Pottering with Pitt the Potter - Part Three: Hawthorn Raft/Cascade

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Pottering with Pitt the Potter - Part Three: Hawthorn Raft/Cascade

Post  fiona on Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:13 pm

I acquired a nice Hawthorn from Len Gilbert a few years ago which was stuck somewhere between a raft and a semi-cascade. Being of the opinion that it had a fair bit of potential, I took it to the legend that is the Burrs Weekend in November 2009. It had always been in the game plan that the tree would go into something a bit special pot-wise, and after much discussion with that lovely man John Pitt, a progression plan was hatched.

Here is what I started with in 2008:




I was convinced that the tree had to lose at least a bit of its semi-cascade tendencies, and we tinkered with changing the planting angle. Several Burrs participants had suggested trying to make this into two trees, but I had always liked the tree as one entity. My idea for a pot was something that gave the impression of a tree with a stray branch that had clambered its way over rocks or a wall.

Enter John Pitt.

A sojurn with John in the less frozen wilderness of the Midlands in early spring 2010 resulted in a new planting angle:





Not as severe an angle as previously planned but still less cascading than previously.



Last edited by fiona on Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:24 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Pottering with Pitt the Potter - Part Three: Hawthorn Raft/Cascade

Post  fiona on Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:23 pm

And now, a full year later, the tree has been back to Pitt the Potter from the Potteries to get its new home.

As it looked just after repotting:



When I picked it up after Best of British:



And as it looked this afternoon, nearly three weeks later.




Closer in on the no longer cascading but "tumbling" branch:




I'm delighted with the result so far. The tree had a fair way to go in terms of ramification etc. but I am sure it will get there. I will be removing the flowers fairly soon so I can direct the energy into growth rather than fruiting.


Thanks to John Pitt for all his assistance and copious cups of coffee. Got any of those doughnuts left?

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Re: Pottering with Pitt the Potter - Part Three: Hawthorn Raft/Cascade

Post  GerhardGerber on Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:14 pm

Very very nice Fiona!

In the 2nd last photo the image looses some of it's tree-ness, I guess due to the shade on the trunk (?), but somehow I'm sure it's a stunner to behold in person. Cool

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Re: Pottering with Pitt the Potter - Part Three: Hawthorn Raft/Cascade

Post  my nellie on Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:27 pm

fiona wrote: ... ... My idea for a pot was something that gave the impression of a tree with a stray branch that had clambered its way over rocks or a wall.
.... ....

And the pot of Pitt the Potter serves this concept very very well, I think.
Bravo, Fiona!
A very nice tree! (one of my favourite species...)

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Re: Pottering with Pitt the Potter - Part Three: Hawthorn Raft/Cascade

Post  fiona on Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:27 pm

Thanks Gerhard.

I know what you mean about the shadow on the pic, but I like it that way - mostly because the sun shines so rarely in this part of the world that I am only too delighted to see it! Very Happy

I'll post a pic again when we get back to our grey dreich Scottish "summer" weather. That'll be next Tuesday probably.

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Re: Pottering with Pitt the Potter - Part Three: Hawthorn Raft/Cascade

Post  Dale Cochoy on Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:52 pm

Very pretty, and nice pot!

D.

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Re: Pottering with Pitt the Potter - Part Three: Hawthorn Raft/Cascade

Post  stavros on Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:02 pm

lovely combination.
the pot "embraces" the tree very nicely and it does not take away any of the trees wild characteristics.
John has done it once again!!

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Re: Pottering with Pitt the Potter - Part Three: Hawthorn Raft/Cascade

Post  dave steventon on Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:05 pm

fantastic very natural looking Very Happy

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Re: Pottering with Pitt the Potter - Part Three: Hawthorn Raft/Cascade

Post  Mike Jones on Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:54 pm

Hi Fiona

John Pitt has done you proud. You too have done a wonderful job. I really like it; it makes me tingle when viewing the pictures. = I'd like it ... a lot. thumbs up

Mike

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Re: Pottering with Pitt the Potter - Part Three: Hawthorn Raft/Cascade

Post  bonsai monkey on Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:44 pm

Hi Fi,
I remember this tree well from Burrs (you wouldn't let me take it home Crying or Very sad )
Cracking result for a fantastic tree. The pot works really well and I look forward to seeing it in the "flesh" again soon,

Ook, Ook,
Simon

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Pottering with Pitt the Potter - Part Three: Hawthorn Raft/Cascade

Post  Guest on Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:55 pm

Look very natural Fi. A lot of thought has gone into this and it's paid dividends. Very Happy

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Re: Pottering with Pitt the Potter - Part Three: Hawthorn Raft/Cascade

Post  john pitt on Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:28 pm

Thanks to John Pitt for all his assistance and copious cups of coffee. Got any of those doughnuts left?

Sorry Fiona, we ate em all, lovely they were, feel free to bring more next time you are passing Wink

I really enjoyed creating the "pot" for this, I remember at Burrs doing a rough drawing of what I had in mind, took me a couple of goes to get it right, it fits like a glove (at the second attempt) and I can see a bright future for this combination, look forward to seeing it at a show in a few years time, the picture you took with the shadow looks really cool, pleased its liking the sun up in Scotland Very Happy

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Re: Pottering with Pitt the Potter - Part Three: Hawthorn Raft/Cascade

Post  Rob Kempinski on Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:48 pm

Fine job Fiona (and John). I like how the rafting branch (is "rafting" a proper use of present participle?) goes around the clay rock outcropping.

