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 and piotr talk through carving of privet|