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.
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.
Last work of the season on these two Chinese Hackberry originally field grown by Terry Erasmus from seed.
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.
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.
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.
The story of a small, collected shohin sized wild olive begins in this post. Collected in 2013, within only 2 years the tree has undergone a dramatic change and it is on it's way to being awarded a bonsai pot for good behaviour. I will share with you how this development was achieved so you too can tell a similar story.
One of the most attractive qualities of deciduous bonsai when sensitively styled is the light and delicate appearance within the visual mass of the canopy. When hidden by a full canopy of leaves this beauty is lost to the viewer, but it's in winter that these species' structure which required many years of pinching, defoliating and wiring is finally revealed.
In this blog post a shohin tree makes it onto the bench for the 2nd time this season to be defoliated, wire which is biting in will need to be removed and we may need to do some branch selection. I will also discuss the appropriate use of tools and how to deal with scarring and the usefulness of sacrifice branches.