brett simon bending juniper bonsai trees

Bend it like Brett

In this vlog, Terry Erasmus shadows local Cape Town bonsai artist, Brett Simon as he prepares a collected juniper for some drastic bending. Increase your confidence to do the same as Brett explains and demonstrates the process he follows to you with the aid of text, photographs and carefully narrated video.

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bonsai tips and suggestions

Maintenance and training of bonsai trees

This blog post was inspired by an article in an old edition of the Bonsai Today magazine. In this post, which I will be adding to over time I will share many tips and suggestions on growing bonsai; how to maintain, style, wire, feed and much more. The topic, written in plain English aided by detailed photographs explains the fundamentals of bonsai in an easy to follow manner.
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English elm bonsai development

Development of an English Elm Bonsai

Follow the development of this English Elm bonsai from rooted cutting in a bag, field growing, development and then finally through refinement to exhibition.
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Japanese red pine bonsai tree

Japanese Red Pine Styling

A Japanese red pine imported in 2013, finally get some tender loving care in the form of a proper styling.
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Japanese black pine bonsai styling

Japanese Red Pine bonsai gets a new look

In this post, I guide you through the process which I followed to prepare this Japanese Red Pine bonsai tree I imported from Japan late 2015, for a major restyling. The tree is then wired and styled. Extensive styling notes accompany the many photos so you can easily follow the process.
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Chinese elm bonsai tree makeover

Makeover of a Chinese Elm - Continued

In this post we continue with the development of an old Chinese elm which began a remake in 2009. We pick up from where the first installment ended and show you what the tree looks like now and describe the techniques used.
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4 Year Development of a Cotoneaster from bush to bonsai

4 Year Development of a Cotoneaster from bush to bonsai

This blog post follows the development of a Cotoneaster bonsai tree from a rooted cutting, developed in the garden and then in a growing pot for only 4 years. In it cover the basics of what to do from the time you dig up the tree till it goes into a refinement pot or container.

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acacia bonsai tree gets a new styling

An Acacia Bonsai gets a radical makeover

An Acacia bonsai brought to me by a customer gets a radical makeover.  Radical makeovers or instant bonsai can be fun and challenging. This neglected tree gets a completely new look and some new growing media to jump start it.

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chinese hackberry or celtis sinensis gets an autumn cut

Two Chinese Hackberry Bonsai get an Autumn Cut

Last work of the season on these two Chinese Hackberry originally field grown by Terry Erasmus from seed.

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Japanese bonsai azalea

Bonsai Azalea Heaven in Saitama, Japan

On a recent trip to Japan I visited two specialist nurseries; one that is well known and has won many awards in Japan for their shohin, and the other is a bonsai professional that specialises in Satsuki Azalea.

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Creating the canopy of a bonsai tree

Creating the canopy of a bonsai tree

Creating bonsai structure in bonsai is probably one of the most misunderstood yet most written about concepts or ideas. Getting it wrong leads to stylized bonsai which resemble nothing you will find in nature and often leaves the viewer feeling uneasy. Getting it right however produces trees of great beauty and evokes all sort of positive emotions when viewed, especially in winter.

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Field grown chinese elm bonsai tree

Progression of a Field Grown English Elm over 6 years

Bonsai progressions are always fun to look at. It shows in a few short paragraphs of text and some images, the work and changes a bonsai tree has undergone over a number of years. What makes it fun though is that our art is as much about trees as it is about patience, so seeing all these changes condensed is like pressing fast forward on the remote.

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