Hi again every body, I know it is off topic….but I have […]

Hi every body, I am a live long fan of the only […]

        Hi every body, here are some fun pictures of my recent […]

Pictures of Wolfie the Mugo pine and a giant Prunus mahaleb in full bloom.

Hi every body,

I would like to show you some pictures of Wolfie the Mugo pine as it looks today and of a other one of my Prunus mahaleb Yamadori.

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I just made this picture of Wolfie, it was the first real dry day with some weak sun every now and then! The last week was colder than it was last Christmas! We even had snow! Wolfie’s buds are swelling non the less and he looks like he suffered no ill effects from the repotting that I did earlier! I planted some moss around him and that look immediately a lot better! I am glad that I found a solution for the rotted root, it would be such a shame if Wolfie could not be shown after all the work it was to get it this fare! I hope you like how it looks?!

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This giant Prunus mahaleb is a other one that my dear fare away friends and I collected in 2012. It is doing amazing like the other 3 and it has a lot of sweat smelling flowers! This massive tree has a enormous root base and is top to bottom covered with beautiful old death wood! All of the branches that I need for my design are new and are coming along nicely! They have been rewired last Fall.

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I made this virtual to show you the twist that I have planed for later next month! The red part will be the (mine) future tree! It has a killer base, natural jin, beautiful movement and stunning deadwood from top to bottom! And here comes the surprice…the yellow part will be separated by air layering it, only leaving the red stomp that will be turned in to a jin that will match all the deadwood! This yellow section that is also covered with amazing deadwood and movement is all ready promised to my dear friend Tony Tickle, who cant wait to get this beautiful future mahaleb Bonsai! I hope the air layering will work so that one tree can become two trees?! I will keep you posted when I have don the air layering and the separation…fingerscrosed that it will work?! I hope you like this post and see you hopefully at the next one?!

Cheers,

Hans van Meer.

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Repotting some of my Shohin bonsai!

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Hi everybody, here are some pictures I made from my Shohin repotting session.

Above:

First picture (little Tony) is from my Shohin Prunus spinasa Yamadori from the UK. This was many years ago a gift from my dear friend Tony Tickle (UK).

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Above: The second one (little Terry) is a Taxus Yamadori from the UK and was also many years ago a gift from my good friend Terry Foster (UK).

 

 

 
My old Bonsai friends have always been very good to me and lots of the trees that are still in my collection today are aether a gift or are collected with them in the wild!

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The third one shows little Tony (left)next to a other old UK Yamadori Prunus spinosa that also was a long time ago a present from Terry Foster.

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The fourth one shows (little Tony) in full bloom. This was first trained for many years as a informal upright Bonsai but was a few years ago radically changed into this more dramatic style!

 

And the last one shows them along some of my other Shohin, a Punica granatum and my old Dutch yamadori Potentilla fruticosa that won 1 price at the Dutch Bonsai association some 20 years ago.

Shohin are a real joy in my garden, especially the once that bloom in Spring time!

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I hope you enjoyd this little impression of my Shohin!? Sorry for the poor lay out, this is the best I can do for now!

Cheers,

Hans van Meer.

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Wirring my two Prunus mahaleb yamadori.

Hi everybody,

here are some pictures of the rewiring and styling sessions I did on my two Prunus mahaleb yamadori that were collected in 2012.

Below: Both old Prunus mahaleb had grown amazingly during the past season and the wire had to be taken off  before it would dig in to the bark! But the branches did have enough time to grow more or less into their desired position and stay there!  Now it was time to loosely rewire all branches again and to reposition them were necessary!

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Just look at all the former suckers that last season were bent down into the ground to create new roots! This is a very easy but important technique to use on these species that create tons of these suckers during the whole growing season! The once that form every were along the trunk need to be removed immediately when they are not useful in your design, otherwise they will leave ugly scars!

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Remember that I told you earlier in the repotting story of Wolfie about the lucky stone that I had found by change in the soil of one of my Prunus mahaleb? Well it was in this tree wen I was removing unwanted mosses and weeds from the soil surface to expose the roots to the light and air so they would thicken more quickly!

