Scots Pine Next Step

This Scots Pine, recently arrived into Northern Ireland, hade been featured in Peter Warren’s book, ‘Bonsai’ published by DK. This showed its first styling by Peter.

When it arrived here it was obvious that in the interim it had undergone further changes and refinement.

The tree was ready for the next step and the new owner asked if I would do a little work on it. I was going to wait a little longer to allow the new foliage time to harden but it was surprisingly resistant to a tug on new needles. So with a soft touch I set about following the framework already set in place before. I discussed the tree with Adam the new owner and we agreed on a front but knew the tree had been set up for either side to look the part. My reason for the left lean being the front was the added depth the foliage created and the better base to the tree.

This is the back but styled to give the tree a great look all around.

There’s a few little bits of deadwood that might be distracting but I’m leaving them to see how the tree matures, they can be removed later by the owner if he feels the need.

One to One with John

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

Some pics.

One to One with Derek

A few snaps from today’s one to one with Derek in Dublin.

Busy Week on the Road

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.

Hornbeam Work

I was asked to work on this Korean Hornbeam and on Wednesday I managed to grab a few hours to get it wired. As is common with hornbeam, many branches had crossed or where curling inward. This was a reset for the tree to get structure back on track.

Pauls Place

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.

Day With Derek

Monday saw me with Derek sorting a few trees out. Repotting and a little wiring on the agenda.

First up was a maple that had been recovering for a ew years in a box. Now we’ll on the up again we transferred it into a pot. Derek had a few options but most were too small.

We opted to use a round Gordon Duffet pot he had lying around😂 I only wish it were mine. The other gives the tree a little space in which to continue its development

This was the tree back in the late 80s

Next up was a pine, species unknown. He collected the seed from the Botanical Gardens in Dublin many years ago. The tree got a reworking having had some initial work done by myself a few years ago at a club workshop.

The tree was repotted into a Magic Ceramic pot that Derek picked up last year. We even found a nice widening buttress buried in the box. It’s got a longer needle but back buds well and seems to reduce well.

Another repot was this larch which had been a taller tree last year before being reduced to the bottom branch. Pushing hard for a shohin image but it’s on the larger side. It went into another Magic Ceramics pot.

A Chinese Juniper landscape was next. I doubt this tree had been repotted properly in the last 20 years but now under Derek’s care it was time for a freshen up.

A busy day with Derek but productive and great craic as usual.

Hornbeam Reset

A little hornbeam brought to me this week for a reset. Branch structure cleaned up and wired.

Munster Roadtrip

Back in the Heatwave, remember those days lol, I was on my travels in Munster province of Ireland working with some of the bonsai folk in that area. I did a school day with the Munster Bonsai Club one of the days and then toured around a few gardens working on trees. Here’s a gallery of a few of the trees and gardens visited. Agreat 9 days on the road but I was glad to get home and see my dogs and unwind. A big thank you to all the guys Munster group for continuing to support my road trips. See you again in November.

Bonsai Eejit in 2018

Happy New Year to all those who follow this blog.

2017 was a big year for me with bonsai taking a bigger role. Ireland is a small place and we are isolated in many ways from the rest of the bonsai community and 2017 saw me covering a lot of ground teaching bonsai.

I’d just like to say a massive thank you to all the other ‘bonsai eejits’ that made this year so successful. To the 30 who took part in one to one sessions, to the 11 who took part in monthly study group sessions. To the 2 Irish clubs in Leinster and Munster who’s support and faith in my abilities has been massive. To the folks over in the Ayr Bonsai for inviting me over to talk back in March.

2018 will see a continuation of the groundwork laid in 2017. I have 10 days in January with the guys down in Munster Bonsai doing one to ones and starting a new Bonsai School set up following the years of success my own club had with this format with Willowbog Bonsai.

I’m continuing the Study Group series with Leinster Bonsai through until May 2018. If you are Dublin based and interested in taking part, contact the guys here.

I will also be expanding the study groups set up here at my home. These have been running for a year now and feedback has been fantastic. If you live local and want to know more, then click here.

I look forward to catching up with bonsai friends worldwide again in 2018. A happy new year to you all.