Sunday, 21 February 2010

Nire elm... still waiting for spring

Ulmus parvifolia "Nire-Keyaki" only 13cm tall from the rim of its pot.

Ugly elm gets reprieve

This Ulmus parvifolia was bought from a garden nursery in 2006: it was covered with greenfly and nigh on at deaths door... I got it for £3. The roots were terrible and the canopy abysmal... what was I thinking, even at £3 this seemed like a waste of money... not even the nasty dark green glazed pot was worth that!
So in Spring 2007 (after a year improving the trees) I wrapped the ugly roots over a piece of limestone and trunk chopped it bellow the canopy eliminating a nasty inverse tapper in the process; this was an experiment, a learning tool.
In spring 2008 I had a lot of very straight twigs coming straight up off a rather dull stunk with a few big scars on it. I selected a few branches wired them to a rough shape (just fanning out) and then let it grow freely, cutting the branches back twice a year.
A couple of weeks ago, anticipating the coming spring (still not quite here yet!) I gave this tree it's first full styling... and yes, it looks half decent. The roots are almost certainly still awful but now the canopy will make up for that a little bit. Once the buds begin to swell and extend I'll see if the roots have grasped the rock, if they have it'll go into a more suitable pot.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Every bonsai starts somewhere

Ok, so first of all here's me and my Carpinus betulus (European Hornbeam) bonsai, hopefully it will be placed in a more suitable pot in about a months time. The image is far from complete and will take another five years before it starts really looking how I envision it. That said, a lot can be achieved in a relatively short period of time with the correct techniques: this is the same tree two years ago.

With that in mind here's my newly collected Ligustrum sp. (an as yet undetermined species of Privet). Privet is very hardy and there were a good mass of fibrous roots still attached after 45 minutes of excavation so I have high hopes for its survival. If the tree thrives, and with the right techniques, this will start looking great in 10-15 years or so. Now I just need to be patient!

Corkscrew Hazel

This is a small Corylus avellana "contorta" that has just gone into this new pot, it should look lovely as these catkins open and become lemon yellow.

Japanese Larch repotted

This is a twin trunk Larix kaempferi that I've just repotted and had its first full styling in January.