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The red arrow shows a branch that grows strait and ugly directly up wards and although I wired it before, it still needs to be removed completely because bending it wont make it look any better! This branch is much to prominent in your face and it is impossible to make sharp bends in a branch like this and I don’t want it to look like a arch!

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Here the branch is completely removed and now the lines and the flow of the branch is much more natural and pleasant! The eye of the observer can now follow  the flow of the branch unobstructed right to the tip of it! Lines and even more open spaces are very important in Bonsai! Even in the more natural designed Bonsai like these two! I believe that branch structure is of the utmost importance in Bonsai design even in the more natural looking onces! Creating a bushy tree to save time and then call it a Bonsai is wrong! Proper branch building is a intricate part of Bonsai art and should not be neglected to get a quick result or to fool the public! At least that is my opinion!

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Here most of the branches are wired and bend and fixated into their desired position. On the right side two main branches still look a bit stiff in this picture and most likely will be bend some more next season with the help of raffia! The red arrow point at a to strait looking branch that grows from the old hanging branch that over the decades had rooted into the ground! This gnarly looking branch full of stunning deadwood plays a important part in my overall design and a strait line that the new branch that grows from it is very unwanted and looks unnatural and ugly…so it needs bending with the help of raffia to protect it from breaking!

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Here the branch is wrapped with one  layer in water soaked raffia, this will protect it from breaking or cracking! Soaking raffia for a while in water is important to do, when the water evaporates the raffia will shrink a little and embrace the branch even tighter, therefor work better!

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Just one on a old removed branch stump  secured layer of 3,5 mm wire is aplied and the branch is carfully bend into its new more natural looking position! Some light movement up and down was also created to make the branch look less stiff!

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Top view from that same branch. To hold the branch into its new place a  strong copper wire is secured to one of the many ground Jin that stick out off the ground in frot off the tree. The branch looks more pleasant now and because it is now automatically  brought closer to the tree, it has become more a part of the overall appearance! So a win win situation!

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All work don! I know it is not a very good picture and things are a bit hard to see…but this tree is very heavy and I cant lift much these days! But I hope you can still make out the overall impression of this very promising tree?! The stumps sticking out off the ground in frond of the tree are mostly natural Jins, left from old branches! They will stay to play a big part in this old tree natural design!

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Here the old tree is in full bloom! The very late hail storms we had the last couple of days have sadly removed most of them! I am very happy with the progress of this tree…only finding a pot will be a crime! I think I will have to let one be specially made for me in the future! I am afraid a normal shaped pot will not fit it?! But thats for later!

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Here you see the second Prunus mahaleb that is already wired here and the branches are brought back into there desired position. These old tree was like the other one burned by forest firers and the amazing old deadwood is all scorched, this created beautiful black and grey tones all over the incredible deadwood that man cant copy! The top and top branches are hugging the amazing deadwood section from behind to emphasise it!

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Here you can see the, for now, finished tree.  The thick jin in the bottom middle still needs some work in the future to make it more elegant and a lot of the by now dead bark below it needs to be removed as well. I am not yet sure what to do with the ground Jins that stick out off the ground in front of the tree..but they can always be removed later when I am sure! On this Prunus there were also created new roots from suckers, but not as much as on the other one.

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The old Prunus in bloom! It needs to be more tilted to the left like in the picture above, but this picture is all I have! I like this twin trunk design, it looks natural and honours how this old fighter looked when we found it! With some more years to create finner ramification it will look amazing and unique and I cant wait to find a fitting pot for it and  show it to the world! I am so immensely grateful to my dear friends who allowed and helped me to collect these stunning works of nature! They brought joy in my live and I have these beauties in my garden to remind me every day of how wonderful live, nature, friends and doing Bonsai can be….thanks guy’s!!!

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I hope you enjoyed this story of my two Prunus mahaleb’s, it took for ever to write, but I found a very long way to at least get it right for you all to read! I am glad that I am able to do my hobby again with joy and a head full of ideas and I am glad that I can again share it with you all! There is more to come, so watch this space!!!

Cheers,

Hans van Meer.

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Repotting and saving Wolfie the Mugo pine.

 

Hi everybody,

here are the pictures from the repotting of Wolfie the Mugo pine.

