New Addition

I recently added a tree to my own collection. The Acer Palmatum below is a welcome sight in my garden.

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Inspiration Walks

Always looking for inspiration from nature both for bonsai and for accents. Here’s a few pics from recent walks near my home.

Display Changes

This last month I’ve been making a few changes in the garden with the areas where I display my trees. It started off with getting next doors tree cut down as it was blocking all my light and it sort of got out of hand from there. Here’s it step by step in photos.

This was the tree causing the issues.

Then we carried on and cut back an over grown hawthorn hedge and removed a flower bed.

This left the hedge insecure, so a fence went up and a new display bed area created.

It was a bit of a nightmare getting rid of the hedge and tree.

I then took the head staggers and took away an old polytunnel. This left room for an extension to the display.

more changes to come but they’ll be dripped in as I have time.

 

Weekend at Saruyama Bonsai

It’s taken me a full week to thaw out but I’m able at last to feel my fingers and type out a blog post about my trip to Peter Warren’s Saruyama Bonsai aka Monkey Mountain.

Myself and a friend Mark from Cork flew over to Peter’s on the Friday and got stuck in to a full schedule of repotting over the next three days. Peter had lined up some great projects for the both of us with a heavy emphasis on learning and gaining experience with tricky techniques. Big trees featured a lot along with a wide range of species and a few rock planting creations. Friday was T Shirt weather but the snow greeted us on the Saturday morning but hard work kept us warm, mostly! Ireland beating England in the Six Nations Rugby in England on St Patrick’s Day also warmed the heart 🙂

Instead of adding a gallery of a gazillion photos I’ve put together a short video of the weekend. Many of the photos used were from a phone using a shivering hand, so apologies if some aren’t as clear as they should be.

Massive thank you to Peter and Satomi for a great weekend. Never stop learning folks.

 

New Pot for Chamaecyparis

I managed to pick up a nice Klika pot for this Chamaecyparis at Noelanders last month. I love Klika pots, I ended up with 3 that day. This is the tree in it’s new home.

Olive Repot

I picked up this Olive last year and wanted to transfer it into a new pot and examine more closely what was going on at the base and also inside the pot.

Roots looked good and I found a little more deadwood at the base.

Now into it’s new Klika pot.

 

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.

Noelanders Trophy 2018

Another great Trophy last weekend. That’s my second Trophy attendance two years in a row thanks to my good friend Harry who facilitated my flying visit again. Cheers Harry.

I think I enjoyed this one more than the last. This was mostly due to the traders being in the same slots as last year making it a lot easier to get round the two halls and find what I needed. I was also able to purchase pretty much all the pots I was seeking. I know my carry on luggage wouldn’t have taken any more.

The exhibition was just as you’d expect, a few that looked out of place, most fitted the bill, and of course, a few outstanding trees. I walked the trees with friends on the Saturday and I picked the spruce as my personal best in show. Great to see it getting the best Conifer award.

Great to meet up with old friends and new. Apologies to those who I didn’t get to meet. My phone died half way through the day and I was unable to make contact with a few people to hook up. Sorry Xavier, next time my friend 🙂

Apologies as all my own photos are from my phone and quality is low. These are in the gallery below. However the following quality photos are courtesy of Oscar at Bonsai Empire along with the video. Enjoy.

Iwasaki Japanese White Pine

I’ve been looking for a Japanese White Pine for a while, but something a little different than the usual shaped pines we see everywhere. Back at the start of the Winter I was offered one that fitted the criteria.

Peter Warren of Saruyama Bonsai had imported some JWP that had been part of the Daizo Iwasaki collection. I had the pleasure of wiring one of them back in January 2017 whilst studying at Saruyama Towers. I think this was the catalyst to my desire for one. Peter had sold one in the Autumn of 2016 but it just come back into his hands as part of a swap deal and I jumped at the chance of buying it.

This is it back in Japan where Peter first spotted it.

The tree arrived with me just before Christmas, along with Mr Warren 🙂 This is a few angles before we started work.

Getting down to work with the professional.

and afterwards……

I love this tree, a spreading multi apex image and out of the normal cookie cutter Pine image. A few branches are a little behind development wise, especially around the back were we brought up a back branch to make the highest part of the tree. A few branches will be removed within a year or two. The last video clip is probably the best way to view it. It helps give a view of it’d funky quirky style and shows the real age and character in the trunk and branches. I look forward to developing this tree further, it should be a fun journey.

Thanks as always to Peter Warren, the most genuine bonsai professional out there, and, as the music playing in the last video says, ‘Go your Own Way’. 🙂 Let’s not run with the herd.

 

Wellington Dam

Our last night of camping was at Wellington Dam, the shore of which was littered with the skeletal remains of trees long dead. The deadwood here was truly ancient and worthy of a few photos. The next morning we went to the Preston River, the outflow from the Dam, to a place called the Honeymoon Pool. My brother-in-law Keith and I were the only two game enough to go in for a swim. The water was super cold having come out from the very base of the deep dam. After a few minutes it was quite pleasant though and a refreshing experience after a long walk around the Dam itself.

Itook some video with my phone as well as the usual barrage of photos.