The “official” 2019 growing season has now ended, despite the lack of a killing frost, yet. We do expect some cold days later this week in the mid-20F range, and perhaps two inches of snow. That’s actually what I’m waiting for, so the bonsai in the main display area can be protected for the winter. All the bonsai in training, sales bonsai and nursery stock was put away yesterday by my Monday Senior Crew. They are a great group of hard working friends who help me with the bonsai and my bonsai activities to promote, expand and improve the bonsai community.
However, I try NOT to protect my better bonsai until a hard frost and preferably after a light snowfall. As the gritty snow melts it tends to clean the bark and foliage. Hopefully, this weekend or early next week we can move the bonsai before I head off to Japan for our autumn annual bonsai tour where I’m presenting a lecture on my teacher Yuji Yoshimura at the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum on November 19th. Then, two days later I’ve been invited, again, to be a judge for the 39thTaikan Bonsai Exhibition in Kyoto.
Japanese Maple, Acer palmatum
This autumn has brought some magnificent colors to my garden and I’d like to share some photos with you. A few of the trees have older developmental photos too.
Shishigashira Japanese Maple, Acer palmatum ‘Shishigashira’
Chichi Ginko Maiden Hair Tree, Ginkgo biloba ‘Chichi’
Japanese Zelkova,Zelkova serrata
Shishigashira Japanese Maple,Acer palmatum ‘Shisshigashira’ Shohin bonsai
Mikawa Yastsubusa Japanese maple, Acer palmatum ‘Mikawa Yatsubusa’
American Hornbeam, Carpinus caroliniana
Spindle Tree Euonymus, Euonymus sieboldiana (Euonymus hamiltonianus sub. Sieboldianus)
Trident Maple, Acer buergerianum
Root-over-rock style, yes, there is rock in there….
Burning Bush Euonymus, Euonymus alatus
Golden Full Moon Maple, Acer japonicum ‘Aurea’
Before shaping– April 2018
After shaping– April 2018
Washington Hawthorn, Crataegus phaenopyrum
April 2012 Before shaping
April 2012 After shaping
Butterfly Japanese Maple, Acer palmatum ‘Butterfly’
Display September 2018
Trident Maple, Acer buergerianum
Interesting story. Yuji Yoshimura originally created this clinging-to-a-rock style bonsai several decades ago on a piece of granite. It came to my garden over 25 years ago and just sat in a large tray with pebbles. And when I say, sat, it really remained there without much attention. The roots became one solid mass and pushed away from the rock. It was just sitting on the stone. We lifted it to water and occasionally dunked it in a pail of water. All the trees died but four. In June, over ten years ago I decided to do something with the rock planting. Remember, this is June and the tree is in full leaf. My friends Doug McDade and Doug Taylor helped me to cut the root ball flat using a Sawzall. We actually peeled the roots apart. Then I teased the edge of the root ball and planted it as a group planting bonsai. Yes, with only four trees! The bonsai police were not there so I did it. Tree survived and actually looks good from both sides. Looks good in winter as well as autumn. Usually it turns orange or red, but this year it became yellow.
Oh, by the way, there are still about a half dozen of my better Japanese maple bonsai which show promise of good autumn color. It’s amazing what color differences can make with only a few hours from morning to late afternoon. I’ve even enjoyed seeing bonsai completely change color overnight! I remember Suthin bringing a large multiple trunk Japanese maple to our 2008 1st US National Bonsai Exhibition from the Boston, MA area. He loaded it in his van in the morning when it was still green and changing color. When he unloaded it in Rochester, NY in the late afternoon it was unbelievably red, orange and yellow and became one of the focal points to the exhibition.
Should they change color, I’ll share the photos with you, either in full autumn glory…. or covered with snow.
Although magnificent, truth be told, last season produced brighter colors. Check out the same view from last year and last week. Quite a difference the weather plays in the autumn coloring.