Sunday, 19 December 2021

Melaleuca "Back from the Dead" - three year update

I've been very slack with updating my progress on my trees over the last few years, and especially since Covid arrived on the scene. For months I only did the bare minimum required to keep my trees alive, and though I've now been putting a lot of effort into bringing my trees back into shape, sadly I've still been neglecting my blog.

One big change I've made over the last year is that I've overcome my obsessive documenting of every bit of work I've done on my trees. My trees are benefitting because it means I'm working harder on them than I did in the days when I felt compelled to set up the camera to photograph everything from a trunk chop to a minor haircut. However it means that there are less photos that I'll be able to use in my blog. A computer crash also means that some of my earlier photos are trapped on a computer which I hope to get repaired one day.

I was horrified to see how long it is since I mentioned my "Back from the Dead" Melaleuca. It's changed a lot since I last wrote about it in April 2018.

This is how it looks today.

It was a long time since its previous chop as I waited for the leader to reach a suitable thickness. This is how long the leader was before its latest chop earlier this week.

It's come a long way since I nearly killed it almost four years ago.

Now I'll wait and see what grows lower down. If a suitable leader develops I may till shorten it further. Or perhaps I'll just keep its current quirky shape.

Progression photos, which will include future updates and hopefully photos to fill the three year gap, can be found here.

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

The Grapefruit Flower

In February 2019 I posted a photo of a grapefruit with seeds growing inside the fruit.

Thirty months later it's time for an update.

This is the smaller of my two grapefruit seedlings showing off it's first flower.

The larger one has none.

In fact of all the citrus seeds I've planted over the years this is the first one ever to grow a flower.

Even the lemon tree I planted in the garden never flowered. Eventually I decided to move it back into a pot in the hope of using it for bonsai, but sadly it didn't survive the move.

Though citrus trees aren't ideal bonsai material, I have other citruses which have spent their whole lives in small pots, and I'm persisting with those. I feel compelled to because it was a clementine seedling which first ignited my passion for bonsai.

Sunday, 4 April 2021

Signs of Life

It's been almost a year since I published my last blog post. The pandemic has been bad for my motivation and my blog hasn't been the only thing I've been neglecting. My trees have suffered too. For 5 months, while shut up at home, I did little more than what was required to keep them alive. Then, as lockdown regulations were eased, I started going to those workshops that were available.

Sometime over the last few months I came to the realisation that, more than growing bonsai, I've been hoarding trees. To a large extent that was true even before the pandemic. Yes, I'd been trying to reduce the size of my collection, but I hadn't been trying hard enough. Now I'm trying a bit harder. But that's not so easy when new waves lead to meetings being cancelled. Figures are low right now, so we're able to meet but as winter approaches, there's the risk of a third wave with more meetings likely to be cancelled.

With that in mind priority number one is to reduce a lot of the trees I'm keeping to a more manageable size so that it's not so difficult to keep the sensitive ones protected during the cold nights ahead. And every branch I remove brings temptation, so priority number two is not to propagate any more trees for the foreseeable future.