Blackthorn: Keeps on Giving



Another year and another spring and my little Blackthorn just gives again. Its a short flowering season for this little tree but a very enjoyable one.

I have ordered a new pot for this tree and had hoped I would have been able to re-pot this spring. maybe not if it doesn’t arrive soon.

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New Shell Pot

This is a pot I have just made from fibre glass and a mix of cement, insulation fibre and grit roughly following the steps outlined in Dan Barton’s The Bonsai Book. I have painted it with a mix of red cellulose primer, motor cycle exhaust black and a dark blue gloss.

i was really surprised at how strong the pot appears to be and it’s weight just what I would expect from a clay pot of the same.

Getting my tree into the pot was another story and I will post a pic or two of the final product when I get a chance.

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Last snow before spring

This gallery contains 8 photos.

Originally posted on Shohin Bonsai Europe – Morten Albek:
As usual winter wants to sign out of the season by dropping a few cm soft snow over the garden. It will be gone by tomorrow, and then I am ready…

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The Best Deciduous Bonsai: Noelanders Trophy 2017

This is a truly amazing hawthorn raft that many would love to own. I hope its new owner enjoys it and gives it the care and place it deserves. Well done and Congrats Tony Tickle

Bonsai & Yamadori from Tony Tickle

Saturday 4th February 2017 will be forever etched in my memory as the day I was lost for words. I was presented with an award that I simply thought would always be beyond reach ‘The Best Deciduous Bonsai at the Noelanders Trophy’

The tree was one that I had worked for 26 years, a Hawthorn in the raft style that I collected from the hillside way back in 1991. I had worked the tree as best I could, styling, feeding, watering, treating it when it was not thriving, repotting 6 times this was a tree that had grown with me. In all the years the tree had received many awards and now it had won what must be the ultimate accolade from the most prestigious bonsai show outside of Japan.

Prior to showing the three I announced on social media that the tree was to be shown at The…

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Workshop with Ian & Phil

A good day was enjoyed by all who attended the workshop taday in Newtownards. The venue, Ian’s garage, was freezin’ as usual but there was plenty of heat generated between banter and work.

I brought a yew along that has been kicking around for quite a few years but has never really been systematically worked on so toady was its day.

I am pleased with the results although it is very obvious the tree has a long way to go before it will become anything, if ever!

Below are before and after shots of my Yew.

Some other shots taken on the day

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Larch Progress (Larix Kaemperi)

My large Larch continues to make steady progress. My current objective is to build up ramification without the branches developing ugly course growth at the branch intersections. Its slow progress but the tree is improving year on year.

This tree has been in training longer than I wish to remember

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Chuhin White Pine

This little white pine was chopped a few years ago and is progressing nicely. There are plenty of buds and back buds developing for next years growth. It went into this pot for training and development this year and I hope to see shorter needles and fuller pads in the next year or so.p1000867

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Needle Juniper

I took a few pics of this needle juniper the other day. The foliage is not as course as a squamata type and is slower growing but it is filling out nicely. It is in need of some styling to improve the image. There is a weaker lower branch that needs to fill out and I am hoping for this next growing season

The tree stands about 90 cms overall

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NIBS Bonsai 30

There have been an abundance of pics of the NIBS Bonsai 30 event posted over the last two weeks so the images I am posting here are not new but here goes anyway. I am just back from a holiday in the sun and these pics (although late) are an ideal way to renew my blog posting after a long absence.

It also gives me an opportunity to say thanks to everyone who gave of there time to arrange and finally stage what turned out to be a great show.

The show was judged by Robert Porch who spoke very highly of the overall content and quality of the show and trees.

Many of the trees on display were excellent and it was clear that a lot of time and effort had been given by the owners to ensure that the trees were well prepared for the show.

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Bonsai Extravaganza

Saturday morning saw about 20 members of Northern Ireland Bonsai enjoy a bonsai extravaganza in one of our members’ garden. As part of a fund raising exercise for the upcoming Bonsai 30 show later this year we visited Josh’s garden to see some stunning trees.

Josh has been doing Bonsai for some 30 years and is completely self taught. His collection of local beech trees is amazing. Most if not all of his trees have been raised and trained in the ground and even when they eventually get into a pot there is no guarantee that they will stay there. He often puts them back into the ground, with careful supervision,for a year or two to help them regain lost vigour.

He generally doesn’t deal with small trees. The average size is over 2 ft and his largest speak for themselves as the pics show.

This was a super spectacle and a big thanks to Josh for letting us in for a peek.

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