Now here is a challenge! Last summer a very pleasant gentleman came to visit the garden and we spent a couple of hours gnawing on the juicy bone of bonsai as we are wont to do. A few days later he called to ask if I would consider looking at a tree he had had for some time that required some attention. I arrived at the appointed time and walked into his stunning English country garden. Standing there in the warm evening air I could have stepped back in time a hundred years.
I was soon escorted up to the house and standing in pride of place in the middle of the court yard was this amazing old juniper. Apparently it had been imported from Japan in the 50s and my new found friend had been its guardian ever since. Having limited himself to pinching, watering and feeding for all those years the tree was obviously in need of a major overhaul. A picture was quickly produced that shew the tree in the early 70s, remarkably it was almost identical. Not unlike the Mobius loop it appeared that perhaps the tree had been stuck in a time loop. So, could I help? I Guess so!
Having been left to its own devices for so many years the tree offers a great challenge. Firstly because it has not been repotted for a very long time and is literally climbing out of its pot and secondly… Not having been pruned properly for years the secondary branching has elongated enormously and the tree has suffered almost complete die back of all inner growth. Whilst my friend is a sprightly seventy something it would be a little unfair to embark on an 8-10 year regeneration programme for the foliage.
The picture shows the tree exactly as it arrived still in its original mica pot. Incidentally the base of the tree exhibits stunning surface roots that look like a mass of writhing tentacles across half the pot. So …. a real piece of bonsai history and an incredibly tall order. Any ideas?
Five years later and following re-potting and a fairly drastic reduction the tree is ready for the next step. It’s mid spring and the perfect time to be working junipers.
Further reduction and wiring can begin.
The first pad in place.
A few days later and the work is complete.
A virtual with much smaller pot in place.
To view more of this project please take a look at our YouTube video