Hi everybody! It has been a while, I know! But a lot has happened healthwise during the last months so I did not get much work done! Don’t get me wrong though I kept my babies healthy and happy! But styling work was kept to a minimum during that time! But things are finally looking up lately and I started to do some more styling work and a lot of hard pruning and wiring! It is a pleasure to see that my Prunus mahaleb trees are starting to look better and better and it is time to start hunting for some nice pots for them at the next Trophy in Belgium!
I got my inspiration for this first Prunus mahaleb from the very old Linden tree that I saw in front of the famous cave castle Predjama in the Slovenia village of Postojna!
Above: Did you know that according to legend a bold robber knight named Erasmus once lived in Predjama Castle?
After quarrelling with Emperor Frederick III of Austria, Erasmus held out for more than a year against a besieging army, until he was betrayed by one of his own servants, who lit a candle in the window of Erasmus’s bedroom. This was a signal to his enemies, who then bombarded him with stone cannonballs.
Erasmus’s grieving sweetheart is said to have buried his body in the centre of the village, outside the church dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows, and to have planted a linden over his grave. The tree still stands there today, identifiable by its venerable age and hollow trunk.
So I created this Prunus as a remembrance of all my trips to wonderful Slovenia, my dear Slovenian friends and Erasmus’s amazing Linden tree! All branches are new and almost all deadwood is natural! I hope you like where I am going with it?!
The second Prunus is one of my favourites with all its natural scorched deadwood running from her top right down to that right (future) cascading bottom branch! Again I chose a natural look for this tree to honour its natural beauty!
I think that I have to let a natural-looking fitting pot be made for this unique tree! I think it will look pretty amazing in the future with more fin ramifications on its branches!
Below: This third more massive Yamadori Prunus has a story of its own! The (Yellow) left side was air-layered in May 2016 and separated successfully just a few months later!
That stunning (Yellow) left side new Literati tree full of amazing deadwood was given to my dear friend Tony Tickly when he visited my garden in February 2018, for everything that he has done for me during the last almost 3 decades.
Below: The right (Red) side stayed with me and looks like this after completely wiring it last week.
Above: All but tree branches are new and need a few years more of thickening and ramification! The new top needs to thicken a lot more and will then be shortened considerably and the deadwood on the left and along the top trunk needs more refinement! But nevertheless, I am really happy and excited about her progress in such a short time! And it is strange to realise that half of her now lives happily in the U.K.
Below: This Chinese Ulmus parvifolia has been part of our household for as long as I am doing Bonsai and that is almost 30 years now! Over this long time, she has developed a truly amazing root base and stunning flaky bark and breathtaking ramification! She is really easy to maintain and I can recommend this species to Bonsai enthusiasts from all levels! She has even been shown in the prestigious Noelanders trophy in Belgium! I think she looks amazing with her golden-yellow foliage!
Below: The last picture is of my 44cm/17.6Inch high Yamadori Hawthorn Crataegus monogyna. It was collected at the beginning of 2007 in Walles and in early 2008 I started removing all branches, leaving not much more than a bare skeleton! That naked almost perfect moyogi shape allowed me to create a Japanese-style deciduous Bonsai of which there are not that many in existence that I know of?! Posting this next picture and my plans on the online Bonsai forums, there were many replies that Hawthorns are not suitable to use because they are notoriously difficult to create the necessary ramification, especially on such a small tree…well, I think I prove them wrong?! Hawthorns are the perfect candidates for all styles and sizes of deciduous Bonsai!
Above: In early 2008 a year after collecting. The yellow line shows the future plan and what needs to be removed!
Below: A few hours later and the beginning of my Hawthorn Moyogi!
I hope you all enjoyed this little impression of the work I did the last couple of weeks and I promise to post some more of my work soon here on my blog as well as on my Hans Karamotto youtube channel! Happy holidays everybody!!!
Hans van Meer.