A New Year Begins

 

 

As I sit here at my laptop, reflecting on what was for us here in Scotland, one of the most challenging growing seasons in my experience. A season, which began with a bitterly cold Spring, followed by a Summer with very little sunshine; saved only by some good weather in the autumn, I thought I would share again some of the photographs which are my personal favourites and mark the highlights in my bonsai year.

Without a doubt my favourite tree this year is my Lions Head Maple which just goes from strength to strength with each passing season. It looked particularly good in Autumn this year.

57

This cotoneaster has been another favourite of mine, more so because it was collected from my garden for free. It was planted in this red glazed pot by Eimei in the Summer to show off the berries and had its first outing to Bonsai Europa in October.

49

This hobby is as much about the people you do it with as it is about the trees and my life would be a lot duller without my good friend Gerry and the members of The Lanarkshire Bonsai Club who feature regularly on these pages.

12

7

The next photograph was taken in late May and it was the first occasion that all my trees were outside at the same time.

6

My highlight of the Summer was our winning club display at the Scottish Bonsai Show. It’s always a joy to see trees that you have cared for displayed at their best.

1

My 2 favourite junipers were both re-potted this year.

The first is a Blauws Juniper, which is almost complete. It will need a fine wiring and a good display table this year

Blauws Juniper After (2015)

The second is an Itoigawa Juniper. It is coming along well but the foliage needs more refinement and it will have to be re-planted into a slightly smaller show pot.

9

A few more that are beginning to come into their own, that may venture out to the show bench this year.

Zelcova

10

Potentilla

6

Japanese Larch

larch3

Cork Barked Elm

2

Finally, I would like to thank all of the people who take the time to look and comment on my posts, It’s you guys that make the effort worthwhile.

HAVE A HAPPY NEW BONSAI YEAR

Advertisement

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.

6

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.

8

This is how it is looking at the moment.

7

Getting Ready For The Show Part 1

For the past few days, I have been making the necessary preparations to get my trees ready for the Scottish Bonsai Show, which takes place in the seaside town of Troon, this coming Sunday. I will be entering four of my trees in our club display and one other in the separate shohin competition.

My kifu Acer Shishishigira will be displayed on its own at one end of the club’s small tree display. I have 2 options for a display table for this tree.

Option 1 Large table

6

Option 2. Smaller Table

7

I think I might go with the larger table but I would be interested to hear what others think

I will post pictures of the other trees tomorrow.

What’s Happened to the Weather ?

The Spring re-potting of my deciduous trees got off to a good start last week but quickly came to a halt as the weather changed for the worse. My trees seem very confused.

Some, like this acer and my 2 flowering cherries have valiantly pushed onward with great vigour.

2

Others, like my pomegranate and zelkovas seem to have gone into retreat and are stubbornly refusing to push out new growth until the weather warms up.

1

The worst affected is this kiyohime maple, which was covered in small buds some of which have died back with the recent cold nights. I had hoped to have re-potted this by now but I’ll now have to wait until its looking a bit stronger.

3

In contrast, my evergreens are getting greener every day with the increasing daylight.

4

I just wish it was a little warmer.

New Spring Growth

Spring is still in its early days here in Scotland, but the slight increase in light and temperature are having the desired effect. Here are some pictures of trees that are beginning to shine at the moment.

Larches are at their best as the new growth emerges.

a1

My acer Shishishigira is well ahead of my other maples.

a2

This Japanese black pine is beginning to respond and the foliage is taking on a richer glow.

a3

This little prunus is well ahead of the others on my benches.

Untitled-1