A good job done.

We have completed the de-wiring and re-potting of most of the raw material that we recently acquired and was referred to in a recent post.

The bulk of the trees are Lodgepole pines but there is a yew, a scots pine, a couple of hawthorns and a few other species.

One or two have gone straight into ceramic pots, we have also used a couple of mica pots but most have been placed in plastic bonsai training pots. The de-wiring was a bit of a chore but we are grateful for the help that we had with that from a couple of Willowboggers, Len and Dave. Now I just need to get the trees properly photographed and put on the on-line shop,          don’t hold your breath !!!

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What a difference a bit of sunshine makes !

Well for a start it makes the main studio at Willowbog Bonsai too hot to work in !

Not for everyone though ! John H obviously relishing the heat as worked away.

Working away wiring his Western hemlock.

John is quite new to bonsai and has not much wiring experience under his belt but he made a good job with this chuhin size bonsai, getting it started on it’s bonsai journey.

We had started the day in the usual fashion with a discussion about some of the bonsai that the seven regular participants had brought along to the workshop. Nattering about trees is how The Proprietor describes this process !

Bud selection on pines was one topic that we ”nattered” about. Brian W looks on, though it was David T’s shohin mugo pine we were using as an example.

Ray, helping out as usual , worked on Brian’s larch with him.

David T also seemed to be happy in the studio heat all day and worked away on a few of his smaller bonsai, Mike R, who also lent a hand yesterday, looking on.

Mike actually provided valuable assistance to David C who looks on with some trepidation as I reduce the root ball on his nursery origin Eastern hemlock raw material.

The tree as purchased was in a sixty litre plastic pot and so well endowed with fibrous roots that we were quite safe in making an initial reduction in this way.

Then followed a search for the illusive nebari !

Before ending up like this, potted into a really nice Korean origin ceramic oval pot. Having cut away all the interior dead twigs and branches, David can now allow the tree to rest and recover for the rest of this growing season before making a start on turning this into what should turn out to be a really interesting bonsai.

Other participants did make their workshop day alfresco, Mr. Greeno completed the final, fine wiring of his Cedar of Lebanon.

Antony R also seemed to have a very pleasant day in the sun with his Korean hornbeam.

On lovely days like this it is easy to forgot those long, wet , winter days when all they come for is Jean’s soup !!

I didn’t get the sun right in this shot of Ray photographing the caged wild animals in their natural envirement !

The final images of the day are of Angela and her trees, she also spent the day out in the fresh air, sorry about the back view Angela !!

Angela’s own photos of here two workshop trees, a Willowbog larch before

And after , just some initial branch selction done with wiring to follow in the autumn.

A weeping cedar of nursery origin.

This tree potted into a plastic training pot and a bit of a cut back on the branches, proper styling again left until it recovers from the potting. Thanks for the pictures Angela.

Another workshop next month on the penultimate Saturday if you fancy giving it a go !


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Join us for a really boring day !

Boring holes in tree trunks and branches that is of course !

Next Saturday, April the 26th we stage a day devoted to the creating, or refining of, deadwood on bonsai.

Just look at the range of tools that we have available to transform the trunk of your favourite bonsai into a pile of sawdust ! If this idea appeals then give us a call on 01434681217 or e-mail   willowbog@live.co.uk and book your place.

Limited to a maximum of five participants and costing £30.00 for the day which, like all our workshops, include a snack lunch and refreshments, 10.00 am start.

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Saturday 19th April

A regular monthly workshop next Saturday.

A relaxed yet informative day in which to improve your [ and our ] bonsai knowledge and experience. Still places available, call us on 01434681217 or e-mail  info@willowbog-bonsai.co.uk and book your spot.

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” Beside the lake, beneath the trees ”

Well, a bit of poetic license used here in the title,

The pond [ lake ] just about visible fifty or so metres away, and the trees are not much bigger than the daffodils but………….

nevertheless it is a nice show of the yellow flowers in the woodland garden at Willowbog Farm

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Yesterdays Spring ”Chat”

Beginning with a familiar refrain……………sorry for the lack of photographic evidence ! Although there are a few-

The Proprietor was behind the camera for this one showing that her assistant does sometimes do some work ! De-wiring some of the newly acquired stock. A bit blurry but that’s always the best way to see an image of the author.

