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workshops

Bonsai hedge pruning

Having a little fun yesterday, showing how NOT to prune your bonsai. Could be tempting to use an electric trimmer to shape the foliage pads. But it is not how bonsai is done. No shortcuts.

Johnny Eslykke shows the delicate trimming of a 30 year old boxwood and each small twig is trimmed by cutting between leaf pairs, to make the cut invisible. Clipping it like a hedge will just leave ruined leafs with brown edges, and not be the aesthetic appearance as it should be.

Azalea from cutting

Great weather for a sunday meeting at the Fuchi Bonsai workgroup in the garden of Torben Pedersen. Trees trimmed as it is the time for trimming early summer, early June, around  here.

I worked on several shohin that sunny day. One of them was a gift from Johnny, who grown an Azalea from a cutting started around five years ago. Today I took it one step further by cutting it back, restarting new growth with a future semi-cascade in mind. Lets see what happens later on.

New year – new visions – new name

(Edited January 14). A new year is often followed by new visions. This will be true this year, although we do not make big changes just because of the New Year. We do it when it feels right. That is now. 🙂

Bonsai collection

Changing the expression of the bonsai activities. Most know only about the current teaching and preaching for Shohin-bonsai, build up during the last 15 years. The collection is expanding with larger bonsai, and these will be part of the Bonsai Video Studio lectures released.

Website name change to Kisetsu-en

Maybe you have noticed a slight name change of the website. Changed January 1st, to express the new direction with a more varied selection of bonsai used for teaching. Large and small. Not just small, because we think a lot of bonsai enthusiasts have a much more varied view on bonsai. Not just being interested in one kind of bonsai, but in many different sizes and expressions. We therefore want to accommodate the need of knowledge of a greater variation of bonsai. So more people can enjoy the well produced (so we are told and glad to hear) and educational videos produced.

Inspiring videos

We want to have our focus on that, and during this coming season introducing much new educational content. Showing carving with power tools (up next in the Bonsai Video Studio), arranging larger forest plantings and so much more to look forward too.

The name Kisetsu-en means the Garden of the changing seasons. Fitting with the spirit of the nursery, covering a wide range of trees. We hope you like it. Feel free to sign up, and benefit from the videos already in the library. Get instant access, when signing up. Price is only 13 USD a month. New video aimed to be published every Thursday.

Carving a larger Cherry laurel bonsai for the upcoming video at www.shohin-europe.com

Shohin-bonsai VIDEO tutorials

New Shohin-bonsai VIDEO events and tutorials to be launched soon on YouTube. In June I will post the first in a series of shohin videos, where I explain case stories, pruning techniques, daily care and more with most focus on Shohin-bonsai. Most from my private garden, showing how I work with my private collection. Also the outdoor Tokonoma will be part of the videos, where I will explain how both Shohin and larger bonsai are displayed during the season. All episodes will be published here on the website too.

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Workshop at Nordic Bonsai

A nice day with nice people at Nordic Bonsai today. Students progressed very nicely with good material, and made some future trees. Especially one brave student made the “Albek-cut” and formed the basics of a big Yew, making a step forward to a Shohin-bonsai in future. Thanks for being there, to both my Danish friends and …

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Cold spring meeting

Baby its cold outside. And it shouldn’t be. Its spring when I look in the calendar. Despite this and with a little help from the sun, we had a great meeting. A lot of questions and advice’s, and good work with the trees.

Shimpaku upside down

For a number of years I have been growing a small Juniperus Shimpaku, and followed the original position until now. The tree was purchased as a semi-finished piece at the Mansei-en nursery in Omiya, Japan, of late Saburo Kato in 2005, and mainly bought as a memory of the time spent with this most respected bonsai artist. One of a few I could afford.

2005. Original bonsai after purchase at Mansei-en.
2005. Original bonsai after purchase at Mansei-en.

I named the tree “Kato” for the very same reason. To remember a personality and respected artist who as one of a few, deserved to be entitled master. A misused phrase put on too many people nowadays who still needs to deserve this predicate after proving years of dedicated high quality work.

Back to the tree. After a few years of training, a tree in this size usually needs some restoration, some work that brings it back in shape. I originally had to reduce the slightly overgrown canopy after the purchase, and after that I managed to keep it in it`s form for some time. The shari (trunk deadwood) was only worked on sparsely, and I enhanced the deadwood some years ago to add some interest to it. I also extended it a little to make it better.

2005. Working the deadwood to bring in more age and interest.
2005. Working the deadwood to bring in more age and interest.

Time gone, and the tree needed to be reduced a little again in 2017. New growth was developed further back, so I now had the opportunity to reduce the length and keep the size limited. This made me think of a new possible style of the tree. A simple change with a huge effect, with little effort done.

Trying out the new position.
Trying out the new positions.

Where growth was removed new jins (deadwood branches) have been created, and this opened for a new vision of the tree. Same pot, but new position changes the view and expression of the tree. Only rearranging the left part of some roots was necessary. I was able to tilt the tree, so it performs much better now to my taste.

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The repotting was done carefully, not disturbing the roots much. The new inclining position also lifted some older roots to the surface, that in future will be a good visual nebari adding strength to the image when the soil carefully is removed little by little over time.

Mind the gap. When positioning a cascade or semi-cascade bonsai it is of great importance to leave air between the trunk and the pot. A convincing cascade bonsai shows it`s strength only if it is able to hold it self and not supporting it by resting at the edge of the pot. Keeping air between the pot and trunk is therefore an important detail.

Click the gallery below for larger pictures.

Shohin-bonsai India

Do they grow Shohin-bonsai in India? Oh, yes they do. I didn’t really knew what to expect as I travelled to India in November. I was there to teach bonsai but had no idea if Shohin-bonsai was part of the bonsai world in the warm region of Pune. It was a great pleasure to watch how …

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