How It All Started

Do not remove a fly from your friend’s forehead with a hatchet.

Chinese Proverb author unknown.

My passion for Bonsai started one Christmas back in the early 1980’s. Yes, you guessed, my wife gave me a ‘grow your own bonsai’ kit for a stocking filler. Needless to say my disappointment grew quicker than my present did.

I followed the instructions to the letter, but no…that little seed despite growing well did not look like the beautiful Bonsai as shown on the outer packet that contained the seed.

Yes, don’t laugh, I truly thought there was such a thing as a special variety of seed that automatically grew into a wonderful Bonsai…how sad can that be?

From the seedling to a book or four, a visit to a specialist Bonsai Nursery, enrolled on a one day foundation course with none other than Geoff Matthews. In my opinion, one of the greatest Bonsai talents around then…and today. Geoff has never looked for recognition, just satisfied customers. Many of which have become friends with the great man!

I purchased a few raw stock trees from Geoff and some from Garden Centres and Nurseries. Before long I had quite a pathetic collection going.

Clearly I was well and truly hooked…and still am today. I sort of had a break for a few years whilst employed (stress working with numpties that ran the organisation…sigh) I simply didn’t have time to spend with my trees and they suffered. No more though…since redundancy almost a year ago, much hard work and attention has given my collection a new lease of life.

Despite the coldest winter for over 30 years (2010) I was very lucky, no trees died. I did suffer plenty of die-back, but sometimes that works to your advantage; (more about that elsewhere).

I am NO expert, I want to make that absolutely clear from the onset. I don’t enter competitions for new talent, (cripes, I only just joined a club) but I am passionate, yes I get it wrong but at the end of the day, I will work a tree until it is pleasing to me. Sod the pot size or the position, or crossing branches, wagon wheels, I do what pleases me! After all they are my trees and they really are only for my wife Mum and I to enjoy.

Follow the case histories or other links above for more on this wonderful-wonderful interest.

Oh, if you’re wondering about the proverb we started with? Use the right tool for the job …seemples:-)

Mike Jones

10 thoughts on “How It All Started

  1. Jules "Brutal"

    Love it Mike just reminds me of my start, very similar Karate first then any Japanese stuff then I met a Bonsai guy in Newport (living there at the time) then the starter kit 1980-81 and here we are.

    1. Mike Jones

      🙂 We all must have a particular gene Jules. Amazing how many of us there is, that have successfully blended well with the human race 🙂

  2. Ramon Polanco

    Mike

    Yours bonsais are Beautiful, one day I dream the same to me, but i’m just started a few months ago and I dont have enougt experience.
    One more thing, where can I buy cheap tools because in my country is difficult to buy them, they’re expensive.
    I hope in the future to talk with you
    God Bless to you

    1. Mike Jones

      Hello Ramon

      I would always recommend Japanese tools. They are quality through and through. Can you not do mail order. Failing that a pair of secateurs and sharp small scissors will be a good start.

      Thank you for your message, please feel free to contact me at any time.

      God bless to you too.

      Mike

  3. Martin Philpott

    Hi Mike, im Martin who has just joined Weetrees Forum and to whom you have been very helpful in your replies. You kindly pointed me in the right direction for finding bonsai shows that i can attend.
    As result of all that i have discovered your amazing pages here. Its very impressive and very well put together with some fantastic insights and information. The page i really like is the one describing how it all began for you, what a great read and very inspiring.
    I will take time to look at all of your site and posts, but i just wanted to congratulate you and thank you for all your help thus far….kindest regards, Martin 🙂

    1. Mike Jones

      Martin

      You are too kind:-) Yes it all started by accident from a humble Bonsai tree in a box ‘that’ Christmas. If I can help you in any way you need only ask. If things go to plan I shall be at the Swindon Winter show next Sunday, please say hello.

      Best wishes

      Mike

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