Monday, 28 July 2014

Chunky scotty

Waiting for a pallet to arrive I fancied doing a bit of creative bonsai work this morning so took a tree from the raw material bench down the end of the garden to work on

 This nice chunky tree was planned to be a semi cascade but after weeding and cleaning up the soil surface a perfect trunk base and root flare was exposed so to change the potting angle would have ruined this feature of the tree. Giving the tree a few minutes study I decided to compact the upper trunk and make an informal upright with a very classic branch structure. This choice makes the trunk base seem really big and ticks my favourite bonsai make the smallest convincing tree you can from the material in front go you.

There was no need to hurry today so every bit needed in the final design was wired in copper, the point of the main bend was raffia'd and taped to protect the cambium and to stop any major splitting before a 2mm copper guy wire was attached to a screw in the lower trunk and the tree compacted down to the desired position.

probably 2 1/2 to 3 hours went into the tree and the finished result for a first styling from semi raw material was really pleasing. This one will be uploaded to our various online sales areas as it was a nice simple and stress free styling (for the tree ! ;-))

Scots Pine, nice bark forming, great movement and lovely compact image
Decided to put it on Auction rather than Buy it Now so anyone interested my grab a nice tree at a nice price

you got wires ! lol

admittedly I wouldn't recommend wiring a tree to 'wires' by Athlete unless you want to be very depressed - watch it before wiring and then the job seems far more bearable and enjoyable.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

buds bursting out everywhere

Back in June the Black and Red pine were de-candled as covered in this earlier blog post.

The new buds started to form at the points where the original shoots were cut off about 3 weeks later, and now, after another 3 weeks have passed these buds are extending and new back buds are forming old older parts of the branches.

Black pine - 3 new terminal buds - one will be removed

Black pine again - 5 buds here - 3 are terminal buds and two have formed on the side of one of them. Tree health and an excellent fertiliser regime lead to good results like this. This tree has sat here for 3 years before it was strong enough to be candle cut due to poor soil and very weak roots when we got the tree - I also made a small mistake by fully styling the tree soon after getting it before the poor root system had been investigated - always learn from experience ! 

this branch section is the junction between wood 3 & 4 years old showing a nice strong back bud. it will probably sit dormant until next year before developing into a small candle. 

another new backbud on 4 to 5 year old wood - finally the tree can be developed now

Red pine this time - its a bud fest ! easy to see why they are called red pine too ! Incredible tree health - the colour is good, the needles are good. This tree will be styled this winter once the new needle clusters are fully hardened off.

Twin buds on a red pine terminal - uncut we only had one candle so the branch could only get longer - now we have 2 shoots so the branch can be ramified properly. Where I have 3 or more buds the two best placed ones will be selected as keepers and the others plucked off with tweezers. 

Fertiliser observations: 

Yesterday all the baskets of fertiliser were replenished - we exclusively use our bonsai boost pellets as our organic dry feed and it took 2.5kg to do the lot - that means there are 125 baskets in use as it takes 20 grams per basket. Little things like knowing this help with planning when you are stocking up on consumables - buy the right amount, don't run out but don't waste money sitting on stuff from one year to the next. 

You hear that fertilisers can burn roots........maybe some do but look at the picture above .......there is incredible root mass right under the basket ! if they're hungry you have to feed them

Plan on feeding solids  every 6 - 8 weeks from early spring until early Autumn. We boost this with dilute weekly feeds of liquids and tonics - fish emulsion is our trump card and we are now trialling using it alongside a seaweed and an algae based product - results are so promising these extras will be added to the product range soon. As you can see I don't have an endless list of fertiliser products as we want to sell what we use here - simple concise information and products makes bonsai health easy. 

Here is a fruit crop plumping up nicely and a new burst of inner foliage shoots too - oriental bittersweet that I think will need guarding from the birds later in the year if we are to see the stunning display of brightly coloured seeds. This is a potential Noelanders accent tree once repotted if I can keep enough berries intact - I may experiment with a fridge with this little tree in the same way plants are controlled for major exhibitions like Chelsea flower show 

white pine, yamadori juniper, deshojo, zelkova, juniper, black pine, mixed accent.....a lot of variety in one corner of the bench

Feed me !!

 & choose life ;-)

Sunday, 20 July 2014

MBA - the 2nd Magical bonsai accents show 2014

Yesterday was the 2nd show highlighting all the bits and pieces that can go alongside our usual bonsai trees and displays. The accents and accompaniments can be linked to a theme, made into a display in their own right or just used as stand alone pieces. A show is about pictures thought rather than words so here we go:

Great show, really good social catch up with friends - looking forward to the next one, I already have a few ideas ! 

Saturday, 12 July 2014

sales benches on a drizzly july day

The current available stock

I won't fill the blog with endless pictures of sales material - so just a neat little link to the facebook page

While taking all the sales pics I took a few others as you do. Quite a grey day, bit of drizzle, quite atmospheric

 Variety is the spice of life - colour, texture, style 

 Trident and Palmatum defoliated within a few days of each other - a perfect example of the difference in vigour between the two species

 Common Juniper - repotted to desired angle in 2013, cut back lots of long branches this spring, long way to go though - but it lives and grows here OK  just like any other tree. 

 The weak white pine that was dropping branches pushed out so much strong growth after feeding last year with our bonsai boost fertiliser pellets - there were 24 baskets full in 2013, 6 this year, tree recovered now and ready to style this winter - from now on its only going to be fed in sept but will be watered once a month with our fish emulsion

 Taxus Cuspidata - needs a show pot and 2 more yrs refining - we are getting there with this one

 smaller trees, some styled but most are kept as good quality part trained material

 Cleaned up, thinned a bit, opened out to let light in - important to keep the tree from hollowing out

 Peeking through from the path

 Down the other end we have material trees ....some for sale, some project trees of mine - hinoki, beuvronensis, sabina, olive, rosemary

 More of the same - scots pine, prunus mume, potentilla, spruce, sabina, yew

 Kimura through the drizzle----- even looks nice from the back

Wrong type of rain (reign) but who can spell these days !