Wiring and reposition my big larch named XL.

Hi everybody,
yesterday the last day of January was the warmest on record en today it was even warmer here in Holland! There is something seriously wrong with Mother nature of late…but that does not mean that there is something wrong with doing some wiring work in the warm sun! So after a long walk on the dyke along the sea just a few minutes away from my home, I was refreshed to start wiring and reposition my big larch named XL in the warm Winter sun! Good Times indeed!!!

I will post the end result in a few days if the weather stays this nice?!

Have a nice weekend everybody!

Cheers,

Hans van Meer.

Picture of my small Hawthorn.

This little Hawthorn was collected by me in 2007 in Wales.
Below: Here are two before and after pictures from 2008 when I had just cut of all but four branches in its first styling

februari-2008-127-hans-van-meer.jpg
februari 2008 352 Hans van Meer
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Below: And this is the picture that I shot this afternoon in the makeshift foto studio in my living room. The custom made pot is by my dear friend: John Pitt. Height: 43cm

Why am I so proud of this little Hawthorn? Wel not only because it has turned into a well established Bonsai in such a short time, but more because of its amazing ramification! I have several collected older Hawthorns from the same Wales aria in my collection and they are treated and pampered just like this one but none of them comes even close ramification wise?! Hawthorns are notoriously slow branch growers, so this little one is probably that famous one in a million! And I am not complaining! I hope you like the picture as much as I do?!
Cheers,
Hans van Meer.

Wiring my Larch ‘The Elephant’.

The last couple of days were cold but with some sunny weather so I made some good use of this opportunity to rewire and reposition the branches on my Big Larch! So dressed warmly and with plenty of strong hot coffee, it took me off and on some 2 days!

I have to admit that I am a bit proud of the ramification on this Bonsai! It has nice tapering and hardly any cut scares. The way how Larch grows and profoundly back buds make this possible and make them such ideal material for Bonsai!

It is not the most flattering of pictures, but I do hope that is shows just how mature the foliage and Bonsai look by now! I cant wait to see how it will look in a few months with its new fresh green foliage and I so hope to be able to show it in a big Bonsai show this Sumner…but that is for later I hope?!
Cheers,
Hans van Meer.

Some winter work.

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 don! Don’t get me wrong though I kept my baby’s 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!

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 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 for 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 ramification on its branches!

This third more massive Yamadori Prunus has a story of its own! The (red) 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.

The right (Red) side stayed with me and looks like this after completely wiring it last week.

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 one 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.

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!

And 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 with 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 planes on the online Bonsai forums, there were many replies that Hawthorns are not suitable to use because they are notoriously difficult to creat 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!

Early 2008 a year after collecting. The yellow line shows the future plan and what needs to be removed!
A few hours later and the beginning of my Hawthorn Moyogi!
May 2018.
December 2019 in a custom made pot by dear friend John Pitt.

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!!!

Cheers,
Hans van Meer.

New picture of my old Yamadori Blackthorn

Hi everybody,
it must have been some 20 years ago that my dear old English friend Terry Foster gave me as a gift the even then old Yamadori Blackthorn from this story. I cultivated and trained this small beauty for many years as a small 25 cm Moyogi but I was always disappointed that the natural Shari/deadwood was hidden on the back of the tree and that there was an obvious reverse taper at the base!

Here she is still styled as a Moyogi.

And with beautiful flowers.

And then some 8 years ago I got a brave idea to turn her around! That meant that I had to cut off a major branch and rearrange most of the existing branches!

This is the drawing that I made of my plan.
Just look at that amazing natural Shari/deadwood!
Red arrow points at the twisted Nebari/roots.

Red arrow points at the branch that needs to be removed leaving a small Jin. This will create together with the new planting angle movement to the left and an image of a wind-battered tree!

Cutting that beautiful but unwanted branch!
Sometimes you have to be brave!
Red arrow: this thick root will be cut right back to the Yellow arrow!
May 2012 in its new American? pot!
Oktober 2019. And this is how she looks today! Covered with berries and looking just how I had hoped for! I hope you like her as much as we do?!

I promise to post some more soon so watch this space! In the meanwhile, you can watch my two latest videos on YouTube!

