CONSTRUCTING A BACKYARD BONSAI GARDEN: PART 3

DISCOVERY BONSAI

Part 1       Part 2

After getting some bamboo from Cass Bonsai, I decided to start working on the shade section of the bonsai garden.  My overall goal with the bamboo is to hide (year round) some of the structural components, e.g. pvc pipes, concrete footings, electrical cords, etc.

The stands are constructed differently than what I did in the main garden.  Once the main garden stands need replaced or repaired, I will rebuild them with cedar tops as shown below.  I decided to go with braces underneath for a refined, yet functional, appearance. Will let pictures do the rest of the explaining.  More to come later!

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CONSTRUCTING A BACKYARD BONSAI GARDEN: PART 2

DISCOVERY BONSAI

Part 1: Constructing a Backyard Bonsai Garden

The second phase of our garden was to get gravel to place underneath the benches.  The rock would serve two purposes: aesthetics and drainage.  In addition to the top layer of gravel, we dug a trench from the house all the way down into the ravine.

Our house as settled quite a bit since it was build, thus resulting in sitting water next to our home’s foundation.  Integrating the gravel bed, with a perforated trench running along the garden will help wick away excess water.  The trench digging by hand took about two days while the pipe and rock filling took the better part of the week.  When it came time to fill rocks over the perforated pipe, Eli decided he wanted to help!  When he gets older, he can tell tales of how much work he put into constructing the garden!

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CONSTRUCTING A BACKYARD BONSAI GARDEN: PART 1

DISCOVERY BONSAI

We moved into our new house in May of 2015.  The back yard consists of a small, flat spot with a large ravine.  I (*cough* wife) wanted to have a designated spot for my bonsai that did not include our deck.  So thus, the adventure of building a complete bonsai garden, in our back yard, began.

This was our yard before the process began.  My brother in law, who works excavating, was able to come over and level out the ground to help drainage and level things out a bit.

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Once the ground was leveled, I began putting in posts for benches.  The posts are reused fence posts from an old farm.  They have a lot of character and are still structurally sound. Because of the slope in our yard, I decided to do a stair step pattern for my benches (and fence too).

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THE 39th ANNUAL MID-AMERICAN BONSAI EXHIBITION: PART 1 – CHICAGO BOTAICAL GARDENS: BONSAI COLLECTION

DISCOVERY BONSAI

Our family made our annual trek to the Midwest Bonsai Exhibition at the Chicago Botanical Gardens this past weekend. We traveled up Thursday night and stayed with a relative and went to the gardens early Friday morning.  The first part of this blog post will focus on the bonsai collection at the Chicago Botanical Gardens while the second will focus on the exhibition.   I hope you are able to enjoy the trees in the photographs if you were unable to see them in person!

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THE 39th ANNUAL MID-AMERICAN BONSAI EXHIBITION: PART 2 – BONSAI EXHIBITION

DISCOVERY BONSAI

Part 1: Chicago Botanical Gardens: Bonsai Collection

The exhibition quality has gotten better each year I attended (although my favorite first place tree – Bill Valavanis’ Arakawa Maple – was in the first show I attended).  I took over 290 pictures of both the bonsai garden and exhibition!  I hope you are able to enjoy the photographs if you were unable to see them in person!

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Ecuador Part 3. – The Amazon

Canadian Birder

Our journey into the Yasuni Bioshere Reserve and Shiripuno Lodge began at a hotel in Coca. The day before we had been in the car for five hours so that we could depart for be picked up by thus bus that would take us to the Shiripuno River. The drive to the river was almost three hours but we eventually got to the dock where we would get on a small canoe. It takes six hours by boat to get to Shiripuno lodge and it in inacesible by any other means of transportation. While waiting I got three lifers: Orange-backed Trupial, Drab Water-Tyrant and Magpie Tanager.  We got on the boat exited for what would come in the next days but we did not have to wait until the next morning to see birds. We saw three species of Blue-and-yellow MaCaw, Black Caracara and Spotted Sandpiper a bird from back…

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Ecuador Part 2. – The Andes

Canadian Birder

We left the Yellow House for the final time and made the two hour drive to Reserva Yanacocha where we would search for some localized high elevation cloud forest species. The first new birds we saw were the small Tyrain Metaltail and the stocky Shining Sunbeam visiting the very active hummingbird feders.

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We walked around the well kept groups of the reserva and we found lots of interesting bird my favorite was definitly the Sword-billed Hummingbird! It is the only bird in the world that’s bill is longer than the rest of it’s body.

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The non-hummingbird feeders were also productive as the attracted Andean Guan and Black-chested Mountain-Tanager.

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After we had decided we had seen whst was coming to the feeders we moved on and made the long walk in the fog to the next feeding station. Where we saw Golden-breasted and…

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