Casual Friday: Japan is a wonderfull country

This week the press brought some Japan themed news.

For example the most old living man on planet. Jiroemon Kimura is 116 years old and lives in Kyotango (Kyoto prefection)
Jiroemon Kimura is 116 years old

Or one of the biggest Wisteria of Japan. The beautyfull tree is located in Ashikaga
wisteria in Ashikaga, Japan

Japan is really a wonderfull country. Can’t wait an see it.



1° Livello, 3a sessione

Crespi Bonsai Universit

It’s pre-summer and I had the third session of the Bonsai University in Italy.

This third session (3a sessione) was held in May the 18-19 from 9:30-17:00 and the topic were:
cutting and pruning, watering and fertilization
the botanical point of view of Bonsai
diseased and their treatment

maintenance work of project 1 and 2: pruning and fertilization for the summer

At the same time Crespi held the 2nd edition of his Satzuki Bonsai Festival and in this occasion some of the most famous Bonsai artist was Guest for demonstration and workshops. More in a following post.

Pre-summer is in general already very hot in Italy, so I was expecting a really hot week-end. Luckily for us the weather was lousy; can you imagine how hot it could be in a greenhouse with no air conditioning! We had rain, again. And cold, again. How long do we have to wait for the nice weather, Europe is still waiting!
The session was, as usual, really interesting and informative. Master Kajiwara is always endeavours to explain the best way possible. He wants to be sure everybody understands his explications.
We had lots of theory: botanic, fertilization, cutting and pruning but for the most of us the best part was watering. It’s seems an easy task but is not. Water is for a bonsai much more than a liquid element, it’s perspiration and also transpiration. The doses of water are very important as well. We learned that a bonsai has to be watered three times in the morning and depending on the weather conditions or by checking the forecast it can be one, two or three times. Off course every plant is different and every country is different, just as every garden or balcony is different, so in order to archive the best watering dose for your plant, everybody has to make they own experience and find the best possible recipe for his own.
Not an easy task but manageable.

Have a nice day

…love, Melanie!!

Workshop with Nicola Crivelli

For someone starting out with bonsai, it’s always a nice thing to go at workshop’s. You meet new folks with the same interest, you see all kinds of trees, you learn new technique but for me the most important thing is talking to the „oldies“ and absorb all their knowledge in the short time throw out  the workshop.

Not all workshops are the same, there’s the theory ones, the one with lot of talking, the one with very little talking, the ones where there always somebody disturbing the group, and the ones where everybody is an expert and the one where you are alone with the master. If you have been in such workshops you know what I am talking about.

Last Saturday I went on a one-man-workshop!! It was only me and the master was concentrated in explain me everything in a way that I understood. I am still a greenhorn so I had lot of questions. While I am writing this post I am thinking: was there a negative side aspect to a one-man-workshop? No, not at all. A one-man-workshop can only be positive and I can only suggest it to everybody who has a chance to do so.

The master in question is Nicola Crivelli. I follow his blog since a good year now and always find his work very interesting, and then I saw the picture of “Lone Wolf with cub” I felt in love.
Lone Wolf with cub
This Shimpaku juniper is elegant, stylish, modern and yet classic in a very refined way. A real joy for the eyes, a goal for every enthusiast, the essence of bonsai beauty: for me the best I have ever seen!
So I decided, I have to meet this artist and admire his work LIVE!!

Because I repotted most of my plants in April, we didn’t make major works on all of them. We styles a cotoneaster, we made spring works on a Zelkova, two acer, a prunus incisa and I had the opportunity to restyle a Shimpaku juniper under his advise.

Here some of out work:
Cotoneaster Bernadette
27012013_front 27042013_finish

Acer buergerianum Bev
27042013_front 27042013_finish

Zelkova Brandy

Juniperus chinensis Itoigawa Cybil

I definitely will repeat this experience again. Nicola is a real artist and I am sure the world will see more of his wonderful work in the future and can appreciate his elegant Art.


…love, Melanie!!


The Return Of The King

This are the kind of story’s that make the difference between Japanese and Western Bonsai in my personal opinion.
So, there’s two options to archive this storys: you have enought money to purchase one of this really old trees, or you start now and give the tree to the next generations… which will be in fifty years!!!

…love, Melanie!!

Peter Tea Bonsai

The Return Of The King

The beast“Zuiou” 1996 Kokufu prize winner, Japanese Black Pine

A few months ago I was fortunate enough to work on this large Japanese Black Pine.  The work wasn’t major and involved thinning and pulling needles; standard stuff for Black Pines in the Winter.  Just getting a chance to work on this tree was an amazing feeling for me because it tied my past bonsai career to my ending apprenticeship.  What surprised me when I learned the history of this tree is how it has been around so many people who has influenced my bonsai work in the past and present.  So close to me but unknown by me.  In This post, I’m going to share with you the history of this Japanese Black Pine and some close up photos of the tree that makes it world-class.

The Beginning

Bonsai started for me in 2004 when I…

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