I figured before I got too busy with other things, I would make some photographs to show for some of the work from this year’s growing season.
Not entirely sure what species this is. Crape Myrtle maybe. I’ve yet to research it deeply.
The reason I don’t know the species is the same reason why I beam with pride when I look at this tree. I was on my way home one day, when I passed by a few items being discarded on the side of the road, among them a large sturdy 5-gallon growing pot with a dead and severely hard-pruned stub sticking out of bone dry soil.
Because I sometime collect trees from the wild, which require a few seasons in a large pot, I’m always on the lookout for large containers. And this was perfect. My initial thought was to simply grab hold of the stump, and simply slide the compact soil right out of the pot and leave it behind. Given the dryness of the soil, this would have happened easily. But as I reached down and got a hold of the stump, I saw to my surprise a small green bud no bigger than a pencil lead. I almost didn’t see it. I thought, “why not?” and pciked up the pot and put it in the car, soil, stump and all.
I watered it well when I got home and kept it in the shade for a few days, and well, the rest is history.
I let it grow for a few weeks to build up vigor – and man did it grow like crazy – before I started to prune. Prior to what is pictured, it looked like a mop. I couldn’t even see inside the pot.
Once trimmed, I began incrementally clearing the soil from the top down and around the base to reveal the exquisite roots below.
I just love this little orphan tree. It has a long way and several seasons of training to go before we can call it a bonsai, but to think how far it’s already come since the side of the road brings me great joy.
~ Hinkoi Cyprus ~
Hinoki Cypress is a species I’ve always wanted to work with, and when I found a late-season sale at my favorite local nursery, it was on.
When I found this it was straight as an arrow. It had a wonderful branch structure, marvelous roots, and just a bit of dead wood at the base of the trunk for carving later.
Really, when choosing nursery stock, I couldn’t have asked for more.
I original envisioned this as a tall upright, but once I finished the major pruning, with the remaining chosen branched in tact, it really called for some motion. I knew it was going have be wired.
I wrapped the better part of it in raffia to protect it, and started wiring and bending, and carried out additional minor pruning as needed.
I suspect the wire will stay on until mid next summer, provided the branched don’t swell to much. In that case, to avoid scarring, it would come off sooner.
But I like where we are with it now and I don’t expect to do much more with it this year.
It still has a way to go, namely the foliage needs to fill out more especially in the top branches and crown.
And with the right winter protection, it should emerge next spring summer full and green and ready to go into a proper bonsai pot.
~ Gardenia ~
~ Japanese Holly ~
~ Privet ~
~ Local Variety (unknown) ~