Sunday, May 31, 2009

Volcanic Potting Mix

The packaging says:
Volcanic ash
Peat & cocopeat
A bunch of stuffs and the most amazing thing is that it contains trace elements(thats what written on it, can you believe that?)

Anyway i notice there shld be a small amount of sand/pumice and small gravels that resembles indonesian burnt earth. It's one of the medias that i use for my own bonsai "soil" mix. Generally (1part of volcanic pot mix + 2parts indonesian burnt earth) or (1part volcanic pot mix + 1part indonesian burnt earth + 1part river gravels) will give you a pretty well draining mix. It's quite suitable for most shohin sized bonsai. It doesn't retain too much and hold moisture for long, so you'll have to water 1-1.5day intervals, on hot/windy/warm days, best to water thoroughly everyday.

Chinese Elm 001 (30/05/2009)

Source: Nursery stock

Finally got my hands on an elm with a decent trunk thickness for shohin. The only dissapointment is the lack of strong lower branches that i need for a nice sumo-style. So i guess i will be working towards a broom style. Although i feel it will be alot nicer shld i chop another 50% down in the last virtual. But the tapering will take alot of time to build up.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Water Jasmine Shohin 001 (22/05/2009)

With reference to: OCH Water Jasmine 01
Source: och(oh chin huat), seed grown

Its time to work on it.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Water Jasmine Shohin 003 (23/05/2009)

Source: (from abby), seed grown

Responding quite well, seems like the root system is still very strong, will be repotting very soon, shifting to another pot with lotsa holes that acts like a pond basket. Will be trying out to see if it works well developing a mass of feeder roots.

OCH Water Jasmine 02 (23/05/2009)

Source: och(oh chin huat), seed grown

Accquired from OCH in Jan 2009. When i got it back home, i could tell it was never really cared for. The whole plant was on the verge of dying. Foliage was very sparse, the whole plant looks very weak and sick. Lotsa mould had grown over the bark as well. Took me well over 5 months to nurse it back to health. Now its throwing out lotsa new growth, and the suckers keep coming out every few weeks. I haven't got a clear idea of how its gonna be styled, most probably will be seperating them. When i did the first repot, the roots were already bounded, which means i will have no choice but to the bounded roots apart.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fukien Tea Shohin 001 (16/05/2009)

Source: Nursery stock

Will worked on the crown when im motivated to do so. Had a tough time dealing with the roots and getting it potted.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Water Jasmine "Wild" 006 (10/05/2009)

Source: Wild collected

Nothing much to work on it seems.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fukien Tea Shohin 002 (10/05/2009)

Source: Wild collected

Found this wild fukien tea along the roadside of a scaff-fold warehouse. It wasn't really in good conditions, the soil was contaminated as i can see sludge had been poured nearby the ground its been growing in. I dug like hell and noticed there were very few feeder roots. It had one main tapering root that runs very deep, but i decide to chop it off and recover it back home since that taper root will pose potting problem. Now is to see how it goes, whether will it survive through or not.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Water Jasmine Root Cut 005 (10/05/2009)

Source: Wild collected, root cut

Root cut from the wild one i collected("wild 005"). Because its seed grown, the main taper root is very fat and well developed estimated at around 1 inch in diameter. I did snip off another part from this root measuring 1cm in diameter, but that part carries very little feeder roots, so im just placing my bets hoping it will survive as the natural bend of this root is quite interesting. Will post it up soon.

Water Jasmine Shohin 002 (10/05/2009)

Source: Seed grown

Abandoned water jasmine beside a bus stop.

Bonsai Today Master Series - Junipers

dmg: $63

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Water Jasmine Mame 001 (06/05/2009)

Source: Root cutting

This is snip off from parent plant as a root cutting. I had it about 4-6months if im not wrong. It is very supple and flexible but not very strong growing though. Well might make a mame out of it in future to come.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Some personal comments and studies

Lately, i've read through Harry's site and agree with what he had mentioned regarding "Euonymous alatus Bonsai Progression Series/ Hard Pruning Nursery Stock for Bonsai ". Most people do not pruned hard enough to ramify the branch structures especially the case where it's problematic. And further for one to develop a stock be it wild or nursery into a bonsai material, it is often required to prune enough to re-develop the branches to taper and further ramify.

There are people who are gardeners, who just want healthy plants and do not want to take so called "risks", im fine with that. But if you are into bonsai and you are afraid to try, take risks, learn, and experience for yourself, you'are better off not doing anything. I'd rather you spend the time constructively outside. But i can assure that with additional bonsai developing knowledge, some plants especially when grown over the years, can be developed into very wonderful masterpieces even if your not into bonsai.

At fukubonsai, on the articles of 18 water jasmine seedlings, we can see how important pinching is. I personally vouched that water jasmine when left grown wildly and not pruned with proper knowledge are only developed as so-so stocks. It is not difficult to see over 10-20years of medium-large sized water jasmine to have very similar growing habits. They lacked the bottom branches, and few if any(often thin and weak), whereas the top portions are over developed with only one main trunk without good tapering and girth to relate to the top. I understand that with wild growing, its to achieve the fattening of the branch/trunk. Normally good healthy stocks will bud quite a few points which some are retained for further lower/main branches. You'll have to determine the height you're gonna work til, when you have achieved the desired height, i think its a good time to start pinching off the apex new growth and start to divert the energy to the lower portions. This will also cause backbudding to happen and it does happen easily in water jasmine. And from here, let the shoots formed at the lower portions to continue to grow wild to develop the thickness. When main trunk line, branches are established, its alot easier to ramify the finer branches.

As far as im concerned, im still newbie to bonsai and just a beginner for water jasmine =P

Water Jasmine Shohin 004 (06/05/2009)

Source: Nursery stock

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Rosette In Bonsai Pot (not a bonsai though)

Water Jasmine Shohin 003 (03/05/2009)

Source: (from abby), seed grown

Another untrained stock given by abby quite a few months ago when i first met her. It's still quite a young one, despite the lack of taper and trunk width, i thought there was some potential to developing it into a mame/shohin. Based on its branching and outlook, only one main lower branch and straight goes to the top with only a few branches at almost identical levels. I was limited to styles i could develop, and sadly it seems only literati and cascading(semi/full) would be possible.

But what fancied me was the nice rough thin bark it had developed along the long trunk, and the only long main low branch that made me to decide on a full cascade. The upper part was airlayered off for future use. The lower part was heavily worked on. The root system wasnt very well developed, it had abit of bad tapering root which i had to remove quite a bit and feeder roots were sparse. I had to bend some main roots to fit the pot in order to keep the few feeder roots in case the whole fellow might die-back. Possibly given a number of years, these bends in the roots can be slowly raised and exposed to create very interesting visuals(cross fingers).

It was really quite tough even the 4+mm wire couldnt bend the lower part much. So i had to get it to bend in the main direction i wanted and slowly as it stablized into position in near future, i would then do more detailed bends to define the curves. So far it the root system should be recovering quite well as its starting to bud alot after a week of major operation.