Welcome to my bonsai blog!

Welcome to my bonsai blog!

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"And the LORD God made ... trees that were pleasing to the eye ..." Gen. 2:9, New International Version.

"Bonsai isn't just something I do; it's part of what I am." Remark to my wife and daughter.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Indiana, or the Gobi Desert ... ?

     Yes, this post's title does contains some hyperbole; but it's not just hyperbole. Our front lawn looks typical for this part of Indiana right now: brown and dry. The grass blades crunch underfoot. One neighbor takes the time to move a sprinkler around his yard at least once a day; but otherwise, the lawns in the neighborhood are faring no better than ours.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Spruce, Ponderosas, and Larch, Oh My! (Part 2.)

     I admit it: I was as excited as a little kid about last week's Styling and Refinement workshop with Andy Smith! (See Part 1.) The tree I took is a ponderosa pine, Pinus ponderosa, that I bought in Andy's Burlap Bonanza in 2010. (A bit of trivia: at the workshop, I was the only one working on a ponderosa that Andy had not brought with him on this trip.) Since receiving the tree in April 2010, I've done almost no pruning or pinching. My focus has been on building up my pine's health, and helping it acclimate to a moister climate and a significantly lower elevation than what it had known. When it produced strobili this spring (see this post,) I knew it was vigorous enough for its first major styling.

Spruce, Ponderosas, and Larch, Oh My! (Part 1.)

(With apologies to A.A. Milne.)

     Four days ago, the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club gathered at the home of our club president, for a Styling and Refinement workshop with Andy Smith. Andy is a bonsai teacher and artist, and one of the best-known collectors of native bonsai material in the USA. He and his two sons had attended the 2nd US National Bonsai Exhibition in Rochester, New York, and stopped on their way home to South Dakota.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Time to Get Out and Shop!

     I think the garden centers here are all tied to the same calendar! At least, many of them have started selling off their nursery stock to make way for whatever they'll offer during the summer. (Maybe swim gear and beach chairs.) For bonsai people, that means an opportunity to acquire raw stock at bargain prices! 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Enjoying New Leaves

   Sometimes the beauty of new foliage can almost match that of flowers. Here are a couple of recent examples among my own trees.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Using the Notch Method for the First Time

     In my last post, I described one of the two major bonsai projects that I tackled on Memorial Day (May 28.) The first was a graft; the other was my first use of the notch method to put a drastic bend in a branch.

Colin Lewis describes this technique as one of the scariest he's ever used, and I can see why. For those not yet familiar with it, here's what you do.