What 5 years can do to the simplest of material!

In this post I’d like to show the development of one of my earliest trees. Although the tree is far from perfect, it has accompanied me from the very start of my bonsai adventures, and in a lot of ways mirrors my own journey. It is also a great example of how consistent work can yield good results from even the simplest of material. Continue reading

1500 year old olives – now THAT’s what I call yamadori!

Back in April, I was invited by my good friend and fellow bonsai artist Ami Yehizkiyahu (winner of the 2012 Botanical Gardens Award) to join him on a yamadori trip in the north of Israel, where an old olive grove was being pulled out to make way for new construction. When we arrived, the local contractor told us that the grove was rumored to be about 1500 years old!

As we pulled into the work site, we could see that the massive trees had already been pulled out, and were just about to be loaded on to trucks. The trees had left behind massive craters, which were still full of pieces of trunk, which were to be gathered and sold as firewood. After securing permission, we proceeded to load an entire van with pieces of the old trunks. The memory and the story of these old trees would live on and serve as inspiration for the future bonsai.

For my help, Ami generously gave me 11 choice pieces. I am happy to say that most of these pieces are already growing and starting their journey toward bonsai.

The other pieces remained in Ami’s garden, where they are sure to have a very bright future!

 

What to do when your signature bonsai almost dies. Twice.

Our story begins seven years and three computers ago. Now, since my computers tend to meet violent and non-backed-up ends, most of the pictures in this post have been reconstituted from various dubious sources, and are somewhat lacking in quality. I hope they shall make up for it in the story that they tell.

The story is that of one of my first and earliest trees. My signature tree. Which has gone from humble nursery-material beginnings to the top of a national exhibition, and right to death’s door. Twice. Continue reading