Japanese water gardens, choosing your plants

Having carefully planned and constructed your Japanese water garden, it’s time to bring it to life with plants.

A Japanese water gardener’s goal is to echo nature with rocks, water, and plants. Landscaping may include carefully planted lilies with softly waving grasses and bamboos.
The arrangement of flowers and shrubs are more dynamic than in other pond design styles, while still creating a relaxed and peaceful feeling.

The plants must be chosen wisely to create the effect you are seeking, as well as to help to mature and balance your Japanese garden. In choosing plants for your Japanese water garden, foliage and form are as important as bloom color.

Many plants native to Japan, including ferns and dogwoods, have close relatives in North America and Europe, and are easily adaptable to these growing conditions. Foliage plants play an important role in a Japanese garden style more than flowers do. Evergreens are essential and generally make up a majority of the plants used. Part of the appeal of a Japanese landscape is its simplicity. It has few elements to detract one’s attention from the garden. And this understatement is on purpose. The following list identifies some of the traditional elements that contribute to the overall appearance of your Japanese water garden.

The negative spaces are as important as the plantings.

Asymmetrically placed plants, paths, and sculptures give a feeling of motion within the contained space.

Monochromatic designs of dark green foliage, dark stones and white gravel and sand invite contemplation.

Color is only a temporary accent via blossoms or grasses that change color with the seasons.

Plant shapes are enhanced and controlled by pruning with close attention to diagonal, horizontal, and vertical directions.

Simplicity, balance, and calm are the hallmarks of a Japanese garden design. Japanese maples are one of the most popular plant choices for the Japanese water gardens. Japanese maples have red or variegated leaves and most have brilliant fall colors. Shapes and sizes range from ground huggers to those that will grow 30 feet high and wide.

A weeping cherry is another eye-catching plant that is readily used. Even when they are not in bloom they are still visually appealing.

The Taro or Elephant ear is a popular plant for the Japanese Garden. They have bold leaves that add dramatic texture and color to the water garden and it has several stunning varieties. Most varieties grow quickly and put on an awesome display. The Black Taro (Black Magic) is likely the most popular taro due to its moderate stature and unique color. It has dusty black leaves that sit on dark purple-black stems. The Imperial taro has green leaves that vary in degrees of dark purple patterned between the green leaf veins. This compact grower generates numerous young plants on runners and will quickly fill out a container. Another popular taro is the Violet stem taro. Black stems hold the large shiny green leaves well above the water. The silky texture of the leaf surface magnifies the gentle ripples.

Tropical water lilies with their large leaves and colorful flowers add dazzle to your pond. The leaves of the tropical water lily are often serrated around the edges, with bold markings. They hold their flowers well above the water’s surface. Tropical lilies can be wintered indoors, or the tubers can be collected after frost and stored in damp sand at 45 to 50 degrees F.

One plant that shouldn’t be missed when planting your Japanese water garden is Bamboo. Bamboo has 1,500 varieties to choose from, and their mature size can be as short as 4 inches. It can be included as living clumps and in architectural elements such as fences and fountains. If you grow Bamboo you will want to restrain them. Planting in a 2 to 3 foot length of culvert pipe sunk vertically in the ground would be a good idea.

Remember, when planting your Japanese water gardening plants you will not want to plant them in rows or en masse, instead tucked singly and discretely at the foot of a stone or the bend of a path to add visual excitement. Tall grasses such as the Japanese Silver Grass (Miscanthus Sirensis) provide vertical interest and rustle in the wind.

For your Japanese water garden to look its best and work in optimal condition you will need to implement care and maintenance of your plants. Once established, aquatic plants grow rapidly and will require dividing and cutting back.

The sound of trickling water and the flash of color provided by bright, healthy plants is the aim of most Japanese gardeners. A healthy pond with clean water and lush plant growth will brighten any Japanese garden, large or small, and bring hours of pleasure and relaxation. It is not difficult to achieve such a pond, given the correct information, some planning and a little work.

Japanese Gardens, Poetry in Motion

The Japanese people have always been in tune with nature and accepting of the concepts of change and the passage of time. This harmony is expressed through many artistic mediums, but none so evident, nor so pleasing, as the Japanese Garden. Just as Japan’s delicately crafted poetry demands structure, Japanese Gardens have their own Aesthetic Markers, as steeped in tradition as the 17 syllable haiku.

