Cork Oak Progress Update


Purchased this cork oak from a nursery in southern California in 2009. It was in a standard nursery pot from a bonsai grower. When I got it home I was shocked to see that its roots were mostly 4 plus inches below the soil level with a stick in between with only a few small feeder roods in the nebari. So, I left it to develop roots, In 2010, I re-potted it into a grow pot and waited for the corking to begin and roots to continue to develop.

2010 Cork Oak

Today the tree has a nice canopy and has been producing considerable foliage. I wanted to re-pot this one before the heat started to build in my area. We were able to get it out of the grow pot to find copious root grown and get it placed in a more appropriate pot.

Cork Oak re-potting 2018


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The return of the Bonsai Turkey

Adam's Art and Bonsai Blog

Well, my bench looks like a mess. What is happening here? We got trees, pots, and it looks like the beer is hiding behind the trees…..GET OUT THE BUSHES AND IN MA’ BELLY! I do believe I have a few tasks before the cerveza gets recycled into its constituent parts, though.

I have this new pot, which was purchased at the last Winter Silhouette show, from a new Bonsai potter named Ben.

Isn’t that awesome? I just love it.

His business just happens to be called……

Ben’s Bonsai PotsCheck him out.

I found him, and this pot, just in time, you see….

….we have, The Turkey, as I call it, a green mound ficus, and it has a broken pot.

To read it’s humble beginnings, Go here

The trees binomial name is a ficus microcarpa “crassifolia”, what is sometimes called “green island” (which is incorrect) but should be called…

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Akadama, the ideal Bonsai soil

Adam's Art and Bonsai Blog





Soilless mix.

Whatever you call it (the only correct and descriptive phrase is the last one), it’s a controversial subject. One can have a more civil argument discussing the left/right division in the US political paradigm of contemporary society than you can talking about Bonsai mix. Sounds like a good topic for the blog, right? Yeah……

I will only, briefly, touch on the technical concepts I’ve discussed before (there are at least three or four previous soil posts here, here, here, and here), leaving the bulk of the data and science in those other posts, but the basics will be covered. I’ll try to be accurate to actual science but I’ll still be roasted by the true believers out there (I call them the Gatekeepers of the Status Quo, among other things). But I can handle it, I live by a motto…

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Did it have to be another juniper?

Adam's Art and Bonsai Blog

Stop me if you’ve heard this one…..two junipers walk into a bar, one says to the bartender, hey I’ll have a jin…..

We have before us two varieties of juniper. Both do quite well in Florida, the one on the left is a parsonii and the other is procumbens nana.

Before I get the question, no, they don’t get an appreciable dormancy period in Orlando. Even the shimpaku we grow don’t. And they live long, even happy lives, here in sunny Florida. That should throw some wrenches in some people’s juniper bonsai world view now, dontcha think? Don’t get me wrong, there are some junipers that don’t like Florida, like the California juniper (because it’s too wet here) or the Rocky Mountain juniper (too wet, not enough elevation, and too hot I’m guessing), but we can grow junipers all the way down into Miami. Really, I wouldn’t lie about this…

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Let the tree talk to you, just don’t be surprised if they say they want to leaf……

Adam's Art and Bonsai Blog

This is a clients tree, chloroluceun tortum, the Brazilian raintree.

It’s a humble little tree really. But she likes it. And that’s all that matters.

It had a Jin on it, but this is all that’s left of the deadwood. The unfortunate thing about having smaller trees is the impermanence of deadwood features that are intricately detailed. Exposed wood and hollows (Shari and uro, in Japanese) on the trunks work, but anything projecting and convoluted tends to rot fast. The reason being is it’s the heartwood, the middle of a trunk or branch, that has the oils and resins that resist decay, and on smaller trees, there’s mostly sapwood. Ah well, c’est la vie, we can enjoy them while we have them.

Looking at the trunk, you’ll notice that it’s beat up just a bit. Like someone’s been whacking it with a chain. That’s funny, I just had a vision…

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Greenwood Bonsai Studio’s 40th Anniversary Celebration

Valavanis Bonsai Blog


Greenwood Bonsai Studio in Nottingham, England was established in 1978 by Harry Tomlinson. After Harry’s passing his two sons, Corin and Paul are the new proprietors and have developed the garden into the oldest and largest bonsai nursery and teaching studio in England.


To celebrate this successful achievement Corin and Paul are hosting two special bonsai events this year. On May 25-28, 2018, I am teaching bonsai at their studio and on September 14-16, 2018, Sean Smith will be teaching suiseki, stand carving and bonsai. During the May event there was a special exhibit of some of Corin’s bonsai from his private collection in the teaching studio.


I first met Corin Tomlinson when I was teaching in England in 1985. After high school Corin entered Merrist Wood College specializing in horticulture. A requirement for graduation was a formal apprenticeship. Harry never trained Corin in bonsai but wanted him to continue…

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