I suppose it’s a dream job for most bonsai nuts. Every year I have to buy between one and two thousand trees. Who wouldn’t love to have a trip around Europe spending a hefty five figure sum on bonsai? I get to see all the new stock when it arrives and all the fresh yamadori long before it is released for sale. The tough bit is that I have to buy trees I can sell of course. I can’t just buy what I personally happen to like. If I did that there would be nothing here for sale and the bills wouldn’t get paid. Mortgage companies do not take trees last time I checked.
The other issue is that when I do buy that ‘special’ tree I tend to get inundated with offers to buy it. So far I have pretty much sold all of my best trees, barring a couple which I have priced out of the market 😉 As a rule any raw material I work into bonsai gets sold in pretty quick order and that makes it tough to keep a nice collection. Also we typically have between two and three thousand plants here and just keeping everything tidy takes more time than I have. As a result a lot of very beautiful raw material is sitting here getting better by the year but rarely getting worked into bonsai.
This year I did my normal winter buying trip and picked up what turned out to be a bit of a sleeper. This big sabina looked like a bunch of junk and was priced accordingly. With my business head on I figured a juniper of that size and price ought to be a bargain but had left my artistic talent at home and could not see the wood for the weeds. However when the tree arrived Ramon and I humped it into the workshop, pulled the weeds and started to see something a bit special. Once we cleaned out some junk and cut away a couple of massive branches (it was over 6′ wide) it became clear i had something a bit special.
Now I have moved it into a smaller pot and lifted a lot of it out of the soil it IS a bit special and is NOT for sale, sorry 🙂 Chances are this will make a nice video project in a years time. Watch this space.