After the threat of drought early in the year, Spring 2012 in the UK was one of the wettest on record and had remarkably little in the way of sunshine. Despite a comparatively late start to the growing season, growth rates in the garden as well as my bonsai have been fantastic.
Here is a selection of images from my bonsai Spring 2012.
This was an amazing Honeysuckle bonsai I was fortunate enough to see in someone's garden in late March. The hollow trunk consisting of several naturally-coiling live-veins.
In late March I re-visited this large (ungrafted) Japanese White Pine that I styled during 2011, pictured here with its owner.
Detail of a large 22"/ 54cm wide bonsai pot newly made at Erin Bonsai for a large Trident maple bonsai repotted in late March.
The very dense and compact roots of my English Elm (originally featured in my book Bonsai Inspirations 1) after root-pruning at the end of March. The trunkbase is 3"-4" in diameter.
While great care must be taken when root-pruning the roots of a bonsai very hard, it is the correct thing to do with a deciduous tree, such as this one, that has an extremely dense rootball comprised of a huge number of fine roots.
Such a rootball is more easily achieved with a species like Elm that naturally roots very strongly and densely.
The same English Elm bonsai with Spring buds opening a week later in early April. Height 17"/42cm Pot by Erin Bonsai
The Privet bonsai itself, 13"/32cm in height. The tree had been part of a 2 metre tall privet hedge, approximately 80 years old, when collected just 2 years previously.
Detail of the carving at the front of the Privet bonsai
My Ulmus pumila/Siberian Elm bonsai, just coming into leaf. I bought this as field-grown stock around 7 years ago. Height 21"/52cm
Detail of the Siberian Elm branches. Each and every branch and shoot has been wired and repositioned at least once in the past 5 years.
This is the restyling of a Fuchsia microphylla bonsai I carried out in mid-April. The wood at the base of the tree was rotting badly and required plasticising with wood hardener to stop it rotting further.
Juniperus pfitzeriana/Juniper Tanuki (Pheonix Graft) Shohin Bonsai. Just 5"/12cm tall, I put this bonsai together around 12 years ago and sold it in 2009. I was then asked to restyle it last year and pictured above is the tree in April 2012.
The 4"x4"x4" bonsai pot by Victor Harris of Erin Bonsai was one of the first 'damaged pot' designs he made for me.
Fagus sylvatica/European Beech Bonsai. Current height 22"/55cm
This tree is always the last of my bonsai to leaf out in Spring, and at the end of April I spent a few hours detail-wiring it. The tree also features in my book Bonsai Inspirations 1
Detail of the nebari/surface roots of my Beech bonsai