Chojubai Notes: Part 2

After the major period of flowering in the cooler months of the year, ‘Chojubai’ Dwarf Flowering Quince will begin to grow. At the end of this period the plant is usually multi-tasking, flowering and growing. What you will see first are whorl growths of several leaves. These do not have an extension. About the time the […]

Chojubai Notes: Part I

The last photograph here needs some explanation, since any use of a ladder and a roof reaches beyond usual bonsai technique… But to tackle the serious ‘middle part’ of this post first, I thought a series of notes about Chojubai might help get to know this little rascal a bit better because it is so little […]

The Joys of Chojubai-

I’ll find any excuse to share photos of Chojubai! A few of these photos are of older trees blooming in my yard this spring, in their new antique pots. (Love that oxymoron, ‘new antique’—new to me, but also old to me and everyone else). I’ve also included photos of younger plants I’m growing. ‘Chojubai’ is the […]

Summer Flowering Chojubai

Unusual for a ‘Chojubai’ Japanese flowering quince, this old tree has been in full-on flowering mode since mid-August. Although a Chojubai can typically push a flower almost any month of the year, they are generally at peak flowering from January-April, before the leaves come out. This amount of flowering in the summer is not common. […]

‘Chojubai’ Quince—Diminutive Jewels

This unassuming dwarf quince can steal your heart. There are many who have gone to Japan for the spectacular pines, junipers, and maples, only to discover the quiet but memorable Chojubai. Those ‘many’ included a few friends of mine, and myself. This post is a little longer than most because Chojubai is so little known […]

Pot Depth—Don’t Cut it Close!

The guideline runs: pot depth should equal trunk diameter. This, though, is an aesthetic guideline. Many bonsai prefer a deeper pot.  A deep pot is like sneakers. Good for romping around in. The high heels and dress shoes are for primp, kept in the closet with the shallow show pots for special days. There are […]

Design Exercise: Seeing into the Future

This odd maple earned the nickname ‘Snuffleupagus’ in our recent Seasonal session, in appreciation of the elephantine upper trunk. (Source: Snuffleupagus, from the TV show Sesame Street, a giant anteater-like mammoth, without tusks or visible ears.) At the moment, this tree is rather awkward, but over time…maybe interesting. In this exercise we investigate the question of […]

A Trick for Correcting a Wire-Scarred Branch-

Spiral scars seem to happen overnight. You go to bed with happy thoughts only to arise with badly bitten in wire. Wire scars on some plants can last well into a bonsai’s maturity. How might we correct that?  Though slight, wire marks like this bug me. This Chojubai was wired when it was a skinny […]

Energy Balancing in Shrubs

Being basally dominant, many shrubs are going to do anything they can to kill off older parts and grow shoots from below. The more geriatric the shrub, the greater the danger of killing off exactly what we want to preserve—the older, trunky bits. They don’t like to make trunks much, with the exception of Satsuki […]

Crataegus Bonsai Garden in Photos

Some recent shots in the bonsai garden. More like these are on Instagram. Hope you enjoy!