Procumbens All Change

If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.

        Leo Tolstoy

Not been around in a while as health issues and moving home (we hope) have taken priority. I have however had a good week or two and thought I would spend a bit of time on all my trees.

I only have eight trees now so really I can now actually enjoy spending time working with them rather than thinking of it as a chore. When I first started on the road to Bonsai and over subsequent years I became what I can only imagine as addicted to having more and more trees.

sure I had nothing like the amount as many do and have done over time mostly because pretty much all my trees were large ones. Some so heavy it took two to move them. Thirty-one years later and I’ve gone much much smaller. Sure not Shohin sized but all manageable by one person and don’t need the wheelbarrow to move them.

I’ll upload a few others, but for now my old cascading Procumbens had gone a bit bushy again so figured I sit and think about a future for it. I repotted three years ago after obtaining a rather nice pot whilst up at the Swindon Winter image Show.

Here it can be seen as a Yeti like Cascade.

Procumbens November 2011

The pot above was a very heavy one from Peter Chan. The great problem with the Procumbens Juniper is the foliage gets pretty heavy and creating a cascade became difficult for me, as I found the weight of the branch required permanent wiring to keep any kind of shape.

Here it can be seen after a fall in high winds with some branches broken. I threw it in this pot which I quickly purchased from the local Garden Centre. To give an idea of size the slab that the pot is sat on is 40cm in diameter.

Juniper March 2010

Again I figured I would leave it and see what happens. It recovered well and I cleaned it out to see once more if a possible cascade without permanent wire was possible. See the first image. Also this one. Cleaned out and removed from pot to go into the PC grey one.


The root-ball was indeed looking well recovered and so into the PC pot it went. Over time I just didn’t or could not get my head round the tree. I wondered if actually creating something with this one was out of my own skill-set? I’m not to proud to admit at times I’ve wondered if I was capable, and fumbled at times. Oh I thought I’d include the absolute original image of the tree. This was prior to falling and prior to a much needed trim.


Moving on and as I started off saying eventually I had had enough of constant wiring and thus decided enough was enough and into a much smaller more manageable pot. This was the one I spoke about earlier the one I got from Swindon.

Procumbens 2011

And yet I still wasn’t happy! Yes it looked to me a heck of a lot better but balance wise it wasn’t right and I still wondered if it had too many branches. Moving bang up to date from 2011 when I popped it into the pot above, I purchased another pot whilst in Swindon this year at the winter Image Show, and paid the mighty sum of £22.50 for it. Brand new, Chinese, perfect condition and deep enough to get a bit more root growing and also to see how it looks in a more rectangular pot. Incidentally I should say I like the following image very much and it will be my intention to get another rectangular pot but not so deep.

Taken a couple of days ago March 2014 in the new pot. Tree needs an overall tweak bend over to the left by a few mm which i’ll do with the foliage when recovered from the repot.

Thank you if you are still with me and reading; I hope you enjoyed it?

Procumbens 200314

Leaf Strip Results

On the 23rd June this year I leaf stripped two Maples. I was concerned that I may have had a disease going on … or it was a uniform leaf burn. I mentioned then that almost every single leaf had signs of burning (See Original Post HERE).

I took the following image yesterday of ‘Stumpy’ and am delighted to say that not one leaf has come through with any damage. It has leafed well, all-be-it there are a handful that have come through huge; these I have removed. In the image below the darker colour leaves are just simply new ones in clusters that have yet to turn green and harden. Wind has been kind lately so fingers crossed.


I feel 100% certain it has been a two fold issue that has caused the dreadful leaf marking.

1. Scorch from strong winds. Without a doubt this was part to blame. Other than keep em coddled and fully protected I can do little about the wind.

2. I’ve been using tap water only this year. I store it for a minimum of two days fully vented to get any gasses present to evaporate. I’m convinced that the build-up of salts I have been experiencing this year mostly in accents has emanated from said tap-water. And actually re-reading this some years later I think not.

With the latter in mind there are really only two things I am aware of that actually stop this occurring.

1. Add a teaspoon of distilled white vinegar to every five litres of water. (Thanks again Will for the correction).

2. Water copiously each watering; ‘shilly-shally’ watering techniques do indeed permit minerals build up, which inevitably leads to salts. You’ll know, as you will have near white marks on top of the soil or at the base of a pot.

I may have been caught out with a liquid feed that was not actually organic, and I may have overdosed slightly. This then actually makes a third point to consider; one of which I’d like to cover another time.

Here then was stumpy on the 23rd June 2013 followed by the 14th July 2013.

Stumpy strip

Leaf stripped July 2013

Flowering Sempervivums

I use the plural as this ERIN pot I showed a while ago, which was really not a lot more than throw some spare stuff in a pot and see what happens.

I’m delighted the central sempervivums have decided to flower; at least I get a nice display. There are six or seven different kinds in this one pot. 9cm wide x 4.5cm depth.

Mixed sempers

Bergeranthus as Accent

I didn’t actually get a lot done yesterday as where I live we are fighting a wind turbine application, so doing all we can to get the infernal thing refused! (And we did get it refused 2015) Anyway I did want to take a break and out came the trusty Canon camera complete with 24-105 L series and see if I can improve. When I say improve I keep slipping back to using the 55-250 lens which although good should not in theory be able to compete against the 24-105.

