And now for something completely different

Everyone knows that Pruning and clipping is a vital part of the development of a good bonsai.

What follows are transcripts of the conversations with a proven expert by two enthusiasts. Only the lies are not true.

John Smith, a footballer, walks into his doctors surgery to be greeted with a “How are you feeling today, John?” smile. “Not good” he replies with a look of despair deeply embedded on his face.

“What seems to be the problem” enquires the Doctor. “Well says John, I can’t walk” “What?” Exclaims his Doctor. “That’s just not true John. Didn’t you just walk in here to speak with me and were you not playing football last night with the lads?”

“Yes” replies John “those things are true and you saw we walking into this room but my Brain keeps telling me that I can’t walk and it is telling me that I didn’t walk into this room today. The bottom line is that I don’t want to walk anymore.”

“I’m very sorry to hear that” responds the Doctor but it is very obvious to me that you can walk and I’m not sure what I can do to help you”

“ My brain tells me that you can arrange surgery to have my legs amputated. My brain tells me that I don’t have legs and I know that they are hindering me in discovering and asserting who and what I am. I am severely disabled and I know that it is my right to be disabled if my Brain says that I am. Everyone knows that it is not how I look or what I am physically able to do that determines what I am but it is what my brain tells me that counts. My brain is telling me that there are lots of advantages with having no legs. I will get an electric powered disability scooter. The state will give a motability vehicle and I will get a disability badge that will allow me to park wherever I want. My Brain tells me that people will also notice me more than they do today”

The Doctor thinks long and hard before responding and by this time he has serious concerns about John’s mental health. Eventually he says as authoritatively as he dare. “John, there is just no way that we in the medical profession could ever comply with such a request but I can refer you to a counsellor who can talk you through your problems and help you overcome these serious psychiatric issues that you are experiencing. I want you to understand that i am very concerned with you about how you feel but regrettable such life changing surgery is out of the question. You should understand that such a radical procedure is sure to result in greater mental health  issues in the future and just cannot be permitted” What the doctor did not say was that he was also horrified at the serious cost implications that such a procedure would place upon the national health service while many with life threatening conditions were being added daily to long waiting lists.  After all you just cant say things like that out  loud.

The Doctor also very reluctantly considered the possibility that this dear man might have to be sectioned if his mental health deteriorated significantly.

The next day Jan Smitz, a german bricklayer walks into his doctors surgery to be greeted with a “How are you feeling today, Jan?” smile. “Not good” he replies with a look of despair deeply embedded on his face.  “What seems to be the problem” enquires the Doctor. “Well says Jan, I have discovered that I am a woman” “What?” Exclaims his Doctor. “This is an issue that we must immediately address with great sympathy”

“When did you discover this” asks the Doctor. “I have been struggling with it for many years and am only now able to overcome the obstacles that have been placed in my way and am now coming to terms with it. “ he says. “What obstacles” asks the Doctor patiently.

“Well for a start I have a penis and a scrotum. Furthermore before I came to see you I had some tests done that confirm that I definitely only have male chromosomes but my brain tells me I am a woman and everyone knows that it is not what is between your legs that determines whether you are male or female but what is between your ears. My wife is unsympathetic because she insists that I am a man as we have had an active sex life for very many years.  One other problem that I have had to overcome is that my three teenage children just don’t understand me. They keep insisting that I am a man but when I have a close shave and put on some makeup it should be clear to everyone that I am a woman. My Brain insists that i am a woman ”

“What do you want me to do for you Jan” enquires the Doctor

“Well for a start my brain tells me that you should stop calling me Jan and call me Janita. My brain wants  you to arrange gender reassignment surgery immediately and release me from this prison.”

The Doctor takes a deep breath and with a warm friendly smile replies “No problem Janita. When do you want them off?.  Don’t worry about the cost because the state will pay. By the way if your family and friends have a problem with your trans decision that’s just too bad and they will just have to deal with any mental health implications that may result as best they can. My brain tells me its all wrong but what does my brain know”

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An update on a Couple of Trees

I have been doing a bit of serious thinning out and pruning on this Scots Pine and Yew.

The Scots Pine has had most of the old needles removed and I have wired and placed the branches etc. I am pleased with the result and see this tree developing nicely.

The yew is a tree that I have never really taken seriously but it always thrives despite its neglect and was back budding very well.

I decided to take out as much coarse and thick branch ends and tips to try and develop  taper. There is still more reducing ahead of this tree but not until it back buds more. I have also carved the trunk a little and increased the size of the shari.

Hopefully I can make a half decent informal upright out of it eventually.

Obviously the overall appearance of both trees would be improved immediately with better pots.



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A Couple of Trees

As the growing season slowly loses its momentum I have grabbed a couple of pics of a couple of trees that have performed reasonably well this year.

The first is my Cotoneaster Franchetti and the second a Chuhin Scots Pine




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Tall Scots Pine Update

This tree has had a good growing season so far. The candles have extended well and are now ready for pinching. I intend to pinch most over the next few days but will leave those that are just above the widest part on the left hand side. These will then be wired down and allowed to fill out in due course to give the tree a more even rounded conical look.

Full Tree

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Scottish Bonsai Show 2017

This gallery contains 28 photos.

Originally posted on Robert Nocher Shohin Bonsai:
I set off at 06.00 am on Saturday morning to travel a hundred miles north to the city of Stirling, to help set up our clubs’ display stand at the Scottish National Bonsai Exhibition.…

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Miniture Hosta

I don’t do accents mainly because I just don’t have the time but I do have a couple of little Hosta, Cracker thumbs that come back every year in spite of much neglect. I thought they were worth a pic.

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A Couple of Shohin in Development

These two trees started life as shohin a few years ago and I am pleased with their progress. The first is a Japanese White pine that was much taller until chopped to the top of the thick trunk a few years ago.

Rock White Pine

Original Tree

The second is a yew grown from a cutting over many years. Serious development as a shohin started in late 2013.

Original Styling


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Hawthorn Progress

I am pleased with the progress of this informal upright hawthorn. I have deliberately potted it into a deep pot to allow better root development and improve ramification.

The tree is growing well this season and to date this year I have only pinched back a few leading growth tips on twigs that have thickened enough. I intend to give it its first real trim in a week or so and this should help further ramification.


In time this tree will get a much better pot.

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Scots Pine Progress (Pinus Sylvestris)bonsai

This large Scots Pine, originally dug up from MOD scrub land in Surrey about 1995 is doing well. Having had some indecision about the front and the curve in the trunk about five years ago I finally settled for the current front and trunk about three years ago with the help and advice of Robert Porch I have fed heavily for the last few seasons with some success.

This is the tree 5 years ago Here

The following link shows the tree as it was 2 years ago. Here

This is the tree today after re-potting to a different but not final pot this year:

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Larch Update (Larix Kaempferi)

This large Japanese larch, standing about 70 cm has progressed and developed very well over the last few years and I am well pleased with the overall image. I haven’t fed this year as yet apart from an occasional liquid feed in order to keep needle length and extension growth under control. I intend to start feeding heavily again in a week or so as the tree still needs more ramification.

This is the tree today and also when it was re-potted in 2014



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