Delicate branches
Roots caress a simple pot
White blossoms shimmer
The essence of all forests
Lives here in one small tree.
– Mastuyama Mokurai

One of the most cherished aspects of any Japanese Garden is the preservation of “shizen” or naturalness.  An bonsai forme du lettréexample would be in the use of cement or brick; they look more pleasing in their natural tones rather than painted. Another example is by complementing the natural surroundings with the selection of simple objects such as a single bonsai on the edge of a quiet pond.

Natural asymmetry or “fukensei” is preserved by placing elements in compositions using odd numbers, one, three or five. A solitary object can create a bigger impact on the senses than small groupings. An imaginary drawing of a triangle between the trained branches of a tree or the placement of stones also insures that the element of “fukensei” has been met.

The Japanese concept of “kanso” or simplicity is most evident in gardens of the Zen tradition.  Just as the haiku creates powerful images by its element of simplicity, a solitary stone may represent an entire mountain or island by its simple yet precise placement.

The concept of “ma” or space used in a Japanese garden is a direct reflection of how the Japanese have viewed life through the generations. The concept that all objects interact within a given space and that nothing exists alone plays a big part in all aspects of Japanese culture. Even that single stone island is surrounded by water, real or imagined and the point at which they meet is the transition from the liquid to the solid; neither can exist without the other.

The Japanese love of things miniature and their capacity for patience is fully expressed in the art of bonsai. Whether the trees are trained to represent the oldest form of bonsai, the “informal upright” or more modern versions such as the “sharimiki”  (resembles dry wood with live branches) these tiny creations are believed to represent all of nature “in one small tree”.

That does not mean that the Japanese were and are not without a sense of humor. In Nijo Castle in Kyoto, which was the center of military power in the ancient capital, the shoguns had their own way of enjoying their gardens. They would mix their love of poetry and saki by holding a poetry writing contest in the midst of the formal display garden.  Poets of note would sit on large rocks at the edges of garden streams.  Their task was to compose a poem before cups of saki, set afloat upstream, reached their particular rock. If the poem was not complete before the saki reached the poet, the poet must drink the saki before the contest could continue. In that vein:

vision of beauty
nature encapsulated
within your branches

Now, where’s the saki?

Bonsai Your Pond!

ContainerPondsThese are the small to really small ponds and container water gardens are one of the easiest ways to try your hand at water gardening. The beauty of these container water garden is that you can integrate one or many into your landscape. A container water garden is also ideal for an apartment or small home where you may only have a small patio. Your creativity is the limit for these little gardens.

Anything that can hold water can be incorporated into your garden. Containers for your water garden come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can use something as elegant as a ceramic planter or as rustic as an old horse trough, kettle, or half a whiskey barrel.

You should have a container that holds more than 7 gallons of water, anything else is too small. Look for a container that is at least 12 inches deep. If you can find something that is a little deeper, say 18 inches that would be ideal. You will need a little depth if you plan to keep water lilies or any fish. Water lilies need 6 to 12 inches of water above their crown to grow well. Fish need a little depth for swimming and for keeping cool.

Place your container water garden where you can enjoy it often, as well as add a visual display to your visitors. Decide ahead of time where you want your container to be positioned, and then buy plants that suit the situation. There is no point buying sun lovers for a shady position, for they will not do well. Some plants also have really large roots, so they are best kept for the open garden.

To keep your container from rusting or leaking and to keep any toxins it might contain from harming plants or fish, you should line it. There are now fiberglass shells specially made for half barrels. For other containers, use a piece of PVC liner.

Although you shouldn’t cram the container with plants, it is possible to enjoy a half dozen species in even a small one. Water lilies are always a good choice for your container water garden. Cultivating aquatic plants in containers make for easy maintenance and management. Individual varieties can be lifted and divided as required and isolating one kind from another means that they do not readily invade one another’s territory. Try to include an upright plant or two, as well as one that will hang gracefully over the side.

A few small goldfish or mosquito fish will help keep your mini-pond free of mosquito larvae. Unless you live in a warm-winter climate or can sink the container into the ground for the winter, you will need to transfer the fish to an indoor aquarium for a few months each year.

