A Day in Bonsai

Hi,
I’m Adam, and this is what I do.
Well, I do other things too, but I’ll edit out the bathroom breaks, the trips and falls, the weeding ,the Facebook, Instagram, and twitter posts and all that.
I wash a lot of dishes too.
And you would be surprised at how much agricultural waste I have to burn.
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Anyway, I wake up at about 5-5:30 am and start to get the kids in the shower and ready for school (at this point in the narrative my wife interjects something about her getting the kids ready. She would still be asleep if I didn’t wake up first…..just saying).
This is my typical wake up face:
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We (see, I included my wife there) get the kids ready and we (again, ain’t I magnanimous) shove them out the door.
I drive them to school.
We have Mathew:
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Logan:
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Gwendolyn:
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And Andrew:
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I fight my way heroically through the dangerous and insane morning traffic and, once I’m safely at school, I am able to breath a sigh of relief at the knowledge that they have a safe and calm, idyllic and formative school day ahead of them.
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At this point I take a moment and reflect on the glorious day ahead.
Good morning sunshine!
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I make my way back home, see my wife off to work (if you know what I mean), make some breakfast and work in some Internet stuff as I eat.
I got an email from Ron about a pomegranate he had just purchased and he wanted some help with it.
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I study it as I sip on my coffee a bit.
Here’s what I think.
This is the front and the branches that should stay:
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This tree happens to be a twisted pomegranate that was purchased from D&L Nursery in Ocala.
The tip I have for you about pomegranates: from Roy Nagatoshi, with every cut, wash your tools with a diluted Lysol dip (whatever flavor you like, I prefer classic lemon).
You see, a pomegranate will rot readily and, if you are not practicing proper sanitary precautions when you are whacking stuff off , you’re trunk will just wither away.
I decide to whip up a sketch for Ron.
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And I email him my ideas.
Hope he likes them.
I answer a few more emails and Facebook comments and now….it’s time to work.
Today I’m processing ilex vomitoria “schillings” to prepare them for a workshop in June.
One of them:
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I am not styling them but cutting them back so that I’ll be able to teach a little when I’m giving the class.
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Sweet little tree, isn’t it?
And…..out come the cutters and….
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Wowza! Okay, I cut off a lot on this one.
A little root work:
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My aim in chopping these roots back so severely is, because I’m providing a tree for a bonsai workshop, to make this tree a true “pre-bonsai”.
Too many trees from workshops may have had a rudimentary pruning done to the top but when you go to look at the roots, it’s bad.
Sometimes so bad that you wonder how many years it will take to recover from the root work.
I try to make my pre bonsai trees fit into a bonsai pot with little problems.
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Wow, that’s pretty nice, right?
But this tree is going into a growing pot:
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Some of the others will go into plastic bonsai training pots today but this one will benefit from a deeper container.
I work through several trees and decide that its time for gloves:
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Ouch.
This should work-
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I feel like Captain America now!
My wife comes home for lunch so I really have to watch the time as I’m working in the nursery.
One of my jobs is also making her lunch. If I don’t have her lunch ready when she gets home I won’t get the tongue lashing I deserve.
My beautiful wife Rebecca, dressed up 1980’s style (which isn’t how she normally dresses, but we were at a themed party at Dave’s house):
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I usually make a salad for us both but I get bored with the same old thing so sometimes I get a little…..creative-
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I call it a dipping salad.
Yes, those are Cheetos.
After lunch I usually play some guitar while my food settles.
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I’m working on Lonely Boy from the Black Keys.
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Now it’s back to work.
I step outside and the light is perfect for some photos.
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I should get back to the ilex but I need some wiring time.
It’s like I’m an addict or something.
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My friend Nick stops by to talk shop (he’s a true plant grower, bonsai and food and such) and has his son with him.
What a cutie (his son, not Nick, although I guess his wife might think so)
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And then Yamida and Guaracha show up and we set up the date for the next collection trip.
Guaracha is my main collecting partner and teacher of Spanish and I am getting quite adept at Puerto Rican swear words.
Yamida is his better half and she’s teaching me proper Spanish.
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By this time I have to again battle traffic and go pick up the kids from school.
I get them doing their homework (my wife interrupts again to explain that it is her that gets them working on their homework) and I get back to work on the ilex.
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I work until sunset.
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Normally I would make dinner for my family but tonight I get to host Owen Reich for a Central Florida Bonsai Club meeting.
I take him out to dinner and we get this great appetizer.
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It is bacon wrapped shrimp covered in cheese with a clarified butter dipping sauce.
Wow.
I ordered catfish on the bone and Owen opted for hot chicken wings.
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Sorry for that one Owen.
Anyway, Owen’s presentation at the club was superb; his knowledge of trees, techniques, and art coupled with a great personality made for a fine time.
He’s humble yet assured, two qualities that are sometimes lacking in demonstrators.
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I highly recommend him.
After the meeting we talked quite a bit about the future of bonsai in the U. S. And then I wandered my way home.
I was a bit keyed up from the talk Owen and I had so tried to unwind.
I drew a few sketches:
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I Answered a Tweet about a juniper; I gave two options:
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Or
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By this point I was regretting the shrimp.
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I wish I could pick up my guitar to unwind some more but since all the kids are sleeping I can only pose.
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Damn I’m a good poser.

Ok, now, in the spirit of full disclosure, I kinda put several days together to form a narrative of what a usual day in my life is like.
My sister and several others believe I just kinda do this all day:
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And I do do that. (I said do do!)
But not as much as I’d like.
Bonsai is about people.
It’s a lot of dirty grunt work.
I am still having fun though.
Except for the heartburn from those shrimp.

About adamaskwhy

Visual artist specializing in bonsai, mostly.
This entry was posted in goings, philosophical rant, tips and tricks and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A Day in Bonsai

  1. Evan Luse says:

    always informative and entertaining….really can’t wait till you come up in June!

  2. Katie says:

    Idyllic!
    I’m glad you put the disclaimer at the end or I would have quit my day job….

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