Modest Little Trees on modest means.

小品盆栽     ‘small things’     – My Bonsai of smaller size.

All my trees are rather modest little things compared with the ones  in most books and on many web posting but I think that some people are almost daunted by some of those amazing specimens. So I have listed these little trees of mine to show that there are opportunities to do some thing in the world of bonsai without having to wait a lifetime, spend a lot of money or go tree hunting over the moors and mountains.

Among my trees I have a few smaller ones which  qualify for two classes of bonsai, sizes the Shohin class, which includes trees up to  8″ high and the next class by size  called Kifu 10- 14″

Berberis thunbergii F. atropurpurea  ‘Bagatelle’ bereris oct15

I purchased this as garden centre stock at Willbrook near Wellington  when we had our Taunton & Somerset Bonsai Club show there in May this year.  I reduced the folliage area by about half, revealed a lot more of what I think is quite a good trunk and wired a couple of the branches so they all have a slight sweep in one direction.Prickly job wireing a berberis! Height now 8 inches

Berberis trunkThat lower left branch still looks very straight I will have to give that a bit of curve too.

Cotoneaster Oct 15This tree started from a seedling in 1993 was grown from one of those many bird scattered seeds that  find their way into your garden if you have a Cotoneaster nearby. This is very probably Cotoneaster Franchetti.   Height now just under 10 inches.

cotoneaster ooct15 2

So like most of my small trees this has cost me no more than the price of the pot. I want to encourage about three levels  of foliage and promote that crown area a bit.

Myrtle Communis
The myrtle was sacred to the Greek goddess Aphrodite and in Jewish culture was used to celebrate the Feast of Booths, Sukkot and was the favoured plant of Jewish witches. Queen Esther’s Hebrew name was Myrtle and  in the Mediterranean it is considered to be a symbol of love and immortality. It is also closely connected with neo-pagan, wicca rituals and the feast of Belthane (May Day) Pretty appropriate for a tree is now not far from Glastonbury and the ancient Isle of Avalon

Myrtle oct 2015So all these legends and a promising little tree for a few pounds from a garden centre this May.  I reduced the foliage volume  by about two thirds exposing the trunk better and giving it some shape which I hope to improve on and also hope that the trunk will thicken in due course. Height now 5″

Juniper Semi Cascade
I have had this since 1987 and like most of my trees it suffered from a case of gross neglect for the next 25  years whilst I was working hard at making a living.Semi cascvade juniper Oct15

I think it came from a nursery for  only a pound or so have spent some time on it now and if I  look after it better  for another 25 years it might be quite good.


Pyracantha sept15FBAnother thirty year old started from garden centre stock,  repositioned in the last two years  to lower the profile almost to a semi cascade style. One has to keep an eye out for scale insects with these trees.Height 6″ Some berries removed in order not to weaken the plant too much.

Lonicera PileataLonicera Pileata June 2015

One of the few trees that I have purchased as a bonsai. I bought this in 2014 for £35 just to comfort myself having had to sell a couple of netsukes to pay a rather large unexpected bill. It had very small cream flowers in the summer and now has these shiny purple berries well hidden in the foliage. Height 6″

Lonicera 2 2015

Must take that moss back a bit from the root area of the trunk to expose the Nebari.

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.
This entry was posted in Berberis, Bonsai, Myrtle, Pyracantha, Shohin and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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