The first picture was taken on the 13th May 2011 and shows the tree on the day it was collected from my garden. It clearly had a rough life up to that point as many of the thicker branches had died and the main trunk had been flattened to the ground. I kept it in this 14 inch pot for just over a year, feeding it regularly with high nitrogen fertilizer.
When it was removed from the pot I could see that there had been strong root development at both ends of the trunk but nothing in the middle. I decided that the best thing to do was, to cut the tree in half, along the red line visible in the first picture, with a view to creating 2 shohin trees. The left half was planted, in an upright position, into a 6 inch pot. The right half, which was by far the weaker part was trimmed and planted as it had been previously. The next picture shows the left half a little more than a year after the separation. The right half showed so little promise at this stage that I did not photograph it. I did, however, remove it from its pot and removed some heavy roots.
In 2013, both trees were left to recover, fertilized frequently and allowed to grow freely. By March 2014 they had made such good progress that I decided to remove them from their deep plastic pots, carry out some more root reduction work and re-pot them into shallower bonsai pots. The next 2 pictures show both trees after re-potting earlier this month.
I think that both of these trees are now at a stage where they are beginning to show some potential as future shohin and I look forward to developing them further in the coming years.
This miniature Soldanella in a little Isso pot has just come into flower
This will give some idea of scale
I’ve had this amazing twisted pomegranate in this oversized Tongrae pot for 2 years. Last year I slightly altered the planting angle to move the apex further back than it had been previously.
Today I replanted it in this bright red oval pot by Eimei at the Yozan Kiln
This is a first attempt at displaying some of my trees with my recently acquired shohin stand
This is a medium sized Larch from my collection, which was wired earlier this month (March 2014) and re-potted last week after some root reduction work. It is 45cm high and is just beginning to look like a bonsai, I think. I haven’t wired all the secondary branches as I am still trying to set the primary branches.
It was collected about 10 years ago but lay neglected, apart from the occasional trim, in a plastic pot at the back of my garden for about 7 years. The next picture shows the tree in March 2011.Look at the wire on the lower branches, what was I thinking about then. As you can see, the trunk had no taper and would never make a pleasing bonsai in that form.
In 2012 I decided to chop the trunk back to one branch and start again. when I removed it from its pot I saw that the roots had grown very thick indeed but with a bit of work they would help to produce an interesting nebari. I cut the roots back quite severely and re-planted it in this clay pot.
In the next picture taken in March 2013 you can see that it didn’t grow very vigorously in the previous season but what new growth there was got wired for a second time. I suspect the poor growth in 2012 was due to the severe root pruning and the poor weather that followed.
Throughout 2013 the tree grew strongly and in June I decided to do some carving on the stump.
By the end of the year it had put on a lot of new growth and was ready for its third wiring. The next picture shows the tree just before wiring in March 2014.
And this is how it looked after the wiring.
I’m beginning to wonder if wiring Larch, which is still in training, in the winter/spring period is worthwhile as the branches thicken so quickly in spring and the wire has to be removed soon after it was put on. Certainly it’s easier to do at this time of year and it tidies up the winter image but does it help to set the branches. I don’t think so.
Here is the little accent featured in my previous post displayed alongside my shohin Potentilla. The Potentilla is housed in a hand painted semi-cascade pot by Tosui kiln (Mizuno Shikao), who I read has just retired recently.
This is a little Saxifraga ” Your Smile” which is in flower at the moment. The stunning little accent pot was made in Czechoslovakia by Keramika Pro Bonsai and was a recent purchase at the Noelanders Trophy.
This is a little broom style Zelkova that I acquired last spring.. I was immediately impressed by the care and attention that had gone in to producing this little beauty back in Japan. I also had a pot in my collection that would look perfect with it.
I was able to re-pot it as soon as I got it home into this little lime green job by Ikou Watanabe.
It grew well over the summer and will need a root trim in the next few days as soon as the buds begin to swell.
This is how it looks at the moment
This is one of my favourite accent plants, it is a tiny semi-succulent called Delosperma Sphalmanthoides (try saying that when you’ve had a few drinks) and the little basket pot which is only 3cm high was made by the well known Japanese author Junsun Yamamoto. in a few weeks time it will be covered in tiny pink flowers