Soil pH and Bonsai

Now this is something! Thank you a lot. I tried the cattier and lost 2 trees :((


Ask a room full of Bonsai artists about soil and you will probably get different perspectives from each and every one of them. Soil for Bonsai cultivation is widely discussed and opinions are easy to find. From those who can afford to import Akadama and other Japanese sourced mediums through to Cat litter soils and organic mixes, all serve a purpose. In the end it is probably better to talk about the “Growing Medium” rather than soil as some Bonsai trees grow in mixes that can hardly be classified as Soil when one goes with the “normal” definition of what soil is. Here in New Zealand we just refer to it as “dirt”, but that is probably not good English for what we use to grow our Bonsai in. One thing that is not very well considered when it comes to soil and soil types, is the pH of the…

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Salix arbuscularia

New addition to the nursery, from  the mall. I got a little tree, reduced in prize, left to stand alone among the neglected, doomed-to-dry-out corner of the  garden store. And I got a heart for those abandoned. Besides, it still looks cute.

It is a grafted tree, the top neatly added on top of some other sort of Salix. Top branches hanging down, catkins flowering. I’m gonna add pics later.


spring updates

Last week I’ve been repotting some of the trees and the little ones from the nursery (still need some ID’s on them). I thought, I share some of the pic with you guys.

Tilia cordata (most likely 8 years, mallsai), buds just about to break

Fagus sylvaticus (about 10 years, nursery tree)

Acer buergeranum (I suspect it’s 6 years old – bought it from last years Bonsai exhibition in Hallein)

Morus albus (6 years, mallsai)


Prunus incisa (6 years, nursery tree) still shrubby looking, waiting for the bloom to finish


Tsuga canadiensis – have no idea how old, nursery tree…

Juniper procumbens nana (older than 10, nursery tree)

The 11th Annual Shohin Pottery Competition (1)


Japanese Bonsai Pots Blog

Every year I look forward to Gafu Ten and the results of the big pottery competition and exhibition that is held there each year. For articles on the previous exhibitions, click the over to the Table of Contents page under the menu bar.

Lots to talk about from this year’s exhibition, with many images, so I’ll be separating it into two posts. First up, the winners, and the entries from last year’s gold medalists.

Overviews of the exhibition.

Now, on to the pots!

Unglazed Containers

The Gold medalists for the previous year aren’t eligible for prizes(nor are those who have won top honors more than a couple of times), but they are always invited to display in the following year. This was the entry from British Potter Andrew Pearson, of Stone Monkey Ceramics, who took gold last year. This year’s entry features real silver rivets. I was quite impressed with…

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Geranium is tough, right?

Right! Geranium is a shrubby looking perennial plant, usually kept for their flowers and wonderful leaves. The older they get, the bigger and richer they bloom. It is one of my favorites. I like this hardy plant, its scent, the leaves, the colors… They forgive a lot of  mistakes. Also the keep blooming if you keep cutting them.

What they need: whatever garden soil,  water, a winter rest in a dark, cold (not under 5°C) place, and a lot of sun. Don’t forget to cut the withered leaves and flowers, so the plant can give you another round of blooms. I can’t wait to get some.



The Helebore sp. ( Helleborus niger and H. hybridus) are evergreen and perennial plants. Quite decorative, if you ask me.

I keep wondering how’d it look if in a bright colored kusamono pot, specially the H. hybridus one. In the garden of my mother they are up to 50 cm high with leaves, as big as my head (and I have a big melon on my neck).


Bonus: some inspirational helleborus kusamono: