I got in a short time 3 comments and questions from 3 different people about the roots (Nebari) on my 3 Larch Yamadori Bonsai that I posted that I would like to address.
O life would be so simple if all collected evergreens and Larch trees had great surface roots (Nebari)…well they hardly ever do! GOOD BONSAI DON’T GROW ON TREES YOU KNOW!? Those that mean they are inferior or useless?! Or could not become beautiful or interesting Bonsai?! Quite the opposite in my opinion! Like it was and is the case with my windswept/slenting/ Literati style Larch Bonsai. 😉
I bought this, then still two trunk Yamadori Larch on a club auction somewhere in ’92 or ’93 because of its young but already nice 70% circling surface roots (see picture). One of the trucks grew/slanted away from these roots, making it look like if those roots were holding him in place preventing him from falling over and slowly sliding down the hill! Looking at this Lil’ tree the left prevailing winds can almost be felt! So the left (beautiful) trunk was sawed off leaving that short Jin in the picture. From then those roots were promoted and all foliage was over the period of almost 3 decades styled to mimic a wind-battered Larch in nature. To make it, even more, look like it is close to tumbling and or sliding down the hill, I asked my dear old potter friend Brian Albright to make the slanting pot it still is in today! This pot is less high on the right side creating and enhancing that sliding/balancing feeling as if the ground is slowly eroded away over the years! The high table it’s always displayed on enhances this feeling of a battered mountain Larch that is proudly holding on the edge of a mountainside. So these maybe not so perfect? surface roots/Nebari where and are the base behind this creation.
Below:The 4 white arrows point at the 4 well established and old roots. The Yellow arrow points in the visual movement of the slanting mountainside. As you can see that the pot is perfectly matched with that direction! The Green arrow points at the general directing (slightly towards) the viewer. That and the hight of the table creates a feeling that the tree is towering over and towards you! I think that there is a lot of visual speed in this Lil’ tree and a nice story! So maybe not perfect… but “There is a lot of beauty in imperfection”!
How happy and lucky we were with the incredible and unusually warm weather we had during these lockdown weeks full of crisis and fear so that we could at least spend most of our time in the warm safety of our enclosed garden! During those weeks I took the opportunity to work and take pictures of some of my Bonsai in my makeshift garden studio that I would like to share with you all. Below: I bought this untouched Yamadori Larch at my first club auction somewhere in early ’92. Being just 2 years into Bonsai it was one of the first Yamadori or any tree that I bought and styled! It was originally a double trunk and cutting off that one trunk without any hesitation proved to be a real stepping stone for my future way of working! It has always been one of my favourites with its old bark and fast and exciting movement to the right! It is 40 cm high and the wonderful matching pot is custom made for it by old Bonsai potter friend Brian Allbright (UK).
Below: This Japanese import Juniperus Chinensis was bought by me in the early ’90ties during a Bonsai road trip to see Kimura perform in Italie and to visit Crespi Bonsai. This road trip by small bus was organized by Farrand Blog en Rene Rooswinkel (Bonsai Focus Magazine) and the 6 of us hat quite the adventure! Seeing this giant of Bonsai demonstrating was a dream come through for me…but spending the evening with him and a hand full other Bonsai heroes was truly amazing! It was this night that Mister Kimura sad to me: you guys have so much more imagination than our students! You all have learned yourself to make a Bonsai out of something that our students only would use to sweep the floor with! 👌We all got a bit drunk that night and I made Mister Kimura turn blue and cough after I rolled for him a cigarette with (very strong) Dutch tobacco in it! 😂 Next morning at breakfast in the way over the top Italian all marble dining room I saw him stumbling past the food section, with his back toward me…so I grabbed one of the large silver serving plates and sneaked up on him from behind and dropped it just behind him! The BANG was way wurst then I could have hoped for and I must say he jumped pretty high for an old guy!!!🤣 Everyone was holding their breath scared for his reaction but he waved his finger at me and laughed! And whenever I saw him in later years he always smiled at me and waved that finger! 👌😉 Part of that same trip was a visit to the famous Crespi Bonsai centrum in Milaan and for someone like me so fresh into Bonsai that was soooooo overwhelming and an eye-opener! Their amazing material was so much better then what we could buy in and around Holland! So after long searching trough the many many hundreds of top Bonsai I discovered among others the Juniper from this story. But I was unlucky that my choice had been the demo tree from Master Keneko when he did a demo here earlier…so I paid way to much! In my blinding enthusiasm, I overlooked the obvious flows of this tree, but I guess that every bonsai addict has to go through this phase in his or her Bonsai journey!!! This Juni was very poor twice during its life with me when ants dug a whole nest in between its roots almost killing it! And every time it took me many years to get it into good health again! So a few weeks ago when I thought it was safe again to restyle it again I made some big decisions to get it in to shape again! I don’t like overly styled Junipers as much as in the early days and I would not even buy a Juniper like that anymore! So I tried to style this Juni in my way …going along without any plans! I needed the help of 2 iron bars to raise the whole top section some 8 cm/3 Inch and several thick branches were heavily bend into their new positions!
