Shore Pine From Telperion Farms Styled-

Shore Pine From Telperion Farms Styled-

Many of you know that the pre-bonsai business Telperion Farms was lost to the western fires this summer. They leave a hole in our community that still brings us sorrow. The trees they shipped went everywhere over the years, a friend said he’d received some in Puerto Rico. Many were brought to my backyard by […]

Calling Jim Gremel—Your Cedar is Ready

Calling Jim Gremel—Your Cedar is Ready

For many, the name Jim Gremel is synonymous with supremely well-annealed copper wire. He’s also quite talkative, and has a way of pinioning you to a sales table with stories surpassed only by the Ancient Mariner. Evidently he’s so popular, with so many clients, that he doesn’t need any more and is highly elusive to […]

~ Beginnings are Delicate Things ~

~ Beginnings are Delicate Things ~

There’s an old craftsperson axiom that goes, ‘If you have problems at the end it’s probably because of something you did at the beginning’. This past year I’ve shared a series of posts about early tree development. If there is one overarching, umbrella statement we can make regarding the early phase of bonsai creation—both deciduous […]

~ 2020 Photo Gallery ~

~ 2020 Photo Gallery ~

Shots of our doings in the bonsai garden this year, and out wandering about— Blessings everyone for a healthy and joyful Holiday Season!  

Deciduous Early Development Part V: Styrax

Deciduous Early Development Part V: Styrax

This Styrax is still a pre-bonsai. A tree ‘on the way to find out’. Nibbling away at it as one might on a mature bonsai will keep pre-bonsai development to a standstill. For pre-bonsai, particularly a larger tree, our goal is to create the tree’s structure—the primary gestures and proportions—in a big flat or nursery […]

Grafting Cross-Genera Species: Chamaecyparis on Cupressus

Grafting Cross-Genera Species: Chamaecyparis on Cupressus

Earlier this year we tried a Hinoki graft on a Yellow Cedar, just to see if it would take. It did. For the most part, we tend to assume grafting within the same genus. White pine onto Black pine (for smaller needle). Apple onto apple (for different varieties of fruit).  Grafting compatibility, though, can stretch […]

Winter Hazel Revisit-

Winter Hazel Revisit-

To keep on our schedule of posting about this slow-developing specimen every 4-5 years, we are now due for episode three… This knobby Winter Hazel (Corylopsis spicata) was an old bonsai that had seen better days when it arrived in the garden in 2011. I did a post about it back then, and then a […]

How to Correctly Read Bonsai Heresy-

How to Correctly Read Bonsai Heresy-

When a student sent me this photo I began to worry that others might be having similar reading malfunctions. We are here to help. If you can’t make any headway with Bonsai Heresy, please—before calling, writing, or showing up on the doorstep—check that you aren’t taking direction from Rich, a past Seasonal student. (It was […]

Focus on Fall Pruning: Chojubai

Focus on Fall Pruning: Chojubai

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about the endearing and rambunctious flowering shrub Japanese Flowering Quince, ‘Chojubai’. It grows vigorously, flowers well, and stays small. And it’s a good subject for fall work overview. Old Chojubai in the fall Often we are laser focused on our bonsai when they are growing…and then as vaporously […]

Revisiting A Dead-Topped Azalea-

Revisiting A Dead-Topped Azalea-

Several years ago a weak Satsuki ‘Kinsai’ azalea arrived in the garden with a dead crown, dead branches, and shari down two sides—characteristics that suggested a promising juniper rather than an azalea. After a period of puzzling, we thought a prostrate styling might be a new future for it, and that, with luck, we might […]