Thursday, March 25, 2010


Well, after a grueling winter it looks like Spring has sprung! Everything around my garden is waking up, finally.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

March Workshop! (in the howlin' rain no less!)

The March repotting workshop was a hit! We had (9) members (see shots) who all worked diligently on potting / repotting their trees. Everything from tropicals to deciduous to conifers, of all shapes ages, and sizes, were represented.

Tom K.'s better half (who found their way to Starbucks for AM coffee) had some wonderful accent plants from the Flower Show, to help out poor Tom as accents for his Cotoneaster.

Andrew had some sweet little collected pines, while Rob set about dealing with a tasty Scots pine.

Sandy set up his junipers in a mother-daughter arrangement.

Paula had us set up in the greenhouse, where there was plenty of room and light. There were wonderful treats on hand from Amish bakers to set the mood for repotting.
Everyone was well prepared with soil, tubs for containing the repotting mess, tools, soil, and the normal array of necessary items.

When the repotting was mostly finished, Sandy volunteered his Junipers for some wiring fun. Turns out these Junipers were his "Ugly Betties" from the Feb. meeting, so he was glad to have a good start on the wiring, and the styling. have homework to continue! The club will be watching...

Len had a very tasty dwarf Spruce. He plans on getting into styling it as soon as the repotting shock is over.

Karen had some new tropicals (including a nice dwarf Ficus) to try out in small pots, and one of her Azaleas which got a new home.

Bob J. had some interesting tropicals, and he "stuck" with the repotting theme. Will be interesting to see them as they push out new spring branches.

Take some time and browse the pix...part of repotting fun today in BSSJ!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Attention BSSJ members!

Please, don't be shy! If anyone would like to post an article or pictures of their trees, please do not hesitate to e-mail me. It is very easy to add to the list of contributors. I am sure that your input will be appreciated.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Introduction to Bonsai 101

The killing fields
Introduction to bonsai,101
Why, killing fields? Strange choice for a title? Really? Don't be too sure of that my friends and fellow bonsai enthusiasts. To begin with; I've been interested, both actively and sporadically in bonsai for several years now and in that time I've managed to kill more trees than a backwoods lumberjack. It was not my intention to euthanize trees; in fact, my intentions were originally (with little or no guidance or formal training) to produce pleasing, aesthetic, and thriving miniature trees. It didn't work out that way initially though. I've killed so many potential bonsai trees that one day while visiting a garden supply center I found my picture on the wall in the form of a wanted poster.
Sound familiar? Been there, done that? Good, then you're off to a good start. If you haven't killed a single tree by now, go for it. Learning by one's mistakes is perhaps the best way not to repeat the same mistake repeatedly. Remembering what you did or did not do and getting some expert advice on each failure is your key to opening up an adventure in nurturing and growing the best bonsai trees you can possibly grow.
If your patience is limited or virtually non -existent then perhaps you should be looking into another hobby.
Just remember that the tree or trees you will produce are a reflection of yourself and your ideas, not mine or anyone else’s. They need to be pleasing to you first or you're doing the work for someone else. Of course we would all love to produce similar trees as the ones we see on bonsai books and at the shows, and in time we will. Enjoy the experience and allow your imagination to guide you and apply what you learn along the way and I promise you that in time you'll be happy with the end results. Speaking about end results; there is no end to a bonsai project with the exception of expiration, (death of a tree) of course.
To conclude, I and the people of BSSJ, (Bonsai Society of South Jersey) would like to invite you to join us or contact us for helpful information and supplies so that you too can experience the wonders, frustrations, and personal gratification of Bonsai. We invite you to enter into the world of bonsai and participate with us and others who have found this to be an enjoyable and rewarding pass time and hobby.
C. Larke, BSSJ

Thursday, March 4, 2010