Sunday, 13 April 2014

April 12th in the garden - and an exciting juniper on rock for sale

What's occurring in the bonsai-at-16 back yard ? - treesagreen I guess

lets have a picture post without too much reading

weeping willow in Duffet pot with stunning taper - this is a tree with a great future ahead - very soft wood so 2 coats of lime sulphur that will be followed by a subdued brown stain and then a waterproofing coat. the tree wants to stay wet while growing so the dead wood needs lots of attention. Personal collection tree

Scots Pine - styled at a Peter Adams workshop many years ago - nice natural tree, wire free this year. Potentially for sale

Juniper on rock - for sale, more pics at the end

 Our juniper on rock from Kimura - lovely tree and going to improve year on year

side view of the needle juniper, newly styled deadwood juniper (for sale) and the Hinoki - all happy and healthy

Needle juniper- new buds from top to bottom - keep longer growth on lower branches for a healthy balanced tree - one of the hungriest bonsai you can have - feed and water without holding back, let grow to 6-10cm, cut back to 2-3mm , 2nd buds pinch off big ones, keep small ones

Japanese Black Pine - bark forming nicely on the trunk now, colour recovered well now. Tree came here potted in a soil mix of gardening compost / grit that was staying really wet - the pine was not happy in this at all and was weak and leggy with a pale yellowy green foliage. It was only after removing the soil we could see there were hardly any roots on the tree and its taken 3 years to improve the trees colour and strength - We have not decandled the tree at all in this time so the tree hasn't been weakened further.

Dark composty soil and pale needles-danger signs

Slanting driftwood juniper - the compaction and balance is coming - this winter we will do a proper refinement wiring on this one to define the pads - tight growth will be excellent this year as there is hardly a single flower on the tree - its taken 2 1/2 years to get the tree settled so it doesnt flower on virtually every shoot - balanced feeding helps.

A true japanese yamadori juniper (trunk) grafted with Itoigawa foliage - most, nearly all, imported junipers are field grown and trained but once in a while a proper wild one shows up - Tree sulked after a big first styling session and started growing in the 2nd growth period of last year. It has not been repottted although it needs better positioning so the roots are undisturbed and the mature growth will be stronger. Repotting Itoigawa too much results in juvenile foliage everywhere

European Beech raft for sale - £300 - very natural tree

Shin Deshojo just leafing out, NFS,  Mikawa Yatsubusa a few weeks ahead £850

Pyracantha - firethorn - a stunning tree from Taisho-en in a very fine pot. Flower buds just forming, lots of strong new growth. We may use this in a winter display so will need to protect the berries from the birds. It is one of the stock trees for sale though so may go to a new home one day

Chinese Elm - been here 25 years - good bark texture and fairly good ramification. Last year we started getting this tree properly show ready for 2015 or 16 so pruning has been tighter, we've not repotted so growth becomes finer but feeding keeps going at full speed - a healthy tree is an easy one to refine

Japanese Yew - had its first styling 2012/13, repotted last spring and POW - serious budding all over. yet again testament to correct feeding, positioning and watering. I saw a few cuspidata yews somewhere else recently that hardly had a new bud on the entire trees - just a few on strongest areas. You cant develop and refine a tree that isn't growing properly. this will be allowed to grow freely for a month or two then pruned back with scissors to a few new leaves - then we'll get back buds and finer terminal buds - the strong ones will be pinched and now we can start making the domed pads. 2 years to find a pot, first ever show debut in 3 yrs or maybe 4

 Buds on buds

Satsuki raw trunk - long way to go 

This heavy trunk was seriously neglected - it was sat on the ground for a few years, rooted through the pot and all the roots tips were snapped off when the pot was moved (not here!!) I bought the tree as there were tiny leaves and little shoots all the way up the tree showing the crown had not died. All flowers were removed last year, 90% of the flowers have been removed this year and the tree will certainly explode in new growth. In a few years it will be our best azalea.

Zelkova - one of the later trees to bud break here - we have 3 and they are all just starting to move. This is another Kimura tree and chances are it is the only authentic deciduous tree from his garden in Europe. Tree was thinned out of poor shoots and more importantly all the dead twiggy bits and knobbly knuckles were taken off - Dense Zelkova brooms often can have a lot of old dead inner shoots making up a percentage of the ramification but it is far better to get these out so living shoots can grow in the spaces. Will be repotted as soon as the buds show signs of opening. Great tree - I've not seen a broom in real life quite as good

 Hornbeam we dug 2 weeks ago is growing like mad - I pinch new shoots daily back to 2 or 3 leaves while they are still soft so the inner shoots develop. The tree needs a fair bit of work - its like a pointed pine at the moment but once I've developed a wider domed crown it will look like a mature deciduous tree - this one is becoming a keeper more and more each day as I think it will pull off a pretty good winter image. I'm looking forward to getting this tree good enough for Swindon show in coming years, unless someone else ends up with it !

