Getting into the Spirit

British Shohin Bonsai

It is with some considerable delight that we announce that there will be a British Shohin Bonsai show in 2016, run in conjunction with our friends at Sutton Bonsai Society.

Entitled Spirit of Shohin 2016, the show will be held over the weekend on April 2nd and 3rd 2016, and will offer members and public a chance to see some of the foremost shohin bonsai in the UK.

And even more excitingly, the venue for the event will be RHS Wisley Garden in Surrey.

It is something of a feather in our cap to be able to run our show at such a prestigious location, and we hope that it will mark the start of a long and profitable relationship with the UK’s foremost horticultural society.

Plans for the event are in a very early stage of development, but the organising team are already working towards making…

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Weathering the Storm

The unsettled start to the season in the northern parts of the UK isn’t over yet and continues to play havoc with the more tender leafed species, especially small trees which have recently been re-potted. Overnight temperatures below freezing means that most of my deciduous trees still require the protection of the greenhouse at night.

This first picture sums up what it is like at the moment. The sun is shining and the remains of the latest hail storm are still visible on the greenhouse roof glass.


There are still quite a number of trees to be re-potted this week and I have Gerry visiting today for our midweek get together


He brought along this Fuji cherry, which he started last year from nursery material.


This is how it looks at the moment in a stunning new pot by Walsall Ceramics. This little tree will really glow in that pot, when it flowers next year.


This is a small Korean Hornbeam, which he also acquired last year, isn’t performing as well as it should in this shallow container


This is probably a better  front and planting angle for the next stage of development


Re-potted into another terrific pot by Walsall


We were delighted to see 2 pictures in this month’s issue of Bonsai Focus magazine, which show Gerry and I enjoying the exhibits at this year’s Noelander’s Trophy.


(The above image is reproduced from Bonsai Focus Magazine issue 134/157)


Sun, Small Trees and Good Company

Yesterday, I travelled northward to meet up with my good friend Gerry for our customary mid week get together to discuss and work on our trees. I really look forward to these days, it’s a real pleasure to meet up with friends and be able to share in joy of bonsai with others, who enjoy it as much as I do.


Gerry preparing his Fuji cherry in readiness for a re-pot


Gerry’s first attempt at air layering a horse chestnut has been very successful.


Transplanted into a pond basket to develop the roots further


This juniper rigida, which I initially styled last year, which appears on my new before and after page, needed a more appropriate pot and a slight change of angle.


This is how it’s looking at the moment in a new zenigo pot


This small white pine was chopped back and re-potted


Her it is after the work in a new yamaaki cascade pot


As always, the time passed all too quickly, but we do have next week to look forward to. Lets hope the weather stays fine.



2 Zelkovas Re-Potted

My 2 shohin zelkovas have been late to bud this year because of the cold start to the season. They are on their way now so I decided to re-pot them this week.

The first one had been growing for 2 seasons in this green Chinese pot.


The old pot had a good depth for root development and the tree has grown with vigour during this time. I fancied something a little brighter this year so I have transferred it to this yellow glazed rectangle with rounded corners by Walsall Ceramics. I think it works well


I have been using the second tree for shows so it has spent its life with me in this shallow lotus shaped pot by Ikkou Watanabe. The tree is very healthy but its growth has been slower than the previous example because there is less room in the pot for root development. I will give it one more year in this pot and then I will rest it in a larger one for a couple of years to allow faster development.


Potentilla Shohin from Nursery Stock

Potentilla Fruticosa is a common species of flowering shrub, which is particularly suited to the creation large and small bonsai due to its small leaves, profusion of flowers in season and the sinuous fissured trunks of mature specimens.

This is the progression. so far of a shohin sized tree that I began in the summer of 2013.

The first picture shows the tree in the raw state from the nursery in June 2013.


This is how it looked a few hours later after the first styling


This is how it looks today in April 2015, it was transplanted into the blue pot last year. It is now growing with some vigour and starting to look like a bonsai. The future development will be mainly clip and grow with a minimal use of wire as and when necessary to place the branches


This is a photoshop image of how I hope it will look in the not too distant future.


This is how it looked last year in flower