Ivy League Success

It would be a good idea to read Willowboggers post on unlikely bonsai material before you read this.

A horticulturist friend of mine visited my garden in early autumn 2010. He spotted this Ivy growing up a large Ash tree that has been growing in the Hawthorne hedge, on the boundry, for many years. He immediately identified it as a very rare species Hedera Faiculatum Spectabilis. I have been trying to weaken it and discourage its growth using an african Panga knife for years as it is very invasive.

I discovered a piece that had rooted and grown on considerably and thought I might try to Bonsai this. You can see from the image that I had previously attacked it with the Panga Knife. To my surprise when I examined it I found it was so loose in the decaying leaf mould at the bottom of the tree it came away very easily but had very few roots on it.

I potted it up in, in the greenhouse, in a sandy mix that I had grown carrots in.

Hedera Faiculatum Spectabilus

There was very little top growth

I fed it with a high nitrogen mix of my own that I have been experimenting with for some time and gave it a periodic watering with superthrive. I also kept it for long periods under horticultural daylight flourescent tubes. The results have been absolutely stunning. So much so that I have been able to pot it into a bonsai pot just a few weeks ago.

I am a little concerned however that so much rapid growth followed by the repotting may have weakened the tree. Time will tell.


Finished Product

Well O.K. As they say here in Northern Ireland with great indignation. “Yer as well ravin there as in bed” A rough translation is “You may as well go mad here or you may take to your bed” What else is there to do but dream on a dark, cold and wet autumn day.

The stick  was actually collected and stuck in the container 2 weeks ago just as described. The part under the soil is as long as the top part but roots are very scarce. The “Finished Product” is actually a scanned image of a specimen tree in a book entitled, The Masters’ Book of Bonsai that was first published in America and printed in Japan by the Directors of the Japan Bonsai Association in 1967.

I think all would have admit that there is a striking similarity between The Stick and the Finished Tree. Both lean off the vertical. The rest I can only strive toward if it survives. They say “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”.

One to Watch? 

Great oaks from little acorns grow etc etc

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