Styles of Bonsai

There are many styles of Bonsai and all refer to natural styles in nature. Many have Japanese names such as Ikadabuki, Netsuranari, Nebari and Shari. These terms have become generic although originating in Japan and they work in the same way as Latin terminology works with garden plants. It allows …

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A Winter Eden

Merry Christmas

A winter garden in an alder swamp, Where conies now come out to sun and romp, As near a paradise as it can be And not melt snow or start a dormant tree. It lifts existence on a plane of snow One level higher than the earth below, One level …

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Winter Sweet

Wintersweet (c) Rosemary

While gardeners in mild, frost-free parts of the country can look forward to an abundance of flowers in any month provided heavy rain doesn’t batter the blooms too much, those of us in the colder regions have learnt to really appreciate the hardy battlers that bloom on through the frosts. …

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Bonsai knowledge for beginners

orme de chine en poterie demi-lune

Over the past 25 years of running the Bonsai Shop in Dublin, I have come across many questions from beginners. The following is a selection of some of them with answers. How do you take care of them? The most important thing is watering. Bonsai need more watering than an …

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Great Bonsai, part one

Japanese_White_Pine

Bonsai that mysterious tree that has intrigued and inspired many great artists has been around for many centuries. One great example is a famous tree known as the  ‘Hiroshima Survivor’, a 400 year old Japanese White Pine (Pinus parviflora ‘Miyajima’) that survived the bombing of Hiroshima by the infamous bomber …

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The Blushing Bride Protea

The Protea family (Proteaceae) includes a wide range of ground covers, trees and shrubs that often make superb garden plants. While some of the species are frost-tender, they are in all other respects remarkably resilient plants that often thrive in situations where others would rapidly succumb. Poor soils and hot …

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Kepaniwai Park Heritage Gardens

It is hard to believe that the dense rainforests and jagged peaks of Maui’s Iao Valley were once the scene of some of the bloodiest battles in King Kamehameha the Great’s quest to unify the Hawaiian Islands. In the 1790s, during the height of the conflict, there were so many …

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Orchids Listed

These very beautiful plants have tended to suffer from a bad press. There seems to be a general impression that they are very difficult to grow, requiring dedication, patience and special growing conditions. Some do but many are easy-going plants that most gardeners can succeed with. Probably the most limiting …

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Your own Japanese Garden, part two

In my previous article I wrote about considerations and decisions to be taken when you are going to build your own Japanese garden. In this article I’ll elaborate on that. As the Japanese garden evolved over 15 centuries it is difficult to label or “put in a box”. As there …

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Witch hazels for winter colour

There’s no denying that winter can be a drab time in the garden and that deciduous shrubs and trees can be rather dull at this time of year, but that’s no reason to write them off entirely, as so many gardeners seem wont to do. Not only do deciduous shrubs …

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