Happy Shohin New Year

I wish all members and readers of the blog and my some-channels a Happy New Year.

2023 is a celebration year – 20 years online with Shohin bonsai

30 years ago I started my first trial and error with bonsai, and soon it was Shohin bonsai that ended up filling in my life. Because they simply were available as simple garden nursery material with which I started out creating the very start. Later I began buying a pre-bonsai in a raw state in between, but always fancied making them myself rather than buying exhibition-quality material.


Today not much has changed. I still prefer doing it all from simple material and developing it from there. It is from these 30 years of experience doing bonsai and specializing in Shohin I teach. Two books have been written, and now also online education is what fills my life with bonsai.


LIVE streaming Shohin and bonsai

The online school was aired two years ago or so, and now improved with live-streaming education.

If you join in before the end of January you get both a 7-day free trial and a 20% save on the first subscription period you sign up for.

Be sure to add coupon code 20 when signing up.

Read more about memberships


Why Shohin is big

I believe Shohin bonsai has become big during these 20 years because of not only the charm of the small bonsai. Also, the relaxed work when sitting with a tree in your hand and the shorter time it takes to handle pinching and pruning are appealing to many. Watering is a challenge of course because small trees in tiny pots do dry out faster and are more vulnerable than larger trees. But hey, it is not that difficult if you place your trees a bit protected and use a water tray or similar in the hot summertime.



For sure it is joyful to handle Shohin bonsai and make small trees reassemble a large tree in nature. Large bonsai are beautiful as well but just thinking about full weekend pinching or wiring a big bonsai can tire me out even before I start. Therefore I do sift out the large trees in my collection little by little, concentrating on the joy of the small Shohin and middle-sized Kifu. Simply because they bring more joy into the garden work. I keep some larger trees though because I like the variation in the collection.



The story of a small bonsai

One of the trees that will be live online in January is an older small Shimpaku Juniper. It was restyled in an earlier episode the past year, leaving extra branches for security reasons.


Saburo Kato at Mansei-en (2005)


This bonsai was purchased in 2005 in Japan from the late Saburo Kato. As a kind of souvenir to remember the meeting with this great master of bonsai. It is still growing well as a tiny Shohin bonsai, but great care has to be taken when styling so the life of the tree isn’t at risk.

Below are three photos showing the original tree in 2005 right after purchase, in 2015 and 2018.



It has changed some since then, and the tricky part of bonsai is to keep them growing but without expanding too much. In the premiere LIVE stream on January 12 at 8 PM (Central European Time) UTC+1.

I wish you a Happy New Year



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