By now, faithful readers, you’re aware that I had a grueling, day-long demonstration at Old Florida Bonsai nursery down in Vero Beach last month where I worked on three big trees and even (even!) carved a tiki man for JJ (one of the owners).
I’ve already written about the first two trees-
And an American elm:
The podocarpus was the second styling of the tree (I had originally worked on it last year at this time) and the elm was a new tree.
Keep scrolling down after reading this post to read their stories.
The tiki makes his appearance several times too; he likes to hide in the background.
Now, tree three (if you’re Irish, that’s tree tree).
Another podo, this one is very different:
It has a small “weed” in it:
It’s a Simpson Stopper, a native tree or shrub that also makes a good bonsai (myrcianthes fragrans). But not today, in this pot.
There’s a lot of foliage on this tree (it’s ten feet tall for crying out loud!)
Let’s practice some scissor discipline then, right, have at it!
“Well”, you’re saying, “you coulda left a bit more now, huh?”
Well, no, not really.
The podo is a tree that’ll just keep growing long, uninterrupted branches forever.
It is a full sized tree; there’s one in my neighborhood with a three foot plus trunk and is 40 feet tall.
But the tree is most often used in the landscape as a hedge, like a yew often is, and cut all boxy-like and squared.
Which means that they back bud and ramify quite easily.
Perfect for bonsai.
The only real pest is the blue aphid, which sounds like a punk band but isn’t, and an application of systemic insecticide once a year seems to do the trick in controlling it (that and a hard blast of water occasionally too).
First thing I plan on doing (well, I guess the second thing after chopping off 90% of the foliage) is some carving.
That’s why I was invited after all.
The event is a yearly event that takes place around the Valentines Day/Presidents Day holidays at Old Florida Bonsai and they call it the Bonsai Bash.
This is my second year and the plan is to come back again next year to continue the work on the trees.
It’s awesome to be invited back, I’ll tell you what.
I could show you all the action shots again (like I did in the last post) but that gag only works once (you see, it was a subtle joke about the ladies loving the manliness of my carving poses. But some guy on a forum just didn’t get the joke. I was rotflmao, seriously).
So, no pics for the ladies to swoon over this time.
Carve some more……
The crevice has opened nicely…..
Now it’s time for some wire.
Let me introduce you to Tony, without whom I might still be there wiring that tree.
He’s become one of my best friends in bonsai, not to mention being a great artist as well. He’s a multi-year exhibitor at the Epcot Flower and Garden show.
He and I had the tree wired in no time; in fact, he wired most of it while I continued the carving.
He was almost like an angel, sent from heaven to help me finish this work of art……
All I have now to do is place the wires and stick a fork in it (which is actually and truly a valid aging technique I learned from an outspoken Canadian bonsai teacher whose name rhymes with whole nick).
I was able to connect the three holes in the trunk:
Which is cool (like totally, wickedly cool, really!) but also necessary- water will be able to flow out now instead of pooling and causing all kinds of rot and gunk.
Before I finish, I’d like to thank Richard and JJ, husband and wife proprietors of Old Florida Bonsai (I seriously suggest a visit when you can) for inviting me back and giving me these great trees to work on.
I’d like to thank Seth
And Tony for the help.
Mark your calendars for February 15, 2015 for next years show.
And the future-
Next post: something about Epcot I think; and the trees of the Flower and Garden show.