A Few Pots Just Out of the Kiln

It has been a while between posts about my attempts to make bonsai pots and that is because of the Covid 19 crisis however recently potting has resumed and this is the first lot out since the resumption.

I think I am getting a little better at this pot making stuff and some of them are OK. I hope you enjoy.

An earthy pot for a Australian native shohin
A slightly more traditional pot but there is an Australian native also destined for this pot
A look at the inside of the last pot
Perhaps a literati would look OK in this one?

Back to the Display Stands

It has been a while since I posted a photo of some of the display stands I have been making. These are all made of pre-loved timber and I am certainly not a master craftsman but these stands are good for local exhibitions and the like.

I will post a few over the coming days.

These two were made to be displayed together in a Chuhin three point display that never eventuated but I still have the stands.

Crab Apple

This crab apple is a very large bonsai. I dug it in 2016 so that is four years out of the ground and it is finally ready for the styling process to start. It has had a few bits of work done to it but the branching and ramification work has not started properly yet.

That’s not to say it doesn’t have branches because it has, but the thickening and further development is in the very early stages.. Its history is simple, dug in 2016, chainsaw trimmed in 2017, preliminary carving done in 2018 and now it is time to put the wheels in motion.

Over the coming years I am hoping that the carved areas will be further defined, the branches will thicken and the ramification of the branches will develop.

In spring this tree starts with reddish leaves and beautiful flowers. As the season progress the leaves turn green and then yellow in the autumn. It flowers and fruits well so there is an expectation that it will look great in a few years as all the attributes are there.

I will let it grow “untrimmed” this year and there will be another post about it when it looks more mature.

For now, this is it.

It is difficult to take a good photo of a really large bonsai because I can’t lift it so these photos were taken “in situ” so please excuse the poor angles.

The flowers about to come out
And a photo with the standard size comparison device

Yamadori Trees 2020

I have been a bit quiet in posting recently and that is mainly due to me being busy digging a few new trees. I think some are good with real potential and a few that were taken so I could get to the target tree but all in all it has been a fun winter time getting a few new projects in the backyard.

None of these trees will have any work done to then now for a year or two but that will mean I have something to look forward to over the coming years.

A few photos of the trees dug.

English oak – I’m sure it had more movement in the trunk when I dug it?
Wild plum – it has a thousand thorns that I must deal with!
Prunus – probably a plum.
Small ash – great bark!
Hedge trimmed trident maple
Cotoneaster – when I go on digs I look for trees with movement in the trunk, and I hold out great hope for this one.

Hedera helix Gold Heart

I am not sure if this is the correct name for the plant I have but until I find out differently I will stick with this name.

I dug this from a garden about 25 years ago and it has been through a few different “looks” over that time. Last year I decided that it was time for a makeover and I set this on course to be shown at the local exhibition in 2020. With the Covert 19 virus it was uncertain if our exhibition would go ahead but the latest indication is that it is on and therefore I needed to get this is show condition.

25 years growing in a pot has done little to reduce the size of the leaves but as it is a large bonsai the leaf size is not so critical.

So here is the new look and I hope that the foliage mass will be slightly fuller and taller by exhibition time, but for now it is progressing OK. By fuller and taller I mean I want it to be just below the jins at the rear of the plant.

For an ivy this has a very large trunk and that feature is a real plus for the display in my opinion. For size comparison the standard measuring equipment is shown below.

This is a free add for the local brewery showing the Ducks Lane Lager.


In my last post I spoke about branch colour, but this post is about leaf colour. Winter leaf colour in particular. This azalea is out of shape and needs work on its profile and that will occur in a couple of months, however the cold winter temperatures impacts on the foliage and turns it a reddish colour.

It gives winter a lift in my opinion.

A bit scruffy at this time of year
However the leaf colour makes up for it

Yamadori English Elm

This tree was dug a couple of years ago and has spent the last year or so in its first bonsai pot. I particularly like the colour of the branches, which can’t be appreciated during the other seasons because it is covered with foliage.

The branches need a bit of wire but that will happen over the next few months. The trunk has some character that is not apparent in this photo.

Interesting bark colour.

An Opportunity Lost

Not the best title for a post and it does sound a bit selfish but the facts around it are all understandable.

I estimate that this year I have missed about nine or ten bonsai related outings and trips because of the Corona virus and the latest to get cancelled is the Central Coast Bonsai Club’s bonsai open event. This is a bit disappointing as I was hopeful that I may get a display selected to exhibit in that show. The plan was to show a couple of deciduous trees in a three point display. I was excited because there are very few opportunities to show deciduous trees in their “winter” state anywhere around here. Nonetheless the opportunity for me is lost, however I thought I would show the trees here with an idea of how they were going to be setup. The setup is just an idea, the actual setup would have been much better had my trees been selected, and there would have been more work on the trees and presentation.

Now that disclaimer has been done, here are the trees. The fine ramification of these trees can only be seen and properly appreciated in winter so I hope you enjoy.

Both trees set up to give an idea of the proposed display.


Where I live it gets quite cold for Australia during the winter months but this year it has been reasonably mild and I think this has encouraged a few trees to flower, perhaps prematurely. In any case it is very nice to have flowers at this time of year even if it is fleeting.

When I say it has been mild, it was minus 5 degrees Celsius a couple of days ago, but there has not been been a period of sustained low temperatures and the days have been sunny and warm. Well, warm for this time of the year.

The first tree is a flowering apricot which has produce just one flower. Of course I would like more but I hold out hope that in the coming years there will be plenty.

The flower

The next is a Rosemary and I believe that in a week or two this will be covered in flowers, but just in case there is a turn for the worst in relation to the weather, here are the flowers as of today.

And of course the flowers