why did i start this!

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Re: why did i start this!

Post  Poink88 on Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:51 am

Great job Marcus! thumbs up Your bonsai collection is very impressive!

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Re: why did i start this!

Post  Fore on Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:33 am

jun wrote:Very neat Marcus. Nicely done. The dark color will always provide a good contrast with the trees, no matter what the season is.

regards,
jun Smile

I agree, the contrast is nice. But to think historically, the typical japanese garden uses bamboo. One's contemporary, the other's classical. I like both types of gardens. Maybe that's why I've done nothing special to my area...though I don't really have much to show off like Marcus Wink)

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Re: why did i start this!

Post  Bob Pressler on Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:50 pm

Great job there Marcus. The color is a great backdrop for the trees. Is that paint or a solid color stain?

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Re: why did i start this!

Post  marcus watts on Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:09 pm

Hi everyone,

thanks for the positives, i must admit i'm very proud of the garden area now it is done.

Here is my first attempt at movie making -

Hopefully the very nice people at utube will leave the soundtrack, especially "waiting for the sun, now that spring has sprung" (perfect lyric Jim, thanks), and I do own the cd rather than just downloading it Very Happy

The product I used was cuprinol 'shades' range and we used 'Black Ash' - it soaks into the wood quite well, and is the best lasting of 3 different colour products the company make. Hopefully the better stuff will last a bit longer than the much cheaper ones they also make !

Garden shades range


Opening shot in the video has my new bbq firing up for the first meat feast of 2012 ! - now hats off to America on this one - a 'spring green Gerber charcoal bbq' with added smoke chips made the best tasting food i've ever cooked outside. So good we did the Sunday roast chicken the same way Very Happy........And all the accessories.........I'm in man heaven haha. Without doubt the USA leads the way with bbqs (or grills??)

cheers again everyone.

Marcus


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Re: why did i start this!

Post  DangerousBry on Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:43 pm

Hat off to you..... It's a great looking garden.

Also a great collection of trees!!!

Thanks for sharing
Bryan

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Re: why did i start this!

Post  dave steventon on Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:59 pm

great collection there mate love the new area

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Re: why did i start this!

Post  Rob Kempinski on Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:33 pm

Nice looking set up - looks like a museum. Impressive collection too.

As for BarBque - I am a connoisseur, and my preference is for Texas style bar b que. Actually had a Texas style sandwich for lunch today.

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Re: why did i start this!

Post  marcus watts on Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:20 am

Rob Kempinski wrote:Nice looking set up - looks like a museum. Impressive collection too.

As for BarBque - I am a connoisseur, and my preference is for Texas style bar b que. Actually had a Texas style sandwich for lunch today.

please enlighten............my mouth is watering.....is there lots of steak involved? Very Happy - I barBque & 'smoke chipped' a side of salmon wednesday night - that was delicious.

cheers Marcus

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Re: why did i start this!

Post  Fore on Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:54 pm

Marcus, I'm curious, how do find the time to do all that is needed, at the right time, for all those trees? I've wondered that sev. times when I see these great gardens...Smoke posted his the other day for instance. And how do you water them all when you have to travel? Just a couple logistics questions Wink

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Re: why did i start this!

Post  marcus watts on Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:27 am

Fore wrote:Marcus, I'm curious, how do find the time to do all that is needed, at the right time, for all those trees? I've wondered that sev. times when I see these great gardens...Smoke posted his the other day for instance. And how do you water them all when you have to travel? Just a couple logistics questions Wink

hi fore,
Excelent question, and it took 20 years to fine tune.........after many years of having too many trees (in number and too many of the same species)I now have just about 24 on the benches and they are carefully picked to be varied in species and style. A few years back i had too many shimpaku junipers so the wiring and styling became a mission as one tree after another needed the same work - to the extent it ceased to be enjoyable so I picked just one tree to keep and traded the rest in for just one good tree to fill a gap

I'll try and compress those years of findings into this post!
My bonsai 'year' is something like this:

I have finally organised repotting so one big effort saw 18 trees done, creating a cycle of different trees needing re-doing in 3 years time, some in 5 years and some in 10 (or more! Wink.

