Raw Material for the Future

Robert Nocher Shohin Bonsai

During Gerry’s visit last week, we potted  some of our raw material into wooden boxes to help with their development. I worked on trident maples that I acquired as a mini forest planting a few years ago. I am growing them in large shallow boxes to develop the nebari and it seems to be working well.


I plan to make a shohin tree from this one, so I may begin chopping it back this week


The nebari on this one is beginning to look nice but I would like to see it grow much bigger. This one was potted up into a wider box.


Gerry wanted to pot a nice juniper prostrate that he brought back from Noelander’s.


It was in a peaty soil, which had to be removed.


This how it looks at the moment in its new box with a slight change in the planting angle.


Its an…

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Carving workshop with Will Baddeley

Easter Sunday wasn’t spent in pious gatherings or church festivities but rather in the deafening whirling of 8-9 simultaneously running dremels. I came unprepared for the onset of woody carnage. Flying bits of wood, flying bits, and flying die grinders. Good thing I was wearing eye protection. This action was found in non other than a Will Baddeley workshop–a bonsai professional from the UK with a focus on carving. There were 9 participants with a wide arrange of material including olives, bald cypress, buttonwood, boxwood, and others.


I neglected to take pictures of everyone’s’ trees but got a few good shots. For starters here are my own trees:

nandiners Large nandina bamboo with corky bark

20170416_095720 Foliage tied down to clear space for carving

I dug out this nandina several months back. Considering how much foliage it has put out and that it was relatively secure in the pot (meaning new roots) I…

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Doing my bit for Curlew conservation

James Common

The haunting call of the Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata) is one of the most iconic, and indeed, enjoyable sounds in nature. The rippling trill of Britain’s largest wading bird evoking mist-clad moorlands, windswept coastal estuaries and other exquisite wild places. It is a sound which, once heard, is not soon forgotten; the very embodiment of our islands rugged yet fragile countryside, and a sound which, to me, brings back myriad fond memories. From childhood walks around the Blyth Estuary – my local patch – and from further afield, in the Scottish uplands during my post-university years. Despite this, however, it is a sound which is heard less often in the present day – due to our own ignorance. The species continued and troubling decline recently highlighted in the State of Birds 2016 report.

The factors attributing to the decline of the Curlew are poorly understood; though a number of…

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