Message to visitors

Welcome to my blog. My diary of my life in the Bonsai world.

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Feel free to leave a comment, good or bad.!

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Last visit in 2012.

Yesterday Mike R and me had a run up to Willowbog, just to get our fix of Bonsai as it was about four weeks since we were last there.We were surprised to find other people there when we arrived, there was two lads from Carlisle Bonsai Club who were shopping for the fast approaching spring season, and also Dave H from west Cumbria who was mossing up his very nice Mugo Pine for the Noelanders Trophy later in January

All mossed up ,but which stand to use?
Well done Dave, this tree is in really good condition as are all of your trees.

Monday, 24 December 2012


Well I am ready for xmas, I just put my stocking up on the fireplace ready for Santa coming tonight. Judging by the size I am not expecting very much.

Maybe enough for a Mame perhaps.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Ultimate bug

What would you think if you found these on your trees.

I think I would panic but luckily they are xmas presents for someone and not off my trees.
they are stick insects and why anyone would want them as pets I do not know. 

Monday, 17 December 2012

Natter night 17th Dec.

As this was the last natter night of 2012 there was not very much to do, even with six visitors,so we had a good natter and a good laugh.I have had  a busy week so did not manage to finish Kens Larch until tonight, then we had a discussion about what the front should be.I always think if a tree looks good in a photo then it must be right,so I took a series of pics to see which looked best.A job for visitors to my blog, please select your preferred front and leave your choice as  a comment.Thank you.

No 1

No 2

No 3

No 4

No 5

No 6

No 7

Mo 8

No 9

I think either No1 or No3 but it is Kens tree not mine so the real choice is his in the end.

All that leaves me to do now is wish all my visitors and friends,
A very  merry Xmas and a happy new year.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Clean up.

It is a good idea to clean up the surface of pots at this time of year to stop pests from having somewhere to rest over winter.

Before cleaning

After cleaning, much better to look at as well as letting air to circulate better.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Natter night 10th Dec.

Only five visitors but a very enjoyable night with two trees arriving, both of them Larches. Tony W brought his cascade and Ken M his twin trunk.First off the cascade which Tony wanted some tips on clipping unwanted growth.

Probably not a lot of change showing in these pics but there was quite a bit removed, now it needs to be wired again and tweaked.

Now Kens twin trunk

Having been left to grow for the season it required wiring and styling again, we got most of it done except the apex. A lot to do in a couple of hours.I may try to finish it if I get the time this week, if not we can do it next Monday.Finished photo will be posted when we do.

Especially when you sit drinking tea most of the time.
Just joking ,Ken did do a lot.

The young poser John !!!

Oh well another night fly's by, I do not know where the time goes but it sure does.

Second last natter night.

Tonight is the 2nd last natter night, { hooray I here } but only for this year. After next Monday we have xmas eve then new years eve so there will not be a get together them nights.In the new year it will be back to normal service as usual, so I would like to wish all my visitors and friends a very merry xmas and a good Bonsai new year for 2013.

Merry Xmas.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Update on new Yew.

My new Yew has had a bit of work done on it, I decided after cleaning the compost around the base and finding it was very wet and soggy to repot into a more free draining mix of Akadama & Kyodama.I found to my cost that Yew do not like to have very wet roots in winter, hence the reason for the repot.I have the facility to keep it free from frost, so I am not too bothered about doing it at this time of year.The root system on it is quite substantial so I did not have to remove any to get it into it's new pot.All I took off was a couple of big knuckles on the bottom, to allow it to go lower down in the pot.

This was the tree as I got it last weekend.

This is the tree now,I know you should not repot, carve and style at the same time, but after seeing the root system I am not to worried about doing this.{ Famous last words }

A close up of the dead wood.

All I have to do now is keep it free from the cold and wet weather and give it some tender loving care.


Noelanders Trophy XIV.

January 19th -20th  2013 sees the fourteenth Noelanders Trophy in Belgium, unfortunately I will not be able to attend but thought I would remind everyone else about it.

Maybe one day I will get there and see the fabulous trees on display.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Natter night 3rd Dec.

Despite the weather I still had six visitors tonight, no trees so I started on my latest addition  an English Yew.
Following are four photos, one from each side. I usually do this so I have more pics to choose from when I finally decide on the viewing angle.

The front at the moment.

I first cleaned up the surface to find what the Nebari was like,I found it quite good from what I think will be the front.

Next I started to do some naturalising  of the cut off stumps.

This is just a rough start and will be refined at a later date.

After removing some unwanted branches I found a big flat cut where the tree had been shortened , probably 
when it was first collected. So the next job was to carve some of it away to create more deadwood and hopefully make it look more natural.

If you look back at the photo of the Nebari you will see these cut off stumps before carving.
So far I am pleased with the results.

I quite enjoy carving and think I learn something new each time I do it.
Practice makes perfect, { so people say }
Another natter night goes by, the time just seems to fly by.

Winter Quarters.

I finally decided to give my trees some protection for the winter,not so much from frost but from the persistent rain we have had lately.

I hate to see the benches bare of trees, it means cold and wet for quite a while.

It was not until I put the trees away I realised how much I have cut down my collection, as I have got them all into the greenhouse next to the studio.

I had to use two greenhouses last year.

Any visitors tonight will have some cover as well if they want to see the trees.

I even had room for some of my accent plants as well.
Well more later as I have to get ready for my Natter night,will it be busy or not?
Time will tell.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Willowbog chat 1st Dec.

Today was the last chat day of the year and was well attended despite the cold and a little snow. This is the last few hundred yards of the road just before the entrance and as you can see a covering of snow.

Not many tyre tracks but the sun was shining on the tree tops.

In the nursery itself very cold and icy 

But in the workshop a very warm atmosphere.

Everyone doing what it is called, chatting.

Some people were also doing bonsai work.

Brian, Terry and Keith all busy and looking very intent.

Mike and David just as busy.

Terry putting a new angle on a Larch.

Keith really was using the methylated spirit to clean up his Cork barked Elm forest.

 Stew C brought this Air layered Hawthorn to pick up some ideas for styling and I think he left with quite a few.

This is an English Yew I have added to my collection as of today,an early present.

I also remembered to bring my Juniper home with me today after forgetting it last week.
My memory must be improving!!

Well that's all from me today, and the last chat of 2012.

Roll on 2013 and more chat days.

Thanks to Peter & Jean for the hospitality we have always received at Willowbog.