On accepting

During one December evening last year my wife came back from the company Christmas party. When we were talking about it together she told me about a conversation she had with one of her colleagues.

“My husband is doing bonsai, you know. He is always in the garden. It is not an easy life with him, you know.”
“Hey, I had bonsai once. It was big ficus from IKEA. Unfortunately, it died soon after I got it. The only pot left. BTW I can give it to you, maybe your man can use it for something.“
“Sure. It is a great idea.”
“Do you think your husband will have something that he can plant into it?”
“In our garden, there is ALWAYS something that needs to be planted into the pot. Sure he will find it useful.”

So, a couple of days after conversation similar to this, the pot arrived into my garden. Sure I had some neglected tree to be potted into something like this. During my spring repotting spree I planted this hawthorn into it. It .is nothing final, but still better than an old plastic bowl. When repotting the tree, I was thinking about its way to me. And I realized my lovely wife must have accepted I’m doing bonsai. She cared about my hobby, and my bloody trees and pots. It took some time obviously, but still.

The second part of the story is the par when I had to accept some facts. In one of the previous posts about this tree, I was writing it is one of the trees I was neglecting. Simply I had too many trees and some of them haven’t been touched too many times. This one is one of them. But having it on my turntable last year, doing some jobs on it and then taking pictures, I had to accept one big part of the tree must go. I tried to avoid having another large scar on it but had to accept tree will be much more compact without lengthy part of the trunk. Its time came this spring when repotting it. Later this year when the balance will be reestablished stump will be carved somehow.

There is another funny part of the story. Many years back, when I was starting, I had the visitors at my garden. Josef and Lukas Sirotny were here for the weekend and we worked on many of my trees, doing initial selections of the branches and so on. I remember Lukas pointing at this Hawthorn and saying “this must be cut off here” pointing to the spot where the cut was made this March.  I now accept he was right, I was too stubborn. Now it is done and hopefully, the tree will do well after repotting. BTW I was in Lukas Sirotny garden a few weeks ago, did some trade and we were discussing trees as well. Talking about hawthorns Lukas said, you have to treat them like conifers when repotting, extremely careful when working their roots. Basically, the same thing was Walter telling me about them a few years ago.

Time to time we have to accept the reality. Sometimes it takes us more time. And that’s fine.

Since it is (was a few minutes ago) world bonsai day, I wish you will accept necessary truths earlier than me and I wish you have great support from your relatives when pursuing our hobby.

Rught part of the trunk is gone now. Picture from autumn last year. 

Acer palmatum

There is a thin line between "what a nice first buds, how lovely green fresh leaves" and "WTF I will do with all that foliage". It's not even end of April, the beginning of the year and March were colder than usual and trees have more than needed amount of foliage. I had few minutes today in the garden, with daughter on the swing just behind my back. So I took scissors and applied hedge pruning method on maple for 5 minutes. Looks in shape again. 

Malus No.1 in new pot

The tree was acquired when my friend passed and there was nobody to keep his whole collection. I took it home and just pruned it back last year since it was growing vigorously. About month ago I put it into this pot made by my friend Daniel Tarcak. Now it seems to be happy. No flowers this year, unfortunately.  

New shelf

I have to admit I have been quite quiet in recent days unusually. When urgent repotting sessions faded, and some 20 trees were repotted it was just about the time for the new epic project. On the right side of my tiny garden, I use to have an old shelf, built about 9 years ago. Now it was time for new upgraded version. The present one has more space, is much stronger and can carry much more trees. Last weekend I did all the heavy lifting and build myself from spruce timber. During the week I did painting and some finetuning yesterday. So two busy weekends and trees now have a place to be displayed. Still, a lot of other work to put garden into more desirable shape. Spring is keeping us busy. 

Larix decidua

Last month was really busy. In short, I collected 10 new trees, repotted up until yesterday 20 trees into new pots, and this larch is possibly smallest one. Sold four trees. Purchased 20 new pots...
Last night I was repotting hornbeam forest under artificial lights till late night. I barely remember when last time I was not going back to the house with clean hands, because I tell you,  repotting trees alone especially larger ones, removing thick roots etc. is very messy bussiness, to be honest. I took minimum pictures in the process itself, no way to do it simultaneously and I was almost every day working in the dark. 

Despite that, there was one evening when I was not dirty, took my camera and younger daughter to water the trees. Unfortunately, the light was rubbish, and due to lack of time no way to use a tripod. Larch had nice little needles, just popping out from the buds. When I tried to take the picture, there was always animal appearing at front of the tree. Check the last picture as proof. Looked like worm girl liked the new role of the photo model. Fortunately, a couple of shots went quite well, when I managed to hold daughter and animal with my left hand in sufficient distance. 
That's the story for my friend Mimo. There is the story behind some of the pictures. Let me know in the comment section, about animals and other obstacles you have to fight when doing your bonsai. 

Carpinus betulus "The Yossarian"

Since last repotting tree was sitting in its pot in a quite awkward position provoking many. Well, at the time of repotting back in April 2013 it was a too big risk to remove so many roots jut to fit it into a rather shallow pot. Accidentally, it stayed in that position up until last week. 
Now, it was time to try to fix the tree in more desirable position. The pot was full of roots and even by removing something like 10-litre bucket of roots, editing stumps of larger roots on the bottom of the tree it was still resisting. Shortly, the tree is now in best possible position for two or more years. Crown needs editing as well, and it was partly done today. You will see the result in a couple of weeks time here as usual.