The bonsai clock is ticking

In more than one sense time is running. The bonsai clock is ticking. A season of growth ends and reminds us of time. Before we know it we are much older than yesterday. Hopefully wiser and more satisfied with life. One thing that brings satisfaction to my life is working with bonsai. Having my hands on each tree. Getting to know each little branch, every curve at the trunk, and all details of the nebari.

Time improves me – time improves my bonsai

Time is running. Improving trees. Improving me.

Time is a major factor in succeeding to bring up the best possible qualities in each tree. No one will succeed when doing things hastily. It all needs to be done with patience and respect for the trees and their way of growing. Taking care of light, water, fertilizing, and protecting against winds, pests, and diseases.

Applying each technique, if it is wiring, pruning, or repotting, in due time.

Learning to deal with time has improved me. I have learned to add new skills to my human resources. Throwing away the eagerness of the youth, adding more nuances to my perception, expanding my knowledge of trees and life.

Detail of Yamadori collected Pinus sylvestris.

Tick tock

The quiet tick-tock of the kitchen clock reminds me that time is not stopping. It is running. Sometimes faster than I wish. It also runs untamed when we record the episodes for the Kisetsu-en Bonsai Online “show”. This month’s episode will exceed one and a half hours. Okay. There is a lot of content there so it is fine. The more we can dig into a subject and get a little nerdy around foliage colors and timing of actions, the better. I had fun, and I hope you will have as well. November first it is online.

Topics and actions focused on shohin bonsai this time, but all techniques are related and comparable to larger bonsai. And always we compare techniques, so whatever size of trees you grow, there will be something to learn.

Pruning and styling Shohin Yew for the November episode.

Never-ending story

Kisetsu-en Bonsai. Bonsai garden of the seasons. The bonsai garden of my dreams. Small trees in shohin size and larger trees making an impact. And all in between. Coniferous and deciduous adding interest to all seasons. This is my world of bonsai. Variation and fun. Constantly developing and improving small and larger.

I recently read a comment online from a guy thinking shohin wasn’t much fun because it was so quickly done and developed. So he lost interest.

I almost can’t disagree more. Yes, shohin are developed in a shorter time frame than large trees. Due to their size branches are grown quicker to fill a canopy. Trunks don’t need to be grown for many years to be good. But there it stops. Details are difficult to handle, and reshaping in due time is necessary. The development is constant. Shohin is forever challenging and rewarding to work with.

I know also people who lose interest in their larger trees, whatever size they are when they reach a point where they “can’t develop them any further”. In the meaning of not being apple to make major styling and letting their creativity loose.

Again, this is not how I see bonsai. When a tree reaches a level where I do not need to wire much, and just do the seasonal trimming and smaller corrections, I find the interest in waiting. And let time go. Tick tock. Wait and see. The tree will improve little year by year adding character and soul.

Waiting for the highlights of bonsai art. Age.

Waiting for the aged bark that adds incredible impact to the trunk. Letting it develop at the branches. Improving the density of the fine branches, filling in the canopy.

Waiting is the highlight of excellence in bonsai.

Letting the tree improve with age. Getting better and better. Improving only because we wait, and control the growth to the limits. Much more difficult and demanding than the process of instant styling.

Let time fly and be rewarded. Tick tock. 🙂

Japanese maple dressed in autumn colors.

Kisetsu-en Bonsai Online

Monthly a large theme about the seasons is published. Produced as HQ video from the garden and studio with Morten Albek.

Be a member and join the special spirit of our bonsai philosophy. Ask your questions in the Q&A about bonsai growing, styling, and care. You get a written and personal answer and selected questions are also answered as video responses in each episode.

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