Bonsai Blog

Ficus or also known as Fig, is an amazing species that can grow in the cold temperate  climate to the hot tropical region. It can also be subjected to full hot sun to indoor condition. It can grow to become a gigantic tree or trained to become the smallest bonsai. Ficus is among the species highly recommended for bonsai beginners and those who live in condominium. Unlike buxus, ficus can be shaped into any bonsai shape except drift wood because it’s woody stem is soft and can rot easily.

I wish not further elaborate tips on planting and caring ficus as there are already many info posted by other bonsai bloggers, but rather to mention that the most beautiful ficus bonsai I have ever seen is in Hanoi Vietnam. During my short trip to Hanoi June last year, I managed to have an hour to visit the Hoan Kien Lake…

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Creating Large Ficus Bonsai by Fusing Seedlings – Gede Merta’s Demo Trees Five Years Later

Bonsai Penjing & More

In the 2009 Bonsai Focus magazine, Issue #122, there is an article by Peter Thali on how the Indonesia’s Bali bonsai master, Gede Merta, used fusion technique to create large impressive ficus with spreading nebari from young seedlings. He did it in two stages: (1) using nails and tapes, 25 1½-year old seedlings were fused together to form the main trunk; and (2) after the main trunk has formed, 50 more 6-month old 24- to 32-inch long seedlings were added to the lower section to create taper; several of these seedlings were bundled together, wrapped with tapes and bent to form future side branches. Using this fusion technique and with Bali’s year-round tropical growing climate, the fused ficus quickly developed into a beautiful large bonsai with impressive nebari and thick branches. Please see the article for detail descriptions and photos.

DSCN5778 Bonsai Focus Issue #122. Large ficus created by fusing together young seedlings.

Last October (2014) I visited Master Gede at his nursery, please see…

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Winter Intensive 2015

Bonsai Bardo


Another trip to Boons and it was great. Boons senior Daisaku was visiting from Japan during our class and we watched him start to wire what will be possibly the best white pine in the United States owned by my good friend Adair Martin and previously owned by Boon imported from japan and allowed to grow well for past 10 years. It was great watching him set the structure that will be this trees future.

Well like all trips to Boons we had great food of course because if there is one thing you will never say at Boons is that you did not eat well. It always a great time meeting new people and making connections some that last much longer after the class is over.

Personally this trip for me was a good deal of refreshment on repotting techniques and and how to different conifers vary in root…

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What Happens When There is No Taper

Bonsai Bardo

I bought 2 large trees that where grown by Warren Hill and sold when he got sick I realized I liked them for the fact they are big but there was no taper. I way overpaid for them and the question is what do I do they will never be good the way they are. So the fastest fix cut them down. lol

It did the fix mid summer. I chopped them down to regrow them with taper super excited about these two now. first cut is aways worst ones. I was going to air layer tops off but then id have 4 stumps to grow and don’t have room for that in the garden.

Lesson learned just because a tree is expensive it might not be worth very much at all.



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Bonsai, pattern recognition and developing taste


If you look up ‘beginner’s guide to bonsai’ on the internet, you will find a plethora of resources. Perhaps the best site I’ve ever seen on the subject was Harry Harrington’s If you have not, I highly suggest that you read through every article in his bonsai basics section; the effort is well worth it.

I will not talk about bonsai techniques in this post, or bonsai horticulture. Those topics are well covered on the internet. What I would instead like to talk about is the cultivation of artistic taste in bonsai.

Taste can never be wrong. 

To argue otherwise is simply snobbery. Taste is an expression of a personal experience. Art moves us, compels us, delights, seduces, mesmerizes, whatever. It makes us feel something. My girlfriend has spoken many times of jewelry looking delectable, tasty.

Indeed, this bracelet looks like candy or cake. Every time I…

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A new Scottie

Scratch Bonsai

Bought this Scots Pine from a fellow club member back in spring and let it acclimatise in my garden for the past few months.  Had a chance to give it a first styling/wiring with the help of Phil, a much more experienced bonsai practitioner.  To be fair he did most of the work 🙂

DSC_1064 Before. Spring 2015




I’m excited about this piece of material.  Loved it as soon as I saw it and immediately had a literati tree of some kind in mind.  It’ll take a while for some backbudding to occur and more will be removed in further stages.  Not sure which direction it’ll go in just yet.  I’ll ponder it for a while.

DSC_0266 After. July 2015

DSC_0267 Close up of fantastic trunk.

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