I saw my first bonsai at a friends house about 30 years ago. It was a small 7 tree group of Leopard trees in a shallow round red earthenware pot, and from that moment I was hooked.
Soon after I discovered where it came from, and made the first trip of many to the Bonsai nursery owned and operated by a gentleman by the name of Lindsay Bebb. He had a beautiful nursery filled with wonderful examples of bonsai and said he did courses as well. My wife and I both signed up and around 6 weeks later had completed our first introductory course in Bonsai. I am now 56 yrs old and apart from a year or two, due to professional commitments, my interest in Bonsai culture has not wained a bit. Originally from Brisbane Queensland, we moved south to Sydney, then to Italy, then back to Sydney, and then south to Melbourne, and 4 years later back to Sydney…. that takes us up to 1996, and with the exception of our time in Italy, our Bonsai collection came with us. At this time we made the sea change to a beautiful 5 acre property just 6 kilometers west of Byron Bay in northern New South Wales, to an idyllic setting with a subtropical climate, and space, space, space. Our lives would never be the same again. It’s an absolute paradise, and ideal for growing a good range of species for bonsai. I have grown most species over the years, but now tend to concentrate on Trident Maple, Chinese Elm, Ficus, Swamp Cypress, Celtis, and Shimpaku Juniper.
With 5 acres of land around me, it was time I planned for the future and prepared a section of the run down veggie patch, and commence my ground growing plans. I think from memory I planted about 30 young tridents, about 4-6 years old, a few elms, and 3 juniper procumbens. These trees would be worked on now and then and also ignored for a few years for various reasons, but last Autumn, I hatched a plan to lift a good number of these trees to start their lives as bonsai. In the Winter of 2012, I lifted about 24 trident maples of varying size….mostly what you would call large. They had been trunk chopped over the years, and some have nebari up to 22 inches across. I will use this blog to tell their stories to the best of my ability, and by no means call myself an expert. I am constantly learning on a daily basis and do not wish to project any form of expertise other than my own experiences and right or wrong, and will only express this information as a diary of my own to share with those who care to read, and join in the swapping of knowledge and experiences associated with this wonderful thing called BONSAI.