This is part three and the last part of the exhibition. After being in the same location and using the same setup for at least six years I think it is time for a re-vamp of this show. When I originally saw this setup I was impressed with the thought behind it – the use of corrugated backing to “emulate” the old Australian country atmosphere. As time has gone that look is now tied and the room where it is held is too small to provide a proper display. Hopefully the committee that runs/organised the show will be looking to improve it for next year.
A few years ago I was wondering why Australian native plants were not “cultivated” for bonsai purposes in a similar manner to say Trident maples. So in October 2016 I purchased about 8 or 9 Callistemon viminalis Macarthur to ground grow like many trident maples are. I chose this particular species because:
I like bottlebrush
This breed is a cross between two popular Callistemon varieties Little John and Captain Cook
This variety is Myrtle Rust resistant
And of course the main reason was they were available in the local garden centre
When I got them home I transplanted them into square colanders and planted the colanders into the old vegie patch. Always the plan was to grow these in the shohin size. I did keep one in the black plastic nursery pot as a “control” sample.
They grew quiet prolifically and I trimmed them whenever I remembered however no wire was applied and no fertilizer given. If I were smarter I would have kept better notes and taken progress photos, but alas that didn’t happen. The trimming was at time quite harsh but these plants shot back on old wood easily and rewarded me with flowers during the growing period. In retrospect it would have been preferable to root prune these while in the ground but alas again, that didn’t happen.
In October 2019 I dug all the plants out and I was very pleased with the trunk thickness and that all the trees survived. So here are a few photos of the plants after digging.
The next step is to pot them into bonsai pots and that will hopefully happen in October this year.
And of course the obligatory standard size comparison.
August 2018 I dug this plum and it has progressed very well since then. Plums are tough trees and I think they are a great subject for bonsai. They are deciduous which gives interest in the winter, they have spring flowers, summer fruit and autumn colour in their leaves, a true all rounder.
Since it was dug it has grown plenty of new branches, although they are thin they are in keeping with the “look” of this tree. It is tall and thin and the branches are long and thin.
Normally I wouldn’t work on a tree within the first year after digging but this tree has shown exceptional strength so some wire to put the branches in better position was in order and this happened in July 2019.
As I said plums are tough and this one has already flowered and so I am looking forward to continued development over the coming years. During next spring I plan to put this into a bonsai pot for the first time and I hope that it will be covered in flowers, and subsequently fruit for the coming year.
I think this is called the prickly tea tree from memory, but my memory isn’t that good. I bought this with a number of other tube stock Australian natives from a nursery in Tumut about ten years ago, so this tree has been pot grown for its whole life. Again, I hope one day it will be part of an Australian native shohin display at an exhibition. Love the flaking bark and the tiny flowers. Has been trouble free so I hope it continues along those lines.
This is another one of the shohin Australian native plants that I hope will one day be part of a five or seven point shohin display. The photo was taken last November while it was in flower, showing off really.