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Memory Lane – Heathrow Bonsai Event November 2012 (Part Two)

Looking back….we can tell a tree’s story…..admire an image…..capture a moment…..remember a special event… inspired – to create a memory for tomorrow. 

I hope you enjoy this regular peep into some of John’s bonsai history.

Heathrow Bonsai Event November 2012 (Part Two)

My earlier post on this event related to my morning demonstration. This post will concentrate on the 2 hour demo carried out in the afternoon.

I decided to do something completely different to the earlier demo….namely a rock planting. I had acquired this interesting rock under tragic circumstances it being bequeathed to me following the death of one of my students. This rock planting creation was therefore dedicated to the memory of David Melville.

This picture shows anchor wires fixed using an epoxy resin in the anticipated planting areas.

A tray full of possible planting material……..Zelkova Serrata from Japan, Juniper Ittogawa, a small satsuki azalea, and dwarf ferns – Cotula Minima.




I had grown the satsuki azalea and the Juniper Ittogawa from cuttings. I normally produce these juniper cuttings for grafting material but their size appeared to be perfect for this rock. They were pre-wired to save time.



The soil medium used for growing and holding the plants on the rock is a mixture of Keto, chopped sphagnum moss and fine akadama brought together as a dirty black sticky substance. Not surprisingly I failed miserably in trying to entice, cajole and bully members of the audience to participate in this part of the demo!


Gradually more plants are added to the rock, carefully placed and positioned to work together in line with the overall design and to follow the natural contours of the rock itself.




I have tried to highlight natural features in the rock such as the gap in the centre at the top and have resisted the temptation to plant in obvious looking existing hollows. It is easy to plant on flat boring surfaces using the keto leaving craggy nooks and crevices exposed to create a natural and inviting composition. The appearance of this planting will age considerably as soon as the small junipers become dense and more refined.

Once again a big thank you to Mark and Ming Moreland for organising the event and also to Iqbal Khan who was taking pictures throughout the day and kindly agreed to send me some copies to support this article.