This Juniper is actually one of the first bonsai I ever created. Originally a smallish garden centre Juniperus communis planted in a black pot, I created a windswept style bonsai by copying one from a book. It looked reasonable, even if the main trunk was onyl the size of a pencil. Then I had to move to Aberdeen. Knowing that I would be living in a flat, I planted by bonsai juniper in a spare part of my parent garden in Edinburgh. I then forgot about it for 6 years.
When I finally got a garden of my own in Hampshire, my father reminded me of the trees I had growing in their garden. On my next visit I wandered down to where I had planted the juniper. I was suprised and delighted to find a waist-high juniper bush with a diameter of about four feet. Investigating the trunk I found there was a large main trunk of about 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter and several well developed branches.
Drilling holes in the botton of a plastic washing-up bowl I dug out the juniper and planted it for the trip home. The rootball was still relatively compact and fitting it into its temporary home was easy. I didn't worry about removing the old soil until I got home. Once moved all the way down to Hampshire, I removed all the old garden soil from the roots and replanted into the same wahsing-up bowl with nothing but grit sand. I then left the tree to settle for 18 months before initial styling.
The following photos show the tree two years after initial styling when I repotted it into a proper bonsai pot.
|March 2002. I have removed all the original grit sand to find good fine roots.|
|The whole tree only just fits onto the bench in my shed. Maybe I need a taller shed.|
|The tree was repotted into pure akadama. This was my first experiment with akadama and I have to say, that for mature trees it seems to have worked so far.|
|After potting, the tree spent a couple of months in my unheated greenhouse, out of direct sunlight. Plenty of misting was done to keep the foliage healthy while the roots re-established.|
|January 2003 and almost a year later, the tree looks settled. There hasn't been any fast growth and the foliage seems to be settling into the mature phase with more scales and fewer spikes. Hooray.|
|Later that year. The tree has been kept in a sunny spot.|
|Using digital photo tools, I have managed to wipe most of the background off this shot from summer 2003 so the structure is more clear. There are still a few decisions to be made about some of the branches, but I'm pleased with the overall form.|