One of my resent pictures made it into our newspaper as “the picture of the week”!

One of the pictures that I shot and posted here a few weeks earlier made it into our local newspaper ‘Groot Hellevoet’ as the picture of the week! How cool is that!

This picture of the sunset and birds was shot by me from the dyke just a 5 minutes walk from my home. The people from the newspaper called it ‘a fairytale picture’! I am really proud of this honour! 🙂

Cheers,

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.

I finally went out again to shoot some pictures!

Thinks are looking up of late for me so I concluded that I had to make good use of that fact and duck up my camera and lenses once again! After just a 15 minutes walk from my house I reached the many meters high and many kilometres long dyke that protects our house and most of the south-west of Holland from flooding and was just in time to take some pictures of birds settling down for the night in the stunning setting sun! Some turned out so nice that I decided to share them with you all and I hope you like them as much as I do?!
Cheers,
Hans van Meer.

I will be posting some more Bonsai stories here soon as well as on YouTube! So keep watching this space!
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.