Feeding is easy - i manufacture a fertilizer in the factory that is looking to be quite promising - organic base, chemical additions,the version i'm trialling is fine tuned to acid prefering trees. It is in a cake / pellet form so watering does 90% of my feeding

Watering is only about 3-4 times a week at peak- the trees are mostly large with large pots - 24-28" on average - and the trick is getting the soil mixture right - you simply can not keep a varied collection of mature trees in one single component soil and water like I do. I have 'dry' trees that get one mixture, normal trees that have components holding more water, and the 'must not go bone dry'trees that have the soil tuned to hold the most moisture. It really is easy as the kiryu holds minimal water and drys fast, the akadama holds loads of water and dries steadily and kanuma is like little sponge balls, keeping water locked in until the tree pulls it out. I spray the foliage nearly every evening with the hose in one hand and a G&T in the other drunken . - this is a simplified overview of watering as growth spurts pull more water for a week or two, but on average it works exactly like this. There is an automated mist and spray system along the back of the benches, and a timer to turn water on & off, but i have never used it yet.

pruning, pinching wiring etc:
this is down to species choice - get it wrong and there are not enough hours in the day ! I wire all trees when they need shaping, and prefer winter wiring on just about everything - with more and more guy wires being used these days. Deciduous trees winter wired are unwired after leaf thinning, conifers checked after a year -

there are 6 acers and they are pinched, pruned etc feb,march,april so not too much workload there. The 2nd central forming leaves are tweezer pinched from 99% of the branch tips so there is minimal extension growth to deal with later, just inner ramification.
Next work is the pines -May - leave the black alone and candle pinch the whites - so 3 trees to do. black and scots pine is really quick - cut off all the candles in june ish, so 3 trees to do this month too.
Junipers far prefer to be left to grow a little and then scissor prunned back - Now i never pinch juniper foliage at all as this keeps branches weakened, by letting the tips extend the branch and tree strengthens, then cut back to a nice little inner tuft of mature growth to push growth inwards and keep pads defined. The junipers have always been my most labour intensive trees but the scissor pruning method is spread over july, aug, sept - and its only 2 trees now Very Happy

If trees have been taken to shows one year they deserve a couple of years minimum 'rest' so these are allowed more free growth (so less intensive work), but to be fair I'm not into overshowing my trees - especially indoor events or worse still multi day indoor events - I see too many ruined, weak and part dead trees that were stuck on the show circuit for a year or two by eager owners. Most get blamed to un-seasonable winter weather but healthy strong trees breeze through any uk winter - they have for the last 30 years or more. It is incredible how sensitive a tree can be to being moved - even from one bench to another makes a difference to some sulky species, so cars, vans, sports halls, heating, air con (bone dry air Mad ) can all take their toll.

Obviously a fair bit of time is spent in total on the trees but you need to choose trees that spread the workload over the time you have availabe. Eventually everyone ends up with less trees - there is a pattern repeated the world over - 1st tree, then trees everywhere - mostly just for the sake of it, then a steady reduction until quality shines through. years ago i returned about 50 trees to the wild as collecting them was just part of the eager early hobbist - they were all just average to be honest so were better off put back in nature....for someone else to find and go, wow, a pre bonsai yamadori hahahaha

cheers Marcus

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Re: why did i start this!

Post  Fore on Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:12 pm

Great response Marcus, Thanks! I like how you've narrowed down to your 'quality' trees. I bet I'm going to be there in a few yrs. I did go a little overboard this yr. with seedlings. Not sure why except that I wanted to try something 'from scratch' lol

But I can see how it took you 20 yrs to come down with a workable annual workload. You really have to know your plants and their needs. I think I'll set up a timed watering system, just to use when I travel. I too don't like using it regularly and like to hand water and hand feed.

Thanks for the guidelines Marcus, I'm sure I'll get there sooner rather than later lol

Chris

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Re: why did i start this!

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