Been a while…..

Well its been some time since my last post, but there’s just been no time unfortunately. We sold our 5 acre property (almost overnight) back in October and had just over a month to pack 17yrs of our lives, find a new house to buy, and in the process find a way to squeeze over 350 bonsai and pre bonsai into our new much smaller 600sq mt block at the beach. Well the obvious answer is that there was no way I was going to take all those trees with me….. so it was a perfect opportunity to tackle my addiction head on and go cold turkey ruthless on my collection of trees. I’ve been doing bonsai for over 30 yrs now and have accumulated many pots and trees….all which take up valuable space when you downsize. I’ve had pots for 3 decades which have never had a tree in them so you get the picture. Anyway, when we packed the house, my dear wife used the reduce by at least a third rule and suggested I try to do the same with my shed/workshop contents, and my bonsai and nursery stock. The trouble is when you have acreage and incredibly fertile red volcanic soil, you tend to get addicted to the ground growing technique which when moving can bite you in the bum…. trust me! Fortunately I had done most of the lifting a winter or two back, so most of the heavy work was done, but there was still the case of 350 trees to sort through…. from name’ to massive. My giant Swamp Cypress which stood over 5ft tall in the pot and the pot alone was a 2 man lift when empty. I tried to sell this one real cheap, but the size simply petrified people at the thought of moving it so it was ceremoniously returned to the ground to grow as it was meant too. A few other smaller nursery stock trident maples also joined their big brothers back in the maple forest up the back of the property and will be more than happy there. I put the word out on my local forums and had a few sale days which came with bonus plants for the buyers. If you bought a dozen starters, i threw in another 6 and so on. The more you bought, the more I gave them…. Some were just beginning their bonsai journey, so it felt good giving them really quite advanced plants rather than sticks in pots. I still have over a hundred trees all told, but the hand watering has dropped from 2 hours twice a day in summer, to about 20mins, so it has been a drastic reduction. My growing aspect has also changed in our new place which has eliminated all full sun growing, but they all still get 4-5 hours a day which seems to really suit my maples particularly well. Everything has been powering in their new environment which I am happy for, and anything that doesn’t thrive here will go. I have no interest in fussing over difficult to grow trees anymore. My maples nearly did my head in last season with fungal disease and spraying chemicals every 10 days to keep on top of it was a nightmare. They got one Lime Sulphur dose last winter and thats been it, and this Spring in the new place they have shown perfect leaf structure and healthy strong growth…. the best I’ve seen in years. We are a few minutes walk to the ocean and always have a sea breeze, so i’m curious if this is the reason everything looks so good…. I know thats why we feel so good…… hahaha! Happy bonsai ing fellow bonsai junkies.