All the usual suspect turned up yesterday for what turned out to be a productive day for most , almost like a free workshop in fact !

Sorry for catching you unawares Keith ! The Lodgepole pine, Pinus contorta, in the background was the first sale from our new stock of raw material, thanks Tony.

Ray correctly identified this garden shrub that David C brought in, as a member of the Podocarpus family. Not bad for a freebie !

Still in the middle of the re-potting season of course, someone’s nice Tsuga heterophylla, Western hemlock, got the treatment.

Thanks to Mr. Gilbert for getting a lot of useful work done on some of the new stock of raw material pines. Antony spent his time starting the clean up of the natural deadwood on his new purchased, Spanish origin, European yew, a delicate job !

I put this Japanese mountain maple from The Willowbog Collection in the tokonoma yesterday.

High class Japanese bonsai ! One of my favourite trees.  I know……the pots a bit weedy ! sorry.

In the side section I placed this ex Caroline Steward, better known by all Willowboggers as Caz, Japanese larch, Larix Kaempferi, semi-cascade bonsai, on the benches at a very reasonable price !!

Lots of folk didn’t make it on to camera, we even had some ” proper ” customers as well yesterday,  a good bonsai day at Willowbog Bonsai.


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Valuable additions

A long-standing Willowbogger contacted us recently to explain that due to a period of poor health he wanted to reduce his extensive collection and were we interested in making some purchases. We were. He had selected and marked everything that he wanted to keep and we would buy everything else. We got a range a very useful trees, lots of interesting raw material amongst them.





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Pinus parviflora

It has been a while since I added anything at all to the Willowbog Bonsai on-line shop. Very remiss of me given that I keep repeating that we should have all our tree stock visible on-line. I can only plead being fully engaged with other things such as workshops and shows [ well one show ! ]







Only one tree to add just now, this Japanese white pine, Pinus parviflora. Please check out the details.

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Busy bird day at Willowbog

A bit of activity on the main pond today with a brief visit from a pair of Goosanders, presumably stopping off en route back to breeding ground in the north of Scotland. A photo borrowed from the internet shows this attractive species that is an occasional visitor to us.

We had all our usual pond  breeding birds, a single Mute sawn arrived only to be harassed by the pair of Canada geese who, by their agitation must be thinking about getting down to nesting soon. Little grebe and moorhen completed the water birds.

Another internet picture show our first summer visitor arrival of the new year, Willow warbler, I know that this species increasingly over winters in the UK. but not round here they don’t !! Seven members of the finch family today, Chaffinch,Greenfinch,Goldfinch,Brambling,Siskin,Redpoll and Bullfinch. The ‘creaking door’ call of Common snipe was apparent as were singing Skylarks, oh, and Curlews flying over , in must be spring !!!


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Out and about.

The Proprietor and myself have been out doing mainly bonsai things today . Delivering a couple of big trees for a Willowbogger [ I suppose Malcolm A. has to qualify , just about ! ] Looking at a major collection reduction for another Willowbogger who has unfortunately suffered more than his fair share of ill-health in the past year, good that he is not giving up completely though ! We have also checked out our bonsai that are for sale at Douglas Brothers Koi Carp dealers, in Sunniside near Gateshead.

The real reason for this post though is that we had three good sightings of the bird in the above photograph [ borrowed from the internet ] Alright, the area west of Tyneside where we were, is noted for Red Kite, but we have been in that area many times without getting a glimpse. Today’s first view was from the enthusiasts back garden in Prudhoe, lucky blighter !! , the best sighting though, was as we headed west from Sunniside, seeing a bird swoop low over a field right beside the road. Lastly a bird flew over the A68 as we headed down toward Corbridge. It is the species that I reckon to be the favourite to be the next bird added to our Willowbog Farm’s all time list, fingers crossed !!

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