Big Juniper Project: ‘The Fish’: Part I
This post is the first in a series of daily photos of a juniper in progress. It’s about as close as I can come to “real time” blogging.
Bobby, my apprentice, and I have been taking our time with this Rocky Mountain Juniper, and enjoying the process of discovering the bonsai within the tree. I collected this tree in the Rockies several years ago. This year it’s showing long shoots, which indicate readiness for styling.
So far we’ve done a few things. We rebuilt the box, for one. The new inclination is about 75 degrees up, which required some rethinking or the soil would have fallen out. We also cleaned up the bark on the tree to distinguish it from the deadwood. And then we took out a lot of really old bark caught between areas of the deadwood jins. Getting rid of that takes quite a while.
At the end of the first day with this juniper I was sitting down studying our work, and shouted to Bobby, who was out watering the bonsai yard, “This tree looks like a fish!” He came in and laughed, seeing the forked tail high in the air and pointed out the various other fins and named them–as a true man of the aquarium would do. Bobby’s background is in public aquaria. (Please understand I mean “The Fish” as a nickname… for only shockingly good bonsai get real names in Japan, the names they are known as throughout the community, and although this is a nice tree, it’s not remotely in that league.)
More photos tomorrow!