Highlights from the Blog in 2012

This is my personal review of the Blog over the last 12 months, if you have missed any of these they are all available in the ‘Past Posts’ archive that you can access in the column on the right of the page.

January 13th Launch Blog

shohin juniper noelandersIn January I wrote 26 posts that included many ‘archive’ stories from visits and articles that I had written over the years, these continued into February with a further  32 posts. It is not possible to maintain that level of quality content throughout the year with a low point in June and July each with only 5 posts, the reason was simple… I was busy with actual bonsai in my garden!

Repotting the Fat Guy hawthornOne of the early highlights was the video of repotting and repositioning of the Fat guy Hawthorn, this has had over 22,000 views on YouTube. My coverage of the Noelanders Trophy also received a very high visitor rate. BUT my favourite entry was the video from Le Bonsaï Club du Léman BEST bonsai event Video EVER!

Ryan Neil at noelanders trophy

One of the purely ‘teaching’ posts was “Building a heating bed for overwintering Bonsai and Yamadori” this has been one my most popular posts with lots of email questions from visitors to the blog.

In February I started my ‘Bonsai Potter showcase’ series. Over the last 11 months  I have video ‘interviewed’ 11 potters across Europe and they have been very forthcoming with sharing techniques, ideas and experiences, I still have many more potter to chat to… so keep watching.

One-of-the-oldest-Yew-Trees-In-England-#1March is a busy time for me as it’s the moth that I collect Yamadori in earnest, on one of my trips I came across some of the oldest Yews Trees growing in cliffs in Europe quite amazing.

In April I was busy planning my upcoming Tour of Europe  that was taking place in May, My post on Hawthorns coming into leaf and using my new photo set up for the first time created a lot of traffic.

Tour MapMay was my month away from home Touring Europe and at the end of the month I visited Israel. When I travel I take my ‘tech’ with me and I was able to post almost daily on my travels. I have quite a few ‘trips’ organised for 2013 so expect more of the same J

June I was busy in my garden so posted archives from Israel.

Sandblasted 03July was the month I had waited 3 years for, where I was to cut my large Yamadori yew into two trees My very good friend Terry foster was on hand and the subsequent carving and sandblasting proved popular videos.

I did not post in August because I had nothing to say and I was away on holiday for most of the month 🙂

September I posted mostly archive content including “bonsai is NOT expensive” one of my many ‘rants’ on my Blog.

burrs-2012-poster-largeOctober was the build up to Burrs 2012 so I posted mostly ‘archive’ content.

November and Burrs 2012 was at the start of the month, this gave me a huge amount of content for the blog, I also commissioned a Professional Video of the event

December my post on Mizu Goke and the benefits to bonsai by Owen Reich was a real honour for me to post. Owen recognised that I have a long reach with the blog and he wanted to take advantage of that to engage a wide audience  (over 3,260 people follow the blog).

I launch my blog almost 12 months ago; I have posted 133 times and received 305 comments, over 366,000 views, 7,566 on my busiest day.  I wanted to be entertaining, inspiring, sharing, and teach, I hope I have done that well and engaged with the wider bonsai family both in the UK and beyond.

Visit to Henk Fresen: Bronze Artist and Bonsai Miniatures

When I was invited to Lodders Nursery to give a talk I stayed with Henk Fresen in his lovely Dutch home. Henk is without doubt the most talented Bronze artist on the bonsai scene. Many of his pieces can been seen accompanying the very best bonsai in Europe. His work ranges from tiny frogs to full size birds of prey… but he is best know for his miniatures, you can visit his website here.

The Bronze Dragonfly that features in the video and photos now belongs to me, it is made up of 18 separate castings. The wings are .3 microns thick and are also bronze… they flutter in the wind!

The Best Tree at Noelanders Trophy XIII?

Let me indulge myself… its my website after all!

One of the best things about taking part in a BIG show is that you get to view the exhibition when it is quiet. On entering the exhibition the very first tree was this amazing Scots pine by David Benavente.
The maturity of the bark and branches, the tiny needles, density of the foliage pads and sensitive styling make THIS TREE my favourite… and one that I would kill for to have in my collection.

I have known David for quite a few years… being fortunate that at the last Ginkgo Award of getting up close and personal to this pine… and… I cannot find anything that i would change, its pretty damn near perfect.

That is not to say the winner was not an amazing tree… its just that… I like this one more 🙂

The best Noelanders Trophy XIII experience video EVER from Le Bonsaï Club du Léman

This has to be the best Noelanders Trophy XIII experience video EVER, if you have never been to this event…THIS video sure sums up the experience, its from Le Bonsaï Club du Léman Not an exhibition bonsai in site, just travel, friends, coffee, beer, fun and laughter…I love it… and I must make sure I do the same very event I go to!