Just saying hello really.

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Just saying hello really.

Post  Mike Jones on Sat May 15, 2010 7:11 pm

Hello all. I have been lurking for a while so thought it best to come 'out of the closet' and say hello. I took up the passion of Bonsai back in mid 1980's. Over the years I have created a small collection of fairly large trees. I started with small trees but soon found that I liked larger examples.

I built a Bonsai display house where I live now. In my previous house I built one with a roof (this time open) and in that previous property had a very large pond next to the display house filled with Koi Carp.

If I stay where I am now I may remove the front (or side) of the display house and construct a pond half in the display house half out with an oriental style bridge across. Trouble is although the garden is quite large, it is flat...thus a pond has been a struggle to imagine.

Here is a selection of the Bonsai House and some of its contents. Bit eclectic really and not to the standard of the experts here on the forum but hey-ho I like them. Many are still work in progress. Many are in growing beds out of camera thickening up some more. Some of the pictures seem to have been cut off so it is not me.

Mike



















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Last edited by Mike Jones on Sat May 15, 2010 7:13 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Spelling error)

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Re: Just saying hello really.

Post  Fuzzy on Sat May 15, 2010 7:24 pm

Hello Mike and welcome to the forum!
Me thinks you’re selling yourself way too short in your introduction when describing yourself as no expert with such a stunning display of trees. Beautiful work!
Thanks for sharing. Smile

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Re: Just saying hello really.

Post  Mike Jones on Sat May 15, 2010 7:32 pm

Hi Fuzzy

That was a really nice welcome in...and it is appreciated. I like my trees but have always been well short of the appropriate skills to produce trees that are ...well, something special. I am however as passionate now some 27 years after getting that present of a bonsai tree seed in a packet. Laughing

Dan Barton, Geoff Mathews, Craig Cousins, Kevin Wilson, John Naka, Kimura, Martin Treasure, Colin Lewis, and in no particular order, have all been an inspiration to me over the years. All I hope now is I can live-on for at least another 30 years as I have plans for some of the trees.

Mike

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Re: Just saying hello really.

Post  Fuzzy on Sat May 15, 2010 7:37 pm


Hi Mike,
I was just looking over your trees again and noticed this first group made from Chinese elms. Firstly it’s lovely to see Chinese elm without hideously contorted trunks. How did you make this group, cuttings, seed? Would you also tell a little of it’s history please? Smile

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Re: Just saying hello really.

Post  fiona on Sat May 15, 2010 7:42 pm

Hi Mike, and a warm wecome to the forum - as a poster rather than a lurker that is. Laughing

Your bonsai house is quite remarkable, and I can't for the life of me see why you are apologising about your trees. Again - remarkable. We look forward to seeing the ones currently in the growing beds.

Keep posting now that we've found you and your marvellous secret is out.

Regards

Fiona

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Re: Just saying hello really.

Post  Fuzzy on Sat May 15, 2010 7:45 pm

Mike Jones wrote:Hi Fuzzy

I like my trees but have always been well short of the appropriate skills to produce trees that are ...well, something special.
Mike
Mike I beg to differ, And as the old saying goes Action speaks louder than words. Your trees as a result of your actions contradict your words. Very Happy

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Re: Just saying hello really.

Post  Kev Bailey on Sat May 15, 2010 7:46 pm

Very glad that you have dived in. That is a really great collection you have there and very beautifully displayed.

I'd like to see the form of the white cascading Satsuki azalea, if you have any other pics.

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Re: Just saying hello really.

Post  Mike Jones on Sat May 15, 2010 7:52 pm

A pleasure.

I started off with a group of small trees which I purchased from a local nursery for next to nothing. There was plenty to select and I was therefore able to take some small ones and some others that I felt would be good for the centre group.

I kept them for some time and planted several outside in my growing beds, suitably wired and rodded to keep as straight as possible. The smaller ones I left in individual pots and when the time came to plant up, I had plenty of branches to select. Most of the inner branches were removed to get the triangular effect.

Once planted on the slate, I was able to create the final shape. Mostly clip and grow as opposed to any wiring. Perhaps an odd branch was wired but that was all. I actually sold this group last year to free up a bit of space for other projects. It took a minimum of two to carry it...oh it was a heavy beast.

As with elms, the need to get light through is essential to avoid die back and elongated branch lengths. Thus regular trimming back (quite hard at times) to allow light and air through the tree is mandatory. The upside is of course with careful feeding and watering, leaf size can remain small but new growth is quite simple to achieve.

I actually regret selling that Group now.

Mike

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Re: Just saying hello really.

Post  JimLewis on Sat May 15, 2010 7:54 pm

Welcome to the IBC!

Very nice trees, but they make my aged back hurt just thinking about them.

Betcha you go back to smaller trees when you have sixes and sevens in front of your age.

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Re: Just saying hello really.

