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 – A few recent stylings…..
These days I find most students are bringing existing trees from their collection for ongoing advice relating to seasonal pruning/maintenance or how to take it to the next level. However many students do take advantage of the classes to style a new tree or restyle an existing one.
The pictures in this blog show a few of the trees which have passed through classes recently. This innocuous little Hinoki Cypress has made a very formal natural looking image after a small amount of pruning and wiring.
This Juniper Chinensis was extremely healthy having been allowed to grow but now resembled more of a bush than a tree. The tree was dramatically thinned out and wired. It is still a little unkempt but now you can define spaces and branches. The foliage clouds can now be improved as the tree starts to grow again.
After a wiring and styling this tall Juniper Squamata Meyerii is really beginning to take shape. Once again the contours of the foliage clouds can be developed during the growing season.
It’s satisfying that students are generally attending classes with strong vigorous trees. We have to prune and bring them back under control but we always have something to work with and the trees will recover well after the styling process. This Juniper Parsonii was another classic example…..excellent colour and vigour.
The first thing was to select branches especially at the top where some were competing to be the apex. After much thinning out the remaining branches were wired and positioned. This has resulted in a more compact tree with a narrow canopy now in sympathy with the movement in the trunk.
When you style a tree out of a foliage mass there is always a sense of excitement……a sense of anticipation……..and fortunately almost never a disappointment. It does not matter how many times I do this I still get the same buzz…..it’s one of the true joys of bonsai……and I am sure my genuine enthusiasm never fails to rub off on the often unsuspecting student!