~ 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 […]

‘This Is The Tree I’ve Had The Longest’

‘This Is The Tree I’ve Had The Longest’

Anyone with a bonsai garden can point to that one tree that predates all others. For me, it’s a juniper. And that’s the tree that I wish to share today. The history of this one is memorable for me, collecting it as an Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) on the rocky shores of a lake near […]

Vine Maple ‘Boot’ Revisit-

Vine Maple ‘Boot’ Revisit-

This composition is from March 2015. We had it in the studio for our annual fall trim and thought it might be fun to compare it with the original styling.  I’d intended this one to be a bit…awkward. Many paintings, sculpture, or other art I enjoy looking at again and again often have an element […]

Tree-like Juniper Styling

Tree-like Juniper Styling

Often we style a juniper as an abstract form. Many species are, after all, shrubs, and have no clear form. And then, deadwood features often go off into sculpural wonderlands quite unrelated to trees, other than being made of wood. This Rocky Mountain Juniper, Juniperus scopulorum,  was collected by Steve Varland of Backcountry Bonsai. When […]