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 – When is a tree not a tree?….When it’s two trees!
One of the pleasures of the bonsai workshop is that when students arrive at the beginning of the day you simply have no idea what they will be bringing with them. It could be a tree for advice on pruning, a health issue, repotting, maintenance work, or it could be a completely new project they want styling from scratch. Some students who will remain nameless translate bonsai workshop as meaning “challenge John”, the object of the exercise being to see him fail miserably…..
They have not succeeded yet and I don’t intend to give in without a fight. Whatever is placed before you has to be dealt with…..you simply have to rise to the challenge.
The Juniper Chinensis pictured above arrived at an open workshop in 2006. It certainly had character but it was hard to reconcile the twisting and curving multiple trunks.
After some deliberation we decided to split the trunk down the middle and create two separate bonsai. The roots were exposed, spread out and examined to ensure that each tree would have enough to survive.
The trunk was sawn through and the scars below soil level were treated with wound sealant. We now had two reasonable trees and each one was more plausible than the original. Both trees survived and were subsequently restyled. I wonder where they are today?
The variety of material and problems you come across is truly amazing and sometimes the outcome is even more astounding……..this is without doubt the best way to learn bonsai ……you see and experience so many problems, so much advice, you see the solutions ……and at the end of the day we are all more knowledgeable.