Bonsai and pots in the heat

These warm summer days (that we are not blessed with too often this summer), it is important to provide some partial shade for especially smaller bonsai. Small shohin bonsai are easily dried out during a warm day, and partial shade in the middle of the day is essential in midd summer. Use a net for the purpose, or place the bonsai under partial shade from large garden trees for example.


Check regularly for watering needs during the day when possible. Bonsai do not dry out at the same time, just because they have the same size. Different leaf amounts and different types of foliage decides how much each plant evaporates. Weaker trees with less roots have to be shaded more, because the fewer roots may not be able to take up enough water to follow the speed of evaporation.

Please also take in mind the importance of the pot quality. The classic Japanese and Chinese pots are made especially to fulfill the purpose of being able to keep the roots cooler. Some western pots are made of heavier clay, and build with thicker walls, not having the ability to keep the temperatures low in the pot on a hot day with sun heating up pot, soil and roots. It is essential to keep the trees healthy avoiding an overheated pot. In nature the roots of the trees are always deep in the soil and kept in a natural steady temperature. Bonsai lives a more dangerous life, where soil temperatures vary when heated by the sun and  cooled by watering. Good bonsai pots build with the right clay and thinner walls helps keeping the soil temperature variations as small as possible.

Finally. Do not wait to the afternoon to water your trees if they are dry. Water immediately and when needed. Harmed roots dried out and overheated may damage the health of the tree severely.



All sizes bonsai workshop

Big and smaller bonsai was part of the bonsai workshop at Torben Brenfeldt this past Saturday. Nice to be part of a workshop in a friendly atmosphere, just working on trees all day long, finishing with a BBQ at night.

Many well known Danish faces turned up this day, working on quality trees. A helpful atmosphere were experienced bonsai artists gave each other advices and added new  valuable informations to newcomers.



Shohin deutzia

The beautiful flowers at the Slender deutzia are about to open. Deutzia gracilis, 15 cm heigh, is placed in a Japanese pot by Bikoh Horie. The flowering period is long, with the bright white flowers opening after some weeks.


Shohin bonsai weekend workshop

A really great weekend workshop with my German friends at the Bonsai Werkstatt in Düsseldorf. I may be a bad teacher, because the same people seems to need coming back to the workshop.🙂 Also new friends arrived, and everybody worked really dedicated through both days.

Many high quality shohin trees and future trees were brought in by the students. Great pots and trees floating around, and i can’t remember how many trees we styled, changed, refined and repotted during these two intensive, but also relaxed days. Shohin people are nice people, and beside laughs we had many good and serious talks about care and health of the trees, as well as different techniques depending on purpose.

The Bonsai Werkstatt offers very nice settings for the workshops, in a friendly atmosphere. Even a bonsai museum is located at the nursery.

I am stunned by the eagerness and open minded approach to develop trees by the participants. Thank you for being so kind and even giving me gifts. Look forward to another round again.

Here some of my photos from the workshop and Bonsai Werkstatt, run by Werner Busch.

Shohin display workshop

Photos from the my recent workshop at the local club Vestjylland in Denmark, dealing with Shohin Bonsai display. Photos: Hans Jørgen Nielsen, Bonsaiværkstedet.
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Udstilling i De Japanske Haver / Exhibition Japanese Gardens

Den årlige udstilling i De Japanske Haver med Fuchi Bonsai (Johnny Eslykke, Torben Pedersen og Morten Albek), har netop fundet sted. Som sædvanligt pænt besøgt, og med mange interesserede. Vi fik også hjulpet nogle videre med deres bonsai. / Another successful exhibition and workshop with Fuchi Bonsai at the Japanese Gardens in Denmark.  Exhibition and workshop with Johnny Eslykke, Torben Pedersen and Morten Albek.

Shohin skål / Shohin pot

En ny skål fra Takao-Koyo er tilføjet samlingen. / A new pot by Takao-Koyo has been added to the collection.


Det er den anden skål jeg har fra Takao-Koyo, og begge i blå nuancer. Det er vigtigt at have skåle i forskellige farver når der laves opstillinger med Shohin bonsai. Skålene tilføjer variation i opstillingen, og understreger løvets og blomsternes farver. Derfor anvendes de glaserede farvede skåle traditionelt til løvfældende træer, eller træer med blomster og bær. Jordfarvede uglaserede skåle er specielt gode til nåletræer. / This is the second pot from Takao-Koyo I have purchased. Both are in blue colour variations. Coloured pots adds variation to the shohin display, where they are traditionally used for deciduous trees, and for flowering and berries where they enhance the impression and underline the colours of the fruits and flowers.

Læg mærke til at potterens mindste mærke (Hanko) i bunden af skålene er lidt forskellige på de to skåle, selvom det er fra samme pottemager. / Please notice that despite this is from the same potter, the smaller potter marks (Hanko) are slightly different.

/ Morten Albek – December 2014

Bonsai oase / Bonsai Oasis

Ude på landet ved Changzhou ligger der en lille oase. Outside Changzhou a small bonsai Oasis is found.


Kina er overraskende på mange måder. Shanghaiområdet er fladt, og der ligger konstant en varmedis over landskabet. Efter fire timers bustur ,der var sat til 1 time, ankom gruppen til en lille oase ude på landet, hvor der for en gangs skyld var sparsom trafik og langt mellem husene. Et lidt fattigere område end der hidtil var set på turen. Nede ad en smal vej hvor bussen ikke kunne komme, forbi en sø med badeforbud (som ikke var nødvendigt for den så på ingen måde hverken levende, sund eller badeindbydende ud), lå der en lille plet med sønhed. China is surprising in many ways. The Shanghai area is lowland and constantly a haze covered for the sun. A four hours drive, that should have been one hour, brought our group to a small oasis at the countryside. For once without dense housing and only few cars on the road. A poorer area that we have seen until now. Down a small narrow road where the bus couldn’t go, passing a clearly poisoned lake with bathing prohibition (not necessary because it didn’t look inviting at all), and behind that a small peace of beauty was present.


Traditionel kinesisk musik modtog os i haven, som fik en særlig magi over sig. Meget store bonsai, mellemstore og endda Shohin kunne ses i den lille have. I butikken var også et stort udvalg af tekander. En meget fin oplevelse som kontrast til de meget stor gartnerier med tusinder af bonsai. Traditional Chinese music welcomed us inside the garden, which gave the place a special and magic mood. Very large bonsai (as usual in China) mixed with medium sized and even Shohin bonsai. In the shop also a large variety of Tea pots was present in fine qualities. A great experience as contrast to the very large scaled nurseries we have seen so far with thousands of bonsai.

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