So two images today. One is a Bergeranthus glenensis which I have reduced greatly to fit this ERIN pot. I’m going to have to stop saying ‘it is one of my favourite pots.’ It would seem I keep saying it! But then this one is .. a favourite. At just 8cm wide and 6cm deep it reminds me of the ‘Harry Potter sorting-hat.’ Internal is quite a bit smaller at 6cm wide x 4.5cm deep. I truly think Vic at ERIN excelled himself (if that is possible?) when he made this one! Anyhoo, enough prattle, here is as above:

Reduced image size Bergeranthus

Medium is the new mix: one part smallest C/L. One part small Akadama. One part Melcourt Propagating Bark and one part Kyodama grit. Topped off with aquarium grit which is Roman Gravel. With such an open mix it WILL be impossible to over water. Yesterday the flower refused to open. A quick water and hey presto as if by magic the flower fully opened. It should keep flowering all season. Flower starts pink each day in the closed position and opens Yellow. Not hardy so if you want to have this succulent as an accent you will need to over-winter in a frost-free environment but not heated.

When I put it back in the middle of two other accents I could not resist a shot. Thank you once again for reading my ‘stuff!’

Three pots

Korean Hornbeam Before & After.

I’ve suffered greatly just recently with pain from this infernal arthritis. But with a beer on the table and plenty of pain killing I decided I could ignore my triple trunk KH no longer. Funny though, it does no harm to let our trees enjoy what they enjoy most … growing.

Anyway, with some help we managed to get it moved for a before image. Bonsai Forum.


KH before in position

Helpers have moved the tree away from the patio and it is seen here stood on a B&D workbench.

KH before trimming


Several hours scissor and cutter work (I had help), much foliage has been removed, and for now the tree looks somewhat more presentable than before.

KH after 5 KH after 3 KH after 2 KH after 1

Thank you for looking and it has been nice to see some decent sunshine. Today here in Somerset the wind has blown itself out and the birds can be heard gently whistling as the sun shines at a nice 21C. Long may it last.

Just A Plant In A Pot

At times during the best months of the year for my hobby of bonsai, I do, as many will know, enjoy hugely mucking about with small pots n plants in the vain hope I can make some attractive ones. Now let’s be absolutely clear here, my accents / kusamono are on a par with what Rita Cooper & Dan Barton have forgotten! If you REALLY want to see some absolutely mind blowing accents read on. If not then I have uploaded an image below to look at.

The 2012 Magical Accent Show near Bristol was amazing; and hint hint I hope we have another in 2014; nudge nudge. Some superb images of Ritta’s accents HERE and some also from Dan Barton and his lovely wife Cecilia HERE. And a few more HERE.

Now I realise the images I’ve included here by link have been seen before, but truly I could not resist sharing once again. Also other than Dan B and Ritta, many other talented people had their very own accents on display. They are all stars. Oh and my mind wanders when I start speaking into this voice activated thingy; I may leave it one day to show you how it writes! Still one good finger to sort those annoying red underlines; I’ve done it again, wandered, sorry all, back to accents then.

And what started this post in my mind, was a pot I have moved a Gypsophila cerastioides ‘Baby’s Breath.’ into. (Who the heck makes these names up? Baby’s Breath??? I’d originally put this tiny thing in a very tall pot but fancied a change. Camera was my Canon with the 55-250mm reduced image size in PSE and slightly cropped. f7 ISO200 custom WB and set on TV settings.

So nothing wonderful, just a cheap wee pot from the garden centre that is not frost proof; so later this year this wee darlin will be planted in the rockery. I personally get great satisfaction from this hobby; one need not be brilliant at it, just so long as you enjoy it, and what you do works for you .. warts n all! Anyway as usual, my thanks for reading, on the basis someone other than me actually does 🙂

indoor pot

Made Myself A Quick Faux ‘Ji-ita’

John B is currently making me a nice Ji-ita slice for personal use; his skills are simply amazing. For now I had a bit of wood so thinned it down and put a fake edge on to sort of look like bark.

I just want it for standing my wee accent plants on when taking images of. Not sure what wood or where it came from, but anyway, it will do until ‘Big-John’ comes through. When he does I will share the new new slice at that time. For now though my little effort.

Dan Barton pot with Sempervivum.

new slice 2

The slab on top of the monkey pole is the sandstone one that I mentioned t’other day.

Here it is without pot. Oh I prepared at eventual 2000 grit and coated with three layers of Liberon finishing oil. Once each coat had dried I nipped off lightly before applying subsequent coats. Finally with my machine from old vehicle detailing days I used some lime Prime on a 3M finishing pad at 400rpm and then 1000rpm; this has the effect of making a glass like surface and the heat generated makes the coated finish as hard as a rock. If you do machine finish take great care not to burn the surface. Topped of with Dodo wax.

new slice 3

Close up of edges which is simply some Wickes exterior two-pack wood filler. Similar to vehicle dent filler actually but slightly softer. Painted with Humbrol modelling paints and sealed with pigment fixer.

new slice 4

Bit of a cobble up I know but hey ho, it’ll do till John B comes through. Hmmm a poem going on there 🙂

Thanks for looking at my blog and I’m glad that I can once again start up with some entries now I have this voice activated software for typing instead of the arthritic fingers. Sigh, age doesn’t come easy for some. On the upside though the rain has stopped, winds have eased and maybe the Met Office is wrong with its 60mph gusts for tomorrow.