I spent part of last weekend creating the basic structure for my first bonsai landscape. The material used is a substance known as hypertufa, which is a mixture of 1 part sharp sand, 2 parts peat and 1 part cement. This is supported on a sub structure formed from wire mesh.
The wire mesh was shaped into cylinders, which were secured together with bonsai wire.
Some of the cylinders were partly filled with wet newspaper to reduce the weight and create drainage channels in the interior of the structure.
The hypertufa was mixed with water to a fairly stiff consistency and applied in and around the wire by hand. If you have sensitive skin you should wear gloves when doing this as the cement content can cause irritation.
This is how it looks at the moment. The tall part and the planting pockets give the whole thing the appearance of a phallic lunar landscape but this should change as the work progresses.
I will leave it to fully dry out and then add texture with a power tool and some stone grinding bits. It will later be planted with cotoneaster, small alpine plants and mosses. I am really looking forward to that part.