Hemlock On Rock : Revisit

Hemlock On Rock : Revisit

This hemlock composition is from 2016. The design challenge was to imitate a tree not dangling off a cliff, as we tend to do with semi-cascade, but rather rising from a ravine slope, low on a cliff. We used a lace rock cavity which stabilized well in an upright position, suggesting the cliff wall.  Starting with […]

The Winter Seasonal-lite Launches Soon-

The Winter Seasonal-lite Launches Soon-

In 2020 we created the Seasonal-lite online series to teach folks far away in this strange leap year. We’ve finished three online courses so far—the Spring, Fall and Wild for Accents Seasonal-lites (which we’ll be offering again this year, too). These have been a hoot to teach. They’re interactive and are led by me in […]

Design Tweak For A Bunjin-

Design Tweak For A Bunjin-

When our trees get out of shape and gangly they give us the opportunity to see them again. When a client brought in this Lodgepole Pine that he’d collected, it looked ripe for a tweak. ‘Integration’ is a word we throw around a lot in bonsai. And it’s an important design word. Generally what we […]

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 […]