Thursday, 26 January 2017

The beauty of winter

Though South West England and Wales have a temperate climate, winter is still distinctly beautiful, one merely needs to get out there and appreciate it.
Here are a few moments captured from my recent winter wanderings:

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Six months in edible mushrooms

What a wonderful half year of foraging its been... I've not gone out frequently to the woods and pastures, but each time the abundance has been marvelous:

It began for me in June with an unknown Bolete to me, it stained deep blue when cut, but I was assured by an experienced French friend that it was edible, and so it proved to be.

French Chanterelles (Cantharellus cibarius) in profusion...

...and, come October, Welsh Ceps (Boletus edulis) and Chanterelles in no lesser numbers!

Now we are into winter it is the season for Wood blewitts (Lepista nuda) in Somerset.

(p.s. don't ever eat wild mushrooms unless you are 100% certain of their identity, or know them to have been collected by someone whose competence and caution is unquestionable).

Thursday, 3 November 2016

The Big Acer in Autumn

This girthy Acer campestre is in its 8th year of development form field grown stock and is starting to produce very nice small leaves. All the branches will be wired again soon.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Cotoneaster bonsai, a new beginning?

My lovely Cotoneaster horizontalis has suffered a significant set back. I collected this tree myself eight years ago, and you can see something of its history here. By 2011 there were already some signs of it loosing vigor on one side and this gradually progressed. My guess is that the carving disrupted sap flow and that the remaining foliage was not sufficient to support the cambium and root mass in that part of the tree, trees are segmented organisms in this way and the remaining branches are very vigorous. I will allow free  growth this year, to ensure maximum health, and then radically restyle in 2017.

From old ends come new beginnings, and it is common to see old oaks, formerly giants, reduced to a single live branch that becomes a new canopy.

Spring has been busy...

My trees have been more or less neglected to focus on my young family, work, weightlifting, and fishing in recent years... this year they will get more attention starting with repotting. Almost all my trees needed root work this spring:

European Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus)

Privet (Ligustrum ovalifolium)

Larch (Larix sp.)

Field Maple (Acer campestre)

Turkey Oak (Quecus cerris)

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Very old privet bonsai in the frost

I collected this tree just five years ago, the old hedge from whence it came was being cleared and the derelict house to which it belonged was being transformed into modernised apartments. It is easily over 100 years old.

You can see something of its history here and here.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Field Maple bonsai in the frost

This Acer campestre is coming on beautifully, every year the branch ramification and nebari improves (despite having remove a large branch that interfered with the design last year).

Hear is the same tree three years earlier.