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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Male scarlet tanager stands out from other birds

Our Fine Feathered Friends

Scarlet Tanager02 Photo by Jeana Chapman • A male scarlet tanager forages close to the ground, which is not typical behavior for these birds. Tanagers, although brightly colored, spend most of their time in the tree canopy obscured from view.

I received an email from Lewis and Jeana Chapman detailing a dazzling discovery they made.

The couple have been adding a few new birds to their bird list and decided to give me an update on what they’ve been seeing. The Chapmans reside in the community of Laurel Bloomery in Johnson County, Tennessee. The wooded slopes of Pond Mountain where they make their home provide an attractive location for migrating birds, as well a summer residents.

“The tree swallows returned this spring to nest in our bluebird box,” Lewis wrote in his email reporting his new sightings. “The great crested flycatcher has moved its nest from the front porch to the barn…

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Cape May warbler part of an intriguing songbird family native to New World

Our Fine Feathered Friends

CapeMayWarbler Photo by Bryan Stevens • While the Cape May warbler doesn’t breed locally, these warblers are fairly common spring and fall migrants in the region.

A small songbird, less than six inches in length, sang a series of shrill note as it flitted from branch to branch about 40 feet off the ground in a tall tree. A group of about 20 birders lifted their binoculars and reacted with excitement when they focused on the bundle of yellow, black, orange and white feathers.

The unexpected discovery — a Cape May warbler — kicked off a bird walk held at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park in Elizabethton, Tennessee, on May 12. The date deliberately coincided with this year’s observation of International Migratory Bird Day.

This special day is set aside once a year as a conservation initiative to raise awareness about conserving migratory birds and their habitats throughout the Western Hemisphere…

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Its been a difficult year so far for small trees in small pots

Robert Nocher Shohin Bonsai

After one of the longest Winters in recent memory and a very poor start to the Spring some of my small trees have had difficulty in getting started this year. A few deciduous trees like maples and elms have suffered some dieback, while others have been very slow to leaf out.

Here are some recent pictures of some of my shohin trees that are looking good at the moment.

2 shohin white pines


5 shohin hawthorns


Potentilla in flower


Here are some that haven’t done so well. Incidentally, all the pictures in todays’ post were taken this morning 27/5/18.

This is a cork barked elm that was severely cut back and had its roots reduced in April. There is no dieback on this tree but its taking an awfully long time to leaf out.


This Chinese elm, also re-potted in April isn’t looking good, most of the new growth is…

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