Cotoneaster Landscape Summer Maintenance

I did a little seasonal pruning and weeding on my homemade cotoneaster landscape yesterday. Its  been a year since I completed the planting and Its beginning to fill out nicely. It will probably take another 2 seasons growth to get the ramification where I would like it to be.


This is how it looked before todays work


And  this is how it looks at the moment



Homemade Bonsai Landscape in Autumn

The homemade rock in the bonsai landscape that I started last year is beginning to take on a more natural appearance as the stone weathers and the moss takes hold. It will take another few years of refinement to get the trees shaped the way I would like them and to introduce more variety into the under planting but it’s getting there.


This is how it looked in July 2015, when the rock had set and I began to plant the trees


and this was it during the construction process in June 2015. The full construction method can be found by following the links to my 2 earlier posts. Post 1 and Post 2


Homemade Rock for a Bonsai Landscape (Update 2016)

I have made a little more progress with the bonsai landscape that I started last year. The earlier posts which detail the construction method of the rock can be found here Part 1 and here Part 2.

This is how it looked at the end of the initial work, last year. When the stone was dry, it was a light grey colour all over and lacked the tonal contrast you might get on an old stone. I decided to apply some mid and darker tones using artists’ earth colour pigments.


This is how it looked when the colour was applied. The homemade “keto” mix described in Part 2 has proved to be very successful, as it has brought the 2 trees planted last year through the winter very well


This is how it looks at the moment with a few more trees, some moss and a newly acquired display pot.


I still need a few more trees to complete the planting and it will take several more years for the trees  to fill out and present a more natural appearance, but I’m pleased with the progress so far and look forward to starting a few more in the summer.

Homemade Rock for a Bonsai Landscape (Update)

My recently constructed landscape rock has now fully set. The method used for construction can be found in this earlier post.


When it had set sufficiently, I removed the wet paper that I had used to create the drainage channels within the stone.



Holes for drainage were drilled from the planting pockets into the drainage channels or directly to the underside of the stone. Additional holes were added for the securing wires, which were fixed into position with impact adhesive. I found that during the curing process, the stone could be textured quite easily with a pointed steel tool. I used a root hook for this purpose.



I am using a homemade “keto” substitute as a planting medium, which is made from 1 part akadama (ground to a powder) and 1 part finely sieved peat, mixed with water.

Planting is now underway but will take some time to complete as I seek out suitable material.

This is how it looks at the moment.


Homemade Rock for a Bonsai Landscape

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.