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, 28 September 2016

Sir Robert

Robert Stevens' Nursery in Jakarta

I had heard about Robert Stevens from quite a few of bonsai people here in Taiwan and also in Australia.  In July 2012 I went back to Australia via Bali.  I decided to track down Robert's nursery with the hope of meeting the man.  Unfortunately, Robert was taking care of business in another part of Jakarta, but I was still fortunate enough to take in his nursery, friendly staff, and amazing trees. 
I have had these pictures on my computer for 4 years and am only now digging them out for the All in One Bonsai people out there.  Please enjoy.

It was a hot day in Jakarta when I finally found his nursery.  It was in an unassuming place surrounded by locals going about their normal day.  There were no frills associated with this nursery.  Just brilliant looking trees perched on monkey stands.

The Jakarta weather is almost always humid.  Everything was green and seemed to be growing before my eyes.

Robert had a team of bonsai men watering his trees.  No doubt they needed lots of attention.  The soil was mostly volcanic rock which dries out quite quickly.

Some of the compositions were fantastic.  Robert is well-known for his dramatic designs.  He has a solid philosophy behind this styling after studying penjing in China.  Check out that moss!

You can see quite a few of Robert's trees incorporate rocks - a classic landscape style.

My guess would be that Robert has gone tree hunting and collected many of his trees from some place in Indonesia.  He has then used his skill to refine and develop outstanding trees in pots.

Visiting Robert's nursery was a contrast in visual intake.  Surrounding his nursery the environment was Jakarta style - which is mostly quite run down and a touch dirty.  There are a lot of people in Indonesia that are doing it tough and have very little.  After being in amongst the outside environment and then walking in to the nursery, a strange contrast appeared.  The trees seemed to be out of a magical land, so healthy and professionally cared for.  There were no weeds and most trees looked like they should be in a glossy magazine.

An interesting slab pot that fits well with these two trees. 

One of my favorites.  Simple but everything looks like it belongs.


What a brilliant trunk!

I apologise.  I didn't do a great job of finding out what species of trees these were. 

An old cascade.

Masterpieces everywhere.

Guarding the pass.

A branch left to grow - creating thickness.  Once served its purpose it will be cut back.

Another view.

Protecting itself. 

It always amazes me with such little soil a tree like this can prosper.

Twists and turns.

Quite a lot of deadwood on this guy.

An illusion of a tall mountain.

In the same area there were other bonsai nurseries.  This was a tree in the nursery next to Robert's.  Training the roots to thicken, creating a stronger looking nebari.

Another example of this method.  They know what they are doing!

Yet another nursery.  The Jakartens have quite the bonsai community going on.

Back to Robert's.

If I had to estimate I would say he had over 400 trees...possibly a lot more.

A 'fallen' trunk used to great effect in the overall design.

Just to prove I was there.

This is the back of Robert's nursery.  It is a place where things have their resting area before being used.

A canal at the rear of the nursery.
I'm glad I took the time to track down the nursery of Robert Stevens.  It isn't too far away from the airport and well worth the visit.  Everyone was very friendly and taking photos was no problem.  Check it out if you get the chance!

Take care out there.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

A Village Full of Bonsai

Bonsai Village

Just outside of Taipei, in walking distance from where I live, you can find a smallish area titled Bonsai Village.  In this 'village' are 7 bonsai nurseries.  I frequently visit and check out the trees and occasionally ask a few questions.  Below are some pictures taken of the first nursery you will see as you enter the village.  Quite a few trees have been imported from Japan and sold to Taiwanese buyers.  I hope you enjoy these interesting trees. 

A very powerful looking trunk and nice contrast between the light wood color and green leaves.

A very gnarly black pine.

Guarding the toilet we find this juniper.

A tough guy.

A shohin juniper.  These trees have very small and tight foliage that make for beautiful small trees. 

This tree could tell a good story no doubt.

My travelling companion for the day.  It was hot and he was sweaty.  Didn't stop him from being a little champion though.

Excellent trunks.  Build a strong and twisty trunk and you will build a great tree.  The trunk is KING.

These types of trees are called bunjin style.  They have a thinish trunk and the best ones create a feeling of 'life is tough but I will find a way.'

A nice platted black pine.
More trunk movement.

A cool juniper.

I like the dead wood jutting out from the right side.  It tells a story.

Looking at trees that are old and of high quality gives you a plan for the future of your own trees.  You have an idea of what is possible.

I don't really like how the trunk is split so far apart.  Not sure what I would do about it?  Possibly move the top part of the left side more over to the right?  It would take some heavy bending.

A classic style.  This tree would become two trees if you air-layered the top 1/4.  The top part could become its own individual tree and the original tree would become smaller but be more imposing.  You could then reduce the length of the side branches.  Or you could just enjoy the tree as it is!


Wild child

A well looked after black pine.

The view from one corner of the nursery.  Everything is so neat and tidy.  The owners have respect for their trees and the area around which they live.

I plan to take pictures of the other 6 nurseries soon.  We had our second child a few weeks ago so I am home for a month or so helping out, mostly by looking after our first.  We have our daily walk and I predict a few more visits to our local Bonsai Village.  Until then keep on keeping on.
If you ever happen to be in Taipei this is the address for these nurseries:  桃園縣大溪鎮福安里18鄰三層7-2號 (紫園盆栽)