donderdag 5 januari 2017

Common Hazel - update

Common Hazel, corylus avellana.
Dug out in april 2014, this stump is developing in training pot.
Just an update.

Broad canopy with slightly waving dropping branchlets over the edges of the slab, and low apexes is what I am aiming for. The white line represents the slab. I had to draw this within the contours of the pictures offcourse but in reality it will have to be a bit bigger, but with similar shape.

Red Current variety - winter update

Ribus Rubrum, red Currant variety.

This is my smallest ánd oldest 100% selfmade tree, or shrub.
In 1996 I took a cutting from the shrub in my parents' garden.
It has always been grown in pot. Although this species does not produce thick stems/trunks, its current thin 'trunk' is mainly because I've always grown it in (small) pots.
Late pruning of the first flush helps, but I don't expect miracles on this one.
The top left branchlet needed new growth and better ramification so it was pruned back, ready for spring. It's just cute, and a nice memory of my first bonsai attempts.

dinsdag 3 januari 2017

Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year, for all the readers of my blog !

Birch - cutback and new positioning

Birch. About 30 years old. I got it in 2007 when it was reportedly about 25yo, as a completely outgrown prebonsai. I left nothing from the tree I got.
After 1 year in a pond basket, I am thinking of changing the inclination again. First I vigourously pruned it. The white line I draw could be what resembles a future pot/shell shape.
Sparse foliage on the tops of both main trunk and secondary trunk, with few hanging branches, Is what I aim for.

Hornbeam - update 3 jan. 2017

Most bonsai artists/adepts/experts or even enthusiasts would have argued this was not suitable material for bonsai purposes. Well, I like to get my hands dirty and I like to make do with what I can get my hands on. It was dug out from a +/- 20yo hedge, in early spring 2012. All branches are built up since then.

Today I picked up the carving that I left a week ago. More refining, then some beeswax on the inside and burn it... After I tried to carve the top branch/apex a bit, I'm now really considering chopping it of and match it with the rest of the top. That would probably also suit the 'veterantree' look. I could use the branch right underneath the current apex to make a new leader/apex.

Next 2 years I'll also keep working on thickening the primary branches by using sacrifice branches.
I'll probably keep it in this container for another year.

donderdag 22 december 2016

Photobook '30 years Bonsai De Leie'

Bonsai 'De Leie' is the largest regional division of the Flemish Bonsai Association.

This limited edition photobook remembers the exhibition '30 years Bonsai De Leie' that was held in may 2016.

My Japanese Larch (literati) is pictured in the upper left corner.
Nice souvenir.

woensdag 21 december 2016

outstanding medium for airlayering

Logics (and a lot of existing experience in horticultural world) allready told me this was a great medium, and my own experience showed just that.

Vermiculite, as outstanding medium for airlayering.

Vermiculite has specific great advantage for the purpose of airlayering:
1. lightweight, which comes in handy for airlayering higher up the trunk
2. high water buffering capacity
3. sterile, and anti-fungus (it does not rot, it is a repellant for fungi)
4. just use it allready will ya !

It is very easy to come by, it is marketed for several purposes, in construction (for leveling floors, for insulation), but also in horticulture. One example is the 'organic vermiculite' from the brand 'Espoma'. But keep in mind, this is nothing other than the usual Vermiculite you find anywhere else, even the one used for construction. I got a bag of 100L of the latter (brand Sibli). If you think that's way too big a volume to stock, well you can perfectly use it to mix with your potting soil for flower baskets etcetera.

Why is it, that the big bonsai scene does little or no effort with regard to exploring possibilities beyond the paved road, to research alternative techniques and materials. This can only be because there is a fear to lose control, to go outside this save haven and risk things (ego?image?) Perhaps lack of young people wanting to explore, perhaps too few critics? We say we are creative spirits, don't we? We have a job to do, and that is to build our own unique European way to bonsai, that includes renewing, if we can benefit from it (results or knowledge).

What does it look like? Well, a picture of the vermiculite I allready included in an article of mine that I posted on my blog earlier about 'a durable substrate as alternative for akadama and peat'.
The results I got, you can check in my recent post about the 'ulmus procera project'.
Feel free to google however, all vermiculite really looks the same.