In early 2012 I was for the first time invited by my dear friends from Slovenia to do a Bonsai weekend with on Saturday a demo and Sunday a workshop and to make things even better a few days of collecting stunningly good Yamadori with my new best Bonsai friends!😁
Below: !This was shot late at night after the long drive home. I was so happy after finishing potting this massive collected Prunus mahaleb! Here it is still a double trunk tree, but a few years later I successfully air layered the left trunk and was left with an extra very promising Literati with a lot of Shari and Jin! A few years ago I gave it to my Dear Friend Tony Tickle for all the good things he has done for me in the past and it now lives in the UK! 🙏👍
Below: 8 years later and in full bloom! I am really amazed by its quick progress in such a short time and I can’t wait to plant it in a nice pot in a year or two! The base of this Mother is 70 cm and it is 76 cm high.
I hope you all are safe, healthy and holding on and I will post in a few days some stunning pictures of my Hawthorn’s in full bloom! So watch this space!!! Cheers, Hans van Meer.
yes, I know it is all a bit confusing me changing between my old and this my new blog! But I was pretty glad that I kept this one running after the old blog that was kindly provided and run for me by the KoB (Knowledge of Bonsai) Forum became unreachable and appears to be hacked?! And I can’t seem to get anybody to respond from there through their website that is still running…but no reply?! Luckily I had a WordPress XML file made of all the content of my old blog when it reappeared the first time it went of air for months! So after some surfing on the web to find out just how to get this huge file on to my new blog and would you believe…I managed to do it…without breaking anything!🥂🍾👏 Mind you though, I still have to organize everything so that my storeys are easy to find for everybody! I do realize that it will take many months before my old visitors will all have found this new location! But I have stories to tell and can’t wait any longer! So I will be back soon with the story of my Big Larch” the Elephant” trip to the amazing 20Th edition of the TROPHY in Belgium! So watch this space and forgive me for the work that is going on meanwhile!
and welcome to my all new Bonsai blog! It now is almost a week ago that I came back all happy from my Bonsai trip to beautiful Slovenia all ready to post about it all, only to find out that my compleat blog had disapeared from the web, without any prior warning what so ever?! More than a decade of Bonsai adventures history gone without a trace?! After a day of frantic work, I managed with some help to find a site that had saved some 30 % of my latest posts that I will have to cut and past back here on to my new blog! That will be don in the next few weeks…so at least some of the posts about my Bonsai adventures are saved! So that is good news after all! New posts about my Bonsai trips to Slovenia were I did a workshop and a demo, my visit to the Kei Bonsai Kai Bonsai show in Belgium where I entered my “Elephant” and other Bonsai stuff will be posted soon on this my new blog…so watch this space!!! For now, I would proudly like to show to you a video of my “Elephant” Larch that was kindly made by Evoluzione Bonsai . I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do! Thanks, Rodolfo!!!
I found this Poem about (any God’s) beautiful nature that I would like to share with you all. It is titled “Under the old Maple tree” and is written by Mae Stein and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do?!
# metree: This is an open apology to whomever it may concern. I have to shamefully confess that over my past 27 years in Bonsai I have without asking their explicit permission have defoliated many defenceless trees against their will. I am deeply ashamed of this cruel and inappropriate behaviour and I am willing to face all the consequences that will follow because of this confession.
over the last week, I have been busy looking over all my posts here on my blog if there where pictures missing and for poor grammar and spelling. I have found almost all missing pictures and reinstalled them back into the story’s and while I was at it I enlarged all the pictures as well for better viewing! It was fun to reread all my old posts again and it made me decide to repost a few interesting ones again. Over the last weeks, I have been preparing a lot of my Bonsai and a couple of them found new happy owners and homes. Over the last month, I did a few workshops and a fun private first styling session that I filmed to be posted on to youtube after the second and last styling session in a couple of weeks is don. I am very happy to say that there are some future workshops and demo’s planned abroad for early summer next year and I am preparing one of my Bonsai for the next Noelanders trophy (B) in January and two other Bonsai for the second edition of the “KEI BONSAI KAI” ten and ten “DANNY USE & FRIENDS” on 26 of May in “GINKGO” Bonsai centre in Laarne Belgium!!! This mega “Ginkgo” show will be completely filmed again by me, with a much better camera this time… so watch this space! So things are rolling again and that makes me more than happy! 🙂 Thanks all for visiting my blog all these years, it is highly appreciated! 🙂