Monday, 8 March 2010

It's Partayyyy Time!!! Bonsai Club night tonight...

And everyone's decking out in their finest - at least the bonsai and accent plants are.

And since we've been through an unseasonably cold winter for this part of the world, everyone in the club will be mad keen to show whatever has come out of hibernation.  Of course I'm no exception, duh.  But being the generous and giving (showoff - errr, wait, ignore that) person that I am, I thought I'd give you guys a sneak peek of what I'm taking to the club.  And if the light at the club hall is kind to my Sony Ericsson, I'll take home some more pics to show you later this evening. 

Here is a shohin Chinese juniper that started its life as an informal upright at least 10 years ago.  It wasn't a bad-looking tree then - as a matter of fact, when someone saw it a year after we had acquired it, he suggested we enter it into a very prestigious national show.  But we had already decided it would be better off as a semi-cascade, and since then the invitation to display the tree has never again been tendered.  Heh. But we still feel it was the right thing to do - if a bit drastic.  Achieving the change in shape also meant a lot of wiring (I did say I had gotten a lot of practice in an earlier post), and sometimes Junipers can sulk when treated this way.  Because he did get the heavy metal thing going back then. Yo.
He was also moved into this unglazed Walsall pot, which gives Teacher-san kittens every time he checks our trees, as the cylindrical shape is one that he feels is difficult to keep watered correctly.  Walsall have since stopped using this clay, so I do regret not buying every single one of these that had come out then.

Here is the detail of the rear of the tree, showing 2 jins which are the remains of rather heavy branches.  Had they stayed, we would have wound up with a pronounced lump in the middle of the tree, I bet.
This is one of our larger shohins, measuring 8 in / 20 cm from the feet of the pot.  I don't think it has ever gone out on public display - as it has taken forever for the juvenile foliage to sort itself out - but we have taken it out to the club a couple of times.  Club nights are more like family to us, they don't really count as public, if you see what I mean.

And here's the detail of the Primula in a Japanese pot.  I believe I have the plant's label somewhere, but there's bound to be someone at the club who'll be able to tell me what it is.  It will look better when it's fully out in flower, and even better in 3 years' time when it will have filled out the pot a bit more.

I did mention on Twitter that I would be bringing the microscopic Aquilegias, and I am.  And on the other end of the scale, I am bringing this Kusamono which is a green Ophiopogon variety, a tall bronzey grass whose label has gone the way of the wind, and some other nondescript grass that is only kept within the planting on sufferance (I just keep pulling it out when I have nothing better to do with my time).  Here is what it looked like in summer:

And these are the Ophiopogon fruit which have stayed all through the winter:

I took the Kusamono out of its pot nearly 2 years ago and it has spent all winter outdoors, albeit protected by a whole load of other potted plants around it.  Still, it was covered with snow like everything else.  One day I will find a suiban which will complement the colours of the planting better than this one. (In fact I do know of one potter who has this shade of blue... :D)  But still, this one is the right size, so it will have to do for now.

Unfortunately my Hepaticas and Soldanella are not quite fully out in flower.  My double Hepatica 'Mrs Elison Spence' is only just starting to come out and it doesn't look like anything much at the moment.  What a bummer. 

We are bound to have lots of accent plant lovers tonight, even some people from other local clubs.  Will be great to see if they'll have brought their stuff.  Maybe we can even start doing some barter.  Because boy, do I have some nice stuff coming out... Any takers?

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