First One of the Year, Bertie!

Well, Bertie, after you asked about the blog the other night, I feel properly motivated to kick start again after a longer than expected absence from bonsai related activities.  I do apologise, Bertie (and others!) if you’ve been checking in and leaving disappointed.  This is perhaps a good opportunity to give you readers some notice that for the month of July I may not be around much as my wife and I are expecting our fourth child!  Anyway, here’s some progression pics of the Chinese juniper mentioned in one of the last posts and I did say I would post when styling was finished.

Here it is earlier in the year, before I began wiring:


Remember this pic I drew of what I had in mind?


Then, after my initial work 2 months ago (no fine wiring completed):



I ran out of fine wire, wife declared pregnancy, and I stopped altogether.  Until the other night when I got some styling advice:


And finally, a wee virtual that I did earlier of what the tree could look like in a few years time:



Happy new year, Bertie!


Sawara Cypress Initial Styling

Well, I had hoped to wire the Old Gold Juniper last weekend and certainly made a start but then put my back out and haven’t been able to lift it to finish the fine wiring! I’ll hopefully post a photo when it’s completed later this week.

Instead I’ve turned my attention to a tree that’s considerably easier to pick up: this Chamaecyparis Psifera ‘Boulevard’.


Oct 15

After repotting this year, it’s grown strongly and becoming rootbound again.  I noticed that water has been pooling on the surface and when I looked under the pot, found roots climbing out of a drainage hole.



Normally I would be prudent and give a repotted tree a full year to recover but this seems to be thriving and so I decided to go ahead and give it a first wiring.  First a rough sketch of a future bonsai tree:

DSC_0180 (2)


I always had a slanting literati image in mind and after removing surplus branching and thinning out I ended up with this:


The pads need to fill out a bit and I may still remove more branches to be more consistent with a sparse literati image but think that’s enough for now.    If any branches are lost over winter then I’ll still have others to work with in spring ( also the reason for leaving the bottom branches – they’ll be removed entirely or jinned at some stage.  For now they can continue to fatten up the base).  I’m not convinced about the apex though.  I think it makes the foliage mass too thin and juvenile looking.  I may remove it entirely down to the next set of branching.  I did a quick virtual that I think may look better:

DSC_0183 - Copy

I’ll dwell on it for a while and update in a further post.


Juniper Old Gold Styling

DSC_0175I’ve had this Juniperus Chinesis ‘Old Gold’ for a few years now and for various reasons haven’t got far in its progression.  I did a workshop with Peter Warren two years ago when he visited the NIBS and this was the tree I brought.  The trunk was shaped and primary branches wired or, if unnecessary, were removed to create deadwood features.  The above photo shows a suggested front.  I’ve been unsure for a while now how to take it further but have decided today to have a bash, seeing as I’m going to be around the house all day and the kids will probably have a snooze at some point.  I did a sketch earlier of what the tree could look like after styling:

DSC_0181I’m not much of an artist but I found this very helpful in terms of giving me a direction to go when wiring.  Hopefully it’ll spur me on to finish the job this weekend.  Better get started!