Rigida Raft.

Rigida vlot_RUW.jpg

In 1995 I found this Juniper Rigida in Japan. It was unstyled but rootconnected. I found it very interesting for a Bunjin Raft creation.

DSCF4154.jpg

In nature a Raft is a tree that fell or was blown down from the wind. Laying flat on the ground with the whole trunk, branches starts to grow upwards and become trees. To create a rootconnected raft in Bonsai that looks very natural is something different than a forest creation.

DSCF4147.jpg

This is the same raft now; stands more than 10 years without wire. Nice triangel view with depth and all the trees have the same bunjin style in a different caracter. The pot is handbuild by late Derek Aspinall and was specialy designed for this creation. If you are interested in high class bonsai ask for the price which is reasonable for the quality you get.

 

 

Juniperus rigida.

Juniperus rig cascade.jpg

My Juniperus rigida cascade on the crespi cup in 1996.

Juniperus rig cascade_2.jpg

First prize Crespi Cup 1996 judged by late Noburo Kaneko. From Kaneko I learned everything about displaying Bonsai and to set up an exhibition. We walked around several times at the “Kokufu Ten” in the 1990’s while he was explaining why every tree was selected. For me it was a great help later on during the “Ginkgo Bonsai Awards”. During my visits to Japan it was in his garden that I spend most of the time. There were no secrets he explained everything and was a great master and an allround bonsai artist.

Juniperus rig cascade_home.jpg

The tree in my Tokonoma with the Crespi Cup. Afterwards I sold the tree to Fred from France, he kept the tree still in good condition.

 

In our nursery_Pyracantha pré bonsai.

DSCF4146.jpg

Today our crew prepared from the field 12 year old Pyracantha. Like all the other varieties we cultivate they were about 2 years in pot, 2 years in the field, 2 years in pot again, 2 years in the field again and so on until now 12 years later.

DSCF4144.jpg        DSCF4145.jpg

An example of the material pruned out. Notice the compact rootball with the fine roots, ready to be potted up in pure Akadama. We selected 3 different sizes: Sho-hin, Chu-hin and small midsize. All this is perfect startersmaterial for long time project quality bonsai. from wednesday on these will be in our sales area. Starting from 35€ till 75€.

 

 

Spain

 

DSCF3668.jpg

Last week I visited my friend Marc in Spain. Marc left Belgium 5 years ago and was looking for a better climate and a better life. I know Marc for more than 20 years, we always were good friends. He took a lot of workshops at my place and was attending also the “Kawabe School” which I organised. On this photo 3 Pines that we did together.

DSCF3669.jpg

Here a part of his collection that he brought over from Belgium to Spain. The climate for the Juniperus and the Pines seems to be very good. Even in the high mountains, were he lives, with lots of wind sometimes it is no problem.

DSCF3675.jpg

A part of his midsize trees surrounded with deadwood that lay around in the garden.

DSCF3676.jpg

The garden is 3ha big in open nature. Surrounded with fruit trees, cactus varieties and 100’s of different varieties of plants. Nobody can create a garden like nature does.

DSCF3677.jpg

Waking up every morning with a view like this surrounded by silence is always a good feeling.

DSCF3682.jpg

The back yard.

DSCF3679.jpg

Take a walk higher in the mountains with the perfect car to go off road.

DSCF3685.jpg

The neighbours.

DSCF3837.jpg

Sightseeing.

DSCF3842.jpg

Sightseeing on a platform in the high mountains.

DSCF3846.jpg

Almost heaven.

DSCF3902.jpg

Finally back on the main road.

DSCF3969.jpg

B&B – Bikes & Bonsai.

DSCF3730.jpg

After a long day tasting some local specialities with Mark’s wife Luce at the bar.

Crataegus.

1_crataegf1.jpg

In december 2000 we did the 1st styling of Johan’s yamadori Hawthorn. After selecting some branches we wired everything and spread it wide open. At that time we were not sure that the two trunks were connected to each other.

2_crataegf2.jpg

In july 2001 we did another wiring including the new growth.

3_crataegf3.jpg

Februari 2002 the first repotting in a hand made pot. Winterpruning;  first selection of ramifications and reducing the thorns for 50%. Now it was clear that the two trunks were connected so it was a clump style.

4_crataegf4.jpg

In the beginning of certain projects you have to make a choice how many times you want to wire the tree. In this case we never stopped wiring after every selection and every growing season. The reason was that we did not let the wire snap in. That is way it takes more effort in wiring. This photo was taken in May 2002.

5_Crataeg5.jpg

December 2002. There is a lot of new material added on the tree including on the apex, we are nearly there.

6_Crataeg6.jpg         7_Crataeg7.jpg

May 2003; before and after pruning.

8_Crataeg8.JPG

October 2003; again more ramifications.

9_Crataeg9.JPG

April 2004.

10_Crataeg10.JPG

November 2004.

11_Crataeg11.JPG

Juin 2005. We achieved our first step in our project. This photo is taken after our first selection to achieve an older image. The selection we did with the leaves on to keep the silhouet of the tree.

12_Crataeg15.JPG

March 2008; a new repotting was necessary after all the years that we added a lot of new growth on it. To continue  our pruning in order to achieve an older image we need a healthy tree that is why we give some space in the pot to grow. Inside we selected the natural line of the wired branches and checked also the budding that reassure the tree to grow.

13_Crataeg16.JPG

Juin 2009. Our old image start to be clear.

14_Crataeg19.JPG

March 2011. Now we are in the most difficult period; the tree is in a stage of training that he can loose branches or win branches and ramifications. The technique for a more refined ramification is very intense, that is why we give the tree the best growing conditions in an oversized pot. All the trees in such a long time project are growing slower and slower every year and at the end they would be stop growing and just open their buds with leaves. That means there is no progress anymore, from than on it goes backwards. This repotting came just in time for the tree and we can continue with our next step.

15_Crataeg21.JPG

May 2012. This is a slow process, we have to find the balance between strong growth and slow growth before we continue our work.

16_Crataeg23.JPG

November 2012. Before we are going back to a pot that fits the image, we have to change 50% of the buds into growing buds. That will probably take about 2 to 3 years. Always remember the different stages in building up and the maintenance you do at these different periods. Notice always how strong or slow your tree is growing before deciding which kind of pruning. In worst case scenario branches will start to die off, that means you were too late. Here with the Crataegus we were just in time. Never think the work is done, with living material the work never stops. It is not the owner that decides when a tree is on his best, the tree itself will make that decision.