Cheers,

Hans van Meer.


Cheers,
Hans van Meer.

The Compleat restyling of several of my Mugo Yamadori is filmed and will soon be posted on my YouTube Bonsai channel.

Hi, everybody,
it has been a while…I know! But I have been really busy restyling several of my older Mugo Yamadori completely and I first styled a rother unique large cascading Mugo that I collected with my Slovenian friends 5 years ago and I documented it all and will post it as soon as the last footage is shot and edited on to my YouTube Bonsai channel!!! So watch this space!!! So CU all soon!!!
Here is a sneak teaser of “BIG RON” with his completely new backside!!!

“BIG RON” his new backside.

Cheers,

Hans van Meer.

WORKSHOP AT MY FIRST BONSAI CLUB “KOYA”. WORKSHOP BIJ MIJN EERSTE BONSAI CLUB “KOYA”.

Hi everybody,

here are some pictures and the text from the workshop that I gave on the 28 of April at my first Bonsai club “KOYA”.  Text by: G. Schwagermann.

 It took some surging to find the temporary location of the “Lijm en Cultuur” (glue and culture) building in Delft. But how nice it was that this old building is not yet demolished so that we all could enjoy Hans van Meer’s workshop in this “ART DECO” ambience. The workshop was fully booked with 10 Koya members, jong and old, beginners and advanced but above all, a group focused to learn. Dan Snipes did a short introduction that was followed by Hans presenting himself,  he started once upon a time at Koya and now he is an international asked Bonsai teacher. Who as he sad himself now was “back on base”. All trees that were brought in were discussed at length, with in between a lively discussion about the phenomena that brought us all together: Bonsai! After that, it was time to start working on the trees. Hans did his rounds and helped with advice and hands-on action, also there started a spontaneous interaction between different members, typical Koya! It was an instructive and entertaining afternoon that brought us a bit closer to the charm of Bonsai. Koya thanks you, Hans for participating in this workshop. 

G. Schwagermann

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Workshop Hans van Meer
Delft, 28 april 2018

Het was even zoeken naar de locatie van Lijm en Cultuur aan de Rotterdamseweg 272 in Delft.
Maar wat fijn dat ze dit oude gebouw (nog) niet gesloopt hebben zodat wij nu in een sfeer van “Art-deco” de workshop van Hans van Meer mochten ervaren. De workshop was volgeboekt met 10 Koyanen, jong en oud, beginners en gevorderden maar bovenal een enthousiaste groep gefocust om te leren.
Dan Snipes gaf een korte inleiding waarna Hans zich presenteerde, ooit begonnen bij Koya en nu een internationaal gevraagde bonsaimeester.
Nu, zoals hij zelf zei “terug op honk”!
Alle bomen werden met aandacht van de hele groep uitvoerig besproken met daar tussendoor een levendige discussie over het fenomeen wat ons samen brengt: Bonsai.
Daarna was de tijd gekomen om aan de bomen te gaan werken. Hans deed de ronde en gaf raad en daad, ook ontstond er een spontane samenwerking van de leden, Koya eigen?
Het was een leerzame en onderhoudende dag en zijn we weer een stukje dichterbij de bekoring van Bonsai.
Hans bedankt, Koya bedankt voor het ter beschikking stellen van deelname hieraan.

G. Schwagermann

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Below: every single Bonsai is discussed with the owner and the rest of the group. Their plans, ideas, options, health, techniques, timing etc..  

Below: many different varieties and styles are on offer and that is always a nice challenge, very interesting and informative for the students and me!

Below: some trees offer a real challenge.

Below: after the talk and discussions of all trees it is time to work.

Below: explaining and helping with an approach root craft to improve the Nebari (root base).

It was a fun day working together with the members of the Bonsai club were I once started my now 28 years old Bonsai adventure and I hope that we will do more of these in the future! Thanks, Koya for this article and the pictures it is highly appreciated!

Next up my trip to Slovenia for a demo and a workshop and a lot of hiking and site seeing with my good friend Roland! So watch this space!

Cheers,

Hans van Meer.

Info: karamottobonsai@hotmail.com

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