now that the worthless 2017 Summer has come to a rainy end, I have been doing a lot of maintenance on my Bonsai! Removing were necessary wire, weeds, fertilizer and brown leaves. While doing that I saw two of my old Sho-hin smiling at me…so I had to make some pictures to show to you all! These two have been with me for over two decades now and keep on looking better and better as the years go by! The first one is a Prunus spinosa Yamadori from the UK that was given to me by Tony Tickle all those years ago. It was first for many years styled by me as a Moyo-gi , but after a decade I saw something better in it and cut off most of the old branches on the right side to style a more suitable and natural image! And now after an other decade or so it has more or less arrived at the image that I had foreseen all those years ago! It looks so natural now and very appealing with all those berry’s still on it!
The second Sho-hin is a Punica granatum Yamadori from France. This little gem is even longer with me and has , slowly but steady, matured enormously during that time! It really look like a proper tree now with mature branches and really amazing roots for such a small Bonsai! The beautiful pot is by John Pitt (UK).
here are some pictures that I like to share with you all, they were made last week during my short break in the beautiful Ardenne in Belgium. It sadly rained most of the time, but during the last day, the sun broke through the clouds so I could finally make my long-planned hike to see the old Oaks I had seen for the first time some 20 years ago! So when the sun came out I wanted to take quick advantage of this opportunity and make the long walk to finally see them again! They grow on an impossible hard rock mountainside and some of them are just 2 meters high. They are stunning and some grow in really unique forms, like the multiple trunks one in the picture below. Click on pictures for full size!
Below: This little (oak) gem is not much higher than 1,5 meter.
Below: Close up, look at that movement! 🙂
Below: Some nice views I shot on the way up.
Below: And a final bonus to a wonderful day, some nice bread with wonderful cheese and a view to die for!
for more than a week now, Holland is experiencing a period of extreme cold weather, with a record low of more than 21 degrees frost! All my Bonsai are safely in there warmed winter shelter and there is no Bonsai work to be don in this freezing weather! In Holland (the Netherlands) young and old are taking advantage of all that ice every were around us and seeing them all having so much fun skating around in beautiful sunny weather, made me deside that it was about time to give skating a try again! During my teen years I played ice hockey for many years and skating became, just as easy as walking to me! But that was more than 28 years ago and I havend skate since than! So I looked up my old rusty ice hocky skates and walked to the corner of my street were a great ice floor was waiting for me. The first thing that I found out is that your feeds keep on growing even after you are in your twenties! My skates were much to small for my feet’s! But realy I wanted to try anyway so I managed to squeeze in my feet! The second thing I found out, is that I completely forget how to stand up strait on the ice with out falling, let alone trying to skate! For the first time in my live, I actually was afraid to fall and hurt my already weak back! But I did not want to give in to that fear and after a few attempts, my old muscles started to remember how skating was don all those years ago! It was a shame that my feeds realy started to hurt in those small shoes and that I had to stop, but it was great to stand on the ice again after so many years. Next year I will buy a new pair of ice hockey skates so that I will be prepared when father ice chooses to come around again!
Below: These next pictures were made a few days ago during a walk along my favourite beach close to my house.
I love winter, it makes the world look so much brighter and magical! I hope you enjoyed this impression of winter in Holland?!
while looking through some more old pictures to scan and use in my new Bonsai stories, I came across some pictures that I shot during my ’95 trip to Milan Italy. To, among other things, see Kimura perform there on stage for 2 days. Seeing those stones on these old pictures again, gave me the same feeling as when I saw them for the first time all those years ago. AMAZING! I hope you enjoy them too?
this Sunny afternoon I shot this picture of one of my Larch Yamadori in full bloom. I would like to share it with you because I believe it is magical. This picture has captured that feeling, that urged me to make it in the first place!
for the last couple of days, I have been searching for old pictures of my old Mugo Pine “BIG RON” to go along with the story of its history I am writing for my website. I had to look trough, 3 big boxes, full of old pictures and wile doing this I came across some old pictures of me with 2 inspiring trees that I would like to share with you. They proved that nothing is impossible for mother nature and that when it comes to styling, we can only bow our head!
This picture was shot in early 2000 during a weekend trip I made to the Belgium Ardennes. This old “European Beech” Fagus sylvatica had grown here for many centuries, while around it the scenery completely changed. Now it was surrounded by thousand of fur trees, that were planted there for their timber. The only open spaces that were left among this high trees, were the roads that the forestry commission and the lumberjacks used for there working. And just were 4 off these open roads met, this old lonely tree was allowed to grow. But just a few weeks, before this picture was made, this part of Europe was hit by a big storm. And these open roads, surrounded by those high fur trees, must have channelled all the force of this storm, right onto this defenceless old tree! After all these years of surviving a changing environment, this big lonely tree collapsed! On the left, you can see some of the remaining of the once so tall and proud tree. But mother nature must have felt sorry for this big guy and helped it to grow new branches on what was left off its hollowed out trunk. Creating this wonderful image of resilience and the will to live! I wonder if this tree still lives there, all alone on the crossroads of life? As soon as I am able to, I will make the trip to Belgium to check it out!
This picture was shot in ’98 during my vacation on the beautiful island Ibiza. This wonderful place is not only famous for the many, many nightclubs and all night partying! The nature on this island is also unbelievable! Especially the small “Junipers” that grow there are amazing. On my trip along the coastline, I discovered a spot where incredibly old and contorted “Junipers” lived! Among them, this old and wind battered Pine kept watch! The temperatures are scorching here during Summertime and it hardly ever rains, so besides that this Pine is very beautiful, it is also very special, to be able to grow here for such a long time! I also noticed: that I was in a much better shape back then! 🙂