Latest News – July/August availability and August class change

Class Change

The open workshop on Saturday 27th August has been moved to Saturday 13th August.

July/August Availability

Sat 30th July        Extra time                       Sold out

Sun 31st              Open workshop              2 places

Wed 3rd August   Midweek                         1 place

Sat 6th                  Open workshop             4 places

Sat 13th                Open workshop             2 places

Sun 14th               Open workshop             1 place

Wed 17th               Midweek                       Sold out

Sun 28th                Taxus Two                     4 places

Wed 31st               Midweek                       2 places

Classroom Corner – Andrew’s Juniper one to one

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 – Andrew’s Juniper one to one

Included in the trees Andrew brought for his one to one session were these three Junipers. The main thing that they all had in common was that they were strong and healthy after a period of good vigorous growth.

The large Juniper Parsonii was now somewhat overgrown and ready for a restyling. I went through the whole tree cleaning out weaker inner shoots and made a new branch selection as I progressed. Andrew then started wiring all the branches while I turned my attention to his other trees.

In the afternoon I helped him complete the wiring and then all the branches were positioned. The tree is now ready to be allowed another period of good growth with the correct watering and feeding.

I like the small Juniper Chinensis……this is pure literati style and one we created together from a larger tree a while ago. This tree is so bushy now that the foliage mass is too big for the literati style and the tree’s trunk size/line.

It is amazing just how much foliage I had to remove to bring the tree back into scale……I suppose my regular “mangey” students would say that this is normal! The tree looks so much better and the canopy sits well without wire.

The third Juniper was from the Squamata Meyerii family. Once again the foliage mass was much too large and dense for the trunk and style of the tree.

I went through the tree selecting branches and shoots, removing everything I considered to be surplus to requirements. Andrew’s homework was to wire the tree and have a go at repositioning all the branches. Can’t wait to see how he gets on!

We discussed other trees also, making this a very pleasant and productive day. I look forward to the next one!

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Topical Times – Rob’s one to one

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

Topical Times – Rob’s one to one

Rob came to the studio earlier this week for a one to one and his car was totally filled with trees……..although as usual there was much more room in his car on the journey home. What else would you expect!

All the trees were discussed in detail before carrying out any work…… and on completion of the pruning work advice was given on what to do with each tree for the remainder of the growing season.

We had only recently put the Larch and Metasequoia forests together so this was their first real pruning. They had been allowed to extend to promote new root growth and now were pruned back roughly to shape. Lower branches were left unpruned. More detailed and selective pruning work will be carried out in the autumn when the trees have dropped their foliage.

The Zelkova had branches which had been left to grow to fatten them up. Most branches were now shortened and inner shoots were also cut back.

The Juniper Squamata Meyerii now had too big a canopy and wire that was beginning to bite in. Some general pruning back was carried out and now all the wire needs to be removed. At the end of the growing season a branch selection and pruning will be undertaken prior to the tree being totally rewired and styled.

The Taxus had now been in this pot for eighteen months having been dug out of a hedge. Unchecked growth had been encouraged to enable new roots to develop. We now discussed several styling possibilities and all branches that would not be used at all were removed. The tree will again be allowed to grow unchecked but at least now it grows where we want and improves our styling possibilities.

The Elm air layer was pruned back to promote a broom style shape and improve basic branch structure.

All in all this was a very productive day and all these trees are back on track for the remainder of the growing season. Rob’s car is lighter and roomier whereas my compost bins are full…….sounds like another successful bonsai class!!!

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Studio Stories – Catching up with my Korean Juniper

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 – Catching up with my Korean Juniper

The last article relating to this tree was published on the 4th June 2015 under the Topical Times heading and described how the tree was repotted in the spring earlier that year.

The tree was allowed to grow unchecked for the rest of the summer to recover from the repotting process and he continued to grow well.

Spring 2016 and it was time for the tree to move forward again. I thinned out the foliage and removed any branches that I thought would not be required. My helper Len then set about carrying out a detailed wiring of all the remaining branches. This is a very large tree so it was quite a task but Len rose to the challenge magnificently and performed his usual excellent job!

It was then down to me to reposition all the branches and give the tree it’s next styling. I was really satisfied with the outcome as the tree continues to make good progress. There is now already a lot of back budding inside the tree which should help us achieve the greater density in the foliage clouds that we are aiming towards.

This is a very powerful impressive Juniper bonsai!

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Classroom Corner – Beginners Class June 2016

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 2016

Our latest Beginners Course concluded last Sunday and hopefully we have inspired a few more people to aspire to greater things as they enter this bonsai world we all live in.

There were six participants on the class and it never ceases to amaze me how far people will travel to learn about bonsai. One gentleman could not have been closer….he lived in Havercroft……but the others…….one from Anglesey, one from Stockport, one from Liverpool, and two from Grantham! Truly amazing…..and I hope their long journeys proved worthwhile.

The second day is all about styling trees. Some selected from our own raw material whilst others had brought their own. The base of the trunks were exposed by removing some surface soil and then each tree was discussed.

Styling options were explained, decisions were made, and then I pruned away basically everything that I thought we would not need. With some brilliant help from Derek, Len and Ian the students then undertook their first attempt at wiring. All the branches I had left on the tree were duly wired and where appropriate some deadwood was also created.

It was then back to me to help with the final styling…..the placement of branches and manipulation of the deadwood. The pictures below will give you some idea of the transformations achieved but really don’t do the efforts of the students justice. I hope they were as pleased with the outcome as I was!

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