Welcome to All in One Bonsa

Bitten by the Bug

Welcome to All in One Bonsai...a blog that aims to remind me of what I have forgotten. Over the years I have been finding out as much as I can about the art of bonsai. I hope the information in this blog will shed some light to the beginning bonsai enthusiast out there.

I saw some bonsai trees at a corner market one night in Taipei and asked the guy if he was willing to teach me how to create these miniature trees. He directed me to a night school where all the instruction was in Chinese. My Chinese ability is very ordinary at the least so although I was learning bits and pieces, I really wasn't getting all I wanted from the course. The best parts were when the teacher would start pruning a beautiful tree or when he showed us how to repot a bonsai. The mystery was still out there but my interest wasn't waning, if anything it fueled my motivation to find out more. And so I did.

Let the adventure begin...

Recently I have discovered the joy of pottery. Bonsai and pottery are close friends so it was only a matter of time before I was introduced to her. Welcome to All in One Bonsai...and pottery.

Feel free to visit my site where you can purchase some of my handmade pottery. Quite a few pieces have been wood fired as it is the prefered method here in Taiwan:

Esty Shop: AllinoneCeramics

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Home Made


Recently I was able to find the time and repot two trees into some bonsai pots that I made last year.  It was satisfying being able to put them to good use.  I hope the trees are happy in their new upgraded abode.  

A Taiwanese Juniper settling in.  I tried making the pot look as old as possible.

The pot is quite deep for such a thin trunk but it still kind of works for the time being.  In the future I may have to find a tree with a thicker trunk to be placed in this pot.

A Taiwanese ginger tree.

Hope you enjoyed these new pots.  Go on, try and make some yourself.  It will give you a buzz.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Growing Bonsai in the Ground

Mother Earth
It's Tuesday afternoon and school's out!  In my bag I throw in some bonsai wire, my cutters, a banana, and head up the mountain to visit my bonsai stock.  This is a picture around the corner from where 70 Taiwan Juniper trees are growing in the ground.  My plan is to fatten them up and hopefully make some worthwhile bonsai in a few years time. 
The winding road is always a treat.  The scene below is the suburb of TienMu.  I live 15 minutes from where I have taken this photo.

I have decided to wire some trunks of my junipers before they become too thick to bend and shape.  Last week Annie and I also shortened some side branches.  I didn't want these branches becoming too heavy.  I also wanted to open up the tree and let more sunlight reach the inner areas.  This way more side branching will be encouraged.  

I choose the thickest wire I have, jam it into the ground and wire the trunk.  I then add movement to the trunk.  I have been told this will restrict the growth of the trunk but I want to try it out for myself and see what happens.  

Before wiring I take a sharp knife and remove some bark to add what is known as shari.  Good shari should have a little movement as well.  I didn't do the best job of adding movement here.  Far too hot to be messing around this that!  I just wanted to add some character to the trunk - make the tree look older and weather beaten.  I cut the tree slightly and then ripped the bark down.  This doesn't harm the tree too much.  The water still finds its way up the other side of the bark.  Do not remove all the bark - ring bark -because the tree will die.

Some more shari - I tried making it look as natural as possible - rough and ready - as if lightning struck this guy but he is still tough enough to live!  Now it's up to the wind and other elements to deal with this section.  Summer is a good time to make cuttings and develop some shari as the wounds will heal quite fast.

I reduce the length of the long side branches because I don't want them getting too thick.  I also want some back budding to occur - I don't want all the growth at the tip of the branch.  You can see that I leave the lead branch uncut.  This will be allowed to grow untouched.  A thicker trunk will be the result.

Tearing strips off!  
Some side branches developing.
I wired this guy and reduced the height almost by half by adding bends and turns throughout the trunk.  If I leave them to grow too much thicker I will not be able to bend the trunk at all - especially at the base where I want my first turn.

More wiring.

Allowing the lead branches to grow freely.  
I can't wait to see this tree in 3 years time.  I will check up on these trees ina  few months and remove the wire as it will be biting into the trunk.  I will then let the tree grow freely for a while (recover) and rewire once again.  Another option is to leave the wire on the tree until it really bites hard!  Then remove the wire - what will happen is the bark will come away too - developing a twisting shari effect.
I do not wire all trees (some trees have grown so well that it is now too difficult to bend them at all).  I will observe the difference in thickness compared to the wired trees over time.  I can also use these straight trees for a forest planting where most will grow straight up.  The important part is that the tree must have nice side branches and balanced taper from trunk base to trunk tip.

Take care out there!