Watering is once again top of the list as the days get warmer and longer. I have found that rain often does not provide enough water to keep my bonsai watered. I guess the leaf canopy of my bonsai shelters the pot so most of the rain probably does not even make it to the roots. That means I still water, even after it has rained. Continue reading
October is a very busy Bonsai month for Shibui Bonsai. Early in the month Canberra Bonsai Society holds their annual show and Shibui Bonsai has a sales table. This year the show was in a different venue which meant more space for the trees on show and for the traders. Continue reading
Most of the trident maples now have tiny pink buds where new leaves are emerging to show that spring has arrived at Shibui Bonsai.
I’ve repotted most of the deciduous trees that need doing this year so it is time to move on to the evergreens. Some growers now repot pines in autumn but I’m still doing most of mine at the traditional spring repot time.
Today it was time to get a few pines into their first bonsai pots.
This twin trunk Japanese Black Pine has been developing slowly over the past 15 years or so. It has an impressive nebari and some well placed branches and now it is time to start developing better ramification. I think the restricted space in the smaller pot should help control the new growth and help the process.
Among the roots lies a clue to the origins of this tree.
This is one of the pines mentioned in the previous post. Seedlings were threaded through a hole in stainless steel disks to see if pines could be developed in a similar way to the maples as outlined in previous posts. Pines do not root quite as well as maples and only 2 out of 5 survived the process but the experiment did prove that it can be done.
In this case I put 2 seedlings through the same hole. In the process of growing new roots they have fused into a single twin trunk tree.
I’ve selected a round drum pot which has adequate size for a developing tree but still a reasonable match to the tree.
Now we wait until December for the first round of candle pruning to start the process of developing branches with full ramification.
Here’s one way of starting a good lateral root system. It works particularly well with trident maples but I have also used it on Japanese maples successfully and it should work well with any species that layers easily. Continue reading
It is winter at Shibui Bonsai and time to dig the trees in the grow beds.
I’m now digging most deciduous trees every year. This will slightly reduce trunk thickening but that should be more than made up for in better nebari and better nebari seems to produce vastly improved basal flare, particularly on trident maples. Continue reading
The autumn colours are gone and winter is usually pretty drab in the bonsai garden unless you have flowering Japanese Quince. Also known as Chaenomeles, most of the garden varieties flower later in winter, before the leaves sprout but this variety, called ‘Chojubai’ has occasional flowers all year round and a more concentrated display right through winter.
The brilliant orange flowers are small which is an advantage for bonsai.
‘Shari’ is the Japanese term for dead wood along the trunk of a bonsai. Dead tips of branches are referred to as ‘jin’. Continue reading
The shimpaku junipers I dug from the grow beds last winter have finally decided they are going to survive the trauma and have plenty of new roots and good growth on top. Continue reading
We recently moved shibuibonsai.com.au to a new server. It appears that not all the images I have used in the posts have survived the move. It will take me some time to replace the missing files. In the meanwhile you will just have to use your imaginations to fill out the visual details of some of the posts. Please let me know if you have found a post that is vital to you and desperately needs the images to make sense and I’ll see if I can fast track replacing those files.
Apologies for the inconvenience and thanks for your patience.
For many years there has been a myth that ‘normal’ fertiliser will kill Australian plants.
The truth is that most Aussie natives don’t care. Many actually grow way better when they have access to reasonable levels of P so they grow better when fertilised with standard fertilisers. I have actually come to the conclusion that many of my early failures with Australian native plants can be attributed to starvation because I was too frightened to fertilise. Continue reading