Wednesday, December 31, 2014

bonsai hunting in the bog

In the last few days I paid a visit to the old home place and went for a scout around in the bog. There are birch in abundance, many stunted by the wind and the poor nutrition. I collected a couple along with a scraggy pine, and inspected a few others that I had shaped a bit during the summer. I think I'll leave them til next winter and try to focus on the trees I have already for the season ahead...

panorama of industrial old industrial peat bog, County Offaly

a stunted birch growing along the edge of a turf bank

an extra pair of hands..

Monday, November 24, 2014

Masahiko Kimura Videos

I stumbled on these videos on YouTube a while ago and decide to post them here as a bookmark. They are from the early 1980's (?) and are in Japanese, but still compelling viewing....

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

phoenix, arizona

During my recent visit to the US, I attended my brother's wedding in Phoenix, Arizona. Our hotel was in Tempe, a university district and while the weather was quite hot, almost 30C, the early mornings were more comfortable for exploratory strolls round the area.

desert plants

shade sails over the vegetable beds

municipal offices of tempe, arizona


wild west cactus, actually saguaro or Carnegiea gigantea

no boggy ground or bull rushes here...

three blacktail jackrabbit sculpture in tempe, the grass is rake but the water is real

tempe is a fairly pedestrian friendly area

at first i thought this was a modern sculpture, but its some sort of water pipe system

shade sails are everywhere in the phoenix area

stone cobbles in gabions used nicely to divide public / private space

major construction in tempe

notice all the solar panels on the roofs, there to power air-conditioning

arizona wildcats football stadium and car park, more solar panels

a beautiful mosque in tempe, looks like a scene from the middle east..

nice simple water fountain in a shady place

part of the shady garden 'under' the municipal buildings in tempe

more shade sails, i was studying these closely as i have to build something similar soon..

monster truck!

a rare thing in the US, public transport...

the oldest building in tempe, monti's restaurant, built in 1871

these trees were planted everywhere but i didn't find out what they were...

another public space with an emphasis on creating shade

Saturday, November 1, 2014

hidden gardens bonsai nursery, illinois

On my recent trp to the US, I stopped off in Chicago for a couple of days and took the opportunity to visit The Hidden Gardens Bonsai Nursery. I saw some very nice trees, though Jeff said it was a bit empty heading into the winter. He lost a lot of trees over the winter last year, Chicago winters are cold! He has a tropical house for bonsai also and also has a full general nursery. I picked up a couple of pots and some tools; I didn't attempt to hide any trees in my suitcase though...