Container Plants
A wide range of plants can be used in containers. In fact, virtually any plant is suitable, although those with long taproots tend to be unhappy unless the pot is really deep. Some plants are used almost exclusively in containers. Trailing plants, for example, have been bred especially for hanging baskets and window boxes. The most common plants used for containers are:

* Ageratum
* Agapanthus
* Argyranthemum
* Begonia
* Bidens Ferulifolia
* Brachycome Iberidifolia
* Cordyline Australis
* Diascia
* Felicia Amelloides
* Helichrysum Petiolare
* Hosta
* Impatiens
* Lobelia
* Pelargonium
* Nemisia
* Pelargonium
* Petunia
* Phormium
* Primula
* Tagetes
* Tropaeolum
* Verbena x Hybrida
* Viola x Wittrockiana

One benefit of having a water garden is all the creatures it will attract. All creatures need water for survival, and the addition of any kind of water feature to your landscape is a sure way to attract birds, butterflies, bullfrogs, and other wildlife to your yard. Water features of all kinds with or without fish, in the house or out in the garden, filled with plants or little more than a basin of still water reflecting the sky; add a soothing element to any setting.

At every stage of creating your container water garden, you will be faced with many interesting choices, each with their own challenges and benefits. Be led by your own creativity, budget, and instinct to create a garden feature that reflects your own inspiration. You start with a clean slate, so let your imagination take over.

A Hardy Little Orchid

orchidA number of years ago I was asked to re-design a very large semi-shaded patio area. The house was huge and the patio ran the entire length. The client specifically asked for unusual perennials to interest her garden club friends. Because of the close-up viewing from the patio, used primarily for entertaining, I decided that each clump of perennials needed to be a small intimate cluster, not a large mass as we used in the background. And, based upon previous experience with this client I knew that whatever we put in needed to be easy to care for and just about fool proof.

I ran out of plant ideas before I filled the entirety of this huge space. At that time I was barely familiar with the perennial Chinese terrestrial orchid (Bletilla striata); but from everything I had read, it seemed like a good choice. Hardy Chinese Ground Orchid was reported to be very easy to grow, shade tolerant and appeared to be handsome even when out of bloom. And, having a perennial with blooms that looked like true miniature orchids certainly would get the attention of the garden clubbers. The light sweet fragrance was an added bonus. I decided to try a small grouping.

I happened to go back to this garden in late spring about three years after we installed the plants. In three years, the seven hardy orchids had expanded to a solid yard-wide clump with over a hundred flower stalks – truly a spectacular sight.

Since then I have had several more successes with hardy orchids (and no failures). I particularly like the white variety – the form we are featuring today. Hardy Orchids add a touch of class to the woodland garden or any partially shady nook. I have no idea why they are not better known.

Bletillas are the easiest of all orchids to grow. Bletilla striata Alba features sprays of about a dozen lightly fragrant, pure white flowers that appear for about 6 weeks in late spring. The blossoms resemble miniature cattleyas, but with unusual pleated tongues. Its ribbed, palm-like arching leaves flutter in the slightest breeze and make an excellent backdrop for the white blooms. Bletillas are superb, unconventional additions to the garden. They reach a height of approximately 18 inches, and they have a preference for partial shade in compost-enhanced, well-drained soil that doesn’t dry out in summer. They can be grown in containers and also as indoor houseplants in a sunny window. As such, they bloom in February.

Cultural Instructions

Hardy in Zones 5 (with protection) – 9.

Place the tuberous roots just below the soil surface.

Choose a semi-shaded location.

Plant in compost-enriched, well-drained soil.

Water regularly in dry periods until established. To ensure good bud-set, pay particular attention to summer watering.

Fertilize in early spring and late fall with Cotton Seed Meal and Kelp Meal. (Holly-tone can be substituted for Cotton Seed Meal after the first year.)

Cut foliage back to the ground in late fall or very early spring.

Mulch well for winter in Zone 5.

Bonsai bugs!

shutterstock_31707127Bonsai trees are very delicate and are susceptible to decay, disease, damage, and infestations by pests. Lack of proper care is one of the top reasons for these problems, and if your tree gets into trouble you will need to know how to treat the tree without damaging it.

Some of the problems that you may come across include spider mites, scale insects, mealy bugs, aphids, green fly, black fly, and gall aphid. There are also several different types of moths that can attack a bonsai tree. They include the goat moth, leopard moth, geometer moth, and ermine moths.

