Siberian Elm will be at Swindon 2013

I’ve made the decision to show my S/Elm at what I consider the greatest Bonsai show within the uk. The Swindon Winter Image Bonsai show. I very much doubt I will have any new leaves showing, and I will of course be keeping it in this wonderful (now getting on a bit) Walsall Ceramics pot.

I’ve only ever shown this tree at a very small local club event so my knees are knocking a tad. My great buddy Will B has an awesome Elm and I know he will have his own beauty looking fantastic.

This then the last of 2012 images. Now I must make a stand and think about a winter accent that may look suitable. Or anything else. Suggestions VERY VERY welcome. Anyway, it will definitely be at the 2013 Swindon show.  Fingers (shaky) very crossed it is liked on the day 🙂


‘Shrooms’ Already!

In a brief moment without any rain, I thought I would seize the opportunity to have a ‘potter’ round outside.  I couldn’t help noticing all the Mushrooms and Toadstools growing away. Normally here in the South west of ‘Blighty,’ the emergence of same would not be until at least late September through to November end.

This 2012 year is turning into a horrible damp depressing one. I see and hear from many friends in the USA that are hugely burdened by excessive heat! What a shame we cannot meet halfway.

So out with the trusty camera for a few quick pictures of some of my very own garden ‘Shrooms!’

Satsuki (‘Satski.’) Going Strong!

Almost July and this Satsuki that I have owned for a while is still producing blooms. There are many more to come and thus far around 100-150 have been removed. General thinning and removal of flowers that have gone over.

I try where possible to keep this species out of any rain and indeed I do keep soil just evenly moist, nothing more. This particular one was re-potted in Spring, prior to flowering.

The pot is a Walsall Ceramics.

Korean Hornbeam

I’ve been quiet I know, but have been ‘beavering’ away on the club wesite. Add that into the gardening and time is tight … sigh.

Anyway, just a quick May 2012 image of my large triple trunk Korean Hornbeam. Two pals kindly moved it, while once again I made the tea! B&D workbench, a black sheet and a shelf from an old TV cupboard; add a camera and ….:)

New Accent in Dan Barton Pot

I fell in love with this small Dan Barton pot whilst at the Swindon Winter Image Show recently. It is approx 9.5cm in diameter and 5 to 6cm deep, so not large nor small. The glaze is what really attracted me; it slides the lower you get and turns to a beautiful blue. What I do like in terms of attention to detail, are the small feet that ensures the planting can drain well.

I decided a brand-new variety of Primula would be completely suitable for this lovely pot. It is Primula ‘Woodland Walk.’ A hardy perennial from the family of cultivated Primrose. Flowering time is March April May.


These winds right now are pretty darned bad. Even in the SW of England we are being battered by gusts of up to 70mph. I have a meter and have it set outside and have recorded 62mph in the garden.

Anyone using a greenhouse for protection should ensure the door is closed at this time. Wind entering can be very powerful and reduce it to rubbish. As long as it is anchored well, shut the door and you should be fine. Check any trees that are exposed, and pull them against a wall for further protection. Heavier trees are not such a problem but lighter ones can be picked up very easily.

Keep a close eye on watering. seems daft I know considering just how much rain we have had, but these drying winds can take moisture out of your evergreen varieties at an alarming rate.

Other than that, I hope you are not experiencing too much damage. Fingers crossed Friday forecast is accurate and that the winds will die back later tonight!

A Couple Of Changes

Just spent an hour last night making further additions, changes to what will become the new display area over coming months. Mostly right now it is to live with it and see what develops. My good friends Paul B and Smithy have given me much to think about as well.

Currently the area is much smaller than it will eventually become. The lawn behind the gravel will become something for sure. The blue pot plants will be gone once the old patio is ripped up and replaced. Probably (but not certain) something else will be here. Saw a nice Oriental Pergola on eBay last night, am tempted 🙂

Japanese White Pine …What’s in a season?

I mentioned elsewhere that during late 2009 and indeed 2010 I had concerns for my old Japanese White Pine. This tree has been in my family  for almost thirty years and I honestly didn’t like the was it was going.

You’d be forgiven then for assuming I might have got the proverbial finger out and run with a re-pot during 2010. But no, one reason and another dictated I was unable to undertake the re-pot. During the peak of growing during May and June 2010 I became aware it was struggling and whilst I could still have run with a re-pot at that time I chose to wait until 2011; assuming that late 2010, early 2011 would be  a fairly mild winter compared to the previous two! How wrong can you be.

With already damaged roots, 2010/11 almost wiped this tree out. I did NOT give it sufficient protection during the last winter and so it sat, anywhere from -3 or 4, to -14c. Weeks and weeks this cold snap lingered, and I knew then it was a late spring 2011 re-pot or the tree would be a ‘gonner.’ In essence the cold is not as bad as standing in water of course.

Under normal circumstances I would root-prune around half of the ball and follow this up two years later on the other half. When finally I lifted the tree I was horrified at the damage that three hard consecutive winters had brought me. You can see the root ball in more detail under ‘repotting’ on the main header bar.

I had no choice it was the lot. I removed all black and sludgy brown and went it pretty darned hard. During 2011 I carefully watched the JWP and started up a care and feeding regime that I thought might well work. Indeed it did and some seven to eight months after the re-pot I am delighted with progress. Most of all the two and three year old needles are now gone and that awful green to yellow colour has disappeared. I shall continue to work the tree next year and look forward to a much more healthy tree. Anyone reading this with doubts on hardiness of this species think again! They do not have the advantage of staying dry nor can they cocoon their roots deeper. I do advocate keeping a JWP very much on the dry side from November through winter and into early spring. This will help alleviate root rot from sitting water.

This first image is late Summer 2011 (current year) the second is from late summer 2010. What a difference a year makes! I live and learn 🙂