Bonsai, an infection with no cure


I know exactly when it started, a guy that gave me a little oak tree that he had grown from an acorn, unbeknown to me I had been infected with a condition that would take over my life. I bumped into him a few years ago and he saw that the infection was permanent and there was no apparent cure. My every waking moment is filled with ideas on how to manage and when I sleep I dream of what will be­. I have struggled over the last few years but now I have resigned to the fact that its something I simply have to live with.

There was a time, many years ago when I could not drive past a garden centre, I knew that somewhere around the back would be something that everyone else had missed, this too became an obsession. My garden filled with what I was sure would, one day, be amazing. I joined a club, did these folks have the same infection as me? Some did, but most did not have the craving that was inside me. The club was my clinic, it cured a small part of me but my infection was too severe and these guys did not have a remedy.

An exposure to a more virulent strain of this disease happened when I visited my first big show. I could have turned back and managed the small infection inside me but the addiction was too strong and the aching too intense. I need to seek help to resolve this ache, thankfully I had a buddy who was also suffering from this debilitating affliction.  We could face this together, having someone to share your challenges can ease the pain.

We sought out a specialist who should have been able to cure us, he did offer some relief but we needed further treatment as exposure to others with the same ailment simply worsened our condition. As time passed my buddy and I sought solace by travelling to different parts of the world to engage with those with the same debilitating condition, experts offered advice on how to manage our situation, merchants offered ‘miracle’ cures and solutions but they were simply too expensive… there was only one solution, we had to find our own antidote.

Was the cure to be found in nature, could we even find it? After years of searching, we eventually found comfort and we are now in recovery, but this is not the end of my sorry tale. There is a country far far away where they have managed this condition, having brought it under control through many generations, they can sell you a cure but you have to pay big for the remedy, and some do therefore easing their suffering.

Knowing that there are so many who suffer as I do brings me comfort. It may take years to bring the infection under control, particularly for those that live in a climate not suited to the ailment, we will get there… eventually.

First potting of a Han Kengai Yamadori Yew

This is the first potting of the Han Kengai Yamadori Yew. its still got some filling out of the foliage to do so I have potted the tree in an oversize pot to give the roots more run. At this stage, I wanted to know the state of the roots and whether there we any large ones that need to be reduced. I was surprised that there were none. In the future, this tree can be potted in a much shallower and smaller pot. my friend Riccardo Vinciguerra assisted. You can see the earlier work here.


Boot sale and the Yorkshire Bonsai Association 

More power to British Bonsai, well done John Armitage

John Armitage Bonsai's Blog

Despite the terrible weather of the last week the Doncaster Boot Sale at Markham Grange was a resounding success. With more visitors and traders than previous events, although the weather caused a few traders to pull out. Hopefully they will there for the autumn one.

The other reason for my attendance as I didn’t have too much to sell was to test the water for the autumn event as running along side the sale will be an exhibition of shohin Bonsai. Between me and friends we staged some displays to see any pitfalls we might have. The melting snow on the roof showed us that despite the lovely natural light, any rain could give the trees an unexpected watering. You live and learn. I hope the displays were enjoyed by the visitors none the less. The roof problem will be solved by September.

As well as the exhibition will be…

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