Below: it must have been 3 or 4 years ago that I noticed a small fern-like weed that was growing in between the gravel stones hidden underneath a long table full of Bonsai! So I duck it up and planted it in the pot where it still lives in today. And then this Spring a thin stem started to grow and grow and bundles of small white buds started to form around the top of that still-growing stem! And even strong winds that battered it could not break or even bend it?! And then after a few weeks, the flowers opened and an amazing perfume filled my working/foto aria! So I looked up some stuff to make this quick composition with…why you might ask? Well because I like to do this… it is a quick creating fix! The water stone on the left I found some 20 years ago on a beach in Denmark when I was there to do a demo and workshop.
Below: This is a poor Cell phone picture and I just could not get the brightness of the reflecting flower petals down enough! I removed the plant identifier from my phone so I don’t have a clue what this little weed/plant name is?! So if anybody out there knows it! Then please let me know?!
I hope you liked this little post about the silly things that make me happy?! Ow…and a weed is just a plant that nobody wants!
Yesterday was a perfect warm sunny day and I had a very welcome visit from my oldest Bonsai friend Teunis Jan Klein (NL) who runs the well-known Bonsai centre “DESHIMA” in Nieuwe kerk aan de ijsel (NL). And is a great award-winning artist and teacher! So I created a simple welcomes display in my living room on my high work table. In the background is a print of a picture that I made in the amazing Japanese garden in Portland Oregon. I worked this picture over with my paint program so that it looks like it was painted on canvas. The tree is one of my Hawthorns Yamadori (collected tree) that I found in Wales with Tony and Terry in the middle nineties. It has been in several shows over the years and she turned into a grand old lady that lives in a very special Dan Barton pot that he gave to me as a gift during one of my very memorable stays in his and Mom’s lovely place in the (U.K). I miss those days of being able to travel and meet all those different Bonsai friends! ( I will make a better shot of that special pot and post it!) ( If I don’t forget that is…?) (FORGET WHAT????).
Below: It was unusually hot that day and Teunis drove all day when he arrived…so I duck up a Japanese handmade wooden coaster and a bronze water basin with a gold-painted frog and blossom branch. To make it a real cooling composition I filled it half with water and plucked some little weed leaves that grow under my tables to float on the water.
Teunis was pleasantly surprised and we then spend a long good old friend’s time among my trees. Discussing and showing my work to a great artist is always an honour and a pleasure for me!
One morning last year I found this welcome visitor relaxing on my big Yamadori 5 trunk Fagus raft and just had to quickly take a picture of him with my old cell phone. Hope you like this poor shot as much as I do?! It’s freezing here tonight and snow is predicted! Poor just repotted trees!
Today was a beautiful day to take the time to place all the branches that I wired on Wolfie earlier in their places! By turning, lifting and angling Wolfie I decided the best (possible) new angle and position. Little pieces of wood were placed underneath the pot to bring the tree in its best future potting position! Some old branches had to go and the rest of the branches and foliage were brought in place with the help of bottle corks, cut to fit wooden paint steering sticks and rubber cubs (that were cut out off the sole of my old beach flip flop slippers! This bringing in place was by now means an easy task because Wolfie grew very slow in a place with hardly any vegetation on top of an enormous boulder rock in just a few Inches of very hard old soil that was made up over many decades out of his own shed needles! That and being covered by a large pack of heavy snow during the long Winters followed by a short very hot Summer and nibling goats made that the now very old and unbendable branches had grown in a curled up way covered with old deadwood! And believe me, they are unbendable! I made these curled up very old branches with their old cracked bark and full of deadwood (Shari) the main focus point in between the opened up top foliage section!
Below: I found this picture of Wolfie from September 2012. So this is how he looked 10 years ago!
Below: 10 years later: Close up of some of the curled up old branches.
Below: Too long tin branches with only one or two candles at the end were removed. An older thicker one that grew from straight forward in your face was also removed to open up the foliage for the viewers so that they can better admire the curled up old branches, trunk, bark and deadwood of this little old tree! Wolfie has shapeshifted into a new exciting image and is settled for a few growing seasons! It only needs to be repotted in this same pot, at a different angle…but that’s for later! I hope you like “Wolfie’s” new look?!
On the 9th of February 2018, the Monday after the Famous “Noelanders Trophy” in Belgium were I also showed one of my own trees. My dear (UK) friends Tony Tickle and Terry Foster came to visit our house on their way to their boat back to England that leaves from Europort (NL) only some 15 minutes from where we live. Like every year when they come we eat, laugh and most of all share Bonsai stories and gossip of course! And then it is: let’s SEE THE GARDEN en what you have been up to!!!! It is always an honour to show my work to such great artists and knowledgeable friends like these two! And as always they are honest and when they like it…well then you can be sure you are on the right way! Like he usually those: Tony made a video of this Bonsai garden (10×5 meter 😎)meeting that I only discovered and saw 2 days ago for the very first time! Ow and watch out for the moment where Tony shows the ramifications on one of my small hawthorns that has never been filmed from all sides before! So if you are interested to see my work from 4 years ago in my garden with English commentary from Tony himself! Then this is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjUlxfa46ow&t=219s
That Gin made of Blackthorn or Sloe berries is an acquired taste indeed! Bud after half a bottle you are more or less used to the taste and probably past out!!!
Below: But I don’t think that there are enough berries on my Yamadori Shohin Blackthorn Prunus spinosa?! But this afternoon in the sun I was wiring some small branches on it with a coffee at hand and was thinking: I want to show this ideal scene anyway to you all!
Below: Close up of the beautiful natural old deadwood.
Today was the perfect day for me! Why you might ask? Well while it was storming outside, I spend the day warm inside where I started wiring my Mugo pine “Woolfie” on a table that is perfectly high enough for me to work/wiring while standing up with a straight back! That way I am longer able to work…but what was more important: this table stands next to my big TV so that I can watch the Olympics with my left eye while the right one helps wiring the tree! 😎🏆😉
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.
Earlier I posted a picture of the tinny mushrooms that hat overnight suddenly appeared around the root base of my Taxus/Yew. Well today, while busy removing all of the on used photo’s that I had made from my cell phone, I made a unbelievable discovery on one of them!!! SOOT SPRITES!!! 😱😉
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!