When the sun gets too hot…

michael hagedorn

There are various ways of helping our bonsai cope with sun and not literally cooking them on our benches in the summertime. They are in pots, but it doesn’t mean we want to fry a special root dish, in a soil sauce…

Because bonsai are in pots, they are very unlike trees in the ground. We want to reduce any similarities to a dog in a car on a hot day.

th Fry your bonsai it can, without cooking oil…

There are two situations… A cooler climate with rare spikes in temperature to 100 F / 38 C or higher that might last a few days, and then there are the hot summer areas that are always that high:

Sudden, rare spikes in cooler climates: Simply relocate your trees temporarily. Don’t bring them inside, but on the ground is a good start, under benches maybe, in light shade. Try to avoid…

View original post 352 more words

A Summer Bonsai Display

Valavanis Bonsai Blog


In May 2014 I was picking up Pro-Mix at a feed store and looked around in their nursery yard. I was not looking for anything in particular, just looking, and my eye was caught by a couple of new hydrangeas. Note I was looking at shapes, not species. Two specimens had beautiful natural untouched cascade shapes and I purchased the most interesting plant.




The new plant, Great Star Panicle hydrangea, Hydrangea paniculata ‘Le Vasterival,’ was growing in a two gallon can. After purchasing the Hydrangea it was potted in an expensive Japanese container and shaped into a cascade style bonsai.

Only a few branches were pruned and a couple pulled down with guy wires. I designed the bonsai so it could be viewed from several sides. This spring a larger container was required and the bonsai was planted in an old blue glazed Chinese container.

In 2014 the Hydrangea was…

View original post 452 more words

Root development in Bonsai


Tree_roots_cross_section-e1351581137309-1024x451It pays to know something about the anatomy and physiology of roots when it comes to developing the root system of Bonsai trees. It is said that a tree mimics its above ground growth to what happens with root growth below ground level. This might be true for trees in nature, but with Bonsai it could be quite different due to the fact that we prune the roots and the roots also have to grow in a confined space.

When a root is studied under a microscope it is clear that there partsofrootsare different tissue types present in different areas of the root. On the outside is an epidermis layer consisting of cells. To increase the surface area, and therefore the absorptive area of the root, extensions of these epidermal cells grow into the soil. These are the root hairs. The main job of the root hairs is to absorb water…

View original post 762 more words

Calling All Avid Adventurers!

If you are planning a trip to the Drakensberg and looking to conquer any one of the magnificent hiking trails throughout this region – whether it is a day trip or an overnight cave hike, there are a few essential items and tips to remember…


Essentials to pack for a day hike

Whether it is summer or winter, the weather in the mountains is always a little unpredictable, therefore you need to properly prepare yourself:

  • A rain coat with a warm / fleece lining.
  • A sun hat and sunscreen.
  • Trekking shoes with good ankle support and grip.
  • Drinking water.
  • Snacks such as dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, energy bars – light to carry and packed with energy.
  • A bikini during the summer time as there are plenty of freshwater streams and pools to cool off in.
  • An up-to-date map of the area / GPS and cellphone in case of emergencies.


View original post 206 more words

#Birdstorm: a million wings overhead.

Leon Marais Travel Writing and Photography.

It’s reputed to be the most numerous bird on earth. Flocks can number in the millions, creating black swarms that can devastate a field of grain crop in a single feeding session. Nesting colonies can cover hectares of land, attracting all manner of predators out to make the most of the bounty. Yes, it’s the diminutive Red-billed Quelea (Quelea quelea), smaller than a sparrow, generally brown with an orange to red beak, while the breeding males sport black and red faces. Individually they don’t add up to much, but in large numbers they are an impressive sight indeed. On a recent holiday in the Warmbaths area of South Africa’s Limpopo Province, I was out on a mountain bike searching for a bird hide I’d been told about. When I found the hide on the edge of a small pond, I took vague notice that the reeds in the pond were…

View original post 627 more words