About admin

Hi, my name is Greg Watson but just about everyone calls me Watto. The nickname comes from my sporting life and my work. I have been active in bonsai for more than 20 years, but the level of activity has been determined by how much time I had to devote. Work and sport did take me away from this fine art on and off over the years but I have always come back. I am a lover of decidious trees, both flowering and non-flowering, and I am particually interested in trees that are dug from either the wild or from gardens. I believe I should firstly ensure dug trees grow and prosper and then try to enhance the beauty that Mother Nature has given each plant. Not change them too much, but just highlight the beauty that Mother Nature has started. I have a collection that is too big (probably over 100 trees) and a passion for bonsai pots that my darling wife calls "worrying". Of course if you have trees, you need pots - its that simple. I am a member of the Goulburn Bonsai Society Inc and a member of the Ausbonsai family. I really enjoy getting out and looking at bonsai, talking about bonsai and being engulfed by the bonsai spirit. I hope you enjoy my trees.

Broom Like Shohin Plum

It was time to repot this bonsai so I also took the opportunity to lift it slightly in the pot (to reveal a little more nabari) and of course to give it some fresh media. This year I used 100% acadama and I hope that the tree will respond positively. 

I am really starting to think this little bonsai has a future and hope to see a few flowers and possibly a fruit or two this year.

A little bit of wire to sort the branches into a little more order and the job for this year will be done. The following few photos are during the repot process.

The before look
A look at the root structure
An overhead look and the tools used

Seiju Elm

I have had this elm for about ten years and it has been slow to develop, very slow but I now feel it may be ready to exhibit in a couple of years. That is the plan anyway. It still has a few improvement to be made and those will happen over the next few years.

It is that time of the year to repot your deciduous bonsai and this one has just had that done. I repotted it back into the same pot as I think the exterior of the pot matches the rough bark of the tree..

Only about another 20 or 30 to be repotted now, but I have made a start.


Zelcova in Winter

I dug this Zelcova from a garden maybe 15 years ago and it has been a long haul since trying to get the ramification that Zelcova’s are famous for. I think it is starting to turn the corner and it won’t be long before I should be able to exhibit it, fingers crossed.

It is currently in a Jenny Davis pot which I really like however I’m thinking a slightly smaller pot may be more appropriate at the next repot.

Literati English Elm in Winter

A little while ago I posted a couple of photos of tall “skinny” bonsai and one was this English Elm. This tree has of course lost its leaves and has been given its autumn trim and now it is time to alter the design.

It needs a new pot and I am thinking round, but smaller than this one and in a different colour. I unfortunately have this “thing” about green pots for deciduous trees but hopefully I will find one that is suitable for the tree but not green, time will tell.

I have decided to slightly alter the viewing side and I will be removing the long root at the rear at the time of repotting.

This is the new side and a repot in late August is the plan.

Japanese Black Pine Twins

A few years ago I had the opportunity to dig three Japanese black pines from a garden in my area. According to the owner they were 20 years old and were growing in the wrong location. Before seeing them and digging I had an idea in my head that they would be thick trunked short little trees but alas they were growing from under other large trees and were long skinny things with foliage only on the outer branches.

I gave one of the three away and kept two for myself. Of the two I decided I would develop one into a literati style and the other one was left to grow on in a plastic pot.

I call them the twins because they were planted on the same day and then dug on the same day but after a few years of training one, they now look quite different.

Literati style after its autumn needle plucking and trim. The needle length is quite small after a few years work.
No “bonsai work” has been done to this tree yet and you can see the difference in the needle length is quite dramatic.
The twins side by side.

English Elm in Winter

Just showing off how beautiful deciduous trees are in winter. This English elm has been with me for many years and it takes many years to develop a reasonable ramification and this one is now coming along.

Hope you also enjoy the tree in its naked glory.

The Next Step for this Hawthorn

Now that all the leaves have fallen from this tree it is time to put some wire on and continue the shaping process. As I have mentioned previously I believe the “feature” of this tree is the hollow trunk and I am working towards framing this aspect.

It was extensively wired in November 2019 and this is the second major wiring. Most of this wire will be removed just before bud break and that is usually early September, so in effect about four months and I hope that is sufficient time for it to set. I think I will need at least one more major wiring and then there will only be the need to conduct minor adjustments and good pruning technique.

A look at the hollow trunk.

Japanese Maple – Colour Differences

This maple is quite big and difficult to move around so the photo showing the autumn colour was taken in situ to save the old backs. The autumn colour is almost iridescent red and the brightest I have seen on this particular tree which is nice.

Hope you also enjoy. It looks great in the garden at the moment.

Late summer look
Now in full autumn colour

Another Hawthorn

This Hawthorn is not showing the same colour as the previous Hawthorn despite being dug from a similar location and probably being of similar age (and size) as the previous one but none the less it is still attractive in its yellow hues.

This tree has been extensively worked over recent years and the next phase is due in a few weeks, as soon as the leaves fall. It has a remarkable hollow trunk from being in a bush fire and the trunk movement is from floods, so a hard start to life has given it many characteristics that are beautiful in bonsai terms.

The next phase will be to bring all the foliage in closer to the trunk and to also highlight the hollow of the trunk which I think is the trees main feature.