Scots pine – Wiring


I’ve been a bit late working on my trees this year, having moved house. This year this Chuhin sized Scots pine will require a repot. So I decided to wire and style the tree in preparation.

I’ve had the tree now for two growing seasons. So I’ve been maximising the number of needles on the tree to promote as much growth as possible. Next year I will be looking at refining the image and reducing the length in the smaller branches. I choose this front so that I could bring the foliage down and highlight the twist and turn at the top of the tree. Although there are lots of alternative fronts.

I love the bark on this tree… Horribly flakey so I’ll need patience and care for repotting 🤔 photo 78F453B3-DB6B-4D8E-9F39-ECB7408F20DB.jpg
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Concern for hawk visiting local gardens

Hermanus Bird Club

By Mike Ford

An interesting story has unfolded about a Black Sparrowhawk that was spotted in various Hermanus gardens over the last four years. But there is concern about its health.

Black Sparrowhawk 20150515 The Black Sparrowhawk, photographed by Mike Sander in his garden in May 2015.

I was contacted by Peter and Alison Eustace on 11 March to tell me that there was a ringed Black Sparrowhawk on the roof of their house in Prestwick Village, Eastcliff. Brian Taylor had taken some good photographs which allowed the rings to be read – in this case a metal ring on the right leg and green over red anodised rings on the left.

I immediately suspected that this was one of Ann Koeslag’s birds. Ann is a friend of mine who lives in Cape Town and has been studying Black Sparrowhawks for many years. I followed the protocols and contacted her via Safring at UCT, and it…

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Game birds having a good season

Hermanus Bird Club

Story and image: Ed Meyer

The upland game birds in the mountain fynbos above Voëlklip have had a very successful breeding season in 2015-’16.

20160226_161315 Cape Spurfowl with youngsters.

Four or five pairs of Cape Spurfowl regularly visit our garden on the edge of the Fernkloof Reserve and have all produced at least two clutches of chicks from August through to January.

Initial clutch size has been on average five, however, the chicks seem to be most vulnerable to predators in the first few weeks before they can “flutter fly”. Clutch numbers raised to maturity average between two and three.

We recently witnessed, sadly, a mature young spurfowl being spectacularly caught by an African Goshawk, taken up into our red gum tree and devoured in our full view – a special sighting.

20160226_085016 Pair of Helmeted Guineafowl with second clutch of chicks.

Helmeted Guineafowl have also bred successfully this past season. A very…

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A plant for your palm

Your Local Blog

Bonsai is the art of growing dwarf trees and shrubs from seedlings or rooted cuttings. It requires careful training, pruning and container restriction. The latter gives bonsai its name as it translates as ‘tray cultivation’. This is a fun and beautiful way of cultivating plants on a miniature scale. Shohin is a Japanese small bonsai that is between 6 – 8 inches.

Bonsai began in China, though most believe that Japan has this honour and indeed, many of the leading masters are Japanese. The art of miniaturising trees in China is known as penjing, or pensai. This style of gardening has a rich history, and there are styles within the style of Bonsai.

The watering regime, pruning and pinching out mean that these plants are certainly not easy maintenance but the rewards are great. There are many ways of beginning a bonsai collection. Perhaps the easiest for a beginner is…

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Cotoneaster Repot

Bonsai Baker

This is a Cotoneaster that I collected from a garden in a school probably 6-7 years ago. This was it after about a year with loads of growth.

and again after it’s first styling.

Then a few years later…

And wired again.

This was it a few weeks ago.


Rewired again..


and repotted into a Sperling Keramics pot. Should look striking with flowers and then berries with this yellow pot.


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