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.

Two Eejits Chatting

I think I should probably share this here. I’ve been poor at blogging of late, Instagram has sucked me in for ease of use and I have neglected my oldest child as a result. I must do better.

Anyway here is a link to last nights live stream with Peter Warren where we take a walk around my garden on a freak windy day and then shoot the breeze over a beer. We even talk about my lack of blogging. Gripping stuff

 

 

Shine Bright Like A Diamond

In an attempt to get into a routine of posting on the blog again I thought I’d share this Rhododendron Blue Diamond here.

This years peak bloom.

You’ll notice the one branch at the front without flowers. It’s a weak branch which gets weaker every year. There is a very thin live vein on it and I had removed the flowers from it for the last few years to try and strengthen it with no joy. Enough was enough. It had its chance so time to remove and redesign.

And then past peak with dead flowers showing.

The ideal time to remove the flowers and more importantly the little seed pods at their centre.

I’m sure we missed some late openers.
After deflowering before pruning.
Structural pruning
After pruning and set for the post flowering flush. You’d hardly notice the front branch at the main apex gone. A few bits wired to fill the gap.

Below is how the tree came to me in 2002.

Close Up

A few trees in close up from European Bonsai San 2019

One to One with Derek

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

Garden Changes

Two weeks ago I started the process of removing the grass from my back garden. More space for display and additional drainage due to seasonal flooding were my aims.

This was the starting point.

First step was getting a micro digger in.

Next up was 16 tonne of stone, some decorative some for drainage.

Then it was time to start adding trees. I opted to use temporary bench legs while I figure out the layout that suits me best. I’ll replace them when I’m 100% on the spacing etc. I’ve also a few monkey poles to add and some underplanting. I’m also looking for a nice piece of bog oak to use as a sculpture/feature. I’m still looking.

That’s the front part of the garden nearly complete. Next up is the back with a new Polytunnel.

Fencepost Cedar

Well that’s what I call it. I’ve played with this tree for years watching it progress slowly. It adds a bit of colour in the display and despite all its faults I still like to stop and look it it, even though it’s usually to figure out what I’d like to change 😂

some older shots of it over the years. Back when I made a Horlivka of the carving 😀This was it in 2016

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.

Shore Pine Rock Planting 1

I run a study group once a month for some friends who want to learn more. This has become two separate groups, one on a Friday evening, one on the Saturday morning.

This Weekend we were putting together some trees with rock.

First up was this shore Pine which had some initial work done by Peter Warren in 2017 and was recently rewired by myself.

The tree in September 2017 as raw material.

Afterwards.

prior to wiring 2019. after wiring.

The rock collected by a friend over 20 years ago at Blessington lake Dublin

The work. The original plan had to be changed after the heavy roots on the tree wouldn’t let us place the tree on the highest portion of the rock. We looked at other planting options and liked the drama of the option selected.

If you are reading this and are within travelling distance of Newtownards near Belfast feel free to join us once a month for sessions like this.

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.