Classroom Corner – Beginners Class June 2018

An open window into the comings and goings of students and their trees attending our regular weekend and midweek bonsai classes under the ever watchful eyes of John Hanby.
Classroom Corner – Beginners Class June 2018

This was day two of our Beginners Course and a chance for the students to have a go at wiring and styling a piece of raw material……with our help of course. For most of them this was there very first attempt at this type of work.

I discussed the possibilities in each tree with the student…..decisions were made and branches removed. My helpers Derek, Len and Ian then supervised the students as deadwood was created and branches were wired.

After lunch each tree returned to the turntable for the positioning of branches and styling. The students did really well for their first attempt and when you look at the pictures I think the results speak for themselves.

They all thoroughly enjoyed the experience too…..so well done!

 

Topical Times – Top Ten UK blog selection!

A regular update on the life and times of John Hanby’s Newstead Bonsai Centre……..

Topical Times – Top Ten UK blog selection!

I am pleased to announce that our blog has been selected as one of the top ten Bonsai blogs in the UK by Feedspot.com.

I will endeavour to keep the standard up in our posts both in terms of frequency and content.

Big thanks to those of you who keep logging in to read them and to Feedspot for compiling the top ten list.

Studio Stories – Big John back in the studio!

Sometimes I work on nursery trees, sometimes I work on client’s trees……and sometimes if I’ve been a really good boy I get to work on my own trees. Hopefully these regular visits will give you an insight into what goes on behind closed doors……….
Studio Stories – Big John back in the studio!

18th May and Big John is brought in to the studio. Despite some fungus problems he has still managed to grow well and put on a dense canopy.

It is now time to thin the foliage out, remove some leaves and let some light in to the canopy. You can see the difference in the before and after pictures and what was left on the floor when the tree was moved back outside.

The last picture was taken yesterday, three weeks later and you can clearly see the new second flush of growth emerging. Stronger shoots around the top of the tree were pruned back.

Memory Lane – Juniper Styling…..May 2013

Looking back….we can tell a tree’s story…..admire an image…..capture a moment…..remember a special event…..be inspired – to create a memory for tomorrow. I hope you enjoy this regular peep into some of John’s bonsai history.
Memory Lane – Juniper Styling…….May 2013

This innocuous little Juniper Ittogawa originated in Japan. It appeared to have lost it’s way …….long branches out of scale with the trunk, a wild design, and no signs of individuality or character.

Branches were selected and some were removed but the defining element in the trees transformation was the creation of a shari running the full height of the trunk.

This was carefully created and engineered to run along side the trees main live vein. Not only was this aesthetically pleasing but it also ensured the tree’s continued good health and vigour.

What a huge difference a little restyling can make………

 

Classroom Corner – Richards Juniper Parsonii

An open window into the comings and goings of students and their trees attending our regular weekend and midweek bonsai classes under the ever watchful eyes of John Hanby.
Classroom Corner – Richards Juniper Parsonii

This was Richard’s first attempt at a Bonsai styling …….in at the deep end springs rapidly to mind. This is a large Juniper!

Some branches were removed but the first workshops concentrated almost entirely on creating deadwood and initiating shari. Live veins were identified and the lines of potential shari were marked out. You can see one of the thin shari in one of the later pictures. These will gradually be widened in forthcoming years.

A more detailed selection of branches was made leaving Richard with the daunting task of practicing and mastering his wiring technique……and what an excellent job he has made of it.

The tree came back last week to complete its first styling…..what a transformation. This tree can really go places and has been an invaluable experience. A Juniper Bonsai of this stature arriving in Europe from Japan today would be seriously expensive.

Richard was able to purchase this tree as a piece of raw material at modest cost but the learning curve that came with it was priceless! It was a real challenge but with a bit of input from me when required he has been able to create a super Bonsai, and gain the necessary confidence to tackle and master so many Bonsai techniques.

What makes it more amazing is that the learning curve and the journey with this tree has only just begun …….more techniques will need to be mastered as we take this tree to his next level……and ultimately to his top level!!

Latest News – May/June Class availability

May

Sat 26th    Workshop         2 places

Sun 27th    Maples 2          2 places

Wed 30th   Workshop         Sold out

June

Sat 2nd      Larch 1              4 places        You can now use this as an open                 workshop if you wish and bring along any trees.

Sun 3rd       Beginners 1      Places available

Sun 10th      Beginners 2      Places available

Wed 13th      Workshop        Sold out

Sat 16th        Workshop        Sold out

Sun 17th        Workshop       Sold out

Wed 27th       Workshop       Sold out

Sat 30th          Workshop       3 places

 

Studio Stories – Demo day Taxus Cuspidata update

Sometimes I work on nursery trees, sometimes I work on client’s trees……and sometimes if I’ve been a really good boy I get to work on my own trees. Hopefully these regular visits will give you an insight into what goes on behind closed doors……….
Studio Stories – Demo day Taxus Cuspidata update

The first pictures were taken in January this year. The tree is now ready for another wiring and styling.

March…..and the next set of pictures show the tree wired and with branches positioned. The crown is wider and much better defined.

April and the tree is just about to be moved outside from his winter quarters. New buds are just starting to emerge.

May…..the tree was budding really well and ready for his first pinching session.

Look back through older blogs to see how this tree started out as raw material on one of our demo days……you will be amazed at the transformation!

Memory Lane – Do not be lazy…cut back on the mesh!

Looking back….we can tell a tree’s story…..admire an image…..capture a moment…..remember a special event…..be inspired – to create a memory for tomorrow. I hope you enjoy this regular peep into some of John’s bonsai history.
Memory Lane – Do not be lazy…..cut back on the mesh!

You may recall this Pine when we first reported it in March 2013….but it’s worth repeating.

This old excellent Scots Pine almost died. Some people when they are repotting their trees can’t be bothered to cut up small pieces of mesh that just cover the draianage holes. They simply stick a full sheet of mesh in the bottom of the pot.

Easier but extravagant…..and potentially life threatening!

It becomes easy for the roots to engage with the mesh and create a solid mass that then blocks the drainage holes and leads to wet soil which then causes root rot. The problem is even worse when mycorrhizae is present.

If the roots and tree manage to survive problems then occur with the next repotting. There is a high risk of serious damage to the trees roots just from trying to separate the mesh from the rootball as the two are often completely entwined by this time.

This tree was lucky….we got to him in time…. your favoured tree might not be so lucky……..just think what you are doing next time you repot!!

 

 

Classroom Corner – Academy 9/11 Class May 2018

An open window into the comings and goings of students and their trees attending our regular weekend and midweek bonsai classes under the ever watchful eyes of John Hanby.
Classroom Corner – Academy 9/11 Class May 2018

Yesterday was one of my Academy sessions. The weather was so good that at one point we took to working outside……having said that it’s not easy to get the huge Juniper forest into the studio anyway.

Yesterday was really about catching up with some ongoing and current projects. Checking progress, making adjustments, discussing options and carrying out any necessary work to take each tree to the next stage of its development.

Two large forest plantings were overhauled. Trident Maples with grafted branches were pruned back. Ties were checked and foliage pruned on tanuki Junipers.

Cryptomeria were pruned. Styling work on individual pines and Junipers continued. I think everyone enjoyed a varied and very productive day.