just had one of those mad motorway days - got in the car at 3am, was having toast with a friend 400miles away before 9. As i was in Yorkshire I knew a little bit of bonsai sight seeing was close by at Newstead bonsai so after a few miles detour I pulled into the car park. Due to a upcoming relocation there was a 50% off sale on every tree and plant on the site ! and it was genuine, the original price tags were still in place on all trees.
This was one of those unplanned days that turn into something special and 2 hours disappeared in the blink of an eye while my wish list went from 10 trees to 6, to 3, to a one on one - both trees Junipers, both trees Japanese yamadori imported to the Uk originally from Danny Use at Ginko in Belgium. Each was special, one incredibly twisted and compact - with cracked, aged jin and shari - the other with a slanting aged hollow trunk and amazing narrow live veins....... decisions decisions...........
In the end I was drawn to the foliage quality as both trunks were excelent - both trees were true aged yamadori (wild junipers) so the scale foliage was much longer than the commonly seen ityogawa. One tree was an unknown yamadori species and had quite long foliage with a blueish tint while the other was far more 'British racing green' and was compacting really well, with flowers forming on every branch tip. (It is likely this tree is species 'sargentii' with these characteristics).
When buying a new tree I always look to buy a trunk, as most species can have the branches created later but you are basically stuck with the trunk - with these two the trunks were amazing, and they had plenty of branches, so choice was narrowed down to the overall image that the finished tree would make.....so I ended up buying the tree with tighter, greener foliage.
Looking through the Newstead web site i found pictures of the tree from 2008, 2009 and 2010 so progression shots were good to see.
Here is the tree safe and sound back in Cornwall - where it is much warmer than Yorkshire ! so I expect the tree to wake up thinking spring has arrived. I'm going to make the large foliage mass into smaller layered pads, define the lower branch into 2 pads and add a few spaces to the left hand side. There is a beautiful curving part to the shari near the top so it will be good to open a little 'window' through the foliage so it is visible.
The pot was made for the tree by Walsaw ceramics.
A quick play with photoshop to give me the planned final design