Noetzie Beach


A castle on a beach in South Africa is not a familiar sounding thing. Yet if you’re in the Knysna area, take the dirt road at Nekkies down towards the coast, walk the 150 steps marked ‘beach’ and you will find exactly that: a secluded cove, castles with turrets and classic beach cottages.

Noetzie Beach has remained a favourite destination for adventure seekers in the past and remains so to this day. The pristine and relatively isolated sandy shore is in the Sinclair Nature Area, and is protected by the Noetzie Conservancy. On the beach Black oystercatchers – South Africa’s rarest coastal bird – can be found with their red beaks and haunting cry. In winter, the waters around Noetzie are regularly visited by the magnificent Southern Right Whale, as well as, but less frequently, the Humpback, and Brydes Whale.

The earliest maps call the area Noetziekamma, Khoi-san for dark…

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Trimming a Styled Yew to encourage back budding

Bonsai & Yamadori from Tony Tickle

I have had this Yew in my collection for over 8 years, Sandor Papp styled the tree at Bonsai Europa 2015. It was time to trim back the new growth to encourage back budding. This needs to be done mid way through the season and new growth kept in check.

Sandor Papp Demo artist Sandor Papp working the Yew @ Bonsai Europa 2015

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Defoliating Deciduous Bonsai

Robert Nocher Shohin Bonsai

The process of defoliation is an essential technique in the development of deciduous bonsai. It allows light into the interior of the tree, which encourages back budding resulting in denser ramification of the branches. The second flush of new leaves that are produced as a result of defoliation are normally much smaller than the first flush.

Trees can be either fully defoliated or partially defoliated. It is a stressful process for a tree to have all or most of its leaves removed during the growing season and it should only be carried out when you are sure that the tree is strong and healthy. Full defoliation is the more stressful of the two. It’s a useful technique to use on a finished tree, when you are thinking of putting it into a show and you want the leaves to look as small and as fresh as possible. Partial defoliation is less risky…

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