As I sit today and contemplate the new year I am reminded that this year can only be better than last year. For most of 2014 my wife was undergoing treatment for breast cancer, and I was in and out of the hospital with kidney stones. I had stones in April and spent a week off with a catheter and more recently, the last three weeks in and out of the hospital with two surgeries to laser the large stone I had blocking my ureter.
I am now on a huge diet change, and only drink water and decaf cup of coffee in the morning. Very limited meat, only 4 oz total for the day, on potassium citrate regimen and that means no potatoes, no bananas and no beans. Many dark green vegetables like spinach and artichokes are off the diet. No more nuts and seeds and my all time favorite, peanut butter.
I also look forward to the 2015 year in bonsai. I have many projects which will enter the second phase of growing and many projects will receive a first bonsai training pot. My years with tridents have produced some great trees in the making and some of the projects over tiles seem to be progressing very fast. I will start new seeds soon and will also try some coral bark maples for the first time. These are some fall shots of my trees I took the seed from.
I have a project in the works for grafting a maple that will be a surprise. I think this will be a very interesting project which will become a major talking point in my bonsai community. I also can’t wait to start working on the large Oshio beni maple I purchased from Yoshio. This tree will be removed from the large growing container it is in and cut down to fit into a smaller growing container with open structure medium. Watching and pruning new growth is going to be exciting.
I have some bonsai tables to work on this spring and have to rebuild part of my benches that have started to rot due to a pot problem I encountered. No legs, rotting bench.
Work in 2015 continues with black pines. I have a really good chuin size tree and I have about 10 smaller black pines to develop into shohin sized trees. Coming up in March of 2015 will be an all day seminar with Ted Matson on developing black pine shohin trees at the Round Valley Nursery in Lindsay Ca. Ed Clark, owner of the nursery is up for a Artist spotlight soon. He is being interviewed by my collegues Curt and Rod as we speak. This will be a good one, don’t miss it.
My work with California junipers continues and there are still three trees to work on. This promises to be extra rewarding since the junipers are in prime condition for reworking with long shoots of heavy growing foliage. This is a must for a species which does not build thick foliage on its own. I also have a huge foemina juniper 15 tree forest that needs a major overhaul and this may be the year I finally get it done. I have been talking about it for three years and this is a must this year or I may lose all the interior branching. A lot has probably already been lost. It is a strong grower and will come back. It is one of the junipers in which all the green can be removed from the branch and it will bud back so repairing it is totally possible, just needs time.
I am most happy with the progress of my pyracanthas. The two I have been working on over a number of years are really doing great and the double trunk one that had borers last year has started to heal itself and looking stronger than ever. This year I will be able to fill in the areas that were lost due to die off from the borers. The other double trunk prya that I dug from the commercial bulding is really going to be the best bonsai I own. It has the potential to being a masterpiece bonsai given enough time. As it is currently, the potential is staggering. All the light green growth on the left trunk is new over the last few weeks.
With my long growing season and short winter, repotting comes early. I will be repotting next month. I always repot in January after the 15th. Usually takes me about three weeks to get everything repotted I want to.