The rewards of patience…

nan's squamat juniper


I took this (rather poor) picture of a special item in my grandmother’s garden 2 years ago.  She lives in England and it was one of the (sadly) rare times that I managed to visit for a short break and in that time I offered to help tidy up their garden by hedge cutting and doing a lot of pruning.  Anyway I noticed this aged Juniper and asked her about it.  She said that it was grown from a cutting over fifty years ago! She went on to say that she had grown a lot of her plants and shrubs this way when they first got married and because they had no money, they just relied on cuttings striking and leaving them to grow on in pots.  I wish I had taken more detailed photos but I really liked this Juniper (Squamata Meyeri I think) because of its bark, tape, gnarled branches and sparse foliage – all the signs of age and having survived in the same pot of many, many years probably without the care it needed at times.

I do admire the patience that my grandparents had in taking this approach and waiting for many years before something grew into a ‘showpiece’ or stalwart of their garden.  It encourages me to try and do the same, especially with my bonsai material.  Anyway, my father went over earlier in the year and came back with some cuttings for me and I hope they have taken.  As you can see below, they have retained some of their colour but some needles have browned and there is little extension growth yet.  I’ll wait for that to happen before I separate them into individual pots.



If they have grown on and if I’m still blogging in a few years then I’ll do a further post I suppose ; -)


2 thoughts on “The rewards of patience…

  1. Hard to get to strike Ben, your grandparents did well 50 years ago. They can stay green or blue for a good while before dying. Young vigorous shoots work best and take plenty of cuttings. Better yet, get your hands on the original tree and give it a new step in life towards bonsai 🙂


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