Bonsai, two new starters

Modest little trees that may pay dividends one day

When we had our club bonsai show at Willowbrook  Garden Centre near Wellington I treated myself,well no, my wife Sue treated me to two little plants to work on . The first a Berberis  thunbergii  ‘Bagatelle’ or Japanese Barberry. Normally grows to about 3 feet or so and as I forgot to take a photo before I started work on it I have sketched over a photo to show roughly the foliage area and the level the roots were planted up to. Of the plants there this one had the best trunk potential hidden in it.
I reduced it all round, removed some very straight branches that crossed badly over others and then wary of the very fine little thorns wired it a bit to give it a slight swept movement and carefully repotted it, exposing about another half inch or more of trunk, in quite a fair size pot for its size to get established and now a few weeks later it is looking pretty healthy. Size from pot approx 7 inches. Not bad for I think it was £7.

Little Myrtle Communis Microphylla
Sue really wanted this but as she has two flourishing Myrtles in the garden already she kindly gave this to me to do my best with. The photo shows the tree after I had reduced the foliage by  more than a half. It was a round blob similar to the Berberis prior to the work, I also removed an ugly stump in the middle or at least made it far less visible and repotted it. Height now about 5 inches, they can grow to 5 or 8 feet. I think it cost just under a fiver.Myrtle jiuly 15

What Sue likes are  the legends behind the story of the Myrtle  The Greeks  associated Myrtle with Aphrodite, the goddess of love. In Jewish lore  the myrtle is one of the four sacred plants  of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles and in Pagan lore it is associated with the festival of Beltane, Sue also claims that it grows best in garden where the wife wears the trousers!

I hasten to add these are work in progress projects and it will be some time before the trunk, particularly in the case of the Myrtle, thickens up and one could really call them established bonsai,

About Michael Cooper

Bonsai enthusiast and artist. After recording the rural scene in watercolours for over thirty years and having my own studio gallery I am now semi retired. I still sell my prints though to customers worldwide via my website and through the Somerset Crafts Gallery, Avalon Marshes Centre,Westhay nr Glastonbury BA6 9TT. The rest of the time is spent looking after my bonsai trees, I like the exercise.
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