Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Maple Bonsai

A few years ago I spent some time looking at photos of bonsai trees, and being quite inspired.  I think at that time I had already noticed a small red maple seedling in my front garden.  I had hoped it was an offspring of my red Japanese maple, but it didn't have the same leaves.  However, it did look like it had a weeping form, rather than an upright one.  Anyhow, about that time, I actually searched for and bought a bonsai pot, for when I was ready to try my hand at it.

A couple of weeks ago, I finally dug up that small maple, which has grown in the past few years, but has a really beautiful shape, even without manipulating it.  Here it is, after planting it up.  It is a deep red color, not glowing, as the photo would indicate, since it was taken in the evening with artificial lights on it.
I have not tried to manipulate it any further, yet.  At this point, I have it in a sheltered location in my garden, and am monitoring that it stays well watered, and will settle into its little pot.  Once it safely settles in, I will take another good look at the shape of it, and what I would like to alter.  But I already like it quite a lot.

We had the privilege to visit China in March, and I got a few photos of the bonsai collection in the "Humble Administrator's Garden" in Suzhou (near Shanghai):

Here are a couple more photos from the garden, which was quite peaceful, even though there were lots of people everywhere, even on a rainy day :

One these days, I'll sort out some technical difficulties, and post more photos from China.  We had a wonderful trip, visiting Beijing, Xi'an, Qingdao, and Shanghai (including nearby Suzhou and Wuzhen).

Friday, May 16, 2014

Fairies Make Way for the Dragon

There will soon be a new dragon in the garden, and the fairies have graciously agreed to the removal of their long-abandoned home, to make room for her.  Anyone who is following my ceramics blog may have seen my dragon, she is still in progress, but should be finished in the next few weeks, and ready for the garden :

Today I spent some time cleaning up the garden, and also considering where the dragon will take up residence.  I am grateful to my sister Rose for pointing out that the fairy home is no longer being used by the fairies, and is in a state of serious disrepair, having pulled through 6 winters now.  Here it is in one of its better days (2009) :

Here it is, a couple of months ago.  I'm very proud of how it has held up structurally, considering it was made from cuttings of my buddleia tree connected by wire, but the roof is leaky and the fairies have found other homes.  Besides, at the rate I'm progressing with the ceramics (see my ceramics blog), next time I can make them ceramic homes :

I should have taken a "before" photo before cleaning up this area, but here it is tonight, part way through clearing out the area :

I plan to create a "lake" for the dragon, from blue glass.  The miniature tree will stay, but the beautiful lilies may need to be find another home, too.  Stay tuned.
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