Thursday, March 28, 2013

Just some shrubs

Found this urban yamadori opportunity picking my daughter up yesterday. The first is the thickest Nandina trunk I've ever seen up close. The second is a J. Camellia. The deal is this: I'll dig them both this weekend. Replace them with "fresher" landscape material. Give the the tenant the receipt and the landlord will reimburse the expense. That's a double win in my book.

This is all made possible by not burning my bridges and ALWAYS looking at trunks and root spread of landscape material.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ugh, this weather

Night time temps are still dipping into the high 20s. I'm keeping the majority of tree inside but moving the ones in leaf outside in the mornings as it's been above freezing for the most part in the morning. I put them out there in the sun at 31 degrees this morning and 20 minutes later the temps were at 33. Should be alright. The forecast tells me that everything should go back out for good either tomorrow or on Saturday.

This weekend, I'm taking Jess up to Ladysmith Bonsai AKA Bob & Todd's, AKA Garden's Unlimited to show her some of their stock, collection, and to help a buddy move a GIANT Live Oak. I'll document.

Till then.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Weather's Mood Swing

So yesterday we celebrated the spring weather and spent the majority of the day outside. 60 degrees and blue skies. As I'm typing this, snow flakes the size of golf balls are falling on my empty bench.

I'm over this weather. Maybe it's time to start thinking about moving south.

Signs of spring 2013

It's the most exciting time of year. With so much collected material about, it's a sigh of relief after having babied this many stumps for so long, to see new buds forming on tapered and twisted trunks. Maples are pushing new leaves. Euonymus trees are already in leaf and budding back nicely. And hornbeams are pushing new baby buds. 

It was such a nice day. A day in which a wild hare found a way up my rear end. (That's such an odd saying, is it not?) After watering the bench with my new Dramm wand, I noticed some pooling of water where I'd rather be standing. A quick trips to Lowe's and a few hours later, I had this pea gravel in place. Now if I can just find the right paving stones to finish the area. 

Juniper Redesign

Yesterday we spent about 4 hours reducing, rewiring and restyling this common juniper. It was purchased a year ago at the PBA event at the arboretum in DC. After the initial styling, it was very clear that my styling abilities left much to be desired. Here it is as purchased and after the first styling.

Having shared this tree on the forums, the idea to stand this tree up more and reduce the amount of branches. I let it sit and gain strength for a year until last night. 

Here was the offered virtual image of this tree on which we based our design:

Lovely ain't it? 

It was unwired in mid summer leaving this image where we started on it yesterday. 

After some carnage:

And here's the final product. She still needs some filling in at the top, but I'm much more pleased with the shape and size of the tree. With much less foliage, the trunk seems much more powerful.

On  a side note, I'm trying to step up my bonsai photographing game. I hope to acquire a black backdrop in the very near future. Thanks for checking in. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Akadama from Dallas Bonsai Garden

On the BNUT forums I was selected randomly to win a sort of raffle. Last night I received my prize:

SCORE! This is my first real exposure to Akadama and I'm looking forward to using it in my mix. Thank you Dallas Bonsai Garden. I'll be sure to check here first for my next purchase. Surprisingly, the akadama is reasonably priced on that site. I'd always heard the prices were outrageous. Not so.

thread here

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Spruce's First Styling

I had this spruce living in the back yard for a year now. Didn't know what to do with it. I'm excellent at killing Spruce for some reason. Well since it was a good time as any, this weekend Jess and I took a bit of wire to it and tried our best to get this guy started in the right direction. If this thing lives it'll be a miracle!

Before Styling after thinning (last year)


Since this picture there has been some minor adjustments to bring the top two branches downward. I'll try and get a pic tonight. 

Filling the benches

The weather had warmed up enough over the weekend to put all these dern stumps outside; FINALLY!
They tend to get in the way of my garage being a garage. Because I have so many hornbeam stumps and so little bench space and attention, I'm planning on trading/selling most of them. I'll have to see which guys do well to make that decision. There are a few that I can't get rid of, of course. That being said, everyone has a price.

It's a neat thought that 4 days prior to this picture being taken the back yard looked something like this:

Such is life in VA. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

A virt from a friend

 User Mach5 from was kind enough to provide me with this virtual for a juniper that's been out back regaining vigor. I do not believe I will style this tree just yet as I'd like it to be healthier first. It's already made huge gains from where it was just a year ago.

I think he did excellent work and I'm excited to steer this tree in this direction.