Wow, look how sweet these flowers are….

And when they drop it’s like halcyon afternoons…,,

….and fairy gardens, and gnomes and smurfs and stuff like that. 

Good thing, I mean, too bad I’m cutting all the flowers off. 

You know, it’s funny, but most people don’t think that yaupon holly get flowers….or, come to think of it, most people don’t think trees get flowers either. Weird, how do you get acorns or seeds and more trees. It’s a modern disconnect with how nature works. You see it with chicken and beef at the grocery stores, people don’t want to know how a living animal is made into those hot wings you’re chomping on at Hooters, watching the……uh, game (of course, who wants to think about that stuff while enjoying the… at Hooters?)

Anyway, I digress. Again. 

Here’s today’s tree, an ilex vomitoria “schillings”. 

This link right here is the last time I updated the progress (I think. It was the second post in the series, not sure if there was a third, but you’ll have to click through to see the first post). I’m not going to go over all the hints, tricks, techniques and rigmarole I spouted, uh, wrote about in the two previous post, sorry. There’s a lot of stuff to learn in those two posts. One of those things is how good the photos are now compared to then. Jeez louise, it’s embarrassing. 

I love the naturalness and taper of the trunk. 

 And that first branch….. 

 There have been people who wanted me to remove it. That’s a mistake that those on an intermediate level make all the time. They want to bring things back to a basic state, sometimes even just to a trunk line. Don’t get me wrong, there are times to do that, but not here, and not with this incredibly mature branch. 

My work today, besides removing all those flowers, begins with removing some wire. 


And do some of that basic trimming I cover in the two previous posts. 


Ok, all done…. 

 ….just one more adjustment. When I put it into this pot I messed up and had the front wrong by a few degrees. It really should have been like this.   

The roots are looking  good.   If you recall from the previous posts, it’s been a battle with the brick like quality of the root ball on this ilex. 

Let’s talk about the pot.  


It is a pot that I acquired when I purchased a tree from a friend. The tree was in it. It has two chops on the bottom.   Which is exciting, right?  But from what I have learned from my pot reference go to guy (Ryan Bell, of the blog this is a contemporary chinese pot that was sold mostly in the U.S. South by a big bonsai nursery.  It’s a relatively inexpensive pot but it’s not a good pot for freezing temps; the pot looks like a slip cast build and it probably wasn’t fired at a high enough temp. If it were to freeze it would most likely crack. 

 Of course, I don’t care from whence it came (“From Whence It Came” sounds like a good adult film title, or a bad 1950’s sci-fi movie) or that it won’t survive in the frozen North (as I write this, it is now Spring and my sister in Massachusetts is “enjoying” a Springtime snowstorm) you see, I live in Florida.  I love the wabi sabi nature of those drips, it’s that one in a thousand pot that’s just a little bit different than its kiln mates.  

The pot is ready.   

The roots are ready.   

And, as the song goes, “….together at last….”  


Oh! Let me show you this if I haven’t shown you before.   I use this as a soil scoop. It’s a pencil/pen holder from the office supply section of a big box store. The mesh allows all the un-sifted dust from your mix to fall through (I don’t care from whom your potting mix comes from, there is always dust). And it’s magnetic, so you can stick it somewhere you can find it when not in use (like on your beer fridge).  

A few lengths of wire.  

And I even left some flowers, awwww.. And that’s that. 

It took about three years to get to this point, I think I’m ready to show it. It looks like a tree.   The 2015 BSF convention is coming up soon, look for it there. This year’s show will feature David DeGroot and Guy Guidry as the headliners. The convention link is here at for the full program details. It’s the premiere convention in the Southeast, forget about that Brussels Rendevous thing. Just kidding Mr. Martin, I’m available for next year……

With that, it’s time for lunch, and I have to feed my boys. If you have boys,  you know that one could lose fingers in that process. I swear they eat more than I do. 

2 thoughts

  1. Looks great, maturing nice and you should show it. That’s a really nice tree that is well taken care of.


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