We had our biggest snowfall of the year so far, today; but I still managed to do some work with my trees. We don’t get a lot of snow in the lowlands of Scotland and when it does, the temperature usually rises and the light quality gets much better. For that reason I welcome it.
I brought the little group of shohin hawthorns that featured in my previous post indoors to take some record pictures. All of these trees were much taller when they were first lifted from my garden and were chopped back to shohin size in 2012. They’ve still got a long way to go but some are starting to show some promise for the future.
This morning, during a brief break in our relentless winter weather I ventured outside to check my trees and came across this group of hawthorns. Its early days in their development as shohin bonsai but a few have developed sufficiently to capture my attention. I will be giving them a little winter maintenance in the coming week and take some studio record pictures as the work is finished, which will be posted here later in the week. All of these trees are being developed from hedging material collected from my garden about 10 years ago. Most have had another life as larger bonsai.
While we continue to endure the big freeze of the Scottish winter, I thought I would share a few of my favourite accent plantings from last year
This is the last of the three larches that were de-wired last week to have new wire re-applied.
First a reminder of how it looked when the old wire was removed. Most of the primary branches are now more or less where I would like them to be, but the one on the bottom left still needs a little persuasion and the secondary branches which have extended also need a little refinement.
This is how it is looking at the moment after todays work.
I like this tree, it has a great nebari, nice trunk taper and movement and thin delicate branches.
This is a recent record picture of my shohin kiyohime maple. This little tree is developing nicely. The plan for next spring is to replant it into a brightly coloured shallow oval pot.
As we continue to endure the poor light and atrocious weather conditions of a bleak mid winter here in Scotland, I thought I would take the time to share my first seasons experience of looking after a Juniper Rigida shohin that I acquired at the beginning of last year.
At the time of purchase, I had no experience at all of working with this species, so the initial plan was to feed it, let it grow and see what happened.
This is a reminder of how it looked when I brought it home
After a few weeks of feeding, lots of new shoots emerged but these were lime green in colour and not the dark green I expected. Having no experience with this species, I assumed that as the foliage hardened off in the late summer that it would take on the deep green colour of the mature foliage but that did not happen to any great degree.
Compare the picture above to the next 2 pictures, which shows another smaller rigida purchased at the same time, from the same stock by my friend Gerry. By late summer, this had put on a lot of rich green new growth and was ready for a first styling.
At the moment, my best guess is that my tree may be suffering from a mineral deficiency or a problem in the soil.As the summer was ending I was concerned about the poor drainage. Meanwhile, if anyone out there has experience of this, I would be most grateful to hear from you.
My plan at the moment is to get it out of the pot it is in at the earliest opportunity in order to get a good look at the soil and the condition of the roots. I will also try a magnesium supplement
Here are 2 possibilities for the re-pot.
Watanabe Ikkou rectangle
This is the second one of three that I de-wired last week
A reminder of how it looked last week without the wire
Today after branch selection and rewiring, All I need now is for one of the live buds on the left of the upper trunk to develop to fill the gap in the middle.
This is how it looked at this time last year
And this is a reminder of how it looked in 2011
Japanese Larch 2011