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Penjing Bottlebrush

Posted: June 9th, 2020, 12:24 pm
by Keels
G'day Everyone,

I attended the Plant As Bonsai symposium back on the 29th Feb this year. On the first day they had a Penjing presentation and talk by Allan Harding. I didn't know alot about Penjing at that stage (or even now :lol: ) and i thought Penjing was all about landscape settings :lost: . During Allan's talk about the 5 schools of Penjing i realised that i was a little off the mark and that Penjing has alot to offer Australian native trees.

What caught my attention was the Shanghai school and Sichuan province schools of Penjing. They had very artistic styles, flowing curves with unusual shapes, they deliberately exposed roots and hollows plus a large focus on old wood. I took what i saw from these schools along with a couple of Allan's learning points. Mainly points 1 Artistic, point 2 Focus on locally grown material, point 4 Find characteristics of material then decide to shape to maximise those features and to top it off point 7 fewer branches to create a more extreme style.

So during the workshop i chose this large callistemon. The label didn't identify what type of callistemon it was but i saw hope within the structure. As you can see the callistmon is very leggy in bonsai terms.
BB-Before (1).jpg
BB-Before (3).jpg
BB-Before (2).jpg
BB-deds.jpg
I started by digging down deep below the soil line to see what we had available for possible design features. I realised that the long flowing branches would be a key design feature and after i dug further below the soil line i found a large mess of roots to one side. This would became another feature. I removed a couple of large branches and i was left with this design you see below.
BB-Draft-design.jpg
At this stage i was super impressed with Penjing and over the moon with my callistemon. I wacked it back into it's black pot and covered it with soil then headed home. It sat in the corner of the garden for a couple of weeks.

I attended the March Canberra bonsai club's meeting before this COV-19 lock down crap started and noticed that Graham Cook was selling a fantastic pot that would suit my callistemon. But my money was tight as i was attending the Ausbonsai market in a few weeks after the meeting. So i tried to ignore the pot he had on his table but i just kept staring at it... thinking should i?...god i really should just get it ... :lol: long story short i did :D

This is how the tree currently looks in its pot.
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In Oct/Nov it'll have a haircut to reduce the foliage down lower plus a couple of extra branches removed.

Re: Penjing Bottlebrush

Posted: June 9th, 2020, 12:55 pm
by GavinG
Very dramatic, good imagination. You might like to funk up the branches a bit more - mor bends, more drama, to match the base. The pot might be a bit small unless the foliage is reduced quite a bit. Great start!

Gavin

Re: Penjing Bottlebrush

Posted: June 9th, 2020, 4:09 pm
by regwac
Looking good Keels . I agree with Gavin , the foliage does need to be compacted , but you already intend to do so .
I think that pot may be one I made .
Cheers
Graham Cook

Re: Penjing Bottlebrush

Posted: June 9th, 2020, 4:31 pm
by Keels
regwac wrote: June 9th, 2020, 4:09 pm Looking good Keels . I agree with Gavin , the foliage does need to be compacted , but you already intend to do so .
I think that pot may be one I made .
Cheers
Graham Cook
Yes your correct 100% Graham. I was thinking Graham cook but i wrote bell :lost: sometimes my hands never write what I'm thinking lol

Re: Penjing Bottlebrush

Posted: June 9th, 2020, 5:12 pm
by Keels
GavinG wrote: June 9th, 2020, 12:55 pm Very dramatic, good imagination. You might like to funk up the branches a bit more - mor bends, more drama, to match the base. The pot might be a bit small unless the foliage is reduced quite a bit. Great start!

Gavin
Thanks Gavin. Appreciate the input. I am planning on reducing the foliage abit also you make a good point to add more bends and drama to the branches.....I'll work on my branch funk style :tu:

Re: Penjing Bottlebrush

Posted: June 9th, 2020, 5:42 pm
by boom64
Interesting start Keels. Kind of have set the scene with that nice heavy near horizontal branch culminating with a sharp angle and lovely flowing curve. Our natives sure do lend themselves to Penjing..Looking forward to were you take this one. Cheers John.

Re: Penjing Bottlebrush

Posted: June 9th, 2020, 8:43 pm
by Keels
boom64 wrote: June 9th, 2020, 5:42 pm Interesting start Keels. Kind of have set the scene with that nice heavy near horizontal branch culminating with a sharp angle and lovely flowing curve. Our natives sure do lend themselves to Penjing..Looking forward to were you take this one. Cheers John.
I really enjoyed creating this tree and i love the big flowing curve. I'm looking forward to developing it further.