Pinus Sylvestris First Styling

I acquired this scots pine in April 2010. I liked the movement in the trunk and thought that it could make a nice literati at some time in the future.

This is how it looked in 2010 (Apologies for the poor quality of the picture)


In 2011, I opened up the foliage and re-planted it into this unglazed Japanese pot


In the winter of 2012 it fell off the bench and the pot was smashed. I quickly re-housed it in the pot you can see in the next picture and changed the angle of the trunk to a more upright position.


It received its first full wiring today and this is how it looks at the moment. I like this tree very much. As the foliage develops and the ramification gets tighter I think it will mature into a nice bunjin style pine.


Callicarpa Japonica Update

I have allowed this chuhin sized Japanese Beautyberry to grow rather wild this year, in an attempt to build the strength required to see it through our cold long winter months. It suffered the loss of a few key branches last winter but the strong new growth that it has put on since the much needed re-pot in the spring, should more than compensate for the winter losses. The flowers are forming and if the weather is kind over the next few months there is the promise of a larger crop of purple berries than it produced last year.


This is how it is looking at the moment after pruning and thinning the unnecessary branches. It will be fully re-wired after leaf drop. I had hoped to have it in a new pot by this time but as yet I have been unable to find anything suitable.

Colourful good quality show pots in larger sizes are rare items at the moment.


Itoigawa Juniper First Wiring

Today at my midweek get together with Gerry we carried out the first wiring of a juniper that has featured in a few posts over the summer as we took a relatively inexpensive piece of imported raw material through the initial stages of the design process.

Here is a little photographic summary of the work carried out in the past few meetings.


Front of the tree at the start of the work.


Creation of some jins and shari.


Foliage thinned a little more and the deadwood lime sulphured.


This is how it looks at the moment.


It needs to be left for a year to settle and to allow the foliage time to fill in the gaps. The deadwood will also need further refining at the next styling.

2 Shohin Chojubai in Development

I have had these trees for almost 2 seasons now and they seem to be happy in the microclimate of my garden. Each year in  April they produce an abundance of beautiful red flowers, which light up my benches but for the rest of the year, when the shoots start to extend, they can look a little untidy. Getting these trees to the stage where they will look good on a show bench, at any time of the year, will take time. My priority, at this time, is to reduce the root mass to a level where it will grow healthily and with vigour in a smaller shohin show pot. This is not as straightforward as it seems as both trees have very long thick roots, which were wound in a tight circle in the training pots during their early development.

This is how the first one looked in April of this year.


and this is how it looked in late August 2015. I have not removed this tree from its pot in the time I’ve had it.


This is how it looks at the moment after a trim, some root reduction and a re-pot into a slightly smaller container.

Side A


Side B


This is how my second Chojubai looked  when it flowered this year. This tree was removed from its pot last year and some of the thick roots were removed. The post that featured this work can be found here.


Because this tree had more room for root development the new shoots are very long.


This is how it looks at the moment after pruning and root reduction. Even after last years work, I still had to remove a significant number of large roots this year with a view to planting it in a small shohin pot either next year or the year after. At the moment for stability and to encourage new fibrous roots, I have re-planted it deep, in the same pot that housed it last year.

Side A


Side B


Acer Shishishigira gets some Late Summer Maintenance

My Acer Shishishigira has been a little neglected in recent weeks and is badly in need of some TLC. The canopy is very full and needs to be thinned out to allow light into the interior; and the moss is obscuring one of the best features of the tree, the nebari.


After about an hours work, I’ve removed about half of the foliage (although you wouldn’t think so from the picture) and the nebari is visible again.


This is how it is looking at the moment.


Buxus Sempervirens Kifu Bonsai

It has been just over a year since this boxwood last featured on my blog.

This is how it looked in June 2014, when it was re-potted into this blue glazed rectangle


I have kept this tree in a sheltered shaded position to avoid the scorching of the foliage, which is so common on potted boxwoods, grown in full sun, in this part of the world. It has worked  well, as this year it has pushed out a lot of new healthy green growth.


This is how it is looking today after a much needed trim.


Shohin Cotoneaster gets its first Bonsai Pot



Today I decided that it was time to re-pot this shohin cotoneaster into its’ first bonsai pot. It has been growing in this oversized plastic training pot for the past 18 months to build strength in the roots.


This little tree began it’s life as a bonsai in 2011. It was one of two trees that were made from the raw material shown in the next picture. The earlier story can be found in this previous post.


This is how it is looking today. I am very pleased with this trees’ development so far. Almost there with this one, I think.