A Juniper Orchid (to go with our Pine Orchid…)

Some of you might remember a quirky Shore Pine that we put on a post in 2017, calling it the first Pine Orchid in the yard. Yesterday this juniper was styled, and it hangs on the neighboring post that supports the shade cloth structure (thank you Bobby Curttright).

The juniper is a bit of a Frankenstein: The trunk is a Rocky Mountain Juniper (thank you Backcountry Bonsai, Steve and Dan) and we it grafted it with itoigawa about 4 years ago. The tree is only about 6″ high, and itoigawa seemed like the right choice for the fineness of the foliage and the small tree size.

Rocky Mountain Juniper being grafted with itoigawa scions—I think we had 8 or 9 on there and they all took…and then I cut a few off when I styled it.

Toying with inclination and front

A support idea

Our completed root ‘package’ on potting day, using muck on the sides

The day the Rocky Mountain foliage was cut off—already hanging off a post at this point

And after styling, with an unusual flow—it’s still a right flow but the key branch acts as a balance branch, too. The root platform is attached to the post, which is rusting nicely.

It is a weird little thing. But it goes well with the other weird little thing, the pine, and we’re looking for yet another to bring our band of orchids to three. Considering a ‘Chojubai Orchid’. (We’ve been calling them orchids for lack of a better word for ‘a tree hanging in mid-air’…)

The soil mass could be reduced in the spring as it is about the size of the tree, which of course is shameful as it should be smaller. The tree has a long, old root and instead of trying to bend it the challenge of this composition was to make something fun that left it as is. And the platform idea allowed us to leave it. Still, anything on a post with a name like a Juniper Orchid maybe diverges from bonsai to begin with…these post trees are meant to aggravate…stimulate…start petty squabbles…and to enjoy. Please come visit.

 

2 Comments

  1. David Johnson says:

    I’d say your design was a success. Two more of those “orchids” and you will have re-invented the shohin box.

  2. Mike Cole says:

    I give it 12 dots thinking outside of the nine dots

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