An evening with our local Bonsai Society

I’ve always been completely fascinated by the art of Bonsai – I guess my ‘Beautiful Bonsai’ Pinterest Board says it all.

I’ve unsuccessfully tried to keep a couple before but after a very long chat with a very enthusiastic member of the Scottish Bonsai Society at last year’s Gardening Scotland we came out with two lovely new Bonsai and a couple of pots, our only job was to keep them alive until March 2016 when we could then pot them.

How on earth are we going to get that in to that pot?
How on earth are we going to get that into that pot?

March arrived and we only had one surviving Bonsai and looking at the size of the plant and then the size of the pot we realised that help was needed so we looked up our local Bonsai Society group in Penicuik – the next meet wasn’t until April, hopefully not too late!

What a lovely evening we had – there was some amusement at our specimen as it was overly-wired (not by us), unidentifiable, very very dry (but looking very happy on it), and with a huge root system. Basically, it was a rather unpromising start for our wee fella.

Dave takes control of the situation
Dave takes control of the situation

After much chat between the members they decided ‘surgery’ was in order and Dave, the organiser of the group got to work digging down and cutting back to see if there was any noticeable root structure (very important to have good visible roots in Bonsai) that would then define the front of the tree and then how it should be developed.

It was absolutely fascinating, some decent roots were found (things started to look up) and we now have what looks much more like a tree, some wiring was removed and some new wiring was added and some pruning took place and now there is hope!

The beginnings of the all-important visible root structure


We now need to let it recover from it’s ordeal (fingers crossed) and we’ve been advised to tease out the root system with a chopstick and then sit it in a pond basket along with bonsai grit (or Sanicat cat litter) and feed it (with Miracle-Gro) and see how the shape of it develops over the next few months.

Loved meeting these local enthusiasts, some of them are working on 50 or so plants of their own, very inspiring and I have a feeling that we will now also be on the look-out for some more to start nurturing and learning from. We’ll definitely be going back to the Penicuik Bonsai Society meet as well.

The results of it’s session with The Society

You can find out more about your local Scottish Bonsai Association groups & meetups here.

We were also recommended the Bonsai4me website as an excellent resource.

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