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Merry Christmas 

27 Dec

While I have been not keeping the blog updated, I have been busy on the YouTube side. Have a look at my channel and let me know if you would like videos on a theme or other ideas. I will be at the World Convention next year and hope to visit many nurserys.

Subscribe to my YouTube to get instant notice of new videos.

Happy New Year to you all.


Zig Zag bridge project.

8 Nov

Yeah I made it with 2 days to go, although I have been working on the next project as well. 

We started with clearing and levelling, well I say we it was Karen really. Once it was clear I had a mock up of how it would be.

Walking this felt a little narrow, I say we Karen really (although she was right) so I decided to put old reclaimed fence posts down the sides to widen it.

This felt better and Hazel gave it the appreciation resting position. Now the next problem how to strengthen the corners. I made H frames to support them.

We had to deal with putting the gap through to the office and the veranda. 

Yep that should do all I have to do is concreate them in.

I added some more strength on the corners to make sure. So with all the dry fit done, I removed them all to paint I say we Karen does like a bit of painting so I let her carry on.

It was felt that the centre section (yep you guessed say no more) may be a devil to weed. So I dug it out and laid a concrete slab.

Next we put new membrane down so we can get the stones back. I have also put 3 monkey poles in for display.

Final assembly.

Just have to wash more gravel to fill area. I hope over time to wear back the centre board to give it a used look.

Over the winter I will concentrate on the Tokanoma.

Garden project. 

13 Sep

I am still alive, although the second half of this year is not going to plan. 

I wanted to have my outdoor Tokanoma project finished by now but I have had to delay that one you can see it in the background. 

This area used to be my koi pond, but now filled and settled its time to develope it into the garden. 

We had a good length of fence replaced in May, and I managed to rescue all the old fence post well I couldn’t see them go in a skip. So project is to build a zig zag bridge to link deck from office through bonsai area back to gate, to avoid walking on the grass during the winter. Something like this I have in mind.

I have a dead line in October to get it done, but the Tokanoma will have to wait.

Looking forward to getting on with it and the looming winter show time.

O and I just booked a flight for the world bonsai convention. ✈️🇯🇵🌊


TWTWTW Part Three: And the winner is ….

21 Apr


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British Shohin Bonsai

As photography was allowed at the show,  pictures of the winning exhibits are already out there on this interweb thingie.   So for this article we thought we would take the time to explain our system of judging as well as posting the official show winners images.

I think we’d all agree that judging at a bonsai show is always a fraught experience.  In the past, judging was often left to one or two people and of course the issue of subjectivity raised its head on many occasions.

For the Spirit of Shohin event, in the pursuit of a much fairer and more transparent method of judging, a panel approach was adopted to the judging process. Under this system, individual judges nominated their top three tree/display in each of the categories.  They did not even have to rank these – i.e. there was no first, second and third “placing” of…

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British Shohin Bonsai exhibition at RHS Wisley Gardens

7 Apr

Bonsai & Yamadori from Tony Tickle

dsc_0309_mod My Cascade Olive displayed with a Bronze Heron and Scroll by Sonia Stella

Last weekend I visited the British Shohin Bonsai exhibition at RHS Wisley Gardens in the South of England.

RHS Wisley is without doubt the BEST laid out gardens I have ever visited plus the fact that’s it’s HUGE and really required two days to take in all aspects of the garden.

The exhibition took place in a building within the gardens and was hosted by Sutton Bonsai society with workshops led by Taiga Urushibata(more on this in another post).

The quality of the show was OUTSTANDING, and a good collection of traders made the show a must visit event, and I was happy to take the journey south and accept the challenge that’s the M25.

I was invited to present a tree and did so with my cascade olive. NOT a shohin tree but…

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2015 in review

30 Dec

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 17,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

That was close. 

1 Dec

It has been really windy on and off the last couple of weeks. This time I got away with it. 


Gate project update.

21 Nov

This one was started 765 days ago, but I was determined to get it done before Christmas. Biggest problem was how to build it, many sketches drawn and bined but then while wandering the Japanese garden at Capel Manor I found just what I wanted.    

Now all I had to do was convert it to my situation. So on a bright morning I got up the steps to fit the main cross timber only to find out just how much timber can twist in 765 days. Not a good start and rather a big step backwards but I cut the tops and fitted two timbers and with string and pressure twisted them slowly over 6 weeks back to near straight at least enough to get one section right the way through.


Next job was to cut the rectangle holes in the upright, these needed to be tight as they are going to hold a dood deal of the weight.


Being I had to smack them through with a hammer I guess they are tight.


Then I could get the cross timbers on this would help align the uprights and to make sure they don’t shift I notched them so I know they are going to keep it all parallel.


Once fitted they are starting to make it feel more substantial. 


I had to make 3 mitred sections to support the boarding which will have the shingles fixed to it.

 Now I had a frame that I could put the planks on.


Because I had it, I decided to put a section of felt over the ridge, just to aid any water penetration from my bad laying of the ridge as I was still not sure how it would work. 


Home stretch now and first time I had to buy anything as the rest was left over from other projects. So with a pack of ceder shingles and a pack of ridge tiles delivered, I could get going once I had watched a couple of you tube clips on how to lay them.


Two layer put across the bottom then two layers staggered back, but it left me a large length the the ridge so I put another row in.   

 After a few mock ups I was happy with ridge layout.

   Layering up the ends gave me the oriental look I wanted.

I would say end of the day but being it’s taken so long, that would be a bit misleading due to the hours spent on it. At least it’s a step in the right direction. Next project is garden Tokanoma lets see if I can get it done before spring, better not say which spring though.    


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Shohin bonsai from Gordon Deeg

6 Nov

Some good trees and some nice pots.

Bonsai Europa 2015 – Shohin

13 Oct

Bonsai Eejit

And now the wee trees.





































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