Post  Mike Jones on Sat May 15, 2010 8:01 pm

JimLewis wrote:Welcome to the IBC!

Very nice trees, but they make my aged back hurt just thinking about them.

Betcha you go back to smaller trees when you have sixes and sevens in front of your age.

You might well be right Jim. I was rushed into hospital 5 years ago with pain that I could not begin to describe in my back. Cut a long one short...6 hours on the slab, completely collapsed L1 & L4 I ended up with 6 rods and numerous titanium screws. All is well though, I can still shift them around when the wife is not looking in..."Mike, You're NOT lifting those trees are you?"

"No dear, of course not!"

The W.Pine is a two possibly three person move and the Oak is as many as I can grab. Perhaps shohin may be the way forward. I reckon I have a good 5 or 6 lifting years left ...I hope clown

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Re: Just saying hello really.

Post  p@scal on Sat May 15, 2010 9:41 pm

Good evening

What tree as on photo 4, an oak?
Thank you, beautiful trees ThumbsUp

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Re: Just saying hello really.

Post  Smithy on Sat May 15, 2010 9:47 pm

Hi Mike Cool Smile

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Re: Just saying hello really.

Post  my nellie on Sat May 15, 2010 10:04 pm

Lucky you Mike!
You achieved to have your own paradise still on earth!
You even have your dearest wife within!

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Saying Hello

Post  bonsaisr on Sun May 16, 2010 12:06 am

I enjoyed your beautiful display, but I was troubled by a few trees that have moss on the nebari & up the trunk. I hope that is taken care of. I try not to have trees that I can't carry myself, but I need help with getting some of them across the yard or into a show. That's why we have shohin bonsai. cheers
Iris

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Re: Just saying hello really.

Post  Rob Kempinski on Sun May 16, 2010 2:39 am

Mike,

You have one of the nicest displays of bonsai I have seen. Too many people just pile bonsai in their yard without any thought to a beautiful display. You obviously have done very well.

Your trees are also very nice. Keep up the good work.

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Re: Just saying hello really.

Post  Seth Ellwood on Sun May 16, 2010 4:16 am

Awesone exampels I love the pyracantha.and maples, well really all of them nice work.......

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Re: Just saying hello really.

Post  Mike Jones on Sun May 16, 2010 6:38 am

bonsaisr wrote:I enjoyed your beautiful display, but I was troubled by a few trees that have moss on the nebari & up the trunk. I hope that is taken care of. I try not to have trees that I can't carry myself, but I need help with getting some of them across the yard or into a show. That's why we have shohin bonsai. cheers
Iris

Hi Iris

I wouldn't be troubled, I have enjoyed seeing the moss for limited times around the Nebari and indeed across the pot surface. Since I began I have never suffered any damage because of moss, nor rot, nor disease. The Blackbirds very kindly remove it all for me to build and line their nests. When they don't take it all the sparrows do and take any bugs with them. Once it is all gone it starts all over again....and of course it looks quite natural.

I take your point though...as an observation.

All the best

Mike

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Re: Just saying hello really.

Post  Mike Jones on Sun May 16, 2010 6:46 am

pascal47 wrote:Good evening

What tree as on photo 4, an oak?
Thank you, beautiful trees ThumbsUp

Hello Pascal

Yes English Oak (well Welsh if there is such a thing, it was collected in North Wales) I removed all the branches about six years ago to redefine the crown mostly. Constant pinching of new shoots has rewarded me with a crown that has much ramification. I have actually advertised this one for sale as it is a monster of a tree and I am trying to reduce down a bit. As an earlier response said...getting ready for years with six's and sevens in front of them.

Mike

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Re: Just saying hello really.

Post  Mike Jones on Sun May 16, 2010 6:51 am

Seth Ellwood wrote:Awesone exampels I love the pyracantha.and maples, well really all of them nice work.......

The Firethorn is a personal favourite. Such a vigorous grower though despite being overdue for re-potting. This one was originally fifteen or so feet climbing all over a house wall, it was to be extended and so I dug it up and thought I would see if I could make a bonsai. Flowers are now forming and with the berries it looks beautiful. It is a rare shot of the berries as the birds strip them in a day. I don't mind as the birds are frequently looking for grubs as do the ants on the maples. They need some help though as the greenfly constantly beat the ants.

Mike

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Re: Just saying hello really.

Post  Pavel Slovák on Sun May 16, 2010 11:19 am

Hi Mike.
Congratulation. ThumbsUp Very beautiful and interesting trees, located in the perfect environment. ThumbsUp
Your modesty is admirable. Very Happy Once again, congratulations.

Pavel

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Re: Just saying hello really.

Post  Kev Bailey on Sun May 16, 2010 11:33 am

Slight correction on the ants and greenfly. They aren't eating them, they are farming them! They actually move them to places where they will provide the ants with lots of honeydew, that sticky excretion that causes the black mould on leaves under them.

