Nurse Log Imagination—Hemlock, Huckleberry, and Salal

Nurse Log Imagination—Hemlock, Huckleberry, and Salal

I’ve been wanting to do a nurse log as a kusamono planting for quite some time. Always had another project in the way. But recently the creative mood hasn’t led me to work with older trees in the midst of the pandemic, but rather new, fresh, young ones which give a feeling of forward momentum. […]

A Perfect Time for Creativity-

A Perfect Time for Creativity-

The first album of The Bonsai Rappers, featuring John Eads, Andrew Robson and a few of their friends will not be released, now or ever. But just in case you were wondering, this would be what the jacket cover would totally look like~ Bonsai Rapping aside, this is a good time to stretch our creative […]

Read Books!

Read Books!

In the studio last week I was talking with John (current apprentice) and Andrew (past apprentice), and in a dreamy, innocent moment I tossed out the hope that people might soon be reading more books. I said this having just got word that Bonsai Heresy: 56 Myths Exposed Using Science and Tradition was printed and […]

Deciduous Early Development Part IV: Studying Old Styrax

Deciduous Early Development Part IV: Studying Old Styrax

When talking about early development, eventually we need to look at later development, just to see where we’re going. Many of the old deciduous bonsai in Japan were grown in containers. They weren’t collected, and many weren’t grown in the ground. In general we tend to have less focus in the West on pot-grown bonsai. By pot-grown, […]

PRE-ORDER a copy of Bonsai Heresy~

I’ve waited a long time to say this—you can now (finally) order a copy of my new educational book Bonsai Heresy! That is, you can PRE-ORDER it from Stone Lantern. (The books themselves are expected in early May 2020.) And…while we’ve shared the front cover on the blog before, here’s the first release of Bonsai Heresy’s back […]

Even Athletes Need a Break…

Even Athletes Need a Break…

If we constantly nibble at our bonsai with scissors or pruners throughout the year, we usually don’t get anywhere good. Bonsai that don’t get a break from our delight at cutting back become exhausted. In weightlifting and other extreme sports you can’t lift every day of the week. Some days a bicyclist training for a […]

Minimalist Hemlock Styling~

Minimalist Hemlock Styling~

This mountain hemlock clump, Tsuga mertensiana, was featured in a styling post some years ago, and after a recent reworking felt ready for a revisit. Since the styling it’s been placed on a Corian slab, and moss has taken over. This one seems to slow down visitors. With some curiosity, I’ve watched some literally come […]

Black pine/Ponderosa Frankie Tree Revisit-

Black pine/Ponderosa Frankie Tree Revisit-

This is an earlier work, black pine grafted on a ponderosa trunk. I think it was grafted about 9 years ago. It’s a small tree, a chuhin at 14”. Collected years ago by Randy Knight; recently reworked by apprentice John Eads. In our first post on this tree, Black Pine/Ponderosa, I suggested calling it a Frankie […]

A Holiday Story-

A Holiday Story-

Some may recognize this as a previous post entitled ‘A New Year’s Story’, and I beg forgiveness for the repeat; finishing up Bonsai Heresy (proofing just completed) has been all-absorbing. But I figured this story had continued utility, like last year’s advent calendar does: Usually I offer the bungled photos of the year in a […]

Front Cover and Brief Review of Bonsai Heresy—

Front Cover and Brief Review of Bonsai Heresy—

As it’s terrifically difficult to write a review of one’s own work and still sleep at night, I’m copying here what Wayne Schoech of Stone Lantern wrote in his newsletter about my forthcoming offbeat, educational book Bonsai Heresy: 56 Myths Exposed using Science and Tradition— Here’s the glimpse into the future we promised, Michael’s Bonsai Heresy is […]