Latest News – August/September class availability.

August 

Sun 19th       Open workshop           4 places

Wed 22nd     Midweek workshop     2 places

September

Sun 2nd          Open workshop          Sold out

Wed 5th          Midweek workshop     1 place

Sun 16th          Open workshop          3 places

Wed 19th         Midweek workshop     Sold out

Sat 22nd           Open workshop.         3 places

Sun 23rd           Taxus two                   3 places

Sun 30th           Open workshop         6 places

Topical Times – Bonsai?….are not they those small trees?

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

Topical Times – Bonsai?…..are not they those small trees?

Ask anyone you come across about Bonsai and I am sure they will only be too happy to explain to you that it is all about small miniature trees. Yesterday’s workshop was certainly not all about small miniature trees!!

True the material arriving on the class were Bonsai in the making…….but small??……..you must be joking! These three giants arrived for some pruning advice. An Eleagnus, an Oak tree and a Field Maple.

Impressive trunks with excellent potential for some carving work and branch development. They are undoubtedly long term projects but with the possibilities for creating some amazing trees!

I will endeavour to keep you up to date with our bonsai journey…….

Studio Stories – Take Three trees……..

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 – Take Three trees…..

These three trees were minding their own business growing away nicely in my garden……..but then they were whisked off into the studio for a bout of summer pruning.

The Black Pine was lifted from our growing bed 18 months ago. The Escallonia is due for a revamp of the deadwood. The Lonicera Nitidia basically has a good shape but some branches are being thickened to extend the tree’s profile.

All Three trees are works in progress and I must say I am pleased with all of them……they really are progressing well……

……..so keep up the good work!!

Memory Lane – My first Privet bonsai continues to evolve!

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 – My first Privet bonsai continues to evolve!

Look at the first two pictures……taken on the 25th August 2001. The tree was in its first few years of training having been dug out of a hedge in November 1999.

After just over 18 months the tree is at least beginning to show some vigour and signs that it is recovering from the digging out process.

Hard to believe how it looks today. The very low right hand branch had gradually been getting weaker and this winter the tree decided that he didn’t need it anymore……..must admit that on reflection this was not such a bad decision!

The tree was repotted in spring so to help him recover I just let him grow and flower unchecked. The flowers have faded now so this afternoon I took him into the studio and gave him a really good pruning and thinning out.

He certainly looks a lot better for it……and is both healthier and happier. Good job you keep those old pictures to stimulate the memory……it is so easy to forget how far you have come with a tree!

 

Latest News – Two class dates changed!

Two class dates have been changed on our recently published Autumn schedule.

The open workshop on Saturday 18th August has been moved to Sunday 19th August.

The open workshop on Saturday 29th September has been moved to Sunday 30th September.

At the time of writing there are places available on both these new dates.

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!!