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Monday, October 10, 2011

New "Toys"

My Joshua Roth professional-grade concave cutter and knob cutter finally arrived. I'm very satisfied with They answered all my questions and even gave me 5% discount on my first purchase.  Thank you Gene!

Upon close inspection the two cutters were well-crafted and sharp. It was definitely a far cry from my old Taiwan-made cutters. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bantigue (Pemphis Acidula) Restoration

This behemoth was once a proud centerpiece. The inability of the caretaker to spray the salt solution because of its current location and proximity to other bonsai trees, resulted in a slow deterioration of the bantigue's health. Our task was to restore it back to its former glory. I'll be posting more pictures of our progress.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mulawin Surot

The material was bought in a recent orchid show. There were a couple of great-looking materials but the small mulawin caught my eye. It had a nice taper with deadwood. The tree was well-established and I didn't think twice in purchasing it.

(Front view)

(Top view)

After a brief discussion, we decided to change orientation and mounted the tree on a rock.

After securing the plant, it was defoliated and wired.

Three weeks after the workshop, bonsai is doing well with ample new growth. 

Fresh thread-like roots have started to push its way out of the sphagnum moss



I wrapped sphagnum moss with an old rag and plastic to keep it from drying up under partial sunlight. I'm letting it freely grow to establish itself for the next three to four weeks. Hopefully it will be ready for second round of styling. I'm also planning to change the slab but for now health is the top priority. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Yellow Doggie

                                                      (click to enlarge)

After minutes of scouring for suitable bonsai materials, I finally gave up. I found the existing stock to be mediocre in quality. I was already on my way out when my eyes spotted a yellow-barked bonsai material concealed behind the inferior materials. According to the caretaker, it's not for sale.

Yellow doggie stood approximately ten inches tall with good taper. The center is hallowed with natural shari (deadwood) adding character to the tree. It had several shoots coming out from lower trunk all the way to the apex. There was no doubt in my mind I can make a nice bonsai out of this stump. All I need is to convince the caretaker to sell me the tree. After a long negotiation, I successfully bought the tree.

I'll be posting pictures of the developments.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Aspiring Haciendero Becomes a Bonsai Disciple

I remember burying three monggo seeds into a poop-enriched soil. After a few days, a tiny leaf fought its way onto the surface and was basking under the morning sunshine. For most of my classmates it was a mere Science experiment showing the life cycle of plants but to me it was a gateway to new interesting possibilities. Call it silly but I envisioned myself riding a 4x4 jeep traversing miles of fruit-growing trees and managing my own plantation.

The following year I enlisted in the Green Thumb Club. They gave me waiver for my parents to sign and apparently there were “risks” involve in gardening. I handed it with so much optimism and enthusiasm but upon seeing her squinting eyes and scrutinizing gaze, I knew it was a lost cause.

“Green Thumb Club?!” She blurted.

She then started her tirade about my dad’s pigeon and dog cages rotting in our backyard.

With one swoop, my dreams and aspirations of owning and managing my own hacienda crashed and burned. I eventually joined the Young Scientist Club and forgot about gardening for a awhile.

Fast forward to the year 2007, I was assigned to work in an industrial province in China. During weekends we would ride motorcycle to a nearby town. My colleague convinced me to walk with her inside the town park. We were promenading outskirts of the pond when I saw a man in his twenties trimming a black pine bonsai. I was fascinated by his dexterity and proficiency in handling the shears (scissors). The only living memory I have about bonsai was a scene in the Karate Kid movie. Mr. Miyagi pruning his bonsai while talking to his student Daniel.

Slowly the monggo seed germinated inside of me. When I came back to the Philippines, I bought a book and joined online forums to learn about the art. One thing led to another and that’s how an aspiring haciendero became a bonsai disciple.