A Nice Touch

Japan Erects Massive Sculpture of the Last Standing Tree from a Forest Destroyed by the 2011 Tsunami

Click image for link.

Merry Christmas One and All

Merry Christmas to all those sad enough to be checking your emails, blogs, websites, forums etc on Christmas day, I’ll be on later 😀

This is the last tree that I styled. A formal upright. I can’t take all the credit as my 17 year old son did some of the initial branch placement. However, I did all the final tweaking.

Santa left me a strange present under the tree!

Have a great day everyone.

PS. I did this post yesterday and scheduled it for this morning, in case you think I’m totally blogging mad!! 🙂

Inspiration – Walk in the Woods

Another Sunday walk taking photos for inspiration. Today was Redburn Park in Belfast overlooking Belfast Lough and the Famous Harland and Wolfe Shipyard were the ill fated Titanic was built.

David and Goliath Cranes at the Shipyard

By land sea and air. Plane coming into land at Belfast City Airport and the Stenna HSS Ferry sitting at dock waiting for it’s trip to Scotland.

 Further along the Lough Side is Holywood, that’s our Holywood, and it was there first 🙂

Right, you know where I talking about now. Here’s some of the beautiful Beech and other trees in the Park.

I saw at least 5 rafts where fallen Beech have regrown.

The old root base can been seen on this raft.

A cracker raft but hard to photograph

Old rotten root base of the tree above

This one was falling but was saved by surrounding trees and remains healthy even with half the roots out of the ground.

 There was a lot of deadwood on the ground and this was encouraging many types of Fungi.

How the mighty have fallen

Some other trees that caught my eye.

My usual collection of nebari and root shots 🙂

Loads of paths in every direction leave you wandering what’s around the next corner.

And a few natural deadwood features, a hollow trunk and a uro.

After looking at all these, you’ll feel as if you were with me and in Stephen’s case, he was 🙂

Walking on Sunshine

Had my usual Sunday morning walk today and what a day it was. Only problem was all the fair weather walkers clogging up the beach!! The second part of the walk was in the woods and it was less crowded and a lot cooler. Here’s a few pics from the day including some inspirational uro’s and deadwood.


End of the Blackthorn Flowers along the coast

Mill Pond sea

The way ahead

Two brothers on the beach with blackthorn flowering behind

Drill Rig getting tug boated into Belfast Harbour for some work.

Some nice uro and hollows on a beech

waiting for the last bit to fall then it'll be a uro

Deadwood on a hawthorn hedge

more of it.

Emerging ferns

Some unusual bark on a Sycamore

A windfall beech thats had a little wood removed for logs.

Another nebari for my collection

Best use?

Over the years I have gathered up far too much material on my benches and plan to thin out this year. To do this I’m giving some trees away and selling others. Most of this is raw or semi styled material. I spent a morning yesterday setting all these trees to the side and assessing if I want to keep them, or how much I need for them.

During this process I found a few trees that on their own were nothing special. To get the best use out of them I decided create a few group plantings.

First up was 4 Dawn Redwoods that had been field grown for 6 years. Four isn’t ideal for a group but one of the trees was a twin trunk so it looks like 5 :-). Hey it works!! The pot is poor but, if you’re going to sell it, who cares :-). Major work required on the deadwood (deadwood on a redwood 🙂 sorry, just had to say that!)

buds - perfect time for repotting

Next up is a beech that I planned to sell but I want to keep it now. I plan to experiment with a few new techniques for beech this year and this one is ideal for it.


I also had 6 elms that have been sitting under a bench for years without a second glance.  I decided to pop them into the red tray from the beech and get them started as a group planting. Six trees is never going to work, so I put five in the group and the spare is going to Jamie from the club for him to play with. I’ll expect a comment on here Jamie, I know you follow this :-). Here’s the 5 in the group.

None of these are that exciting but I think I’m now getting the best out of the material.

Downpatrick Inspiration

I took a photo of this tree today. All part of my quest for inspiration!  It’s growing in a field on the road to Downpatrick which, being St Patrick’s Day, it quite appropriate.

Sunday Dander

Here’s a few things I snapped on my Sunday walk with the dogs. The water is Belfast Lough.

Black Mountain looking like Mount Fuji with a cloud top.

Last of the snow, I hope!

Moss or mountainside?

Love the colour

Rowallane Trees

My wife and I visited Rowallane Gardens, a National Trust Property, today. It is famous for its Rhododendrons and has loads of interesting trees to admire and learn from. Here are a few of the things that caught my eye today.

On the main driveway in is a row of old Cedars with lovely hanging branches. It’s a pity that the lower limbs are removed for safety. It would be great to see one this size without man’s input into it’s design.

One of my reasons for going today was to see if the large Prunus Incisa or Fuji Cherry was in flower yet. My small one is but alas, this one has a few weeks to go yet.

Another tree that I liked was this Fraxinus Ornus, a type of weeping Ash I think. I loved the Uro’s.

There was a few maples scattered around the grounds but needless to say, no leaves yet. This is a large one in front of the main house and a nice bit of colour on a Sengo Kaku ‘Coral Bark’ Maple too.

A beautiful flowering Quince has been trained up the wall of the Tea rooms.

Here are some of the flowers and shapes that caught my eye.