Hi and welcome to my personal bonsai blog. Without knowing exactly where this will go, I suspect it will meander through my ongoing attempts to improve my 'growing' collection of bonsai*/sticks in buckets.* (*delete as appropriate) If anybody actually reads this, bear with me & maybe it will start to make some sense. (But don't bet on it!!)

Monday, 15 October 2007

Trident Root over Rock

El Torcal

I decided to purchase this tree on ebay in 2005 (as a birthday present from my Dad!) having just come back from Southern Spain and a trip to El Torcal Nature reserve in Antequera.
Previously I had thought root over rock was a bit of an anachronism, how could anything grow like this??

How wrong was I?
As you walk through gullies in the rock formations, trees tower above you as roots as thick as your arm snake through crevices in the walls and feed the canopy above.

As seen on ebay

As of October 07

I need to lower the top a bit and extend the growth to the right but I think its coming on- & it will always remind me of a sunny day walking in Spain (and also that you don't have to see something to believe it's possible.)

Monday, 25 June 2007

Yew beauty

This tree came into my possession after seeing it on the Kaizen website and a subsequent long conversation with Graham regarding its history, health and structure/layout. Below is a review of its early period of Quayle based residency.

As acquired in early 06

Workshop @ Burrs with Kevin Wilson adding detail. Following lengthy discussions we had also decided to remove the inverse taper evident in the upper part of the dead wood.

Yew as off June 07

Virtual produced to explore possibilites

Initially as per virtual above, I wanted to maintain a level of foliage that spread in front of the dead wood (not sure if this qualifies as tenjin style) but following Kevin's input, the dead wood in this area is of such quality and adds so much character it would be a crime to keep it hidden.

Plus I was initially going to wire and style the tree during June but it has put on so much new but delicate growth I've decided to let this harden off prior to wiring as I was afraid I might knock off the new shoots in the attempt.

Patience is a virtue (so they say!!)

Sunday, 24 June 2007

English Elm -A 'Potted' history Pt 2

Update on English Elm.
Unfortunatly I forgot to take a picture before the 'tidy up' which basically was cutting off the excess foliage (there was a lot!)- wiring the finer branches can be done next spring before the new buds open.

Monday, 23 April 2007

English Elm -A 'Potted' history

Below is a pictorial history of a tree acquired from an enthusiast in East Anglia who had originally bought it from Graham Potter. Having talked to Graham at a show he said that he had collected it himself from a wood near his house and was surprised it had been sold, as it was one of only a few clothed in very small leaves.

This picture is 'virtually' as acquired but with the start of a new lower right branch

Winter image as of Jan 07

Tree pre Kevin Willson at Burrs 07 & following discussions with Ian Warhurst & an initial chop back.

Kev's sketch for development

Kevin in action.....

.....still going

...and dealing with the inverse taper evident at the apex of the tree.

Tree post carving but pre wiring

Detail of uro

Detail of apex

The wired & finished tree (for the moment!)

I'd say Kevin has produced a huge leap forward in the development of the tree, what do you think?

NB. Plans for the future include growing a branch to fill the gap at the 11 o'clock position plus extending the dead wood down into the front nebari.

Monday, 16 April 2007

Table/Shelves Update

This weekend and the fine weather gave me the first opportunity to complete the 'hard landscaping' in the bonsai area of the garden. I built two shelf areas to house my smaller trees and accents plus built a brick planter to take a clematis that hopefully will 'frame' the area.

Below the shelves also gives me more 'trees under development' storage space- which is nice!!!

Below is a picture of the completed 'construction.'

Friday, 16 March 2007

Development of a Shohin White Pine

Below is a pictorial history of a white pine bought from John Hanby in early 2004. Its a typical example of the mass produced trees available for a reasonable price. This was my first pine and I bought it to try and learn the skills needed to tame and (more importantly) keep the species healthy/alive!!
Tree as bought.

Some 'quick and dirty' virtuals- done to try and find the best option within the tree!

Looking back now I wonder if the right decision was made, but you can't go back and I have to go with the thought that it must have appeared to be the right thing to do at the time!!
New front

Decision made! As it happens I decided it was to become a shohin from an idea that hadn't been 'virtualed.' They had however, been useful in terms of knocking some ideas 'out.'

Initial job done!

Repotted, but this pot was later concidered to be a 'tad' to large.
The tree in a new smaller pot -photo taken pre wiring at a 2006 Burrs workshop.

The pine in March 2007 after 1st off refining (if it can be called that!!)

One possible future development, achievable following a bit more growth.

Completed Table Photos

Above as promised, are two pictures of the finished table (apologies for the untidiness). The assembly now comes complete with additional under shelf used for overwintering trees & a twin layer netting roof - two layers giving frost protection -one layer giving protection from strong sun during the summer.
When not required the netting is rolled back and sits on the table roof end, next to the building.

My next project will be to produce additional shelves that will run along the wall thats in front of the table (The wood for this is already sitting under the table.)

But im not rushing to do this, the trees are starting to demand some attention!!

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Animated table

Above is my first attempt at animation- click the picture and the table should rotate before your very eyes!!

Monday, 26 February 2007

Move house- new table

By way of a start to my personal blog I thought I would illustrate my most recent large scale project, the building of a new display/work table. Having moved house and, to be honest being disappointed with my attempts at a previous table I decided to do the next one properly.
First I did a bit of research on t’internet and having read Kevin Baileys article on bench design
http://www.actionvideo.freeserve.co.uk/benches.htm I decided on the direction to take.
Being a designer with access to 3D software (Solidworks -if anybody's interested), the first thing I did was to build a model of the area of my garden that was to become my new bonsai home. To make it accurate I had to go around the garden measuring important items, to allow me to accurately plot the site using triangulation. See pictures 1 & 2 below for results.

I then designed & built the table (in 3D software) to fit the available space, allowing for positioning around drain pipes, manhole covers etc.

When I was happy with the design I used the information in the 3D to work out exactly how much wood I would need( it was expensive enough-I didnt want to order to much or even worse to little!!) . I then ordered the wood from a wood yard, 4”x4” for the uprights and 2”x4” for the cross members -I wanted it to be substantial -following my previous ‘attempts’.

I then produced a 2D engineering drawing from the CAD info, allowing me to easily get wood cut length and fixing dimensions.

Then all I needed to do was build it!! I gave away the shed that had been sitting in the same position-this gave me enough room to assemble the sections bit by bit (or so I thought).

I started by building the table top, followed by the two end leg sections. By this time I had come to terms with the size of my 'creation' not to mention the weight! (A symptom of my desire for a substantial table.)
Heaving the sections into position I joined table to legs followed by the long roof beams. I decided at this point to put the short roof beams on when the table was in position, by my reckoning I probably couldn't have lifted the completed table on my own. (The memsaab being willing but probably too 'delicate' for the job of builders mate!!)

I wish I had taken pictures of the build but you'll have to believe me that the lifting operation reminded me of a programme on channel 5- Monster Moves -but without the hydraulics. The build took place during last summer (06) so the heat took its toll too.

Eventually it was completed and finished with a couple of coats of stained wood preserver.

Time to sit back and admire, but not for too long -there's always some trees to work on!!

Pictures of completed table to follow.