Do you remember this ficus?
I can understand if you can’t. It was in the year 2019 BC when I wrote the post on it. (BC you ask? Why, before Covid-19, of course).
Since you’ve seen it last (December the 4th, 2019 BC to be precise) I have since taken the wire off, I think I did it one month later, mid January 2020 AC.
In that time, the tree grew quickly and caused some serious wire scars
I’m not too worried about wire scars right now, the tree is very early in its training and they’ll grow out by the time it’s ready for show, if I ever show it.
But even with the tree getting wire scars, you’d think the branch would stay put, but noooooooo! Look at the above pic, then below, where it should be.
Here’s where it was after the first styling
There was some movement retained, but that one on the left is almost where I started.
Here’s the pot I’m looking to use. It’s a piece by my studygroup student Peter.
I love the texture. ￼￼￼
I don’t think there’s anyone out there doing texture like this.
And the glaze is wonderfully understated. It goes well with the shape and that pattern.
Time for some rooty tooty potting duty!
I did call it the “Root Monster”.
Now I gotta get get all that spaghetti mess into that little pot.
Scissors work. It’s okay to trim the roots. Funny thing is, they kinda looks like my beard:I call it my Covid lockdown locks.
Anyway, a little chop chop here….
Some chunk a blunk there…
That looks about right….
A little root straightening.
(I bet some people would love some work on their roots about now….if you’d like, my wife has been coloring the kids hair, I’m sure she could help out…..my son Logan:
….we call him Blue Boy now)
Always take advantage of the repot to improve the rootage. In this case I’m taming the tangled mess a little. Just a little.
See that one right there with the wonderfully scribble red arrows pointing at it?
It needs to go here…
Not only is it straightening the criss cross applesauce but it makes the trunk wider too.
Ahhh, fixing roots and putting them in place is like listening to “Driving Through Kashmir” and the song has been building up with that main guitar riff and the melodic refrain contrasts and Robert Plant is teasing your emotions with his “Ooooh yeahs” and “oh baby’s” and finally the resolution happens just after the strings and the vocal bridge are laid down….
The drums begin to phase “ooo ooo yeah yeah, ooo my baby me let me take you there…..!”
Fade to silence….
Next, hosing down the roots.
That’s very refreshing looking, ain’t it?
And it should fit too. Let’s see…..
Like Cinderella’s slipper!
This next pic is just cool. It doesn’t really add to the narrative. Just take a sip of an adult beverage and enjoy it.
This next one is instructive.
Always mound the soil when repotting so that when you place the tree into the pot….
You will fill in all the nooks and crannies with fresh soil mix and minimize damaging air pockets.
And wiggle it down like your one of the ugly step sisters trying to fit your big, fat, calloused and bunioned foot into Cinderella’s glass slipper.
There we go. Now I gotta go inside and make dinner for the kids. I’ll be back in a few.
Night has descended upon The Nook. If you read the last post you’ll understand me when I say, I love my nighttime work in The Nook.
I posted this pic on the socials and Peter, the creator of the pot I’m using, said this pic looked like a Manger scene.
Or it’s an oasis. I brought my own refreshment though.
I saw this on the shelf at my local liquor store. It intrigued me. And who wouldn’t be? I mean…..Sake in a can? With a taste of rice wine you also get a taste of philosophy.
Not bad. Mild, a little strong but you can’t taste it. The same was tasty too.
Just enough to get me moving on some wiring.
This is how we deal with the wire scars. Wire in the opposite direction and allow it to cut in a second time.
And trust me, in order for me to get the movement I want in these branches, I’ll have to allow the wire to cut in maybe even a third time, just to set the branch.
That’s just how ficus are. Sometimes tropical bonsai consists of the Sisyphean task of “put the wire on, take the wire off, put the wire on….”.
Just a few few cut backs.
And at this point I want to slow the top so….
With an eye towards taper, of course.
Mmmmhhmmm. There we go.
It’s coming along nicely.
I’ll have a pretty well developed tree by this December, methinks.