I thought I’d write up a post on the first styling on an Itoigawa Shimpaku I bought about a month and a half ago now. I actually styled it at my 2nd Kaikou Class in the end of May, but am just getting around to writing it up now.
My biggest initial purchase to date, by far. I saw this juniper hit the summer sell down table at New England Bonsai the day before I got married. I was dropping my trees off so they could take care of them while I was on my honeymoon. I asked the bonsai professional from Japan, Jun, to help me pick the best one out of the 5 or 6 that were on the table. This one he said was the most unique, and as an added bonus it appeared to be the healthiest one.
We started the work by removing any branches that we knew would not be in the final design. We left stubs so that these could later be turned into jins. We then traced an outline of the first shari onto the trunk with a piece of chalk. I used a jin knife to cut the bark along the outline, and remove the bark from the tree down to the hard wood.
We then decided to make another shari on the next portion up on the trunk to complement the first shari we made.
After that was completed, I the bark off of the stubs we left to make jins. I had never done this before and was much easier than I thought. The bark fell right off after crunching it with my pliers.
Then we decided that we would wire the tree while we were still in class. I put the wire onto the tree, and John helped me place the branches in the final position. After that I slip-potted it into a decent ceramic training pot so we could restore some vigor to the tree.
I am definitely happy with the way this tree came out, and I’m so excited to see how it progresses in the future. It will be left alone to grow and and be healthy for while now. This is easily probably the best material I currently have and a great addition to my bench.
I don’t think I have posted in a while, but I have been busy with other things. While I haven’t been neglecting my trees, and have been going to classes, I just haven’t had time to post lately. About 2 months ago now I was in Christmas Tree shop with my very supportive, now wife, looking for some odds and ends for our May 6th wedding. We stumbled upon a really cheap greenhouse, big enough for me to walk into. I wasn’t looking to get the greenhouse, but she insisted and said it was perfect for what we were looking for. Who was I to say no!
It’s certainly not made with the best materials, but I think it will do the job just fine. It is 7 ft. tall at the peak believe it or not, so I can walk through it comfortably. It came with some shelves that were wire-tied to the poles, and has a zippered entryway. It will be perfect for keeping all my bonsai-related “stuff”, including tools, soils, pots, and sprays just to name a few. My wife LOVES that part. Bonsai has mostly left the house and gone in the greenhouse.
I put some cuttings and seedlings in there for about 10 minutes before I realized it would be way too hot to keep things in there in the summer. I think it will be great for the tropicals and less hardy trees in the early spring and late summer in between weather. I am thinking that I will use it as a cold frame this winter and keep my cold hardy trees in there. I think it will be perfect for that but I’ll need to do some more research before I fully commit to that idea. Some day I think I’ll probably just build a hoop-house myself that will be able to have shade cloth in the summer, then covered with plastic for the winter. For now this will do just fine.
I also thought I’d throw in a quick picture update of my trees. Everything seems to be doing well and I can’t wait to see how things develop this season.
Also, I will be posting a couple more fun posts including a shimpaku styling, and growing black pine from seed. So come back and see what I’ve been up to.