Nature Miniaturized

Frozen Memories

Bonsai Bonsai

Since the dawn of time, man has tried to control nature. Mostly it is in vain. Always it is temporary. In the end, nature wins out for she has the patience of millennia which is far longer than the memory of man. She outlasted the ancient Egyptians, the venerable Anasazi, and will outlast we arrogant humans who believe we are the ultimate power, the ultimate authority.

The art of Bonsai is man controlling nature on a microcosm. Well, at least, man directing nature on a microcosm. The bonsai tree needs constant pruning, constant bending, constant care to maintain it’s elegance. Left to its own accord, the tree will grow wild, grow free, will be a tree.

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Collected Hemlocks – Mother and Daughter


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I was trying to come up with a catchy title for this blog and could not come up with a good one.   The mother and daughter, although a little cheesy, seemed to be appropriate for this pair of trees.   This was the pair of trees I worked on in Spring of this year with my friend Brian  Hemlock, Blues Music, and Great Company.  

Brian and I had plan on selling this tree at a bonsai auction and we intentionally priced it high knowing that this tree will eventually become a great one.  Brian originally bought it from a collector and then I prepared it for the auction.  Of course it takes some imagination, deep pocket, and lots of muscle to take this home (it’s was still in it’s raw unspotted collected soil and very heavy), sadly it did not go home with a new owner but instead I bought the…

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A Photo Journal of Bonsai Repotting


I would say the most important task in bonsai is root development, rune pruning, or repotting.  The trees energy is supported by the roots.  A bonsai must have healthy fine roots to become a good bonsai which will lead to a healthy tree and eventually withstand the other training that follows to create a good bonsai.  I was lucky enough to learn a systematic method of repotting from Boon Manakitivipart when I took his intensive class.   Boon is very methodical and meticulous about how he did everything and it shows on his trees.  I will do my best to walk you through what I do following what I best remember from that intensive class.  I’m doing this on one of my largest trees the Viburnum which I’ve written a few times here.   The method will be similar to smaller trees except the soil particles may need to vary.  Of course the timing…

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Mountain Hemlock Vision



Bought this mountain hemlock a year ago from a collector in the Pacific Northwest.  It’s got a long skinny trunk ad at the very top is big bend then the foliage.  It calls for a literati style bonsai.  After studying it, I sketched my future vision for it.   I plan to do the first styling  this fall and possibly repot it in a smaller pot next spring.  Part of the trunk has a natural shari that I would like to carve to give it more interest.  Pot will need to be custom made, probably a crescent type but might do something completely different and unique.  Can’t wait to work on it.

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