Some better pictures of my favourite Prunus mahaleb.

My earlier post about my favourite Prunus was so well-read that I thought she and the readers of my blog deserve better and sharper pictures! So when yesterday the sun finally broke through the clouds I shot a few dozens of pictures with my (real) camera by hand! I hope you all will enjoy them.
Cheers,
Hans van Meer.

Above: The deadwood of this young top section neats more work and ageing, but that’s for later! I will start work on it early next growing season in the warm sun! Around that same time, I will start the ageing project on that still jong looking bark…I have a cunning plan to help that on the way…mmwwaaahhahaha!

Above: Close up of the natural deadwood! Besides being photographed and worked on here in my makeshift photo studio, she is also sheltered from the rain! So that all the deadwood can become dry! Then I can impregnate it to protect it from rotting away! The still too young bark on the upwards stump needs some more ageing of course! But who cares?! I am pretty happy so far with the fast progress of this tree…this little tree makes me happy!

Above: The deadwood on the left was worked on some more with a hammer and chisels. The rest was cleaned with tweezers and different brushes until all that was clearly rotten and not saveable was removed. In the top section, some of the living bark on the left side was cut away to break up that straight lifeline between the alive and dead section some more to make it look more natural. Some cut paste was applied to protect the wound!

Above: And there she is (for now) in all her glory! Colouring orange in the setting sun! To prevent further rotting she will spend the next couple of wet and cold months here underneath the shelter of this my makeshift photo studio! During that time I will start further styling the deadwood on that straight section with power tools and hand tools! I will make sure to take pix of that process and post them as soon as possible! Oh, how I wished I had a good pot for this one?! I hope you enjoyed these somewhat better pictures?!
Cheers,
Hans van Meer.

New tiny mushrooms neighbours to keep my Taxus yamadori company.

This morning I discovered these very lovely tiny shinning white mushrooms growing in front of my Yamadori Yew/Taxus and I just knew that I had to make some pictures of this magical scene with my cell phone as soon as the sun came out!

I hope you enjoy these images as much as we do?!

Cheers,

Hans van Meer.

Winter is finaly here big time!!!

Note: considering that I live in Holland, then yes this is exceptional winter weather that did not happend for well over two decades! An extream high air pressure system above the whole of Scandinavia is pretty unique believe me! And I do know that this weather is pretty normal in many countries around the world, but not were we live! And we applaud this weather because we are a ice skating nation! There is even hopeful talk that the world famous 11 city tour a 220 kilometres long natuur ice scating tour finaly can be staged again after more than 2 decades! So yes this is extream weather for us here!

Yesterday’s weather forecast of at least a week-long snow and very cold weather was not wrong for a change and I have to days picture to prove it! I woke up this morning to discover a magical snow-covered garden that I would love to share with you all!

Below: under need, this thick layer of snow more than 20 shohin pre-Bonsai Itoigawa Junipers are hidden!

Below: For some of the bigger Bonsai in my collection, there was no more room underneath my back yard shelter! But I am sure they don’t mind at all!

Below: My big Larch named the Elephant looking like a real scene you could see in nature.

Below: My big old Chamaecyparis obtusa nana gracilis mother plant looks beautiful!

Below: But her backside looks even more stunning!

Below: A magical top view of my big multiple trunk beech raft.

I hope you enjoyed these with my cell phone made pictures as much as I loved to make them for you all…it was magical in my little city garden to day!

Cheers and stay safe everybody!

Hans van Meer.

Update pictures of my windswept Yamadori Taxus.

First a short recap/history: It was discovered and collected by me during my visit to the U.K in November 2007. It was growing from underneath a large flat like bolder that itself was covered by several smaller once!
Below: After some hard work finally freed from its crushing heavy load!

Below: Spring 2010. After a scary time where it lost most of its foliage, it fought back with a lot of strong-growing new branches! I saw such beautiful movement and story in that long broken thick branch that protrudes to the right from the base of the trunk. But I basically had to rebuild her a completely new frame from here bottom upwards! With all-new branches on an in my eyes a very promising live base for something daring?! But such a change to create a vision you have from your inspiring living entity don’t come too often when you live in an almost Yamadori less country like Holland! So, of course, I went for it!

Below: An hour later in its new pot with plenty of room to grow fast producing lots of growth on the fast thickening branches!

Below: 24-4-2016. After 6 years of heavy feeding and free growing, it is time for branch selection and foliage thinning. All this time I was thinking a lot about how to utilise that long almost ripped off to the right protruding Jin in my design!

Below: One hour and one full garbage back with cut off branches later, this is all that was left of the 6 years of growth! The new top truck section was in this time gone from pinky thick to wrist-thick…amazing!

Below: 17-9-2020. And this is how she looks today. A windswept Yew. Besides som guidewires, there is not much wire on it at this moment. The future plane is that in just a few more years it will look like a Yew that is bettered by seasonal winds and storms from the left-behind. The direction of the deadwood and long Jin are a prove off just how fears and devastating these winds are! In the near future when all the now still young branches are more matured and a bid fuller with small foliage, the outline of the foliage pads and the total outline image will be more clearer! But no way with perfectly triangle-shaped foliage peds on exuberant bright deadwood as we see so often these days! Nothing wrong with that, don’t get me wrong! But with limited and precious time on my hand…why should I do what so many others have done before? I wanted to create my expression of strong wind trough a struggling but surviving tree! And it happens to be this Yew with that long Jin that started the thought of that idea again in my head! Funny how those things go?! And now the hunt for a special rectangular pot has begun and the next couple of years will be spent on filling and refining all the smaller foliage and deadwood. Height: 65cm/26 inch.


