I have just seen how long it is since I updated my own blog, I’ve been busy doing the Somerset Crafts Facebook and the Taunton and Somerset Bonsai Club website as well as a few health issues,at they say, to deal with. Now at last I have a little while to record the progress of some of my own trees, mainly for my own records but if anyone else likes to look at them you are very welcome.
The root over rock Cotoneaster which originally came from Morrisons plant shelves for a
few pounds in 2015 and shows what can be acheived for a modest outlay. My group planting of Golden Dream Acers from the same source has lost a couple of trees in the last
couple of years but by taking care to protect it from the strong sun I have at least managed to preserve a quite decent display of foliage this year.
At a different investment cost to those supermarket bargains the Acer Kashima that Sue gave me for our golden Wedding Anniversary is still putting on a good show ,adding some trunk thickness this year and improving it’s ramification. I did completely leaf prune it at the begining of June.
A few of my long ago efforts at Bonsai include my Silver Birch from a seedling in 1987 which is starting to turn to it’s autumn golden hue now and the Pyracantha from 1988 which is covered with berries. I know it is rising up out of the pot,that will be dealt with.
And from the same period two Ginkos, which have always been rather boring, so last spring it occured to me to plant them together for a twin planting and it’s certainly made them justify their space of the shelves now.
Another 1988 acquisition was my rather scrawny Scots Pine which was
the most ugly shape at first, totally symetrical looking like an ‘H’ television aerial and now it is well aged and putting on some foliage and looking like some lone blasted tree on a windswept heath.
One of the dissapointments this year has been my Fuji Cherry which always greets the spring with such a display of blossom, a month or more back I was so worried when I saw that all the leaves looked severley burnt black around the edges and some totally. In a fit of panic as I had lost a Pyracantha to Fireblight once I took perhaps over hasy action and cut off all the
branches back to the trunk.
The stage it is at now looks quite hopefull though as it is putting out some very healthy grown and reminds me of Harry Haringtons Fuji progressive article on his website Bonsai4me.There he drastically cut one back by air layering it to style it more from a shrub into a thicker trunked tree, so possibly I did the right thing but I will have to wait and see.
Bonsai4me Fuji progressive
One tree that looked very pleasing this week was my little Mulberry which has a little story to it.. My wife Sue gave it to me as a memory of the days when trying to make a living as an artist was hard going and we had to live and work on a farm, Mulberry Farm. There I used to rise in the early hours and work making Farmhouse Cheddar Cheese untill lunch time before painting in the afternoons.
Sue bought a first Mulberry for me from All Things Bonsai near Sheffield and frankly after a month or so it looked rather sick. I contacted Adam there and assured him that I was not an novice who had sited it indoors, away from the light near a radiator :-).
He gave me some advice as how to revive it and I hoped for the best.Then a few weeks later he contacted me to say that he thought he should have been more helpful and that a replacement tree was on it’s way. Now that is what I call service, all businesses have things go wrong with sales sometimes but it is how they handle a complaint that matters. Well done All Things Bonsai
Before my more than semi retirement I had a studio gallery in a busy outlet shopping centre, now though I don’t pickup my brushes anymore I do still sell my prints at a gallery situated amid the nature reserves on the Somerset Levels at The Avalon Marshes Centre and they have just put on an exhibition on the theme of An Ode to Autumn inspired by JohnKeat’s lines.
As I was the only member of the group who had no new work I asked if I might take some trees along for the preview and first day which would bring a little bit of natural autumn into the gallery and they leapt at the idea.
Somerset Crafts Gallery
The Avalon Marshes Nature Reserves
Not a very recent photo but one taken in the summer as a quick update on my Juniper project.
A slight improvement on it’s discovery at the
back of an old nursery in February 2017.
That’s it now folks, don’t forget that if you can the best way to learn more about the art of
bonsai is to join you local club and listen to the old hands. Actually I’m the older one here hanging on for the words of advice.