Classroom Corner – Not the easiest material……?

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 – Not the easiest material…..?
As usual the classes in December saw many trees come and go. There is never any chance of getting bored when you get such a wide variety of material both in terms of species and the time in training.
I always like a challenge and two of the trees in particular were certainly not straight forward.
Alan’s Juniper raw material was an almost perfect conical shape and would have been at home almost immediately in any rockery or conifer border.
The problem was that if you selected and pulled down any number of branches they would have been too long/bushy and totally out of proportion with the relatively thin trunk. Much of the foliage inside and near the trunk had died back due to inadequate light.
I am afraid the solution had to be drastic …….probably 98% of the foliage was removed. One branch was left to form a new apex and two small branches were left lower down. Jins were created and a shari was made down the front of the trunk.
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The remaining branches are in scale with the trunk which now looks more impressive. The shari and jins give the tree age and character. At first this material seemed almost impossible but the tree could now go on to make a really good bonsai.
Kevin’s Spruce was also a tester. Three relatively straight trunks with all the foliage at the top and too much of it. There was some nice deadwood around the base.
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The foliage mass had to be greatly reduced and the trunks either removed or shortened. The remaining foliage was wired and styled bringing the greenery nearer  the base/deadwood and arranged to surround the trunks.
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As the new foliage pads develop the tree should form a pleasing full canopy in harmony with the remaining trunks.
Once again difficult material has been transformed and given a bright new future. Whenever you are confronted with difficult material you have to rise to the challenge. Remember the basics…..and somewhere in that foliage mass there is a tree. The more impossible the material seems the greater your sense of achievement when you get something out of it…. and often the resulting tree turns out to be a real star……..just like you!

Memory Lane – Seasonal Memories…..Seasonal Pictures…..

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 – Seasonal Memories…..Seasonal pictures……
December 2009 and January 2010…..a seasonal snowy landscape just perfect for Christmas but for most of us the novelty soon wears off.
Paths and car parks had to be cleared, bonsai classes had to be cancelled and customers were rarely seen. How can something sometimes so beautiful be responsible for so much chaos and cause so much pain.
It’s nice to look back on these “christmas card” scenes, remember the times and enjoy their beauty. At least today we are cosy and it’s a case of so far so good!!!…….
My friends frolicking in the snow are a long time gone…….I would happily cope with 10 foot of the white stuff to see them playing again.
I hope these pictures will arouse your own special seasonal memories and help set the scene for you and yours to enjoy the Christmas festivities about to unfold………
…….Please have a good one!!!………..Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year…..
…….john.
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Latest news – Christmas Opening Times…including Sale Day and January offer!

The nursery will close at 4.00pm on Sunday 22nd December and apart from the sale day will not reopen until 10.00am on Thursday 2nd January.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our students, customers and website visitors a very happy Christmas and a peaceful, healthy New Year. Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to welcoming you to Newstead in 2014.

Best wishes…..john and jackie.

SALE DAY – Saturday December 28th 2013  (10.00 – 4.00pm)

A ONE DAY ONLY opportunity to take advantage of a 20% Discount off all garden plants, raw material and bonsai trees.

All trees/plants must be paid for in full on the day to take advantage of the sale price. Ideally they should all be removed from the site on the day unless arrangements are made with John.

Regular visitors to the nursery will know that this is a genuine offer and for a limited time……it is for ONE DAY ONLY!

It is also a chance to socialise and renew bonsai friendships between Christmas and the New Year in pleasant and inspiring surroundings.

JANUARY WORKSHOP DEAL

Book on two workshops taking place in January and the total cost will be £30 instead of £45……….Two workshops for £30!!!

Places limited so book early.

Beginners classes are excluded from this promotion.

 

Studio Stories – Three small Junipers styled and for sale

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 – Three small Junipers styled and for sale

The winter period provides us with an opportunity to select material from the sales benches and carry out styling/improvement work. This work is fitted in between repottings and other general tasks.

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This time three small Junipers were selected. The tall Juniper had become “leggy”. A new trunk line was selected and the original trunk was made into deadwood. Branches were thinned out or removed and what remained was wired and positioned.

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The first of the smaller Junipers had also become too heavy at the top with weeping foliage hanging down. Once again it needed some drastic thinning out.

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Shari work was carried out on the trunk and then the tree was totally wired. Once the branches are positioned it’s surprising how compact the image has become.

The second of the small Junipers also has a heavy top but has other problems lower down the trunk where two strong branches emerge very close together. Decisions have to be made and then jins/shari are used to camouflage the pruning scars and improve the flow/taper in the trunk.

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The remaining branches are thinned out, wired and repositioned. This tree has really improved with a more compact and full image.

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The trees will now be allowed to grow well to aid recovery from the styling process and to fill out the new images. The new growth will be controlled to refine and develop the image further. These trees should progress well next year ……..assuming of course that they remain with us……….

