Image credit: Dan Burn-Forti

One day I was eating a pomegranate when I had a sudden thought; could I grow one of these seeds. At Christmas I had been given a book on growing exotic fruit like oranges and lemons etc. In it they said to put the whole seed on a plate on the window sill and leave it until it started to go mouldy, then plant it in seed compost and place it in the airing cupboard, this was in 1991. Sure enough in no time several seedlings popped up, one of them I went on to develop into this tree.

Pomegranate fruit

I like to recreate trees or landscape’s I have seen, in the Lake district I saw trees growing in and over rocks, with a lot of exposed roots. I had often wondered how they did this when the trunk was above ground level. When I was out walking I spotted a rock with a good sized hole in the top with several holes coming out of the sides. I had the idea of planting the seedling in the hole on the top and threading the roots through the holes on the sides. I then planted it in large flower pot and left it to grow away freely. After 3 years I noticed that the rock had split into three pieces, this was because it was a soft fossilised rock.

I have no early photos but the picture on the above shows how the tree sits on two of the side pieces, I discarded the top piece.

The picture above shows how I was hoping to put extra rocks around it to complete the scene. I haven’t found any rocks of the same type and although this picture doesn’t show it very well any other type looks wrong. I have now taken the extra ones off and hope one day I might find rocks of the right type.

The picture above shows the roots exposed to look as if wind, rain and animals have eroded the soil away over the years. It probably gives people who like well organised roots nightmares, and I wonder how judges mark roots like these at shows. All I can say is that Bonsai is supposed to be an art form and I hope one day a lot more people will forget the so called rules and introduce their own ideas into their creations.

Pomegranate in 2003
Pomegranate in 2012

The picture above shows the tree at the Noelanders Trofee in 2012. It is planted in pure Akadama in a Brian Albright pot. Some different Moses were used to emphasise the roots and help to give the soil surface more interest. I don’t like to see the surface of the soil totally covered in Moss on a winter image tree, its OK on an evergreen tree such as a pine. This picture also shows that I have let the branch on the right grow and then pegged it down and air layered it. You often see this on old trees where the branch extends out and down looking for light, or its just got too heavy to support its own weight. I have often seen this on Horse Chestnut trees as shown in the picture below, taken in Cirencester Park.

Horse Chestnut in Cirencester Park
Pomegranate in 2020

The picture above was taken in February 2020 at the Swindon Winter Image Show. As you can see from the picture the rafted area as been removed because it looked out of scale with the rest of the tree. The tree is now potted in a Walsall pot and measures 53 cm x 55 cm wide.