February 21, 2020

Interview with Bonsaiko - NWFGS 2020

Source material: Feb 2017-2019

     Well, friends, that special time of year is almost here again. Yes, early spring means repotting season to us bonsai artists, however, in Seattle it also means it's time for the largest flower and garden show west of the Mississippi River.  Returning readers may recall that I have already written about the Northwest Flower and Garden Show several times to highlight the display gardens I helped the Elandan Gardens team create every year (see the 2017 garden here and 2018 one here). In preparation for the 2020 Northwest Flower and Garden Show, I wanted to share the work of another local landscaper featured in the show - the current president of the Puget Sound Bonsai Association, owner of Redwood Builders Landscaping, and writer of the bonsai blog Bonsaiko, Tony Fajarillo. I consider Tony to be one of the most skilled bonsai artists in the local club and his wealth of yardadori (landscape-collected specimen) turned into beautiful bonsai gems attest to that. Today we will review his past work at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show and ask him what we can look forward to for this year.

Sections:
1. 2017 - Mini Garden
2. 2018 - "Pot Party"
3. 2019 - "The Isles of the Blest: Tao Myth
4. 2020 - Interview with Bonsaiko / Tony Fajarillo

Tony calls this his "Flying Dragon" juniper. I was amazed to learn that this is a phoenix graft - a live tree grown between a dead one! The interplay together so beautifully I never would have noticed. This bonsai was featured in his 2019 display garden called "Pot Party".

January 9, 2020

Clean, Cut, & Carve. Zelkova in Autumn

Source material: 2019, December 4-8

          Today we're discussing my small Zelkova, aka Japanese Elm, which I introduced you to previously in my Halloween bonsai post. Fall and winter are a great time for improving the branch structure on deciduous trees due to all their glory or faults being laid bare by the lack of leaves. Many Japanese artists prefer to display trees deciduous trees in winter as they consider the underlying structure to be the true indicator of their skill and their tree's beauty. My goals at this time were to clean old leaves off, cut branches which had gotten too long (setting up growth where I want for spring), and carve a few old wounds which I thought would look better as natural deadwood than as a flat cut that would take years to hide.

Sections:
1. Clean
2. Cut
3. Carve 


One task I finally got around to doing this time was to carve a large old pruning scar. More on that later.
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