Thursday, 27 August 2015

Mugo Pine Update

In 2013 Pavel Slov├ík and I styled this yamadori Mugo pine at Burrs bonsai workshop: I since lost a little growth from the hanging branch, but otherwise it has grown well. I have just ordered a new pot for it which should arrive soon. Here is how the tree is looking today...

Friday, 14 August 2015

Ingleborough Money Tree

On a short family break around the Ribble Valley and Yorkshire Dales, we came across a peculiar Yew Tree on the walk up to Ingleborough Cave. The tree was covered with hundreds of coins imbedded in its trunk and branches. There was also a second Yew nearby which had been treated with the same action to a lesser degree, and also a small, dead stump.

I had never seen anything like this before and was unfamiliar with the custom, but in any case, my children thought it would be fun to add some coins of their own. There was a small rock left on one of the branches by another passer-by and we used it to hammer in a couple of coins.

An internet search later revealed that there are a number of these "Money Trees" mainly around Yorkshire and the Lake District. The coins are hammered into the tree in a similar way as they would be tossed into a well - to make a wish or for good luck. It is even believed by some that the practice can cure all kinds of illness!


Saturday, 8 August 2015

North Staffs & Stoke Bonsai Group Show

The North Staffs & Stoke Bonsai Group are a 'group' of enthusiasts rather than a 'formal' bonsai society. The group was formed in October 2014 following the merging of the old 'Potteries Bonsai Group' (which at one time was quite a large group with 30+ members) and the 'North Staffs Bonsai Society' (which closed down following the sad death of its founder some time ago).

Today the group put together a small display for the public at Trentham Garden Centre in Stoke-on-Trent and I called in for a look as part of a family day out.

Group members and personal friends of mine, David Fairbanks and Nige Manning were on hand, styling trees for public demonstration. Various other members had taken trees to show at the event and there were some particularly nice trees on show in a semi-formal display. The trees on display were numbered and members of the public were invited to fill out a small form and vote for their favourite bonsai.

Unfortunately the trees were not labelled with the owners' names, so I cannot give credit, but my own personal favourite was a rather natural looking Black Pine in a studded drum pot - although I found it a little frustrating that the tree was displayed with fertiliser baskets still in place!

As is invariably the case with Garden Centre displays, space comes at a premium, but the group had used the plot well and had not crammed too much in - choosing to leave out accents plantings and such. On the whole, I think they did a great job for a new and developing group, and the voting slips were a great touch - giving members of the public the chance to add their email address or phone number to be kept up to date with future events.

The North Staffs & Stoke Bonsai Group meet at the Temple Street Methodist Church Hall, Temple Street, Fenton, ST4 4NW on the 2nd Wednesday of the month and are keen to accept new members.

Nige Manning working on a Juniper.

My own choice for the "Best in Show".

My son, Reece's favourite tree (Larch)!

Saturday, 1 August 2015

More Alterations to the Scotts Pine

I have made a few more tweaks to the image. In a chat with Will Baddeley, he advised to bring the left branch down more. I think I have made some improvements.

Finished for now...