Friday, 11 September 2015

Bonsai Artist in Training

A little tree I grew from a cutting

My mother believes I’m obsessed with bonsai. She’s not wrong. But when she tells people I’ve got over a hundred bonsai trees, that’s not quite true.

Yes, I’ve got hundreds of trees, but very few of them are worthy of the name bonsai. Not yet anyway. I’m addicted to propagating trees and a large proportion of my collection are young trees which I’ve grown from seed or cuttings. Right now I’ve got 22 chili seedlings which are about a month old growing in a small seedling tray on my kitchen windowsill, but once they’re ready to go into their own pots, I have no idea how I’ll find space for them all in my overcrowded bonsai area.

I also have quite a few trees which started out life as nursery trees. Some only needed minor styling changes while others came to me as tall trees with no low branching and had to be chopped back to stumps before I embarked on the process of developing new branches in the right places. Some will soon be ready to go into bonsai pots, but others still have a long way to go.

I also have a few bonsai in training which were once full-sized trees growing in the ground. I have to restrict myself to relatively small trees though, because I’m not strong enough to lift the bigger ones I admire so much when I see them on display at my bonsai club.

I call myself a bonsai artist in training because, despite having been a member of my club for eight years, I’m well aware that I’ve still got a lot to learn. I like to experiment, but not everything turns out as I’d hoped it would.

The tree in today’s photo isn’t my best tree, but it holds a special place in my heart because it’s the first bonsai that I successfully propagated from a cutting way back in 2007. You can read its history in an article I published at HubPages.

As I embark on this blogging journey, I’ll be discussing a lot of trees in various stages of development. I’ll be using some tried and tested techniques but may experiment from time to time. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Linking up with Inspire Me Monday.

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