Recent Bonsai Travails

These last few weeks I haven’t been working on my own bonsai much. But I’ve been doing bonsai stuff.
I had my demo for the Brevard club and then the NoNaMe study group meeting.
Last weekend I visited Durostone Nursery in Vero Beach, Jim Smiths nursery.
There are still many trees for sale but, unfortunately he’s not propagating anymore.
This ficus

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gives you an idea how long he’s been growing trees. There is a pot under there.
Jim is still holding his 4th Sunday workshops so take the time to see this Old Master at work.
This was a tree someone had brought for him to work on. I saw a face…

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much to the owners chagrin.
Do you?
Does this help?

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While in Vero I also visited Old Florida Bonsai to pick up some stock and check on the big podocarpus I carved in February

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Richard repotted it and its growing well.
The carving is ageing well too

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3-4 years and it’ll be a show stopper. It’s in good hands with Richard Turner. He has the artistic vision to realize the tree to its full potential.
Speaking of art, let me fulfill the “art” portion of this blog. It is, after all, in my contract.
First, some woodcarvings

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The faces are carved from red cedar (juniperus virginiana). A really beautiful carving wood.
Here are some sketches, an interior

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And a self portrait

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What is art?
Are those sketches art?
The carvings? The bonsai?
Maybe. That’s another blogpost.
I’ve been expanding at the nursery with Dave and Guaracha’s help

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We took out an old above ground pool and I’m now using the space it took up.
I plan on reusing the steel side as roofing material on a classroom that’s in planning. Soon, Adam’s Art and Bonsai Studio Nursery will be high class and full service.

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But, as I keep telling Dave and Guaracha, one thing at a time.

In the bonsai world there is some sad news

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I saw this on Facebook and then read this post from Crataegus Bonsai.
The American bonsai scene really could have used a West Coast equivalent of William Valavanis’s National Show.
Like it says, it will give us all 2 more years to get our trees ready.
Don’t tell anyone but whenever I heard “Artisans Cup of Portland” I saw a cement planter

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Portland cement, artisanal urn…. Sorry.

On a different note, I had my last trimming duty at Epcot with the trees in the Japanese Pavilion.
I took some pics but I won’t do a full blown report.

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That’s a Nea Buxifolia.
I had an epiphany while trimming this nea.
When this species first begins to grow, it’s always the interior shoots that grow best and quickest. Where there isn’t any light.
It seems counterintuitive.
I’ve been talking with Guaracha, who is one of the best collectors of yamadori in Puerto Rico. He says that nea grow in the shade.
Two and two and the conclusion is- nea respond to shade with better growth.
Their leaves are even greener and glossier.

Here is what a cone on a bald cypress looks like

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Not to be confused with a cypress twig gall

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Caused by a midge. Cut those off and burn the growths.

Please indulge me with some artsy shots
Ooh

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My tree; I trimmed it well,

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Now is the time to go to see the show, only 2 1/2 weeks left and all the trees are looking good (I did just trim them after all)
And my final pic

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See y’all on the flip side

About adamaskwhy

Visual artist specializing in bonsai, mostly.
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7 Responses to Recent Bonsai Travails

  1. Tom H says:

    I’m heard Jim Smith’s nursery is unreal. I’ve seen some ridiculously nice material come from his place for relatively little money. I just wish I could swing the trip to check things out. I’ve been searching for a “little pig” microcarpa everywhere!

    • adamaskwhy says:

      I’d go there soon before I buy up everything good

      • Tom H says:

        Where’s your bonsai sharing spirit?? I’ll just have to somehow get over there when I’m in Pensacola this summer — it’s only a hop skip and a jump across the entire state to get there…

  2. MillsGoodlett says:

    You’ve really got some nice *poster grade* pictures there (maybe excepting the self portrait) 🙂

  3. I must say you captured some great pics. The Nea Bux with the Epcot Center in the far distance, your tree with the shinto gate and lantern (my favorite pic), then finally the last pic. Incredible photos.

  4. FarmGirl says:

    Adam, I wanted to thank you again for answering my questions about growing out my Fukien Tea! Just to update you (in case you were wondering) I’ve transplanted it into a six inch terracotta pot in cactus and citrus potting soil, that being the best-draining mix I could lay my hands on without mixing up my own. I will probably use it as a base for a “rockier” mix the next time I repot, but I wanted to do a lot more research before I started playing with that.

    It seems happy, as I’ve got flowers still blooming. Lost a few leaves, but nothing major so far, so I’ve just been pulling the dead leaves out of and off of the live foliage with tweezers to make sure that no light is being blocked. Still inside, but the grow light system seems to be doing all right for it, added a little lamp with a daylight spectrum bulb to one side of it as mom’s seedlings get first call on her setup and the tree was off to one side of the main force of the lights.

    Thanks again for the advice, and let me know if you want more updates, I just wanted to reassure you that I haven’t murdered it yet!

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