Heres some ants working on aphids on a maple of mine.


Last edited by Kev Bailey on Sun May 16, 2010 9:54 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Just saying hello really.

Post  Ian Young on Sun May 16, 2010 12:18 pm

Mike, thanks for sharing wonderful trees that are beautifully displayed. I wish my garden was as well set out. My favourite is the Korean Hornbeam (at least I think it's a Hornbeam!) showing off its Autumn colour.

I'd be interested to here what your favourite one is. With me it changes nearly every week!! :-) I think that's why I'm drawn to the hornbeam as I've just got my hands on one.

Thanks again.

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Re: Just saying hello really.

Post  Dustin Mann on Sun May 16, 2010 12:34 pm

Hi Mike. Welcome to IBC forum. I repeat Rob. Kempinski's comment-beautiful display of bonsai collection(and some additional accents) in your yard that invites visitors to walk thru, explore, and reflection. Sort of museum feeling. Your clip and grow and pinching excellent. You have made me think about my huge collection(also some very large trees) being a 'hodge podge' of crowded trees, beautiful to me, but to others abit of "Sanford and Son'(USA TV0 approaching episode of "Greenhouse Hoarders". Final note, I am sure there are many others "out there' like yourself with beautiful collections but don't belong to club,or do shows, but get together in small study group. It does keep it simple about tree first, no politics. Thank you. Dustin Mann Smile

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Re: Just saying hello really.

Post  Mike Jones on Sun May 16, 2010 6:24 pm

Dustin Mann wrote:Hi Mike. Welcome to IBC forum. I repeat Rob. Kempinski's comment-beautiful display of bonsai collection(and some additional accents) in your yard that invites visitors to walk thru, explore, and reflection. Sort of museum feeling. Your clip and grow and pinching excellent. You have made me think about my huge collection(also some very large trees) being a 'hodge podge' of crowded trees, beautiful to me, but to others abit of "Sanford and Son'(USA TV0 approaching episode of "Greenhouse Hoarders". Final note, I am sure there are many others "out there' like yourself with beautiful collections but don't belong to club,or do shows, but get together in small study group. It does keep it simple about tree first, no politics. Thank you. Dustin Mann Smile

Dustin

Thank you. I've always (to-date) kept myself to myself and enjoyed my hobby. Viewing has been restricted to family and close friends (BBQ's etc). I had a really poor experience some 20+ years ago when I had been into Bonsai for a couple or three years. I joined a local club and took a tree along to see what the 'experts' thought. Needless to say they rubbished it which I found rather offensive.

Anyway, I tried again and went on one of the organised field trips looking for 'potensai' (thanks to Dan Barton for that one). They were rather brutal in the way they removed trees, noting new (saplings for instance) were planted in its place. I felt teh trees had little chance of survival. The following week the members were trying to sell these collected trees at a local Bonsai Nursery. I knew the owner well and was disgusted what they said to him. The inference was they had collected the trees two years ago and they were in good health. These were the trees they collected just days before.

Hence my involvement with others came to an abrupt end. I have always attended exhibitions and have also watched demonstrations by Dan Barton, Peter Adams and Kevin Wilson (he is so good with Yews!)

There must be some philosophical reasoning behind joining a forum and a local club (joined just this week). This club is attended by enthusiasts and they seem to be a really nice bunch of people.

That is the potted version.

Mike

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Re: Just saying hello really.

Post  Mike Jones on Sun May 16, 2010 6:34 pm

Ian Young wrote:Mike, thanks for sharing wonderful trees that are beautifully displayed. I wish my garden was as well set out. My favourite is the Korean Hornbeam (at least I think it's a Hornbeam!) showing off its Autumn colour.

I'd be interested to here what your favourite one is. With me it changes nearly every week!! :-) I think that's why I'm drawn to the hornbeam as I've just got my hands on one.

Thanks again.

Hi Ian

Hmmmm, not sure really, like you my preference changes on a daily basis. Right now this minute? A large English beech group (not included in my original post, quite a few are missing as I seemed to have posted too many pics anyway) The group was created from hedging stock that I purchased from a small nursery (bundled up in string).

Planted them in open ground as if they were in a pot, some wired, some anchored, some weighted, others straitened and so on. After several years of constant pinching and on-going training I planted them into a large Bonsai pot some 15 years ago. Since then I have changed the pot and the current one will be the permanent home. They are almost all out in leaf now so will upload shortly. Takes two to carry.

I also like a small White Pine which was ever so wrong. It was one I purchased on an auction site many years ago for £24 (ish) I have just reshaped it and am very pleased with the result. On the other hand....oh and so it goes on. I suppose I love them all really.

I'm toying with helping a widow out by taking on a 30 tree collection. I'm actually trying to trim down right now but cannot chance these trees becoming dead trees. Not a clue what to do with them, many need an awful lot of work.

Mike

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