 

 

Topical Times – After the Storm…..

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

Topical Times – After the Storm…..

Thursday morning was a bit of an “eye-opener” to say the least!

The severe winds had left a large trunk off one of the Poplar trees precariously laid on top of one of the polytunnels. It must have come down with one helluva bang because the underlying frame was noticeably distorted.

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Apart from a few small holes caused by projecting twigs the cover appeared to be generally unscathed. It was a case of trying to remove the tree without causing any further damage.

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Some scaffolding was erected and planks were laid across to the tree. Bob “the brave” (that’s not what we normally call him!) crawled across the planks and carried out the sawing.

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Eventually the whole tree was safely removed in pieces.

Returning from lunch something above the dog kennel looked different….a large tree leaning at 45 degrees. It had been totally uprooted!

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The afternoon session would now involve ropes and more sawing to cut this much larger tree down and remove it from the site before it could do any damage.

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Thankfully both tasks were completed without any further problems thanks to my excellent team of helpers (Don’t tell them I said that….it will go to their heads!)

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Friday was spent standing the nursery trees up and cleaning away all the leaves/debris. it cost us two days work and we still have some repairs to carry out but in the bigger picture we were really the lucky ones…….how do those poor people on the east coast cope with their flooded homes?………how do people survive in other countries when the have a hurricane or tornado and not the light breeze we just experienced???

 

Classroom Corner – Peter’s “Rock on Rock” Planting

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 – Peter’s “Rock on Rock” Planting
Peter brought along 3 pieces of tufa rock to an open workshop. He wanted to create a rock planting and was getting the material together. The arrangement of the 3 pieces was under consideration when I through a spanner in the works (nothing new here then!) by suggesting we fix one on top of another.
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Knowing that Peter was planning to work with smaller junipers and wanted them clinging to the rock, I thought the extra height we could gain would be crucial.
A few weeks later Peter attended another class and duly arrived with two rocks securely fastened together and some tie wires in place. A proprietary epoxy resin bonding agent such as Araldyte had been used to fix the rocks in place.
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Peter wanted to plant two small Ittogawa Junipers on to the rock and one had been wired/partly styled previously.
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The second juniper had to be thinned out, unwanted branches removed and the remaining branches wired.
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Now it was time to bring everything together and carry out the planting using keto from Japan as the soil and to help secure the trees in place. Guess who always has to get his hands dirty? The second tree was left quite large to maintain it’s vigour and give the option of a smaller simple cascade for the future if required.
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The composition came together well and was made so much more dramatic by joining the rocks together rather than having small separate single pieces. In this instance the extra height made all the difference…….”Rock on Johnny!!!”

Memory Lane – Newstead 3 September 2008 – Not just trees?

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 – Newstead 3 September 2008 – Not just trees?
First and foremost bonsai is about trees. The Newstead exhibitions were all about trees and this was always our main focus. In each exhibition we were always delighted to welcome the “companions”……..accent plants, scrolls, and suiseki viewing stones.
In 2008 we were treated to a separate display of antique bonsai pots, and stones kindly provided by 3 exhibitors, namely Craig Coussins, Chris Thomas, and Ian Mason.
They provided a nice contrasting display bench to the trees and their contribution enhanced the exhibition as a whole.
Hopefully these pictures will tell their own story and once again bring back fond memories for those of you fortunate to have been there.
Newstead 2008 294 Newstead 2008 295 Newstead 2008 296 Newstead 2008 297 Newstead 2008 298 Newstead 2008 299 Newstead 2008 300 Newstead 2008 301 Newstead 2008 306
Newstead 2008 288 Newstead 2008 289 Newstead 2008 290 Newstead 2008 291 Newstead 2008 292 Newstead 2008 293
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Latest News – Apologies and Two Special Offers Not to be Missed

Server Technical problems

Our website has been down over the past few days and I have not been receiving emails. If you have emailed me in the past couple of days and not had a reply please send me the mail again.

I can only apologise for any inconvenience caused but hopefully the problems have been resolved and everything is back to normal.

SALE DAY – Saturday December 28th 2013  (10.00 – 4.00pm)

A ONE DAY ONLY opportunity to take advantage of a 20% Discount off all garden plants, raw material and bonsai trees.

All trees/plants must be paid for in full on the day to take advantage of the sale price. Ideally they should all be removed from the site on the day unless arrangements are made with John.

Regular visitors to the nursery will know that this is a genuine offer and for a limited time……it is for ONE DAY ONLY!

It is also a chance to socialise and renew bonsai friendships between Christmas and the New Year in pleasant and inspiring surroundings.

JANUARY WORKSHOP DEAL

Book on two workshops taking place in January and the total cost will be £30 instead of £45……….Two workshops for £30!!!

Places limited so book early.

Beginners classes are excluded from this promotion.

Places still available on most DECEMBER bonsai classes.