This year I came across some 7cm pots of Ginseng Ficus bonsai (Ficus microcarpa ‘Ginseng’) which were very reasonably priced in garden centres so I have bought a few to have some fun with. I started by selecting out some ceramic bonsai pots for them as they were in small 7cm black plastic pots and I was keen to see what the roots were like too as they were growing in pure coconut fibre.
Thank you to all the club members who have joined in with this years project Elm. Sixteen members have taken up this years challenge to grow, develop and style the allocated Chinese elms as per the images below. Will update on this post over the next few months to see how they are progressing.
Graham Simpson of Dragonfly bonsai pots is making some stunningly designed bonsai pots and he let me know about this one that is newly out of the kiln. You can follow his work on instagram.
Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic Swindon Bonsai Club Members have kept their hobby going virtually through a fortnightly meeting on Zoom. It is not quite the same as meeting up in person to discuss and work on your trees but it has proven to be a good method utilising existing technology to still be able to discuss our bonsai trees with each other and share knowledge and advice. We tend to have a theme for each zoom meeting and the most recent one was unusual bonsai.
Many other bonsai clubs and societies are also doing this and some have set up WhatsApp groups to share photos of their bonsai tree development and set up.
There is also a Virtual Bonsai Show which has been organised by the UK Bonsai Association, so check out their website for more details.
This year we still wanted to ensure our club members were busy with bonsai so we have proceeded with starting another Elm project with them. We managed to source earlier in the year 20 Chinese Elms and are now offering our club members the opportunity to join in with the project trees again for this year. If you would like to take part then purchase a raffle ticket (an e-mail has been sent to club members with the details of how to purchase a ticket). This links to a corresponding ticket on the Elm and that tree will be allocated to you and we can arrange for a suitable collection location.
Key things to remember
Keep it in a pot of your choice so you can bring it back into the club nights to be photographed to monitor your progress
Work on it yourself
Do not create a group planting
Style it how you want
Feed it with your own feeding regime
Keep it alive and let the project begin……
If you are looking to start the hobby of bonsai and need some advice or are looking to buy your first tree or even add to your existing collection then contact Collette’s Bonsai Trees on Facebook call 07867 688614 or email email@example.com. She has an array of bonsai trees suitable for the beginner right through to more advanced and established bonsai trees.
Update from Lee: My new Bonsai trees have arrived from Japan and are now available for sale. Contact Lee directly for more details and to discuss the new trees he now has in stock or visit his website.
To continue the story of what Dianne did next with the story of her 12ft air layer which is strange but true!
As it was to be our airlayering workshop last week I thought I should tell you about the one I’ve just done. It all began when Graham Simpson sent me a photo of his lovely Cherry Bonsai which was just my kind of tree – flowers AND autumn foliage.
Just for interest this Juniper (Sargentii – I think) which I bought at the Swindon Club around 20 years ago when we had a member who had a little bonsai sales business. (He moved to York I believe). The tree was then about pencil thickness. There is a long upright back branch which has been treated as a Shari. It can just be seen above the foliage.