Wednesday, April 30, 2014

clare gardening festival

Last Sunday I took a stand at the Clare Gardening Festival in Ennis. It is a collection of about sixty Nursery Growers, Artisan Food Producers and various Crafts People. I was selling my Summer Bedding Plants but decided to put in a very modest display of my Bonsai trees. I was pleasantly surprised at the interest shown in them. I met a couple of people who have been doing bonsai for some years in the Clare area. Many people showed and interest, and they seemed to spark the imagination of many children. I was delighted to have some of Phil's starter trees to give/sell to them (the cheque's in the post Phil). I would like to do something better next year and give a bit more thought to the display and have a few more starter trees/pots etc available...  

Monday, April 28, 2014

Munster vs Ulster Replay

So we had another visit from Ian and Phil on Friday evening and Saturday.

On Friday evening we had a demo on a Juniper from Phil which led to a broader discussion on Junipers . Ian led us through a critique of several trees including Mark's Pine, Peter's Larch and my Berberis. He also touched on potting media (of particular relevance to me) and the finer points of sieving grit and akadama into various grades. Ian also talked through deadwood carving tools and their merits.

Saturday saw us relocate to Mark's polytunnel. A big thanks to Mark for the brilliant venue and hearty lunch, (I hope you treated yourself to a small glass of Middleton's finest that night...) Phil got to grips with my collected Larch and quickly identified a great image within the mass of branches, and guided me through the process of deadwood creation and branch selection. After that Ian helped me get to grips with a twin trunk pine and set out a roadmap for it's development. He also cleaned up deadwood on a garden Berberis and offered some sage advice on a fairly disfigured Maple previously tormented by me. A little collected Birch was given a quick once over by Phil and is now better set for some ramification during the growing season. As if all this wasn't enough I witnessed some speed air-layering by Phil, got to have a go at carving Mark's Trident Maple (no major slips), had a demo on vine-weevil detection :-) and learned a bit about Forest/Group composition and planning. I also got to get my hands on some great pots and some akadama. Along with seeing the other guys working on their respective trees I'd say it was a hugely worthwhile weekend. Massive thanks go to Ian and Phil who shouldn't doubt that we appreciate their efforts...

friday evening tree critique
some of phil's pots

peter's bargain larch from germany

phil does some initial work in the privet stump

phil and piotr talk through carving of privet

piotr getting to grips with the makita

what's next....
and off again
mark's beech forest

my larch before any work
and after initial branch selection and deadwood creation

ian tackles my pine

meanwhile phil made one or two air-layers on mark's maples

general discussion about something...
mark and ian working on one of mark's really nice pines

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

lone hawthorn

Someday I'll end up in the ditch. As I drive along these days I'm constantly peering over hedgerows and into fields looking for trees with character. This whitethorn/hawthorn is just on the outskirts of Kilreekil on the old main road between Loughrea and Ballinasloe. The trunk leans slightly into the prevailing wind and then kinks back before straightening out again. 

lone hawthorn near kilreekil