You will want to watch the leaves of your plant, spider mites and greenhouse mites attack the bottom of the leaves that will leave marks, holes and discoloration as signs that they are present. You may also notice webs on the tree, as there are some types of pests that will leave webs as an indication of infestation. You will need to treat the tree at the first sign of infestation. Spray the foliage, especially the undersides, with insecticides, mild symptoms can be handled with acaricides. You will want to use a variety of acaricides to keep the pest from adapting to the chemical. Red mites and spider mites will also attack the needles of evergreen trees and will need to be treated immediately. With evergreen trees, check the cracks in the bark for eggs, this is the mites preferred location for laying eggs.

The needles of evergreen trees will turn a brownish color when they are infested. Caution is needed though, be aware that evergreen needles will turn this color naturally during its’ winter dormancy period. Look for the webs that the mites leave as an indicator also. If your bonsai is evergreen or deciduous you can wait until warm weather and do further treatment by removing, and destroying the affected branches, and foliage.

Another sign of infestation that you can check is the leaves for the eggs. Most pests will attach their eggs to the bottoms of the leaves, and these will show up as red spots on the leaf. The eggs can be destroyed with oil-based products, or if the eggs are found on very few leaves, you may just remove and destroy the affected leaves.

Feed that blooming bonsai!

florlion-(c)-ShutterstockThe proper soil and fertilization rates are imperative for a healthy bonsai. Typical bonsai soil is a fast draining loose mix of several compounds such as course sand, gravel, fired clay pellets, expanded shale, peat, and bark. Dependent upon your location the soil components may change or some extra components added such as in Japan the use of volcanic soils.

The harmonic mixture of organic and inorganic components set the base for the cultivation of your bonsai tree. The fast draining soil harmonizes with the bonsai containers made specifically for proper water drainage. The whole beginning process of acquiring the proper soil for your specific species of bonsai compliments the whole harmony effect achieved from a finished bonsai masterpiece.

Soils that contain little to no clay or native soil to the specific species of bonsai requires regular fertilization to overcome the soils lacking. Bonsai planted in non soil components definitely need nutrient elements added.

Plants fluctuate significantly in their reactions to soil nutrients that are programmed in their natural growth rates, the length of their growth periods, their ages, the types of root systems they have, and their ability to take in nutrients. Plants have broadly diverse growth rates and amplified nutrient intensities in the soil will not change natural growth rates. For an example, trees within the same species can have notably diverse nutrient needs and will respond in their own way to nutrient intensity in the soil.

Although one may think by increasing the intensity of fertilizer given to their bonsai will produce greater and more rapid growth rate, in reality it can have a complete negative effect and cause great distress to your bonsai. There comes a point when too much is just that, too much and the fertilizer begins to use the initial effect it was meant for and begins to cause more harm than good. Overdosing on fertilizer with your bonsai can result in a toxicity effect; make it more susceptible to disease, abnormal unbalanced growth, and nutrient imbalances.

Knowing and studying the specific species of bonsai you are working with is the first step in optimizing your fertilizer routine and save you from undue harm to your bonsai. Plant growths differ as well as the season s the plant displays the most growth and need for extra nutrients. Feeding fertilizer in doormat times or times of slow inherited growth is not only senseless but can be disastrous.

Depending on the maturity of your bonsai will also determine the amount of fertilizer it will require. Young bonsai will require more fertilizers than their slower growing mature counterparts. You cannot make a doormat tree begin growing by adding fertilizer. Absorption rates of nutrients by plant roots also vary dependent on several factors: salt levels in soil and high levels of other nutrients. Fertilizers specifically made for all sorts of varieties of bonsai are the best bet of any bonsai artist.

Organic Bonsai Techniques

Because of the toxins associated with fertilizers and pesticides, many people are turning to organic gardening. The Bonsai is one plant that people are adding to their organic gardens. Originating in Asia, bonsai gardening has become very popular throughout the world. Bonsai plants require a lot of loving care. Growing them is often considered an art form.

Organic Soil and Fertilization
The proper soil mixtures and fertilizers are essential for healthy bonsai growth. Research shows that the best bonsai soils are soils that have organic matters. Bonsai soil tends to be a loose, quick-draining mix of natural and non-chemically treated soil. The foundation is a mixture of sand or gravel, fired clay pellets, or shale, which is mixed with an organic compound such as peat or bark. Volcanic clay soils are a preferred selection in Japan. Kadama and Kanuma are two popular choices.

