Sunday, October 4, 2015

root over rock

real root over rock hazel

Lough Derg

I was fortunate to spend a day on Lough Derg last weekend with a few friends as we trundled back and forth across the lake calling to a few of the lakeside villages on the way. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015


The willow whips planted in March 2013 now have so much that they have their own canopy blocking out the light. I would estimate some are 20' tall with stems up to 3" in diameter. Salix smithiana has certainly done best in the very wet location they have been planted. I might consider coppicing them back completely in late winter, but will certainly take some hardwood cuttings and push them straight into the ground in another part of the garden.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Monday, August 3, 2015

twin trunk pine

This twin trunk pine recieved some basic styling a week ago. Still a ways to go, but I think I can see a tree in there.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

july air layers

 A few weeks ago I tried a few air layers, a blackthorn and whitethorn from the hedgerow, and a fuji cherry and paperbark maple from the garden (both young plants). I'm curious to see if they work as well as last years Acer palmatum. It's probably a bit late in the year to expect success before winter so I may end up leaving the two thicker ones until autumn 2016 to remove.

Blackthorn, ready to wrap

I had some excellent spagnum moss at hand so I can't blame it if it fails

Covered safely

Oriental Hawthorn, cut at an angle to maybe give a better base later

Wrapping was very tricky because of close branches

Finished and covered with black plastic

Slightly oval shaped Whitethorn, cut at an angle.
Looking at the photo I should maybe have stripped away more bark.

wrapped with more moss than it looks like

Wait and see time

acer griseum , a bit narrow but there are better branches above if this works
Fuji Cherry, like the acer, there are better branches if this works

Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer Workshop at Bud Garden Centre, Bunratty

After looking forward to the day for so long, finally the workshop arrived to us in Bud Garden Centre, Bunratty, County Clare. We had 7 participants (plus one floater) and this ensured a range of tree types in various stages of development. Not many photos were taken because we were all so busy, but Piotr tried to capture as many as he could. 

Here is the link to Piotr's pictures on the Munster Bonsai Club site;

Thursday, May 7, 2015

forest groups

Last evening, along the shores of Finn Lough in Clare I spotted three small three groups close together. I only had the phone for a camera so not too clear, but maybe they could be a useful guide some bonsai day...
willow and birch island

small pine group

beech (?) forest

Monday, April 27, 2015

bonsai workshop in clare

Ever since the first Munster Club Bonsai Workshop back in January of last year (it feels like longer), I've hoped to bring a bonsai workshop to Clare. 
On June 20th next, Bud Garden Centre will host a summer workshop. It's an opportunity (and a responsibility) to promote Bonsai in Clare and the West of Ireland generally.
The format will be of a standard workshop, with room also for observers and those who might want to dip their toes in the water. We may hopefully squeeze in a demonstration during the day along with a question and answer session.
As usual Phil & Ian will be on hand shepherding us further along the bonsai road. They have invested a lot of time and energy in Bonsai in Ireland and a successful workshop would be at least some small payback for their efforts.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

last yamadori of the season

The weather is expected to take an upturn over the weekend, so I reckon this is the last yamadori of the season. I haven't collected that much really, maybe 4 or 5 trees, but I really didn't want to collect anything I thought I had a good chance with. I went for bigger trees than before and hope that I can get all through to next spring. Lots of potting still to do, hopefully I get at least another 5 or 6 trees repotted before it's too late.

Nice bark, ok nebari just under surface

I expect the main trunk to be deadwood from this joint

possible literati style in future

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

small pinus contorta

Despite having missed the last two munster bonsai club meetings, I have managed to squeeze in a little bit of bonsai here and there. 
I collected this little lodgepole pine about a year ago. Although it is small in size, it has some nice character; nice bark and good nebari. 
I did a gentle styling on it just to see what direction it might lead me, and there are still a few options. 
As I look back at the pictures, I think the main branch might be deadwooded at some stage. Hopefully some strong growth and maybe some back budding might appear this coming season...



Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Flowering Fuji Cherry

Spring is really in the air when yhe Fuji Cherry blooms open up....

Prunus Koji no mai

Monday, March 2, 2015

bud garden centre

This sunday last we opened our new Garden Centre in Bunratty, County Clare. We are myself and my old friend Andrew. We studied Horticulture together many years ago and followed different career paths until we came upon the idea of setting up a Garden Centre together last summer. 
Several months of hard work followed and Bud Garden Centre was born last sunday. We have a strong location right beside the popular Bunratty Castle. We plan to focus strongly on plants and gardening. 
We also hope to have a modest bonsai offering and maybe some demos and workshops. 
It will be a busy season, and hopefully a rewarding one.