The scouring of the Shire, Bagshot Row Remade.

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Post  Treebeard on Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:25 pm

Hello all,

For most of 2007 and all of 2008 I totally lost interest in bonsai, only doing the barest minimum to keep them alive.

In January 2009 I was on the verge of putting the lot on ebay and then the interest came back, thanks to some kind people at bonsaiTALK.

When my interest in bonsai came back I got stuck in repotting all the other trees in my garden, Bag End got left almost till last. Then one Saturday morning in March I woke up and decided to go out and tidy it up. It was originally put together in March 2006, as part of my entry in an online articles contest. After 18 months of neglect it was in a sorry state.
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When I started to remove the old moss I found that I had a terrible infestation of grubs living in it. I have since been told they were Cranefly larvae, the kind that grow to become Daddy long legs.
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The moss was totally dead, the grubs had destroyed it from the inside out. All the moss stripped off, none of it was re-usable. There were no grubs in the soil, only in the moss.
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The roots had run riot through the florist's oasis that I had used to build up the back of the little hill.
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Post  Treebeard on Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:26 pm

I hadn't expected the moss to be in as bad a condition as it was, and I hadn't prepared any to replace it beforehand. On top of that, it was kind of a spur of the moment thing to tidy it up. So I made the difficult decision to take the planting apart for a short while.
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The tree is August this year.
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Post  Treebeard on Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:27 pm

Skip forward to September, time to put it all back together again. The trayscape requires lots of 'muck'. I make mine from John Innes compost, small akadama/cat litter and clay. My block of clay had totally dried out, hence the clay powder Smile Wet clay obviously works better...
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The muck all mixed and ready to use.
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Preparing the Walsall Studio Ceramics tray for use.
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The tree just prior to removing it from the pot. It is in very good health. fertitliser every 7-14 days, rootsafe humic acid supplement every 10-20 days or thereabouts. If the tree had not been in such good health I would not have considered remaking the planting at this stage.
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Here, you can seea small retaining 'muck' wall, and some tie wires.
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A good amount of root growth in such a short time. Sophisticat pink cat litter gives every indication of being a very suitable replacement for akadama.
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Post  Treebeard on Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:29 pm

The tree placed on the tray.
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The tree is wired into position and the brick front mounted into place. Good dollops of muck help to keep it in position, along with some tie wires.
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Once good bonsai soil (in this case sophisticat pink cat litter) has been worked into the roots, it gets covered in a thin layer of the 'muck'. Moss doesn't stick to cat litter, but it sticks to 'muck'.
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Building up the back with florist's oasis. This holds plenty of water, obviously, and is easy to shape. The oasis gets a coating of 'muck', to help keep it in place and to give the moss something to grow on.
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The back all built and ready for moss.
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After I took the planting apart earlier in the year I started to collect some moss. I've found that collected clumps pressed into some John Innes compost take well, and soon fill in the gaps.
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Post  Treebeard on Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:32 pm

Applying the moss to the back. It sticks very nicely to the 'muck'. I try to get it as uniform as possible, but any tiny gaps and suchlike will get covered and filled in as soon as the moss starts to grow again.
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Fitting the moss in around the tree. A bit like doing a jigsaw puzzle Smile
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Time to assemble the front garden. A low 'muck' retaining wall is built around the outside and infilled with potting mix.
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Moss is applied to the front garden area.
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After the moss has been applied to the front garden area the path is repaired. Quick drying cement is used to hold the slate steps in place.
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Post  Treebeard on Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:34 pm

Time for a tea break, sit down and take stock of how it is progressing. The front section mossed up, the path built. The old fence was too knackered to re-use, had to start making a new one.
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Offcuts of meranti wood are used for the fence. Meranti is used to make wooden window frames, conservatories, etc so any manufacturer of these should be happy to let you have a few scraps. Short sections are split, sharpened and stained.
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Small diameter copper wire is used to join the fence together. Last time round I used aluminium wire, but I did find it a bit coarse-looking, so I went for thinner copper this time.
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Post  Treebeard on Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:35 pm

