2013 Virtual Tour of Crataegus Bonsai

It’s been a year since sharing photos of my yard. The moss garden, which definitely takes a pause in the full sun here in Portland, Oregon, USA, is taking off again now with the helpful rains. It has a bald spot in the middle where I originally had a nice crop of Kinnikinnick growing, but it turned out to be a haven for weeds. So now the moss is colonizing that area.

Otherwise, there is only one thing blooming on the accent bench this late in the year, a Birdsfoot Violet. And fall color is just beginning to show up on the deciduous trees. Enjoy!


Studio with primer on the trim…thinking of a dark brown for those areas so it recedes a bit. I think the white is too zingy. Yes? No? Moss garden in front with a moss-less spot in the middle. A work in progress…


Left to right: Mountain hemlock, Shore pine, Mountain hemlock. Pots. Concrete block. Gravel… Sword fern to the lower left.


Juniper with temporary angled support built by the incredibly handy Troy Cardoza. Younger conifers in training on the left.


More benches of conifers.


The accent plant corner this fall.


Japanese maple in the background that has been in full sun all year and is beginning to think of fall.


A mass of Japanese maples with an air-layer floating off to the mid-left. This area will be a series of terraced benches by next year.


Residents of the greenhouse: Cuttings and recently collected trees.


The lone blooming accent plant, Birdsfoot Violet, courtesy Greg Brenden. Lovely little thing, isn’t it? The thread-like leaves are as charming as the blossoms.

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  1. Dennis says:

    Very Very Nice! I Want To See More Of The Mountain Hemlock…

    • crataegus says:

      Which one? The big one I’ve not showed on the blog much yet, it still needs a slab of some sort… so perhaps by next spring I’ll offer a few photos- Still pondering what to use as a support for it.

  2. OceanKin says:

    I kind of like the white trim on the shed. The trim makes it almost like an accent where everything else is more or less the same colors. It also has a barn-like quality. Not just a shed, but “The Bonsai Barn.”
    Really nice hemlock, btw.

  3. I’m torn apart about the white trim. It gives it a nice clean bright crisp fresh look but also draws your attention to it instead of whats around it. A dark brown may be to dark and clash with the red. What about a off white type color? Still clean, crisp, matching and won’t draw your attention like the bright white does….. 😳

    • crataegus says:

      We were thinking that too—‘We’ being Ed Imholt and I. Ed did the primer painting the other day and has been integral to the construction of the studio since the days we were digging the foundation. Thanks for the confirmation. I think that could work too.

  4. Lars says:

    Lars from DENMARK.
    I have practiced bonsai for abour 22 years and do like reading alor of books and artickles about this kind off hobby/lifestyle.
    And in your yard and Ryan Neils, I have seen that you put your Yamadori trees i wooden boxes, so do I, but why do you put a lid to cover the surface?
    like your trees, and enwy your surroundings to collegt trees.

    • crataegus says:

      Hello from the USA! When we style yamadori sometimes the angle chosen is so severe that soil would fall out. So we use boards to prevent soil erosion. But then we need to make holes or take another board off on the top to create space for water to enter.

      • OceanKin says:

        Ah, the photos don’t make the “bonsai barn” look so big. I’ll change my vote from white to a muted tone. But I think you’re right to not go with the green of the house.

      • OceanKin says:

        Oops, meant to reply about the yamadori and put the color comment elsewhere. Anyway, why change the angle of a tree that is already in the pot? Does it effect the styling of the tree that much? Why not wait until the next repotting? Age? Size?

      • crataegus says:

        Hi, sorry, could you reframe that question, I’m not sure what you mean. Are you referring to the juniper that is in a box, at an angle?

      • OceanKin says:

        Yes, the juniper in the box at an angle. I am curious why change the angle now instead of waiting to change it when you repot the tree?

  5. Tony Tickle says:

    Reblogged this on Bonsai and Yamadori from Tony Tickle and commented:
    Take a look around Davids amazing collection

  6. I like the white trim, rather dramatic. Although, might be worth putting the photo in ‘photoshop’ and changing the trim to dark brown or a couple of other options – we can always vote on it!

  7. pelofskepj@juno.com says:

    Hi Michael,You could do red trim instead of white for the studio. Or is that too penjingy?PeterP.S. penjingy is not a real word.

    • crataegus says:

      Reddish brown could work. The house is an soft olive green and that is another option. But I’m leaning toward off-white or go the other way into the dark reddish brown colors. The studio has a very large presence in the backyard, almost too large. So I’m worried about the trim work making it stand out even more.

  8. bonsai eejit says:

    Reblogged this on Bonsai Eejit.

  9. backcountrydan says:

    Reblogged this on Backcountry Bonsai and commented:
    Here’s a post from Michael to give you all a glimpse of where Steve and I’ve been taking classes. I’ll have a post together about our last seasonal soon. We love it there, and always learn a lot! Enjoy!

  10. bonsaitreecarex says:

    The Juniper with temporary angled support built looks awesome!!

  11. Deborah says:

    Beautiful collection. I enjoy the symmetry and balance and Tidiness, I could Work there. A very nice size studio. I would go with a dark trim, more contemporary, get away from the Barn look. We just painted our house trim a Charcoal Black and it looks great. Asian feel wo going over the top.

  12. Graham says:

    Looking great Michael,
    I like the idea of photo shop/voting……as you might be surprised how different trim colours would offer other options/looks.
    I’ll get down your way one of these days.

    • crataegus says:

      Would be great to see you down here in the U.S.- I have the worst color sense in the world, so the voting made a lot of sense to me. Hi to our buddy Anton-

  13. Sam Ogranaja says:

    Thanks for sharing Michael!!! I want to see more of everything. Literally!!!! LOL.

    I love the white. There is no way that it distracts anyone from what you have going on. Your garden is too good and unless a bald eagle nests on your roof, I think you can paint that trim however it suits you. Of course it’s prominent in pictures but I think it would more subdued in person.

    More Chojubai buddy!!! I hope to meet you one day.
    Have a great weekend!!!

    • crataegus says:

      Thanks for the comments Sam! Bald eagles two blocks to the river, still have not seen any around here. I hear motorboats sometimes on still summer days. Will do more Chojubai someday soon-

  14. Bruce Winter says:

    Love the garden views but not the white trim so much. Something more muted and calm would appeal. Besides, how long would white stay white in drippy Portlandia?
    My two centimes…

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