I hope you like it?!

Cheers and stay safe every body!

Hans van Meer.

Pictures of my Bonsai at the “DESHIMA” Bonsai Studio New Years show.

Pictures of my 2 Bonsai at “DESHIMA” Bonsai Studio New Years show.
On the 4th of January, it was early out of bed to make it in time to bring in my 2 Bonsai for the annual Deshima Bonsai Studio “Winter Bonsai Show”! I was there just after 9 so that gave me plenty of time to carry everything inside and to really enjoy the build-up of my 2 Bonsai composition!

Teunis Jan huge outdoor glass greenhouse transformed into an amazing Bonsai exhibition space! The level of the Bonsai on display was heartwarming and I was proud to show my 2 trees among them!
My little Blackthorn: Prunus spinosa.
Because it was an “out of the box” winter presentation I used this little hand-carved wooden bird, some pinecones and seeds to enhance that wintery feeling!
And this is the whole composition with my Hawthorn (crataegus monogyna). The pictures are made with a mobile phone so sorry for the quality…I had forgotten to put my SD card in my Camera (SIGH!)
Thanks Ramon!

On behalf of all the visitors and participants, I would like to sincerely thank all the volunteers and Teunis Jan Klein for making this all possible again! And the demonstrators: Bert Verstappen, Gerry Verstering and Ruben Bouwmeester who did such a great job! It was a truly amazing event to get the new Bonsai year started just right!
Happy New Year everybody!
Cheers,
Hans van Meer.

Preparing my little Prunus spinosa for the Deshima Bonsai studio New years Bonsai exhibition.

My Little Prunus spinosa will be shown together with my Hawthorn in one composition. It’s show ready and pretty unique because it is still covered with it summer bleu berries! Normally they would have been long eaten by birds, but my garden is covered with netting so they are still on there and the contrast between the bare black branches and bark and the grey American pot is simply amazing! The only thing that was still missing to compleat the whole picture was nice moss on the soil surface and I know just the place to collect it! Just a 5 minutes walk away from our house there are meters high and kilometres long dykes to keep out the sea and on the rocks and boulders that make up this dyke, there is growing two perfect kinds of moss!

Miles and miles of endless dykes that protect the people that live in the lowlands meters below sea level called The Netherlands or like we say Holland!
Here grow just the perfect mos for Bonsai! It is not too thick/high and stays good for years and years!
Everything ready to start the fun work of puzzling the pieces of moss together into a natural-looking carpet!
Make sure that the soil and moss are moist so that it will stick to the surface!
The moss with tinny stems with tinny seed pots on top is placed to the left and right behind the base of the Bonsai near the back of the pot. This creates a sense of dept, especially in pictures!

I am really happy with the outcome and how she looks! Now I still have to select a company plant and search among my several wooden handmade Tanzaku holders for the best one! And then go through my collection of Tanzaku (small painting on paper or silk) for a nice wintery painting to compleat the whole composition…but that is for tomorrow! I love this part of the Bonsai hobby! I will post some pictures right after the show so watch this space!

Happy New Year everybody!

Preparing my little Hawthorn for the Deshima Bonsai studio New years Bonsai exhibition.

I spend this cold afternoon preparing my little Hawthorn for the upcoming annual New Years Show at my dear old Bonsai friend Teunis Jan Klein “DESHIMA” Bonsai Studio in Nieuwerkerk a /d IJssel (Holland). This is a fun day where we not only all enjoy the Bonsai exhibition and Teunis his amazing store and the Bonsai for sale, but also the change to wish each other the best wishes for the New Year while enjoying good food and lots of drinks!

Because of the swelling of the root mass in the pot, I had to remove the bulging top layer of the soil in most places and therefor had to renew the layer of mos! With a soft brush, the beautiful old bark was cleaned and freed from moss. And then all the little branches that grew in the wrong places or the wrong direction were cutaway, giving it a cleaner look! And then there was no more daylight left to clean the pot, so it was time to put my tools away and warm my bones inside because it has been no warmer than 2 degrees in the sun today! Tomorrow I will prepare my little Prunus spinosa who is shown in a setup with my Hawthorn! So watch this space!
Cheers and HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!
Hans van Meer.

My video of the “Bonsai from the West” event is posted on YouTube!!!

Hi everybody,

I just posted on to YouTube the short video that I shot last weekend at the 12th edition of the “Bonsai from the West” event that was staged as always in the middle of the beautiful Botanical garden in Delft (the Netherlands). This yearly event that revolves about care and presentation of Bonsai. The goal is to inspire and motivate Bonsaïsts and to introduce a broad public with this unique hobby. In addition to the Bonsai exhibition, there were various activities, including Bonsai demonstrations and workshops, taichi, shinkendo, ikebana and a large Bonsai market where everything that has to do with Bonsai could be purchased! The Bonsai on display are from several Bonsai clubs and professionals from the Western part of Holland (the Netherlands) and they are challenged to come up with new and innovative ways to exhibit their Bonsai! And I must say that they all did a great job and that the overall show gets better and better each year! And I can’t wait until next years 13th edition of this fun event…when I will be demonstrating there! P.S. two more long videos f my trip and demo and workshop in Slovenia and of the exciting “Kei Bonsai Kai” monster event in Gent Belgium!!! So watch this space for that!!! Then I will start to repost here the 10 years of posts that I managed to save from my old blog that was removed without warning suddenly from the web! So lots to do and so little time to do it in! 😉 

Cheers,

Hans van Meer.