Oaks from Nottingham.
Tomlinson made his third visit to our Society this season to demonstrate
some examples of styling and design. He started by using field grown oaks
which he intended to style into multi-tree plantings.
He began by talking generally about the use of oaks as bonsai. When growing
in the field the roots can spread widely so it had been necessary to cut
around each tree to maintain a compact root system. In order to reduce
the normal size of oaks leaves it is necessary to develop lots of twiggy
growth. The examples that had been brought to the meeting had been cut
back hard each winter for five years and were not yet in bud. Oaks can
suffer from die-back so growth should not be thinned out too drastically
during styling. Mildew can be a problem and a good preventative is to
spray with systemic fungicide before leaves open and again when the leaves
have hardened. Oaks are not fussy about growing medium and Corin said
he would be using their standard mix of 2 parts potting compost, 2 parts
grit and 1 part John Innes No. 2.
Selecting oaks for a three tree planting Corin aimed for maintaining the
natural craggy look which is the native habit of the tree. The top of
each tree was trimmed for shape and heavy roots were removed. Corin believed
that a free form primitive pot was the most suited to the appearance of
an oak but on this occasion he chose to use a dull brown oval pot. After
selecting the main tree and settling it in position in the compost, two
others were selected and rotated until their final positions were decided.
Where necessary, twigs were removed if they interfered with the positioning.
Having reached a satisfactory arrangement for a three tree planting, Corin
proceeded to style a two tree planting, which from it's very satisfactory
appearance, confounded the rule that one should avoid using only two trees
in a multi-tree planting.
For his demonstration of styling a juniper, Corin had brought a Dutch
grown imported Juniper 'Blaauws' which he estimated had been in the ground
for 4-5 years. It was full of foliage and it was difficult to see how
he would proceed. Junipers were good bonsai as they can be worked on at
any time in the year. Corin explained that the roots and trunk should
be the first features to examine as it was necessary to establish a good
base and trunk line.
All dead foliage inside the growth should be removed and by looking at
the position of the branches decisions made about which should be removed.
Low heavy branches should be the first to be removed. Stubs could be left
for creating potential jins if desired at a later stage. Further up the
trunk line heavy branches with poor growth should be the next to be removed.
Flexible branches should be retained to become features of the bonsai.
As Corin talked us through these stages we began to see some order in
the foliage and could see the potential bonsai emerging. The tree was
potted at a slight angle to the horizontal at one end of a oval brown
pot. Wiring of the flexible branches was started at the bottom of the
trunk so that the structure and positions of the branches could be seen.
How easy it was made to seem. All we have to do now is have a go !
From a press cutting supplied by Keith
Japanese landscape gardeners have constructed six special showcase gardens
at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, as part of the UK wide festival of
Kew boasts a long association with Japan and has many species of Japanese
plants represented in its living plant collections. To celebrate the 2001
Festival, Kew's display opens on 25 May and will remain throughout the
The Japanese Gateway or Chokushi-Mon, built at Kew in 1910, is the focal
point for the celebrations. Other features include a Carp kite trail through
the grounds, bamboo exhibitions and a lacquer display, as well as the
six gardens which are inspired by water, stone and moss.
(The press statement also suggests that bonsai tips can be picked up at
raffles I see every day
Wonderful prizes, win 'six weeks away',
But what does my husband bring home to me ?
He wins the raffle and brings home a tree !
nights of romance in Venice or Paxos
Just a straggly plant -he calls it a "Taxus"
He's off to Lightwater, smiling with glee
Please don't come back with another bonsai tree !
don't mind compost, wire or a pot
They're out in the garage, no fear of rot.
But bonsai babies need much loving T.L.C.
Oh ! Please choose the book, let Jim have the tree
Autumn leaves they turn red then fall
Filling my living room, kitchen and hall
Your flower and cacti, they're pretty stress free
But please don't bring home another bonsai tree. !
By The Editor
At one of our meetings I picked up a leaflet advertising a new bonsai
website. Recently I logged on to it (as they say) and was impressed by
the content. Although it is still developing it has a number of good features
including links to other bonsai related sites, articles, events calendar,
other Bonsai Clubs and Societies and dealers. There is a link to our Society
site but when I tried it I could not connect to it.
Currently they are showing preview photos of the bonsai trees and displays
entered for RHS Chelsea. No doubt they will be updating it with any awards
but I see in the national press that Herons Bonsai won a Gold Medal. There
was a Gold for the British Bonsai Society who I assume is FoBBs.
Anyway for those of you who have access to the internet then this site
is worth spending some time surfing.
Trust to abandon peat
From a press statement.
National Trust to abandon peat
The NT have stated that by 2003 all plants grown in or sold at trust properties
will be raised in peat-free compost except in "exceptional circumstances",
such as raised peat beds and ericaceous plantings integral to the history
of the site.
The NT has revealed that their findings from a year of trials that most
plants could be grown successfully in peat substitutes. In the trials,
a range of popular garden plants was raised in alternative mixes including
coir (coconut fibre), garden and kitchen waste and timber industry by-products
with leaf mould and composted bracken.
Meeting. 10th July 2001
a tree and have a go