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Re: Pottering with Pitt the Potter - Part Three: Hawthorn Raft/Cascade

Post  kauaibonsai on Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:56 pm

the benefit of a pot tailored for a specific tree.

best wishes, sam

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Re: Pottering with Pitt the Potter - Part Three: Hawthorn Raft/Cascade

Post  Guest on Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:56 am

very natural Fiona. The pot and the tree has perfect combination.

regards,
jun Smile

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Pitt the Potter

Post  Bob Bailey on Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:53 am


Hi Fiona
I have rarely seen such a brilliant tree/pot combination,both you for the tree and John for the pot have created a wonderful rugged and mature image.
Very well done both of you
Bob

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Re: Pottering with Pitt the Potter - Part Three: Hawthorn Raft/Cascade

Post  gregb on Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:27 am

Nicely done! I get the feeling of how the species really grows in the wild rendeer

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Re: Pottering with Pitt the Potter - Part Three: Hawthorn Raft/Cascade

Post  rolandp on Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:35 am

Hi Fiona.

This is one of the best tree/pot synergies I have seen, stuning composition. I especially like the touch with the “tumbling” branch. Congratulations.

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Re: Pottering with Pitt the Potter - Part Three: Hawthorn Raft/Cascade

Post  john pitt on Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:07 am

Rob Kempinski wrote:Fine job Fiona (and John). I like how the rafting branch (is "rafting" a proper use of present participle?) goes around the clay rock outcropping.

Hi Rob, this outcrop was made to measure, I had the tree in my garden for a while, so made a cast of this area, then the "outcrop" was made to fit, and a hole to facilitate securing to the tree, when I put it all together the bark on the underside of the trunk was removed, and I hope in time that callus will form and it will really look like the tree fell(blew) over onto the rock outcrop. I just love projects like this.

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Re: Pottering with Pitt the Potter - Part Three: Hawthorn Raft/Cascade

Post  fiona on Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:08 am

As always, John put a lot of thought and artistry into this "pot", which is exactly what I wanted from the outset. I bought the tree originally when I was going through my schmaltzy period simply because it was a "nice tree" which had been created by a good friend. It also had, in my eyes, the potential to be that bit more than just a nice tree, but it was also my belief that by giving it more than just a traditional pot (however lovely that pot might have been) I could achieve a tree with a fair degree of uniqueness. This was necessary if I ever have leanings towards showing it since, as most readers will know, we are blessed over here in the British Isles with stunning Hawthorns.

I firmly believe that John's pot has given the tree that very uniqueness, and I just hope that I can be as successful in my part of the exercise which is to help it develop the branch structure, ramification etc. that lifts the tree above the average, therein justifying its splendid palace of a pot.

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Re: Pottering with Pitt the Potter - Part Three: Hawthorn Raft/Cascade

Post  Pavel Slovák on Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:02 pm

Hi Fiona
Very , very nice development. Beautiful tree. Combined with a bowl of John's great. Beautiful work. Congratulations. ThumbsUp

Pavel

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Re: Pottering with Pitt the Potter - Part Three: Hawthorn Raft/Cascade

Post  Bob Pressler on Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:52 pm

fiona wrote:
I firmly believe that John's pot has given the tree that very uniqueness, and I just hope that I can be as successful in my part of the exercise which is to help it develop the branch structure, ramification etc. that lifts the tree above the average, therein justifying its splendid palace of a pot.

You're well on the road to being as successful. What an awesome piece. I'd love to see it when you feel it's show ready. Hats off to both of you.

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Re: Pottering with Pitt the Potter - Part Three: Hawthorn Raft/Cascade

Post  fiona on Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:38 am

I found an early pic of the tree (yes that probably is its price ticket on it Smile ) while adding a post to my blog. I would like the leaf canopy to get back to something as full as this, if not fuller especially on the right side of the tree as you look at it. When I see hawthorns in nature I am always struck by the mounded shape of the canopy and I envisage several foliage "mounds" on this one.



Might even try a virt so I can fix in my own head what I'm looking to achieve.

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Re: Pottering with Pitt the Potter - Part Three: Hawthorn Raft/Cascade

Post  John Brocklehurst on Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:05 am

Morning Fiona, I hope you're well,
I had the chance to see the tree planted in its new slab/pot recently at J.P.'s before you picked it up to take home.
The combination looks great and you have improved it further with the moss planting.

The only thing that distracted me was the open space to the right hand side, the tree was leafless at the time so it was more apparent.
My thoughts at the time were:
a) accessory plantings,
b) or letting some of the twigs to the right hand side extend and then pinning them into the soil to root and create further rafting (although they would take forever to develop bark to match the trunks)
c) or partially tear the right hand branch away from the trunk to improve the angle of seperation and then let it go wild for a couple of seasons wiring the new growth with extreme twists and turns to match the rest of the tree, possibly even letting some of the branches touch the soil level and strategically place more of the rocks that Johnny Boy had made for the composition.

The above is not criticism, just my own thoughts on how I might develop the planting had I been lucky enough to buy it before you.
Enjoy the journey you have a great tree there.
Regards

John


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Re: Pottering with Pitt the Potter - Part Three: Hawthorn Raft/Cascade

Post  fiona on Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:41 am

Thanks John. I too had identified that right hand side as the one requiring most work. Funnily enough, while sitting contemplating the tree in yesterday's sunshine with a cup of tea in hand and in zone entirely blanked off from any sort of coverage of the royal hoohah, I did wonder about giving the right branch a "lightning strike" that would split it off the main trunk slightly. To let it recover from its repot and from having been whisked up and down to the Midlands twice in as many months, I am not planning on doing much more this year other than directional pruning of the easier left side of the tree. But a "split" on the right branch remains a large possibility and I like your further idea of twisty branches off it too.

Am outside working on some other trees just now (sunshine again, begad! I may have to take my thermal vest off and it's not even May yet!) but will work up a virt at some point.

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Re: Pottering with Pitt the Potter - Part Three: Hawthorn Raft/Cascade

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