Well over on Bonsainut.com there was friendly competition for its members so I gave it a go. The basic premise was to buy a juniper smaller nursery stock, smaller than 2 gallon, from a non-bonsai nursery, for less than $30 and style it the best that we could do. I ended up at Home Depot where there was literally nothing to choose from, and took home a Procumbens juniper for $8.
Clearly, the tree was not much as it was but it was a good time to practice styling and wiring. The only way to approach this type of material is eliminate everything that cannot be included in the final design. Straight branches, downward or upward foliage, branches that turn in to the trunk line are examples of this. On this tree, there was a split close to the base that immediately had to be addressed. I decided quickly that the larger, non-tapering branch would become jin. This ended up taking away a good amount of foliage and let me focus on what was left.
I then jinned the branch.
After this, basic styling principals came into play. I tried to focus on making an informal upright, with pads forming the shape of a triangle. I also was trying to have the side branches offset to create some movement in the tree. After that, it was picking the apex and pinching the wayward foliage on the pads. The final result came out ok so I thought I’d write it down in the blog.
Clearly a lot of foliage was taken off the tree at once, and I think chances of survival are pretty thin. It was fun and good practice for only $8. Plus, the contest is being judged by Bill Valvanis of International Bonsai so it will be nice to get his criticism.
I did a little more pinching after the contest submission was over.