Even though big is great this little oriental hornbeam has real charm - for sale £35.00

The recovery of the Kiyohime clump from Dan Bartons bonsai book continues. The tree was sold to another dealer who had it for about 15 yrs at a guess. After total neglect and non existent pruning over those years  I ended up acquiring a tree with 2ft long bare branches poking out in all directions. Hard pruning, hard feeding, defoliation and more hard pruning has got the tree down this far but some branches are refusing to bud back where I want them to so the tree is being allowed to grow loads of shoots to be used as grafting material. Late Jan 2015 we'll graft scions all over the tree and cut back the old branch tips once the grafts are taken. Exciting project tree and quite a challenge to recover a lost masterpiece

A bench of small stock - top row
Juniper raw £145, Juniper Sold, Juniper Sold, Juniper £65, Juniper Sold, hinoki £45, larch NFS
2nd row
micro willow x 3 nfs yet !, hornbeam £35, Dwarf Azalea £75 Zelkova 1 sold, No.2 £75, chinese elms £12

Now we have a new stock tree

Large Juniper on rock

Tree originally was part of the Anne Swinton collection, I've had it about 8 or 9 years now and have made this planting after being inspired by the kimura tree. A juniper retains and recovers its strength from its foliage so Ive not stripped the tree bare to make the pads look too tidy. The tree has been potted and had a first styling so there is no point in weakening it further by removing too much greenery. All that needs doing this year is removal of long shoots as they extend 

Tree for sale £1650.00 including a refining session on the foliage in 12 months if needed

Will not post this one - too heavy and too fragile but meeting up is always an option.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

is your Mojo Rising ?

             If you want the music while you read here it is, if not its waiting at the bottom too

And now the bonsai bit.....................

Spring is upon us in sunny Cornwall, UK. Some trees have been flowering, the buds are swelling on everything and leaves are bursting from sheaths and hardening off in the sun as the days are getting brighter and longer. Many trees have been repotted so the new soil is fairly barren and the trees are using stored reserves to continue their cycle of life but left in this situation we will be weakening the bonsai as their reserves deplete so it is essential to start adding fertiliser now on many trees.

Organic is king

This actually needs a little more clarification as these days people think of organic products as soil association certified, pesticide free, GM free etc etc but this is not what we mean by organic fertiliser - it means non chemical and formulated with ingredients that have lived or grown fairly recently, although a good fertiliser may be boosted or balanced with trace elements, iron, magnesium and many other items that may be of chemical background - hence why we are using a fertiliser that is not certified organic in the modern sense of the word.

Why use it as it smells ? ......because it feeds the entire pot - the soil fauna and bacteria break it down into raw compounds and these feed the tree - we can improve the bridge between the roots and the compounds even more to improve plant uptake even further with special products like humic and fulvic acids - used in dilution when watering, or included in the feed at manufacture, it just depends how far you want to go.

At the factory we made a fertiliser pellet a few years back and put nothing but the good bits in - results were great from the trees but it attracted too many animals to the pots - urban foxes and big slobbery dogs were the main culprits - it made no difference in our garden as there are no foxes and the dogs are small and cute ! but further afield it made MKI a commercial non starter

One by one I dropped levels and dropped individual ingredients until finding the one key thing the critters were enjoying - we were using a powdered fish emulsion and the lingering traces of this kept the animals going back to investigate. We dropped the dry powder fish emulsion from the mix and the only other ingredient they were loving was the blood powder used to bind the pellets as they came out of our low pressure extruder. We needed to get an outside manufacturer to extrude the pellet under very high pressure to compress it with more traditional fertiliser pellet binders and two days ago the first bulk stock arrived.

Great material deserves decent food without paying over the top

The pellets are NPK 5.1 : 7.2 : 10 and break down when the tree is watered - We use and totally recommend using baskets to keep the pellets neatly in place and it makes removing any spent husk very simple. After 6-8 weeks its time to re-feed as all the goodness will be used up - its worth noting that even when the pellets are broken down the particles are still feeding the tree so no need to add more until the 6-8 weeks is up. 

We are doing the pellets in 200 gram pots for customers with small tree collections
£2.50 / pot

500 gram bags are £5.00
1000 gram bags are £9.00
Larger bags on request

Do we practice what we preach ? of course we do - every tree here, stock, customer and personal collection are all fed 100% with these pellets - from the 2 Kimura trees to the £10 chinese Elms they all get the same.

Pellets in baskets work best where there is contact with the soil so here is a little trick to get the most from your fertilising regime - simple isn't it, and neat, so neat I think it may catch on haha

This method gives soil microbes and the pot fauna far more access to the pellets - they break them down and spread the broken down compounds further through the pot - watch where the root tips go too ! 

Did we compromise the pellets by dropping the fish emulsion powder ? No, we now offer the original fish emulsion in liquid form so you can add 5ml to the watering can once a week and water it in that way - strangely the werewolves don't track it down this way.

500ml - £5.00- 5ml per watering can - BARGAIN bonsai food and one of the very best for controlled growth without feeding to excess - great for keeping pines in control but really green and healthy too. 

trees with too many buds - Oh Dear what a lovely problem to have - it certainly makes designing and styling easy

We are busy here on a daily basis but know feeding the trees properly is essential, and it is the only way to progress the trees from year to year. My regime is a fertiliser basket full of pellets - 4 on a 16" pot, 6 on an 18-20" pot etc and change after about 7 weeks. Once a week 5ml of Fish emulsion is mixed in a watering can with 50 ml of humic acid and every tree gets well watered. The only variation to this is the Satsukis -they get all of this plus an overnight soak in a tub of full strength micacle-acid azalea feed......yes its a chemical fertiliser but I use it to retain the acidic pot conditions the trees require due to watering and rain being neutral ph. - The health of the trees here prove what works - we get good colouration, lack of disease, controlled growth and trees that actually progress and improve - its a bit more work than chucking on a few chicken poop pellets round the trees but they're worth it.

watering cans ............... there can be only one !

Mojo risin

Happy feeding - any products you need details on or posting just email or visit the shop