Ha!! Unfortunately, my cold frame becomes more greenhouse towards the end of February!! I have to do a bit of the "Bonsai shuffle" early in the year, but I cut down the collection/poor care thru the years!!
I don't really bother with trying to figure out which variety is which anymore, I just try to observe growth habits, sun-sensitivity...that sort of thing.
It's just that there are so many at this point, who can tell?
It's ok to be disappointed, maybe scoff a little...
Can't say I get more than two growth surges per year with this one. Like most Japanese Maples I have. A little vexing when I see others with multiple, strong growth spurts.
I'll definitely cop to being stuck in a "third year of growing for five years" rut. Carving out some time from @WeeMac has proved to be the biggest challenge. Wiring and watching him ensures a pretty substandard result on both fronts. All is not lost, however! Trees can be torn down a bit and rebuilt properly, but you have pretty much one shot with the kid. For the record, he's turning out a lot better than my sticks!!!
As this planting stands now, the trunks don't have a lot of movement, a pretty deep cut back would have to happen to introduce some more character. My mind always drifts back to this image that Michael had at Bonsai West many years ago. It's always had a way to transport me.....
Something open, lofty and airy, I suppose. That's a feeling I'm after. And it will need wire!
Absolutely need to step up my game, without question. I appreciate your positive thoughts, this too, is without question!
I enjoy the journey we're on, the successes, the mis-steps....getting up at 4 AM, cycling home at lunch....the fun stuff!!
Don't abandon me to hope just yet, but I'm going to lay low for awhile. It will take some years, but better to show some worthwhile gains than the minutiae...
And thanks again for commenting and to your mighty contributions here and really, to "American Bonsai" in general. Your work with Japanese Maples is exemplary and a bit of a touchstone, if I might add.
In the interest of even further disclosure, it took me three weeks to respond! Had to get past the bit of chagrin, as well as the four hours it took to actually compose this. I'm guessing it's bad form to tie your kid off to a tree? So 15 minutes to check for water and that's it. Not "bonsai".....that's spider-plant territory!!!!
Promised myself a four-figure tree this year....just couldn't get the comma where I wanted it!
Eighty bucks at New England Bonsai. Had to get some soil, they only carry the tiny roots brand of pre-mix...etc...etc... A little bummed as it's a bit of a ride to get there. Not as good as it used to be.
Bought some anyway and had a little scratch left over so I picked up Dave De Groot's book, in addition to Saburo Kato's and Roland Schatzer's Bonsai Shohin Passion.
This would be an example of a bit of "slingshot" @KiwiPlantGuy I couldn't help myself, slingshot be damned!!! I love Maples!!!!
Plenty of repots this week and next weekend....hopefully.....
Just started to crack buds. A little earlier than I would like, but it's close to time. Enclosed porch with plastic instead of windows. They won't freeze in there after repots at this point. I would take stuff outside now, but don't want the roots to warm up quite yet. Don't need roots growing strong quite yet. May have to protect/shuffle for a week or two on fresh repots out overnight.