24-4-2016 Wolfie 313 hans van meer 500

About a year ago I noticed that Wolfie was slowly falling over to the left! On closer inspection what was causing this, I discovered that the thick root on the right side off the trunk (red arrow) was completely rotten and could not hold the pulling weight of the tree any longer. Wolfie was supported with a piece of wood to prevent it from falling over and to safe the roots that were still trying to hold it in place!

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Close up from the right side of the rotted root and trunk from witch the dead bark was removed. No wonder that Wolfie was slowly tipping over to the left! There was not much left to hold him upright at all!

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Close up of the rotted aria from further to the right side. Notice the natural rock on the right side of the dead root that is embedded in the trunk and in the soil.

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With a concave cutter the rotted root was cut off. If you look at the space above the embedded rock you can see just how much Wolfie has fallen over! That rock use to fit tightly in the truck above it!

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Here you can see that the dead root is cut off. Now all the rotted wood needs to be carefully removed and treated to prevent further rotting in the future, making sure that the stone I found still fits the wound!

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The red arrows shows a stone that I by luck found in the soil of my Prunus mahaleb yamadori from Slovenia when I was wiring it this spring. I immediately knew it would fit in the wound that would be created when I removed the rotted root from Wolfie!

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Man I could not believe my luck, it fits like a clove! It looks like Wolfie has grown against this rock his whole live! And it makes the base of the truck look so much wider! Big problem solved! What are the chances of finding this rock in a pot of a other yamadori that I found years later in a other part off the world…AMAZING!

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Here is Wolfie in it’s new pot after a difficult repotting! securing it to the pot needed some thinking and trickery! A screw was placed out of side between the new rock and the old original small rock on the right off it from witch a thick wire was secured trough the hole of the pot! This wire was tightened until Wolfie was in the right position and prevents Wolfie from falling over to the left again!

24-4-2016 Wolfie 366 hans van meer 500

I hope you forgive me that this post is a bit messy but I have a lot of trouble posting these days…but I still wanted to share my work with you all after all this time! I will post a picture of wolfie after it’s been in his new pot for a while!

More post will follow soon…if everything keeps on working?! I think I need a new computer?!

Cheers,

Hans van Meer.

P.S. Please scroll down a bit furter after reading the stories to read other post!!! SORRY!!!

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Illness, more bad news and a new start!

Hi every body,

it has been a while…again, but this time it was for a good reason! I have been ill for a many years now and that kept me more and more from doing Bonsai and living a normal live! After many years of not receiving the proper help from many doctors and so called specialist, I finally found early this year a special clinic that could provide me the specialist help that I had been surging for for more than a decade! Help and support was finally given and I had new hopes on finally getting my old live and myself back! But than when I was building down a old (wrong ) medicine things went completely wrong and I got critical sick to a point that I had never reached before! It took me 2 months to get trough that hell….but then things slowly cleared up and I started to feel better than I had in years! Turned out that the prescript-ed medication from the so called specialist, that I had been taking for years, had been making me ill instead of any better. Live suddenly had meaning again and I could see the beauty of living again! But than disaster hit again, when during a check up because my hearth was racing like mad, they discovered that I had diabetes! So on top off everything I have to follow a strict diet now! low carbs and fat and no more sweets, salty snacks, drinks and other shit that made my live pleasant! But on the bright side, I lost 9 kilo’s since then and I can see my toes again when looking down! And I still feel so much better than only a few months ago and made new plans and for the first time in years started to work again on my neglected baby’s with pleaser and ideas and a smile on my face! So despite everything, things are finally looking up again! So the first thing to do was removing the long beard that I had let grow when I could not care less any more about how I looked! And then repotting, styling and maintaining my trees again like I use to do! I AM BACK!!!

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More post’s will follow shortly!

Cheers,

Hans van Meer.

