Saturday, October 24, 2009

Do the Turn and Drop

The best time of the year has arrived – Leaf Drop. Time to settle down and get styling my deciduous bonsai. I picked up this fine material for around $50 at the St. Louis Shohin Convention this past spring from David Kreutz, an Azalea specialist who operates the Satsuki Bonsai-en nursery. It was unusual to see such dramatic taper and shari in a Japanese Hornbeam. The leaf size may be a concern down the road, as I thought it likely would have reduced some already since it’s rather root bound, but I have no idea what kind of sun exposure it had when it came out of dormancy this past spring. I couldn’t resist making a mini out of this one, however, so we’ll if nature counteracts my need for scale. One of the best characteristics of this Carpinus is the seed pods it produces, but I doubt I’ll ever see them on this tuffy since it has been reduced so much. I’m sticking with the dead wood theme as I’ve attempted to carve out any cuts I make. I'll work on the large top portion at another time, as I'm using it for a wire anchor. Outside of maybe the delicate Japanese maple and a few other species, I’m becoming a firm believer in creating jin and shari on deciduous whenever it’s artistically appropriate.

Before and after...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

October Snow

Woke up this morning to a few inches of snow! Pictured here is a Korean Hornbeam and Shimpaku Juniper.  This was one of the earliest snowfalls on record for the city of Lincoln.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Japanese Ambience

The intertwining of nature, art and Japanese culture was showcased at Lauritzen Gardens this weekend in Omaha. Their Autumn/Japanese Ambience Festival was a joy to be a part of. The Omaha Botanical Gardens are currently trying to raise enough funds for the second phase of their Japanese Garden. At the site of the Japanese garden, there was taiko drumming, sake tasting, calligraphy and origami. I was a partaker in the sake tasting and was pleasantly surprised by the expertise of the pourer. The bees were swarming us trying to get a taste of the sweet rice wine as we discussed the different subtleties of the sake. The surroundings this weekend were inspirational.

The gardens were kind enough to let myself and Kim Williams display our trees. I brought a Koto Hime Japanese maple, Shimpaku juniper and a Japanese Flowering Apricot. Kim brought a nice Ginkgo and a blue-needled Chamaecyparis. I believe our display generated some interest and I plan to contact all of those who left their information with me in hopes of meeting.