Refit the cleaned and refurbished door and window and it is finished. The broom is made from some bristles cut from a paint brush and a bit of left-over fence wood.
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Chris.
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Post  cram on Sun Oct 18, 2009 5:07 pm

ususaly i don t like so much the little things around the trees
(you know the chinese figurines of an old fisher man)
but here your piece of tokien...is... amazing
full of poetry and dream..
thank you for the runaway moment
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Post  capo_regime on Sun Oct 18, 2009 5:50 pm

I have the some opinion as Cram... completely different from the old chinese fisherman and bamboo house...

Very Happy

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Post  Guest on Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:01 pm

What a beautiful little creation. The Chinese elm wors very well too, appearing as if its always been there. How did you make the front of the house? This really put a smile on my face. Well done Chris.

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Post  fiona on Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:03 pm

I think we have had some excellent examples of thinking out of the box in the last seven days, between the Carolina expo display and this.

And why not?

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Post  leonardo on Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:10 pm

Floral foam....never thought about using that stuff. Excellent work....museum quality!

Ciao......Leonardo

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Post  Rene Voortwist on Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:14 pm

Hi Chris,

I remember when you made this the first time. Good to see it back together again and very well done.

grtz, René
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Post  Jeremy on Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:29 pm

Hi CHRIS,
Thank you for posting. Very appealing.
Simon Temblett and Joy of Bonsai 2010 Question It has all the right stuff.
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Post  Tony on Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:35 pm

Jeremy wrote:Joy of Bonsai 2010 Question It has all the right stuff.

Great ideas shown... I really love.... and thanks for taking the time to photo/tell the story/ and post... took real effort... Smile

Chris... I will use this post as a 'reference post' to point 'traditionalists' to... and go na.. nana... na.. na Razz

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Post  Kev Bailey on Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:04 pm

I second Tony. Great effort with the detailed posting and excellent photo's. Thanks Chris. I hope I can get to see it in person at Bath.

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Post  bumblebee on Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:37 pm

Chris,

This is one of all time favorites. When you first posted it on BT I was entranced. Brought me right back to the Shire. When I see your new thread I couldn't wait to see this landscape again. Thank you. Does your first thread depicting the step by step building of Bagend exist outside of BT?

Libby

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Post  Treebeard on Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:18 pm

Thanks for all the comments...

Cram, I'm pleased to have given you a 'runaway moment'

Capo_regime, thank you.

Will, the bricks are made from thin slices of terracotta roof tile cemented together with quick dry cement.

Fiona, Why not indeed Smile

Leonardo, thank you. The florist foam/oasis lasts surprisingly well. It also holds loads of water, stops the whole thing drying out too quickly.

Hello René, thanks, it was good fun putting it all back together again.

Jeremy, this will be at Bath 2010, along with Number 3, Bagshot Row Wink

Tony, thank you. It takes quite a few hours to put a post like that together, all worth it though.

Kev, thanks, it will be there Smile

Libby, thank you, you're welcome Smile The original article does not exist as such, although I have a few photos & words on my website and flickr (link)

Chris.
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Post  anttal63 on Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:19 pm

sensational chris!!! one of my most favourite penjin in the whole world. cheers
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Post  Treebeard on Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:26 pm

Thanks, glad you like it.

Chris.
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Post  Seth Ellwood on Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:04 pm

Next you could do the mountians of mordor with ibgawa and some really small jbp or shimpaku .Great work!

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Post  pootsie on Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:41 am

I love it all over again! Good thing you got back into bonsai, Chris!

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Post  bhellige47 on Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:46 am

fantastic work. it looks more real than the movies did!
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Post  Stone Monkey on Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:23 am

Chris

"The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say."

Love your composition, always have Very Happy Look forward to seeing Bag End and your good self at Bath

All the best

Andy
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Post  Treebeard on Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:32 pm

Thanks Seth, Pootsie, bhellige47.

Andy, a very appropriate quote Smile See you in Bath.

Chris.
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