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Japanese soil pallet

seasonal work Posted on Mon, January 07, 2013 20:36:34

Hi everyone,

spring is round the corner and I’m considering getting a pallet of soil ingredients delivered. Bulk buying this year has secured some very enticing potential discounts on Akadama, Kiryu, ezo grit

The window of opportunity is quite short though – Febuary meeting is the absolute latest for conformation as I need to get the split of soil types decided by then so if anyone wants 14liter sacks of soils please contact me sooner rather than later.

Prices will be in the region of:

1 single bag – £12

2 bags + £11 ea

5 bags + £10.50 ea

This is the delivered total price for all soils – Akadama, Kiryu etc in the large size bags so anyone interested can message me, email or call 07855 300789 to place an order.

Akadama 4-6mm

Akadama 8-12mm

& Akadama shohin grade 2-3mm

6-8mm Kiryu and 2-3mm shohin grade

6-8mm Ezo grit and 2-3mm shohin grade

Perfect timing for those coming to the Peter Warren repotting workshops etc or planning any repotting this year.

cheers – it needs about 15 more sacks ordering to make the pallet delivery worthwhile


Great day

seasonal work Posted on Wed, September 12, 2012 22:32:06

I must say thanks to everyone that came round over the weekend for the Peter Warren visit. With hindsight to call it a workshop would not portray how good it was. Peter spent 6 years in Japan as apprentice to Kobiashi (the chief) and in that time learnt bonsai from the bottom level to the very top – finally working and setting up trees for kokufu ten and similar high end shows. now he is a free lance bonsai proffessional and i am so pleased to have starrted a long term working relationship with him

He had his own style and subtle way of sharing so much knowledge with us, and limiting the group to just 4 people ensured everyone and their trees had plenty of quality time. We had black pines, scotts pines, junipers, white pine, satsuki, hawthorn & cryptomeria ! unbelievably Peter shared a lot of high end advanced knowledge of all the species, studied, styled or properly advised on virtually all the trees and was still going stong into the night as he was keen to play with my big juniper – once we managed to floodlight the garden this turned into a full thinning, compacting of the height and re-positioning of every single small branch and all the foliage.

I think I can say this was a real eye opener for all of us – you can’t learn in books or on the internet some of the information that was shared here. I know that countless wasted years can be saved by making the effort to pick the right teacher, and everyone wins as the trees move onto levels they would not ever achieve otherwise.

Peter is re-booked for a stay at mine on March 25th, 26th, (and hopefully 27th), 2013. The Tuesday 26th will be a group session specialising in the repotting of pines and junipers with particular attention to root selection, root reduction, root positioning, tree / pot positioning and correct soil choices. This will be another part teaching and part hands on day so attendants should aim to bring a main tree that will be worked and repotted, while also working together on soil mixing etc. 5 people MAX can be accomodated as some work will be shared – This is just for the Tuesday (Monday has been filled doing a very big, probably stressfull and very heavy yew, followed by a visit to Roberts) and 3 places are booked and confirmed already so please contact me soon if you are serious and can commit to one of the final slots.

cost will be similar for Peters time and we will sort out a way to buy all the soil components needed on the day from him – this will be akadama, kiryu, pumice etc rather than John innes !

thanks again,


Readers Wives

seasonal work Posted on Sat, April 21, 2012 10:14:50

hopefully that caught your attention !!

I’m adding a new page to the website……………….and I’m looking to build it into a page of seasonal hints and tips that we can pass on to anyone interested. please just post them as comments here or email them over and we’ll take it from there.

cheers Marcus

Happy Easter

seasonal work Posted on Sat, April 07, 2012 19:10:28

I think we got of lightly with the weather – one frost just before Easter but nothing hard enough to need to pack trees away again.

Out of curiosity what trees do people have that are yet to wake up? – i have the European beech group and the white beech group still dormant and the beni maiko red acer just breaking bud.

At the other end of the scale a trident has been pinched already and the kyohime has had first extension growth pruned off. White pine candles are about an inch long but i will wait until the needles are showing before pinching as last year i pinched a bit early and ended up with loads of flowers with no needles on the end! This could have killed branches on a weak tree but luckily there were small buds at the base of many flowers.

We didnt really have a winter this year and it seems like i’ve only had one cracked branch on a scots pine die off – it hung on green until a repot and then went brown in 2 weeks so it shows the stress caused by root pruning etc.

Bank holiday wiring and styling was this juniper – ready for the non pine evergreen meeting this month. here is a just imported picture from 2008, a before i started pic and one after the pads were formed.

Sept 2008

Jan 2012

And here is the tree styled – the carving on the upper trunk was finished on Saturday and the picture taken Easter Sunday

even rocks have direction

seasonal work Posted on Mon, March 05, 2012 19:02:14

A few months back I was posting pictures of a developing beech forest on IBC forum and Robert Steven was giving advice and hints into improving the planting. The forest moved from a pot to a slab, then to a bigger slab, and then after replant number 3 Robert threw in the observation I had never ever considered – the slab I made was dominant to the right so moved right to left but the trees I planted went: main tree on left, secondary tree to right……… trees and slab were opposing each other not complementing. (replant no.4 is coming up soon !!)

Neil sent me a great few pictures how his larch is progressing and has now been replanted to a slate slab. The slate absolutely makes the tree, but while I was studying the tree it dawned the slab also had a direction, and just like my beech forest the tree and slab were opposing each other.

here are some pictures of the tree and a quick photoshop i did. What do you all think? Comments much appreciated please.

And a rough photoshop play about. Its amazing how powerfull a tool photoshop can be in trying out bonsai ideas without touching the tree !


seasonal work Posted on Wed, February 29, 2012 20:20:40

Greetings all,

I have been using some of Marcus’ excellent compost and have been searching for some slow release fertiliser to add to it.

Someone had recommended Osmocote. Searching Trago Mills I found that I had the choice of two;

Osmocote which claims to last for 6 months (I suspect that it would be less with the constant watering of Bonsai and in the warmer climate of Cornwall)) With a N-P-K of 14 – 5.7- 10.8.

Chempak which claims to last for one year with figures of 18 – 6 – 12 (+MgO)

The Chempak is about 25% dearer but contains micro nutrients which are not mentioned on the Osmocote box.

Anyone with experience of either and/or generally experience of adding fertiliser to composts.

Any advice will be very welcome.

Good potting,