Kaho Azalea in Flower

The large Kaho Azalea that I look after for my friend Gerry has been in flower over the past few weeks and is looking splendid as usual.

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Here are some older pictures which show its development in recent years

2017

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2016

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2015

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2014

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It’s the Cotoneaster Flowering Season again.

One of my favourite species for bonsai, they bring joy to my heart in summer when they flower and again in autumn and winter when they are covered in red berries. Here are a few of my favourites at the moment

I’ve been developing this one for 6 years and I have never seen it look better that it looked this week

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This is a reminder of how it looked at the start of its’ journey in 2012

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The next 2 were made from 1 piece of raw material. This is how they look at the moment.

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This is the original material in 2011

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Here they are shortly after separation

2014

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This is the other one slightly earlier in 2012

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Finally today, this is a new piece of raw material, that I acquired last year from a Spanish trader. I will air layer the top off and I should get 2 nice shohin cotoneasters out of this.

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Its been a difficult year so far for small trees in small pots

After one of the longest Winters in recent memory and a very poor start to the Spring some of my small trees have had difficulty in getting started this year. A few deciduous trees like maples and elms have suffered some dieback, while others have been very slow to leaf out.

Here are some recent pictures of some of my shohin trees that are looking good at the moment.

2 shohin white pines

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5 shohin hawthorns

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Potentilla in flower

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Here are some that haven’t done so well. Incidentally, all the pictures in todays’ post were taken this morning 27/5/18.

This is a cork barked elm that was severely cut back and had its roots reduced in April. There is no dieback on this tree but its taking an awfully long time to leaf out.

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This Chinese elm, also re-potted in April isn’t looking good, most of the new growth is coming off the main trunk.

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This trident appears to have lost a lower branch.

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This one belonging to my friend Gerry is in a very poor state at the moment.

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Its not all bad. At least all of these trees are still alive and with care and attention they will look good again.

 

Scottish Bonsai Show 2018

The 2018 Scottish Bonsai Show was held yesterday (6th May 2018) in the seaside village of Troon. The Scottish Bonsai Association, who organise the event, decided to try a new format for this year’s show. Normally, it’s an exclusively club event, with space allocated to each of the affiliated clubs to display their trees as a group, any way that they choose. This year they hired 2 halls at the Walker Institute; one for the traditional club displays and another for displays by individuals. The room where individuals could display their trees was set out with covered tables and backdrops in a uniform colour. This is where I and many others chose to display their trees this year. The difference this made to the quality of display is readily apparent in the following photographs. This is a major step forward for bonsai in Scotland and I for one hope that in the future all the trees will be presented in this way.

A general view of the new display area

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Here are some pictures of my own trees at the show.

Shohin Display

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Zelkova in an Ikou Watanabe pot Armeria accent in a Masashi frog pot.

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Hawthorn in an Ian Baillie pot

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Ilex Serrata in a blue glazed pot

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Japanese Larch in a Walsall pot, accent in a Shouhachi basket pot

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Blaauws Juniper in a Tokoname pot, accent in a pot by Furumoto Masashi

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Incidentally my shohin display won 2 awards.

Best Shohin Display and Best in Show

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Here is a Gallery of my best Pictures of the other trees in the individual section. Click on any image to see a larger one in gallery mode.

 

For comparison here are a few images from the club display area. While there were a lot of nice trees in this area they were difficult to spot and see in such a crowded space. in some areas it was difficult to differentiate between club displays and trader’s tables. It beats me why so many people in the clubs desire to retain this form of display.

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The Sun is here At Last

Its been a slow start to the season and most things in the garden are about 4 weeks behind where they were last year but the weather has warmed up and the sun is out and my trees are beginning to grow again, at last.

This little hawthorn was re-potted recently into a beautiful Ian Baillie shohin pot.

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This is how the same tree looked back in 2012

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This is another little hawthorn, whose buds are beginning to open. Its in a nice green pot by Eimei at the Yozan Kiln.

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and this is how it looked in 2012

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Here are a few more trees that are beginning to glow with their new growth

3 of my medium sized larches

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My shohin Japanese Yew

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This little cotoneaster fell of the shelf and its original pot was broken. Here it is now in another pot by Eimei.

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2 shohin Shimpaku Junipers

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Acer Palmatum in Development from Seed (2018 Update)

 

This is an update on an Acer Palmatum  that I started from seed planted in 2001. I grew it on in a container until 2011, when I transplanted it to a shallow pot to start its development as a bonsai. The first picture shows how it looked in the Spring of 2012.

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Since then I have been working on the development of the upper trunk by selecting a leader each Spring and allowing it to grow unchecked throughout the season; cutting it back in the Winter months. The next picture taken in 2014, illustrates that process.

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After 6 years of doing this, I am at the stage where I want to concentrate on the ramification of the branches for a few years. This is how the tree looks at the moment.

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I am 17 years into this project now and there’s still a long way to go. It is rewarding to see a bonsai evolve from seed that you have sown by yourself. For me, this is where the true satisfaction in the hobby lies

Re-potting some Deciduous Shohin Trees

I have been concentrating on my deciduous bonsai over the past few days. Here are some of my shohin bonsai that were re-potted.

Chinese Elm in a pot by Walsall Ceramics

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Here is an earlier picture of the same tree in 2012, when I acquired it.

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Trident Maple in a new pot by Koyo

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Cork Barked Elm in a pot by Erin

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And for comparison, the same tree in 2012

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And finally for today, my other little trident in a new pot by Walsall

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