2016 Autumn Japan Bonsai Exploration– Part 2

Today we only had two stops to visit bonsai gardens, but they were significant and quite a bit of time was necessary to view and study all the numerous details, which make each one unique. Our firs…

Source: 2016 Autumn Japan Bonsai Exploration– Part 2

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changes

A lot has changed in the garden over the past year or two it has evolved into  what i like to think of as a country garden. My garden has different aspects depending on where the sun  and wind reaches, the garden is not large by any means and has three  fenced boundries but no fencing can be seen. In the area where the the sun does not reach very often except in the height of summer when it gets the beautiful morning sun the small creepers have naturalized themselves which to me is delightful and i always have something  to carefully take up and make into kusamono or accent plants and i have a very different kinds of moss, which is vey useful for my bonsai there is no shortage of this in the winter months.   There is also quite a few acer’s in this area as due to the large clematis and bamboo which completly covers and very much higher than the fencing, therefore protecting the plants on this side  from the wind and the hot midday sun in summer.

Acers are  now a firm favorite in my garden a lot of different variaties and all at various ages and size from sticks to my largest which dominates alone in the center bed, they excite me in spring when they start to bud  the colours of the of the brand new fresh leaves  a while later, the growth througout the summer and then onto autumn when the colour changes are stunning then slowly but surley they loose their leaves one by one.  The same of course for my Bonsai acers The Arakawa, Kiyohime, Shishigashira,  Palmatum Bloodgood, Shaina, Dissectums and the field maples. Once the leaves have gone  i can see the shape of the trees and what prunning is needed in the spring.

Azalea’s are another one of my passsions in my humble garden i have eight of these glorious plants  three of which are 30 yrs old and each year in spring they never fail to impress. This year i have pruned some of them now are they are completely round and look fabulous can’t wait for the spring to see what they look like in flower.

I still have the problem of the neigbours contantly tearing at my magnificant clematis which runs on the boundry between the two gardens it does not overhang on their side maybe a few leaves and sprouts every now and then after all its a plant! and i do keep it in check ,however they do insist on ripping not cutting every tendril they can reach just for the shear hell of it, on the patio outside just by my patio doors the clematis is high and on a purpose built structure for privacy and to hide the solid brick extension wall they put up  which cut out my eveing sun all together, when i am out so they think!  he climbs out of their bedroom window on to the extention  roof and proceeds to cut my clematis  on the top which i may add is not on his side and he can’t see it unless he looks down from his window. So thats my rant over nothing i can do what he does not realize is that the more he cuts it the more it will grow i find solice in the fact that it must be annoying him more than me and he ahs his work cut out. Anyway enough of that  back to my garden.

Last winter the wind and storms brought down the rose arch which you have to walk through to get into the garden, on the arch i grew ivy to secure it there are red climing roses and a honey suckle, as it happened because if the ivy  and honeysuckle one side of the arch was still secure so i managed to save the plants and after a severe trim and i mended the arch. On reflection as the spring and summer went the plants came on leaps and bounds it seems it ‘s just what they needed so out of something bad always comes something good. the red rose has not stopped flowing and it looked amazing.

I cant finish this without mentioning my frogs an affectionate term, they are are not mine they just live in my garden and i look after them and i enjoy them they eat most of the slugs and snails and splash around in the pond and this year was a bumper crop for baby ones, catching a glimpse of them when im gardening and  when  sitting in the garden on balmy evenings in the summerwatching the bats and huge moths the frogs  appeared on the patio in numbers  which was a specticle in itself.

Oh i do love the summer, the plants like the spring and autumn.

 

My Bonsai ‘healthy and happy’

I consider myself a good seasoned gardener i am knowledgable which has been learned over many many years.

I have had bonsai trees for many years and really when i think back i just left them alone to grow i tended then very little and i checked them for repotting i never fed them! and they grew into very handsome plants. most i have grown some i have purchased.

Last year i joined a bonsai group there knowledge was amazing i learned things that i had never thought about when caring for my trees. I studied and read all i could  from books and on the world wide web,  i went to bonsai workshops, i was overwhelmed with all this new knowledge. Had i been doing it all wrong? -but my trees were healthy and happy ! i had been using the wrong soil, i had not fed them, i had not wired them- but my trees were healthy and happy! i never put thought into the pots i used just bonsai pots i liked, or what was the front or back of the tree or was the pot to small or to big, but my trees were healthy and happy! and to me they looked good. I repotted when i thought it was needed irregardless of the time of year and never lost a tree!

Armed with all this new knowledge i ordered various potting mediums from reputable bonsai companies, bonsai food, wire  and various pots. I was  now eager to to put all this  knowledge into practice.

Spring    slowly but surley, i repotted my trees into designed potting medium trimmed roots  wired shaped fed pruned and watered according to the age old rules of bonsai, and waited, would this make my trees even better would they be stunning i wondered well i waited  and watched. -but my trees were not healthy or happy, i lost 4 trees i have two sick ones what have i done wrong? well nothing according to the experts all the same i am at a loss for a reasonable explanation. i have not given up hope after all one needs patience when growing bonsai  so now i am looking forward to next spring to see if my treasured trees recover.

Summer Battle

Well it is September 2014,

It seems i have battled for most of the summer with slugs, snails, lily beetle, earwigs, ants, scale insects,  squirrels, cats, and the dreaded vine weavil. I don’t use any pestisides in the garden as i have frogs  and toads and a lot of visiting bees and beneficial insects such as ladybirds etc. I bought some diatomaceous earth, food grade to deal with some of the pests anyway this works very well if it does not rain as to be effective it needs to be dry, i also tried a solution of borax and sugar  for the ants this also worked  for a while. There have been so many slugs and snails this year far too many for the frog population so i been lending a hand  picking them off on a regular basis.

The worst has been the devastating  vine weavil and the grubs the plump c-shaped white legless grubs have light brown heads and are up to 10mm (about 3/8in) long. They are likely to be found among the roots.  They have destroyed my grapevine and wistera which were growing beautifully and a lot of annuals. I have not tried the insecticide liquid drench yet but i will have to sooner or later.

Where is the sun

June 2014 and we have not had much sun the odd day here and there. The Lilly plants seem to be getting taller and taller but buds are not opening yet.
There has been an abundance of bees in the trees feeding on lilac and elder flowers and of course the climbing hydrangeas flowers also many mating ladybirds.
The new grapevine needs the sun.