I like to style my trees to resemble those I have seen in the wild. While I was on holiday in Devon, I saw a row of old oak trees that had been gently shaped by the wind over many generations, this was the image I had in mind.
I have often wondered if the trees pictured above could be arranged into a group. I decided to try them in a straight line as if they were the remnants of a very old hedge.
I bought this tree at the Caple manor show about 10 years ago, it was in a flower pot. The two pieces shown in the pictures above were originally attached. I thought it had the making of a good raft style which I have always wanted. The two pictures above have been cropped to show the original soil line in the pot.
This English Elm has been sat in my garden for many years I can’t remember where it came from or when, all I can think is that it is one of the trees I have collected.
This tree was grown from a cutting I took in 2004. When it was large enough, it was planted in the ground and fed and watered well. It was pruned hard to encourage lots of side shoots to grow off the main trunk, to help it to thicken faster.
This English Elm was collected from a local farm in 1994. It had only a few new shoots growing and all the branches on the top of the tree were dead. After it was dug up, I cut off every thing that was dead, all the old soil was washed off and it was potted up in Akadama. It is was a great opportunity to rescue an English Elm and create a bonsai using the collected material to preserve the genetics as well as give it a new life. It is a special tree given the plight of Elm trees in the UK and the effects of Dutch Elm disease on the trees and landscape following millions of Elms dying back in the 1970’s and being removed.
The ‘Firethorns’ are related to Cotoneasters. They are one of the best and hardiest evergreen flowering and fruiting shrubs for north and east walls.
This tree started life as a cutting taken from a local park in 1980. It was grown for two years in a large pot and then planted against the back wall of my house.
Checking your bonsai at night can sometimes reveal unexpected results.
Perhaps some are thinking of creating a group planting or would like to imply a landscape effect. Graham’s slab-pots have been proving popular recently.
Graham Simpson doesn’t usually work with glazed pots. He has worked up a new blue glaze which is glossy, inky-dark and breaks to a yellow & brown speckle – and it’s matte.