Cascade Bonsai Cavalcade

I have more than my fair share of cascade and semi cascade bonsai, here is a selection of the smaller ones photographed today including Yew, Communis Juniper and Olive. They are all still in development (maybe the olive is finished) They are super trees to work but difficult to transport to shows, typically I have to make bespoke carriages for them to fit in the truck.


calligrapher new 04-17cascade olivecommunis junipersemi cascade yewthin cascade yew

Repotting a Sumo Olive

Today we re-potted Ian’s lovely fat Olive, the original pot was only for training, the new Walsall Ceramics pot is truly a super addition to the great tree. The angle of view has changed with the tree being rotated to the right 45 degrees. The tree has a far more powerful presence.

British Shohin Bonsai exhibition at RHS Wisley Gardens


My Cascade Olive displayed with a Bronze Heron and Scroll by Sonia Stella

Last weekend I visited the British Shohin Bonsai exhibition at RHS Wisley Gardens in the South of England.

RHS Wisley is without doubt the BEST laid out gardens I have ever visited plus the fact that’s it’s HUGE and really required two days to take in all aspects of the garden.

The exhibition took place in a building within the gardens and was hosted by Sutton Bonsai society with workshops led by Taiga Urushibata (more on this in another post).

The quality of the show was OUTSTANDING, and a good collection of traders made the show a must visit event, and I was happy to take the journey south and accept the challenge that’s the M25.

I was invited to present a tree and did so with my cascade olive. NOT a shohin tree but the exhibition also had Kifu and Chuhin trees displayed.

The event was sponsored by Bonsai Plaza

See the ‘Bonsai’ in raw material

I know that it can be difficult to see the ‘Bonsai’ in raw material, but when choosing Yamadori it’s important to consider a few fundamental characteristics.

  • The Health of the tree
  • The Quality of the Bark
  • Movement in the trunk

I know that many people want to see a lot of ‘branches’ to work with but this is not important. Branches grow, and when they do you can decided how and where they grow, you can build the ramification and canopy where you wish instead of using the branches that are on the raw material.

Bonsai must be approached as a journey of creativity, the destination being the tree ‘finished’ (although we all know that a bonsai is never actually ‘finished)

This Olive has been developed over the last two years, nobody was interested in the raw material when it was for sale at The Noelanders trophy in 2011. I saw the potential and here is the tree today.

Olive raw materialolive 1500