Sunday, 1 June 2014

pearls of wisdom

I think this echos the way I hope to go in bonsai

The link above showed me a man with belief, self assurance and more than anything else the absolute commitment to making and supplying good trees while trying to ensure they stay that way when sold. I'd say he also has the ability to market himself and his trees very well - and there is nothing wrong with any of that.

There are also a few clues in those few paragraphs that following the way of the book and the self proclaimed expert is not always the best route - by now 90%+ of the books are out of date and there are so many internet bonsai experts with lots to say but hardly any decent trees of their own to share - I cant be the only one to find the endless re-sharing of images of lovely trees boring, especially when the virtual writer has had nothing to do with them apart from a 'copy and paste'  from google, or worse still from the owners site but without credit where it is due.

What's been occurring in our bonsai Garden recently ?

Replenishing fertiliser pellets - the first feed has been in place a couple of months so it is now leached out from watering, rain and general weathering. The pellets we now have are performing very well - leaf size and growth vigour has been controled but incredibly healthy - tree colour and resistance to attacks from nasties has been the best in years....and very interesting to see the junipers that have historically flowered heavily this year have virtually no flowers and are covered in perfect new tight growth tips.

Even with the stock selling well it needs 1.5kg of pellets to do the job but healthy strong bonsai make the job so much easier - this taxus cuspidata has new growth on basically every single shoot that has already extended and been scissor pruned back to a few new leaves, ready to trigger more new buds and even finer growth - this followed a proper repot with Peter Warren and a total wiring and styling last shows how a tree does not sulk or suffer when everything is done properly

2 weeks ago the trident group was defoliated and is now budding out again, the biggest palmatum here was defoliated last week so a bit too soon for signs of new shoots yet. Once it does shoot out it is essential to tweezer out the little extension shoot that follows the first 2 leaves - if you miss this the point of defoliating was lost 

On a sales front some lovely trees have moved on to new owners - the triple trunk acer, the beech raft, several quality shohin sized trees, my needle juniper, a large white beech, black pine and several deshojos - plus all the new shohin azaleas are gone. We built a new large bench to house all the workshop and native trees - this now holds 7 hinoki, 4 scotts pines, 5 junipers, a yew, a spruce, lonicera, several beeches, a few acers, cork bark elm and a very nice silver birch...trees priced from £30 - £360 on this bench - most are £100 or under, only one is over £300. 

Bottle 1 of our fish emulsion is just about used - this is the key combination supplement to go hand in hand with the pellets - every Sunday all the trees get watered with this and now thanks to a birthday pressy I use a really cool can - surely the trees can tell ?

Moving on to products that we needed to sort out for our own use and for customers needs I have sourced and spooled our own copper wire - after rolling it is annealed in the factory under one of the gas fired cookers  - going for the quick cool option has given me the softest easiest to work with copper wire I've ever used since starting bonsai.

how do you improve something so basic ? first off the biggest pain with it up until now was the roll diameter - everyone loves the size of 500gr Aluminium wire so I spooled the copper the same - coil size does not effect the wire as the annealing is done after rolling. Then the biggest problem with copper wire is the fact it slowly gets harder again the longer it hangs around and most people take ages to get through a kilo so i've spooled the lot in 500gr rolls but kept the price right where it should be

they fit on most wire holders now too so no getting bashed around in the tool bag (this makes annealed copper hard again too)
single rolls are on ebay at £13.50 + pnp but please contact us directly though so ebay dont take their fee and I can pass on the saving for 2-5 rolls. Bulk users / pro's etc who need 10+ rolls can contact us for a price

sizes ready now are 0.8mm, 1.1mm, 1.5mm, 1.75mm. 2.0mm (A couple of larger sizes will follow in a few weeks) 

2 weeks time the red and black pine decandling will start, then it will be beech pruning once the new buds are properly visible at the base of the leaves

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