Climbing Hydrangea—62 Years From Cutting

It’s not often we get to meet the originator of a bonsai started 62 years ago. From a tiny cutting.

A few months back I had the honor of meeting such a person, Leroy Goodwin, from Portland, Oregon. Several plants of his dated to the early 1960’s, including a few English Ivy. This Hydrangea caught my eye not only for the superior trunk line, but the unusual species. I’ve only seen a few Hydrangea bonsai before.

This spring we repotted this newcomer to the garden into a new pot, at a new angle. If you’re curious to see it in person, it’s in the 2022 Portland Japanese Garden display.


Climbing Hydrangea, the work of Leroy Goodwin—62 years from a cutting.


New inclination possibility.


New pot, at the new inclination. 26”H / 66cm. This specimen is a perfect example of my post from 2019, When Can We Call Deciduous Bonsai As Our Own? Short answer, not for a very long time.

April 2022 Bulletin Board:

  • June 11th and 12th! Join us for the Spring Seasonal-lite, our online course for all your species-specific, fertilizing, design, pests (gasp!) and other mid-season bonsai questions. We’ll meet for two mornings, with 6 hours total in-person instruction and a 30-minute private with me. For sign-up send an email to Watch our wonky course trailer:

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  1. vennfootwear says:

    Awesome. Great adjustments.

    MARK BRITTON +1.949.566.3518

  2. Jeffrey Robson says:

    Michael I love this bonsai since I first saw it when it came into your garden. I love the new angle done in the repot. I also like it because of its unusual species for a bonsai. Something different for sure! I also think the “lighter” pot is perfect for the vine. Beautiful.

  3. hansvanmeer says:

    What a humbling beautiful story this rare Bonsai tel…62 years and it shows! Amazing!🙏👌👍
    Hans van Meer.

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