Back in February, I posted a picture of this Willow in its winter image, which really didn't make much of an image at all.
Which is why this is very much a WIP.
Back then I also called it a 'Study in Squiggly Lines', which it still is - particularly without any leaves - although there is now some filling out of what will be foliage pads.
The first photo is what I think will be the rear view. The munched-on Hosta (a large variety that self-seeded in the garden) is just visible at the base of the tree.
The biggest challenge so far has been keeping slugs, snails and caterpillars off this planting, which I've only managed to do with minimal success. Watering isn't much of an issue, although I do need to remember to get the other side of the base, otherwise I wind up with a brown spot of dry moss.
The second picture shows what I intend to develop into the front, with the hosta and a primrose. Of course, all three plants could develop into huge monstrosities which would totally ruin the image I'm trying to create. At which point it will be a total return to the drawing board and start from scratch. Or I could decide to only bring out the planting at the times of the year when it's looking its best.
This is now the start of this planting's second year. I don't remember what colour the primrose is, although I vaguely recall putting it in. I have a feeling it's one of the pink ones, which hopefully will go well with the lavender hosta flowers.
Another challenge with this planting is the balance: the whole thing tends to tip over, partly because the base of the pot (by Petra Hahn, BTW) is rounded and partly because all the weight is towards one side. Any prospect of flowering is therefore viewed with some trepidation. The plant distribution was done deliberately (yeah, right), however I cannot say that any consideration of the laws of Physics was involved. Newton, I am not.
Like a lot of things in the 'craft' side of bonsai, this project is a live-and-learn, trial-and-error sort of deal. It may very well be that in two or three years' time, this project could be subjected to total revamp. Or it could become something better that I ever thought it may be. Then again, I'm not really holding my breath for that one.