Sunday, December 8, 2013

christmas tree yamadoris potted up

The firs collected about two weeks ago and heeled in were finally potted up today. All have their faults and failings but certainly might make interesting projects provided they survive long enough.

noble fir, good taper, roots reasonable...

bushy larch, not a christmas tree...

the daddy, great roots and good nebari...

from the other side...

not sure this qualifies as nebari or a swelling in the trunk...

a spindly noble fir compared to the rest...

nordmann fir, relatively thick trunk, roots very poor...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

christmas tree bonsai?

I came across these last week, four abies procera in a cut out christmas tree plantation. They are crooked and stunted and I got three with great roots, one with poor roots. I heeled them in for the time being and pot them on over next weekend, maybe with some basic styling.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

november bonsai meeting

Another meeting of the Bonsai Ireland Munster Club. (  Mostly chat and talk this time, with only Piotr actually doing some work. As usual I was green with envy at the trees the other lads had brought especially Mark's Larch.

my Carpinus, Picea and Cryptomeria. Peter's Pine

Marks Larch and Maple (maple from seed!)

Peter's Pine

Sunday, November 10, 2013

wet november

We are only ten days into November and the weather has been truly terrible all through. It has also felt cold although we have only had a light frost once or twice so far. The garden is very wet everywhere but I can't really complain. It's back to some garage jobs that have been on the long finger all summer. It's also been a chance to get a few bonsai sessions done and catch up on some overdue work on them.

Met Eireann rainfall radar, 5pm, 10 Nov, 2013.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

kinnitty mountains

A few weeks ago myself and five other ne'er-do-wells went for a stroll among the gentle hills of Kinnitty Forest in County Offaly. The incline was a tad more steep than expected and after several consultations with Google Maps, Apple Maps and Paper Maps, we finally made it to Kinnitty Castle, where six glasses of refreshment were consumed in a most satisfactory manner. Later that evening several more were imbibed in a local tavern. The following day we were all struck with a curious ailment, which we concluded was a version of altitude sickness, most probably brought on by a overly rushed descent from the peaks of the hilltop....

kinnitty mountains, county offaly

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

munster club bonsai

We made it to another bonsai night in Cork. A few couldn't make it but we all did a little work (and some damage in my case) to our trees. Note to self; next time bring a smaller tree...

peter's juniper

piotr's taxus, marks JWP and crab apple

my pinus uncinata

Saturday, October 19, 2013

under the ash tree

This ash tree beside the stream is a part of the original field that I naturally gravitate towards. It would be perfect for a grassy picnic place, for a raised deck, for a gazebo or some other such. I have ensured that the path network will run close by and I am carefully filling in the space around it so as not to spoil these possibilities.
under the ash tree

Friday, October 18, 2013

a little help

In the past few weeks I got a loan of a Kubota compact tractor, with backhoe & front loader, from my brother John. Luckily the weather has held up brilliantly and the garden was pretty much as dry as it ever will be (Certainly for the month of October). I managed to grade off the slope at the entrance, did some work around the pond area, dug out some hardcore at the entrance to prepare a planting area, extended the second path almost to the pond and a few other bits and pieces. A lot done, more to do as someone once said...

some regrading at the pond, moved a rock, now a possible seating area

a tricky sloped area graded ready to prepare for some willow or hazel

Thursday, October 17, 2013

pinus strobus radiata

This dwarf white pine was a bargain at a county Galway garden centre, €25. It has a nice trunk and lovely soft needles so I planted it across the lawn in front of the pond, beside the path. It's ultimate size is a bit had to determine as the internet gives sizes ranging from 1.2m to 25m tall. I'll attempt to keep it pinched back closer to the former size estimate.

Pinus strobus 'Radiata'

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

oriental hawthorn

This oriental hawthorn fruited really well this year. Even since I took this photo the colour of the berries has deepened. I will wait until they are ready to fall and then collect them and try to grow them, although they will need stratification; always an unpredictable scenario.

Crataegus orientalis

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

pygmy shrew

While doing some levelling yesterday I noticed a small lump of soil hop around. On closer examination this tiny creature was hopping around the bare earth. Because the cat was lingering close by I decided to try and catch it, which turned out to be much easier that I expected. After a quick photo I released it to a thick sward of grass and weeds..
pygmy shrew  sorus minutus  dallog fhraoigh

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


The birch, which were planted in late August 2012, have grown massively in the last 12 months. They have stretched from about 3' to over 7' tall. The ground where they are growing had been enriched with mushroom compost and it really shows. It's mighty to get some serious growth in the garden and I have a lot of plating lined up for the autumn & winter which I hope will do as well.

August 2013

August 2012

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bonsai Club

On last Friday evening, was the first meeting of a new Bonsai club, based in Cork. Although a long spin down, it was well worth it to participate in the formation of a club with a hopefully long future. Meetings are to be held on the third Friday of each month. So roll on October 18th.

Munster Bonsai Club

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

pine bonsai

As best I can remember this is a Pinus uncinata that's hanging around about 4 or 5 years. At various stages I did some gentle butchering. I decided to bite the bullet and try to style it up as best I can and see what happens. It's got a great thick trunk (as far as my trees go anyway) and I  reduced the height, made some jin and even carved a bit. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

hawthorn and pine bonsai

I went through these trees on Sunday, removed some wire and added some more. I cleared the weeds a bit and gave them a bit of chicken manure. The whitethorns have been a bit disappointing this year; they haven't grown much. It was such a dry year that I was playing catch-up on the watering a lot and didn't really liquid feed them very well. I'm struggling to see clearly where they are going shapewise. The second below I would like to be a windswept shape, the third a 'fairybush' shape and the first I'm very unsure. Maybe a more concentrated effort next year will help, I think I'll have to improve my irrigation regime...

I'm more pleased with the pines. I think I might be stumbling in the right direction regarding needle growth and bud development etc, thanks to some Ryan Neil youtube videos courtesy of Bonsai Eejit & Co. I have about 6 or 7 other pines waiting in the wings that could make nice trees if I knew what I was doing.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

lawn sown at last

The job I had pencilled in for the summer holidays was the making of the lawn. It had been roughly graded last year, sprayed off in spring and then left until July when it was sprayed again. I was fortunate to have some dry days in mid August when the major levelling was undertaken by the whole family and it left me just a days work last week to do the fine raking and sow the grass seed. It was so dry on the days immediately following the sowing of the seed that I set up a sprinkler to keep it watered. After three days the sprinkler was redundant, but it did it's job and this week past little green shoots have sprouted. With any luck the lawn will just about get established before growth disappears in November. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

changing the position of a hawthorn bonsai to improve the viewing position by tony tickle

I came across this while browsing Hawthorn Bonsai on youtube looking for inspiration. This is by Tony Tickle and his blog looks like it would be worth following...

Sunday, September 8, 2013

late summer insects

The warm summer has meant an abundance of insects in the garden including these colourful ones;

Ruddy Darter ? Sympetrum sanguineum

Peacock Butterfly, Inchis io

Large arder Bumblebee Bombus muscurum

thanks to this website for help identifying them

Friday, September 6, 2013

grandfather clock

My father-in-law recently completed this grandfather clock. He has a lifetime of skill and experience working with wood, which shows in the results. With patience fine things are created.

a grandfather's grandfather clock

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

brigit's garden, connemara

Brigit's Garden is located near Rosscahill in Connemara. It features a celtic garden & nature walk. The celtic garden is divided into spring, summer, autumn & winter themed gardens; imbolc, bealtaine, lughnasa & samhain. It has an emphasis on native plants and plants with celtic symbolism.






st bridget's cross