Feeling a little deprived by not being able to add to his collection due to constraints imposed by the Proprietor and blamed on the adverse trading conditions , Mr Greedy resorted to raiding Mrs. Greedy’s garden to add a new tree to the collection !
Enough of this verbal nonsense ! This is a Norway spruce, Picea abies that I dug up several years ago as bonsai potential. It is a biggish tree and at the time I decided that it would make a better garden tree than bonsai so it was planted straight after collecting into the front gravel garden. Here it is guarded by a Komodo Dragon !
Guarded in fact by mother and daughter dragons.
This is a none too clever photo of the base of the trunk which, recently every time that I walked past it, convinced me to re-bonsai the tree.
Despite having been on with this blogging lark for a while now, and despite also having the camera out there with me ! I still find it hard to remember to keep taking shots at relevant moments, so here is the hole where the tree was ! no record of it actually going , I could try to claim that I lifted it easily by myself out, with the large and heavy rootball, and in a way I would be telling the truth !
See what I mean ! only me driving the Pel-job [ the digger ] !! I was able, from the road, to reach over into the garden and lift the tree out using a sling, before transporting it a hundred metres to the closest that the digger could be got to the gate into the nursery and hence the polytunnel which was the destination.
The sling round the center of the root-ball and a bit better view of the trunk base.
I took the opportunity with the tree suspended from the digger arm to get at the root-ball and reduce to a safe point the volume of soil that was attached to the roots.
Lowered gently on to the trolley for the last few metres of the journey to the polytunnel.
Safely ensconced in the tunnel and time for a little root pruning to get it into the pot.
The reduction at this stage is to some extent a matter of judgement based upon experience, but I was pretty happy that I was leaving plenty of roots to support the tree, particularly in the protected environs of the polytunnel. Regular spraying of the roots kept them moist while the whole process went on.
This large mica tray was the intended pot. A thin layer of fresh sphagnum moss lines the bottom. I am a great lover of sphagnum for certain trees in certain circumstances, in this case I was treating the spruce as I would a newly collected tree, which in a way it was.
This is the point at which I did need a hand . Cue a somewhat disgruntled Mrs. Greedy! disgruntled that is in having a tree ” stolen ” as she saw it from one of her gardens ! no matter that I later replaced it with a 2 metre tall False cypress kindly donated by Willowbogger Antony R.
The potting up stage of the transition completed. From the trees original collection to now it has been treated topiary-like with regular clipping to the shape you see here. I will give the tree a little while to settle down before starting the job of reducing and selecting branches that will make it into a bonsai.
A better view at last of that trunk base and root structure that made me determined to risk the owners wrath by potting the tree and starting it on the path to becoming a prized bonsai.
Of course, as Jean is utterly devoted to my well-being and happiness she has accepted the need for this tree to be in the Willowbog Collection ………………………at least I think she has ! Just when we had decided that we needed smaller bonsai in our own collection.