I had the pleasure of working on this tree yesterday.

This Pyracantha was a beast collected from a garden a few years ago. It was time to do some branch selection and a little placement with wire where it was required. First though we had to define what was alive on the trunk and define the veins. Most of the trunk was dead but it had two live veins and an impressive base once we uncovered it. Bark was removed from the dead areas but no detailed carving was done for now. The top of the chop would was removed as this wont be needed in any final design. A repot in the Spring and this tree is well on the way to being one of the most impressive Pyracantha I have seen.