Bonsai trees require a fair amount of organic fertilizer. Fertilizer should only be given to the bonsai after watering. Feeding is usually performed once every two weeks during the summer months, and then reduced to once a month for the remainder of year. Organic fertilizers, organic liquid fertilizers are available at many online organic plant stores. You should call your local plant store to see if they have any organic bonsai supplies in stock. Manure and compost are two examples of organic feeds that can used when growing a bonsai tree. It is important to work organic mixtures into the soil.

You use your own compost in your bonsai organic soil mix. To do this, you will require more than one type of compost. According to most bonsai experts, the best organic bonsai soil mix is 40% compost, 30 % seramis clay granule, and 30% grit.

Watering Your Bonsai
With minimal space in a bonsai pot, careful and frequent attention is required to make sure the tree is adequately watered. Sun, heat and wind can dry bonsai trees in a short time which ca result in permanent damage. You need to know the needs of your particular tree because some trees can survive short periods of dry spells, while others need constant moisture. Deciduous trees are more susceptible to dehydration. Evergreens can appear to handle periods of dry conditions better, but do not display any signs of damage until it is has occurred. One indication of damage is that the leaves will start wilting.

The process of watering is different than how you would normally water regular houseplant. Bonsai trees require submersion of the whole pot in water for several minutes. Once you remove the pot, allow the bonsai to drain. Too much watering can result in root rot and fungal infestations. Free draining soil prevents water-logging. To maintain proper soil, provide water in small amounts frequently because there is a flushing effect when the water is added. Bonsai plants are repotted regularly during their development. This encourages new feeder root growth so that the tree will be able to absorb moisture better. When they mature, they are repotted less often.

Young bonsai, known as potensai, are placed in ‘growing boxes.’ The large boxes permit the roots to grow which allows for food and water consumption as well as adding life to the tree. When the bonsai has outgrown the ‘growing box,’ it is then replanted in a ‘training box.’ This box is smaller allowing for a denser root mass. This makes replanting the bonsai in its final pot much easier.

Growing bonsai trees can be a very peaceful and spiritual experience. With the right care and trimming techniques, you can grow a beautiful living piece of art.

Organic gardening guide features tips and solutions to common garden issues – Redenta’s is committed to a natural and sustainable approach to organic gardening and organic gardening supplies.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Amy_Nutt

Blooming Bonsai!

azalea by walter pallSome azaleas and rhododendrons occasionally bloom twice – in the fall, as well as spring, depending upon the weather. For years, breeders have been trying to amplify this repeat bloom trait to achieve azaleas and rhododendrons that will bloom reliably every fall and spring. We have trialed several of these fall blooming azaleas and the results here in Zone 6 have been disappointing, although our trials continue and we have high hopes for one new variety which we are just starting to evaluate. However, we happened upon one deciduous azalea, with no reputation for reblooming, that blooms for us reliably every fall and spring year after year. This week we are featuring that azalea, the Northern Lights hybrid ‘Lemon Lights.’

Beginning about 20 years ago, The University of Minnesota began developing a new super hardy series of deciduous azaleas called Northern Lights. Their goal was to allow gardeners in colder areas to enjoy azaleas in their gardens. This series is also known for being extremely floriferous, putting on a stunning floral show in late spring. Coincidentally, a few cultivars in the series turned out to be quite fragrant and foliar fungus resistant.

‘Lemon Lights’ has striking two-toned lemon yellow flowers which are lighter at the outer edges of the petals and deeper at the throats. The flowers emit a powerful sweet citrus fragrance. The dark, glossy foliage has excellent resistance to powdery mildew and provides a beautiful contrast to the clear yellow blooms. Fall foliage color is maroon bronze. Expect ‘Lemon Lights’ to reach 5-6 feet tall and 4 feet wide.

Planting and Care

Deciduous azaleas prefer more sun than evergreen azaleas, although they do best with some protection from the hottest afternoon sun. When planting ‘Lemon Lights,’ select a site with almost full sun to light shade that has well-drained, acidic soil. Azaleas have a very shallow, fibrous root system and can dry out rapidly. For that reason, be sure to water during dry periods and hot summer days.

