Saturday, September 27, 2014


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Shohin Barberry Update


Here's a quick follow up to THIS POST.

Back in June I cut the bush back to this shape but wasn't happy with the size of the crown in relation to the trunk size:

So I took it back further. Though there is currently a very strong triangular shape present, with next year's growth, I hope to soften the angles considerably.


This barberry will probably stay in this oversized pot for another year as the tree develops further.


Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Challenge Juniper Follow Up

I snapped a few shots this morning of what I came up with. Wound up wiring this juniper out into a semi cascade after much deliberation.

Which brought me to this realization about styling bonsai trees:

There's always the "Eureka" moment. I was really not looking forward to styling this tree. It seemed almost like a chore. Sometimes, when the material is tough but the timing is right, I feel almost pressured to make the most of the season and work a tree. But styling is hard!

Usually when I'm designing, and this one was no different, I'll look at the tree from every angle for hours and hours, days upon days,  until inspiration finds me. I have found that sketching helps the process but then there's that pesky task of identifying what branches are required to form that image. Then it hits you like the first breath of fresh air after being under a strong wave in the ocean. It's refreshing. It feels like a triumph. There's a clarity and a "bonsai high". I love that moment. Don't you?

These are some quick snaps from this morning. I plan to set up the lights and take a proper photo for the competition. I'll update then:

It's a shame that I have no confidence that this tree will survive due to the out of season work and the harshness with which I treated it. But for $10, I think the experience was well worth the investment. 


Updated on 9/23/14: We took home first place in the 3-5 year category!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

BonsaiNut Challenge

Over on the forums we are having a small contest for bragging rights. We have to spend no more than $30 on a juniper in no larger than a 1-gallon can. This little pronana is what i picked up:

This weekend I plan to give it the old chop chop and possibly style it into a semi cascade. That what it seems the tree is lending itself to.

Will post updates after the styling.