Our National Bonsai and Penjing Collection is hosting another week of bonsai activities in Canberra. Workshops with international practitioners allow us to exchange ideas and learn new techniques and ideas.
This year we have expert advice from 2 visitors – Heike van Gunst and Sandra Grlica.
I have been lucky to get a place in one of the workshops this year. With an entire day to fill we are able to take several trees to work with. I’m having trouble narrowing down the possibilities so I’ll take a few extras for the ladies to choose from.
Here are the trees I’ve selected
These junipers have all been developed over the past 9 years with repeated wiring, bending and twisting to produce wild looking trunks. Some have also had initial shari started. Experienced readers will note some long sacrifice branches that I’ve been using to increase trunk thickness and, in some cases, to develop thicker branches that may be used for additional jins.
Really looking forward to the weekend activities and to whatever the ladies can develop from the trees.
Our bonsai club has access to some areas with lots of feral olives so we have had several ‘digs’ to obtain advanced material. One of the paddocks is quite steep and rocky so I suppose these are literally ‘yamadori’ (Japanese word meaning from the mountain).
Here’s one a couple of years ago. You can see that the original middle trunk was converted to dead wood to leave room for the better trunk to develop. A small stub was also left on the smaller left trunk.
Last year I felt that the branches had developed enough structure to merit a proper bonsai pot.
I also decided the jin was just a bit boring. Looking at images of ancient olives I saw impressive old trunks with hollows and dead wood. A little carving on the trunk below the jin adds a whole new dimension to this tree.
I can see an opportunity to add some more texture and character to the jinned branch itself but that will have to wait for another day.
While checking another of these developing olives I noticed a dead patch on the trunk