Ginseng Fig tree suitable as an indoor bonsai in UK

Bonsai basically is when you keep a tree in a pot and my preference is for keeping tropical species of trees as bonsai. One species that is a good beginner tree is that of the Ginseng fig, a tropical species of tree widely used in bonsai which are kept indoors in the UK due to the colder temperatures.

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After the inspirational post by Ross relating to “Creating an exposed root bonsai” back in September 2020………. https://swindon-bonsai.co.uk/2020/09/06/creating-an-exposed-root/

I meant to post this sooner but life got in the way, which was just as well as my constructions have increased in number so I can put them all here. I decided to give the style a go so constructed a box section using scraps of plastic that I had in the garage.

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Back in September of this year, the wife of Dennis Henly, died after a long illness. The bonsai club wanted to do something for Trish as she always supported the club when we had shows at the Coleview centre and supplied us with food and drink all day, together with some of the other members wives. A bunch of flowers don’t last very long, so we ordered a rose to go in his garden in the name of ‘Patricia’ in her memory. This is a large flowering floribunda rose. Clusters of scented, salmon, pink flowers are produced freely throughout the summer until the first frost. Flowers are borne on straight stems making this variety ideal for cutting. Foliage is a light green .

It wasn’t due to be delivered until December but it has arrived early and we took it to him this morning. He was delighted and wanted to thank all the members of the club. Although he did try and get me to dig the hole hahaha

I don’t have a photo of Trish and this is Dennis receiving the Best Large Deciduous Award back in 2014 and another of him posing with one of his trees.

Ilex serrata (Japanese holly) with stunning red berries

Autumn is a great season for admiring the autumn colour of the leaves of your bonsai but also a great time to see them fruit. Some species of tree are more prolific in their fruit production and some have very bright showy fruit. This can be enhanced with a complementary colour pot for an improved overall visual appeal. Offsetting colours that provide contrast is the name of the game here, introducing bright colours on glazed pots is great fun and worth keeping at the back of your mind when shopping round if you have a fruiting bonsai.

One of the things to remember when selecting tree species to bonsai is that you cannot reduce the size of the fruits, so the tree will try to produce fruits based on the full size regardless of the size of bonsai tree you are growing.

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Indian Horse Chestnut seedlings

This year is a great year for tree seeds and many species have produced seeds in high volumes especially Oaks; so it is a really good source of the trees for tomorrow by collecting and planting up the seeds from today.

I went out seed gathering this season following on from last year where I collected a few conkers from a champion Indian Horse Chestnut and focused on collecting acorns this year from some fabulous oaks. Here are a few examples of my past seed collection and seed growing journeys so far.

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Trident maple (Acer buergerianum)

Autumn colours this year are stunning and none more so than on our members bonsai trees and in their gardens. Here are a few images of the wonderful array of colours that trees naturally show and we admire so much at this time of year.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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