  • Does best in an area with well-drained soil in full sun to light shade.
  • Do not plant too deeply; place the top of the root mass level with the soil surface. Dig a shallow hole and backfill around the plant with equal parts mixture of organic compost and the existing soil.
  • Until established, do not allow the soil to dry out.
  • Fertilize with Kelp Meal when planting and again every year in early spring and late fall.
  • Hardy in zones 4-7.
  • Bonsai, Pick a tree any tree

    cardsIf you would like to create your own bonsai you must first decide on a method. Growing from seed is rewarding but painfully slow with some species but naturally fast growing tree’s seed might give you a good looking bonsai in a shorter period of time. My own success rate with tree seeds was not good at first but I have learnt from my failures and now germinating seeds is much easier.

    Another option is to create a bonsai from nursery stock. This can be a very quick transition from a bush to a bonsai and it is much quicker than waiting for a seedling to grow. Most of my own bonsai were created from nursery stock. Many garden centres have potensai (POTential+bonSAI = potensai) in abundance and only the trained eye can spot them. Things you should look for are thick trunks, a good root spread and thicker branches towards the base of the tree and general health and vigour. I will go into pruning and wiring of potensai in a latter article.

    “The cultivation of trees is the cultivation of the good, the beautiful and the ennobling in man.”-

    J. Sterling Morton

    The last option that I offer to you, although there are other ways is to collect a tree from the wild. This is called ‘Yamadori in Japan and the end result can be quite beautiful. The wild of coarse could be your garden, the face of a mountain or a nearby wood. You want to look for a tree that looks very old but has not grown vertically very much. Stunted trees are nature’s rejects but as bonsai they are top of the class. An old beech hedge can sometimes have many potensai to offer and if you know of someone that is clearing such a hedge it would be well worth a look.

    Air-layering is another method but time consuming and sometimes not practical if you do not own the tree. You can buy ready made bonsai and there are many good quality trees’ out there but they can be expensive. There are many ways that you can grow bonsai and it is not as difficult as it may seem but you should always take your time and not rush into it if you are not ready. You should also have no fear as the worst thing you could do is kill a tree or two which you will be forgiven for.

    Bonsai Care Tips

    BONSA~10 Aftercare and development of Bonsai


    While understanding the fact we need to water, feed and repot from time to time, the most important aspect of Bonsai and Penjing care is the maintenance or ongoing after care.

    1. Wiring a tree and unwiring is a regular event and takes place in most species once a year and sometimes twice in warmer countries with different and fast growing species.
    2. Checking wires to ensure that it is not biting onto the structure is an ongoing and daily chore.
    3. Cutting the wire off stage by stage is necessary-usually from the strongest parts first such as apex, tips of branches etc.
    4. A regime of correct feeding will need to take place to make sure that the tree is healthy.
    5. Checking for insects is an ongoing and daily part of the cycle which will include a soil drench to combat sub surface pests.
    6. Turning the tree around every week to make sure that equal growth is happening.
    7. Removing moss from lower trunk area and nebari-surface roots. Both to stop dampness on the bark and insects being harboured in that area.
    8. Weed removal is also a weekly chore and this is important to increase the amount of food available to the tree rather than the weeds.
    9. Placement through the year to either gain light or reduce light such as in mid summer days when the trees may need some shade.
    10. Constant pruning of tops unless growing onto a shape. Tip pruning is to encourage new twigs and so increase ramification or twig structure development.
    11. Taking photographs twice a year, in leaf and out of leaf if a deciduous tree. This is to let you see the development of the tree.
    12. Protection in cooler climates over winter or on high elevations on cooler climates throughout the year where frost can hit any time in the year.

    Article written by Craig Coussins and from his fourth book, Bonsai Masterclass-available from Amazon.

    Craig Coussins  designs a Hinoki Cypress

    It does not matter what the tree is that you design but this example shows the potential of a basic garden plant into a Bonsai.

    Hinoki Cypress-Chamaecyparis obtusa. This was  designed at the Mid Atlantic Bonsai Societies. The bush was grown as a garden plant but was purchased to make a Bonsai. I spent the previous day preparing the tree, wiring all the branches etc, which left me time to explain what I was doing and how I was to do it. I believe that many potentially good Bonsai are lost when not enough effort is put into the demonstration. When I am privileged to be invited for a major event I insist on getting the previous day to prep large material and take the time to study it. Its not about showing off and making a bonsai suddenly appear in an hour. Its about creating art and making sure that it stays alive at the end of it. Perhaps entertaining my audience as well. Cant do those if I am not sure what I want to do with the material. I enjoy finding the tree in the wood!

    Images are in Sequence see my website

    There are a number of other stylings here