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Ginkgo Bonsai Centre “KEI BONSAI KAI” International Bonsai Exhibition

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Hi every body,

boy o boy have I got great Bonsai news for you all!!!! Just a few weeks ago I received a totally unexpected call from my old Bonsai friend Danny Use (Belgium), who I had not spoke to for way to long (I admit in shame)! He sounded all excited when he asked “what would you think off a other “Ginkgo Award” ?????!!!!!!! I sad “YES” way to hard, before I asked in disbelieve “are you serious?”! We got in contact again only a few month’s ago after I mailed them the link to a funny Bonsai video, featuring my friend Carlos van der Vaart and I, interviewed and followed around many many years ago while working on Danny’s Bonsai in the old “Ginkgo Bonsai museum”. This video went small scale viral after I mailed it to Ingrid and she posted it around Belgium! Seeing this old tape brought back a lot of great memories of the friendships and the adventures we all had together in those early day’s!  And that was just what Danny was planning: trying to revitalise those old times by bringing back some off the people of these early day’s and to let them show their Bonsai together with the Bonsai of Danny’s Bonsai club/school “Kei Bonsai Kai”! Well I should have know better and realise that dream follower Danny does not wait long to for fill his wishes and dreams! But still I was surprised when only yesterday I received the poster off the “Kei Bonsai Kai” Exhibition 2016!!! And look at the names off Bonsai artist from all around Europe that Danny has invited to show their work along with the Bonsai from his students!!! And than there is Danny’s own amazing private collection in his museum to see and all the Bonsai stuff you ever want to buy in your live on sale in their mega store and much more…….and it’s FREE!!!! You just got to take this opportunity and visit the Ginkgo Bonsai centre and the “Kei Bonsai Kai” Bonsai exhibition! I sure like to C U and all my old friends all there on Saturday 28Th of May 2016 (see poster below)!

Cheers,

Hans van Meer.

keibonsaikai 1309449429 kaibonsaikai 4230758597

 

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Noelanders Trophy 2016 revisited.

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Hi every body,

it took a while for all the impressions from this years Noelanders to sink in! What a experience the long ride leading up to it was again! The last 2 seasons preparing my little Hawtorn for this show, being relieved that it made it into the final show, having a custom made pot made for it by John Pitt and a last minute custom made table by Christoph! The long night ride to bring it into the show, the early photo session with Willy Evenepoel and the feeling of proudnes and amazement when I walked with my small tree in my arms into the enormous exhibition aerier! Finding my prominent and perfect exhibition space and building up my display all alone and in total peace…over the years I learnt to cherish these moments that pass in a moment! Walking past the almost endless rows with stunning Bonsai before any one was there, the feeling that came over me when I saw the many beauty in Bonsai designs, material and matureness! And the feeling that came over me when I saw trees with just a few years of ramification growth and work? Being warmly welcomed and congratulated by old Bonsai friends and shaking many hands of many new ones….making it o so hard to get from A to B! Having a meal and some drinks with friends from all over Europe and beyond, like if you had last saw them yesterday! Walking amazed past the endless rows with traders, who had Bonsai for sale that could be placed directly in to the main show!!! And not 1 or 2…no 30 or 40!!! It was some times hard to find the traders under need all the world class yamadori that they had brought along in their hundreds from every were in Europe !!! Being a bit sad that I had to leave early…but really happy to have made it in the first place to enter my Little “Hawthorn” my self in to this high class Bonsai show where now a day’s you need a “Kimura” styled Bonsai to win a price…that should make me even prouder, you would think? Wouldn’t you?! While I aim my car to wards Holland again a song comes on the car radio…Girl you know it’s true!!! Oooow, oooow, oooow…!!!

The next Monday, my dear friend Tony Tickle came to visit me again before getting on the boat home here close to were we live! He had brought along my Little Hawthorn, table and accent from the show! As always we had a fun afternoon, Tony is one of my oldest friends….whe had some amazing adventures together and I consider him more like a brother from a other mother! Tony gave the Fagus yamadori that I had here waiting for him in my garden a short shave (see the branches in my arms in picture) and made this selfie afterwards…such a shame that we live such a long way apart!

So to sum up: Noelanders Trophy XVI (2016) was a amazing show and a amazing experience to be a little part off! I congratulate Mark Noelanders and all the volunteers  that made this all possible again so that we could all enjoy this Bonsai heaven on earth that gets better and better every edition! Until next year….I hope!?

Cheers,

Hans van Meer.

Bonsai Friends!

Bonsai Friends!

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