The "This is Not a Contest" Contest

Messages
235
Likes
276
Location
Toledo Ohio
USDA Zone
6a
#41
How recently did you pick those up?
Last Saturday. There were lots of shrubs - Junipers, holly, boxwood,burning bush, and plenty of trees, too. Dude said it was the first shipment of the year. Looks like the plants are coming to NW Ohio!

I've been staring at them, hoping to see which one presents the best learning opportunity. Tonight and tomorrow, they come to the bench (and by bench, I mean "folding card table in the garage"), and the roots and I get intimate. Sunday I post my choice.
 
Messages
235
Likes
276
Location
Toledo Ohio
USDA Zone
6a
#42
This might be of intrest :)
Hope I can get some material before the first of april....
Rush rush o_O
Early on, the "tough to get schtuff by April" aspect was brought up by many interested parties. It's cool if you want to take April to sort it out and share your final choices by May.
 
Messages
70
Likes
125
Location
Belgium
USDA Zone
8
#43
Early on, the "tough to get schtuff by April" aspect was brought up by many interested parties. It's cool if you want to take April to sort it out and share your final choices by May.
Great!
I have a week off next week so I have some time to get really start.
What to chose....
 
Messages
433
Likes
388
Location
New Zealand
USDA Zone
9
#44
HP...come and play! I picked up two from Home Depot, and am choosing the one I like best to bring to the table.
Hi John,
Just a thought, as this is NOT a contest or anything :).
Are we limiting ourselves to 1 tree, or can we present 1 evergreen and 1 deciduous ??
My thinking is this is a great thread idea for us newbies to learn from each other and the masters etc, and I have read that deciduous/broadleaf trees require a different approach at a slightly different time of year.
What’s your thinking on this? Also wonder if you were able to talk to @Bonsai Nut as to whether we could have all of our threads under one heading in the “Contests” section. Easy to find and easy to critique others threads, so not relying on notifications etc.
Charles
 
Messages
295
Likes
259
Location
NC mountains
USDA Zone
6
#45
How recently did you pick those up? The stores near me hadn't started stocking anything that needs to go outdoors when I checked a week or two ago.
Our stores are chocked full of things right now. Also annuals, etc. I picked up my mugo 'Teeny' and a couple of junipers this past week, as well as a trio of dwarf crepe mytles with beautiful trunks, a spirea, and a couple of Japanese maples (not grafted). This winter came in early and has been colder than usual though so we aren't quite out of risk of freezes and frosts yet, though I usually have my vegetable garden in by now. Not this year! I'm on the edge of zone 8 here though so we have spring trees well in bloom, pears are finished, red buds and dogwoods are blooming now. Temps jumping up and down but we've had a fair number of days in the 70's already.
 
Messages
235
Likes
276
Location
Toledo Ohio
USDA Zone
6a
#46
Hi John,
Just a thought, as this is NOT a contest or anything :).
Are we limiting ourselves to 1 tree, or can we present 1 evergreen and 1 deciduous ??
My thinking is this is a great thread idea for us newbies to learn from each other and the masters etc, and I have read that deciduous/broadleaf trees require a different approach at a slightly different time of year.
What’s your thinking on this? Also wonder if you were able to talk to @Bonsai Nut as to whether we could have all of our threads under one heading in the “Contests” section. Easy to find and easy to critique others threads, so not relying on notifications etc.
Charles
The thinking is:
1) As newbs, keeping a tree alive for four years might be tough in and of itself. I'll certainly be applying this to all the few trees I have, but having to pick one tree means I'm beginning by picking the one I'm not only the most interested in learning about, but also the one I'm most excited to learn on. For example, I am doing the pine contest (if those same seeds would ever get here), and I'm sure I am going to learn a great deal, but pines just don't do it for me.
2) If we are only permitted 1 not a contest tree to not be judged, then we will me more thoughtful in the moves we make. (No safety net)
3) a single-focus tree will demand that we dig into the biology, growth habit, ecology, "history" of that tree, and so are being more intentional about planning and vision.
4) We gotta be kind to the "not a judges". If we overload them, they may just nuke our trees long distance with their psycho-ninja powers.

As far as the thread thing goes, Each of us puts up our own "John's this is not a contest tree" thread in the new to bonsai section. The format was posted by The Admin earlier. So let it be written...So let it be done.

It's just part of making it easier to ask questions and get them answered all in one place. It'll make it easier for all the judges to see what we are thinking. I may ask a question in the juniper forum that someone who never goes there but has a good answer for might never see.
Plus, it's not a contest. By definition, it cannot be in the contest thread.

Finally, if we are purposely accepting the rank of newbie, then we just gotta take some level of hazing. We're relegated to the rookie thread
 
Messages
12
Likes
16
Location
New Jersey
USDA Zone
7
#48
It happens to be 1 am on April second but I just discovered the site. I have an azalea of unknown variety that my grandmother had planted many years ago. I dug it up after she passed and into a pot it went. Sometime during last summer. I’ve yet to do anything but chop it back to a suitable leader. The plants doing fine and should bloom soon. I haven’t got any pics now but should tomorrow. Hope I get in lol
 
Messages
433
Likes
388
Location
New Zealand
USDA Zone
9
#49
It happens to be 1 am on April second but I just discovered the site. I have an azalea of unknown variety that my grandmother had planted many years ago. I dug it up after she passed and into a pot it went. Sometime during last summer. I’ve yet to do anything but chop it back to a suitable leader. The plants doing fine and should bloom soon. I haven’t got any pics now but should tomorrow. Hope I get in lol
You have until May 1st as others struggling to get a tree with Winter still gripping.
Charles
 
Messages
10,757
Likes
8,762
Location
NE Ohio: zone 5b (USA)
USDA Zone
5b
#52
Was in at my local Lowes...45 minutes from me. And...was shocked at how bare the garden nursery area was still. Basically getting in their tropicals...a few HUGE landscape maples in the $300 range...a couple weeping conifers...a pierce japonica <--- spelling? At the last leg of bloom. I did check those out, but they were very young specimens. So passed.

Was curious how many up north are finding slim pickings. I think all participating in the contest...has done well in doing so. Looking forward to all progressing on their own journey. Good luck guys/gals.
 
Messages
245
Likes
256
Location
SE MI
USDA Zone
5b
#53
There are some floating around up here. I couldn't find much that I really liked out of the handful I found in stores, but I picked up a pretty nice dogwood at the bonsai workshop @Cable put together today. It's a native, too, which is an added bonus for me.
We're still in the beginning of April, though. There's still time.
 

M. Frary

Bonsai Godzilla
Messages
12,403
Likes
17,527
Location
Mio Michigan
USDA Zone
4
#54
Glad I'm not wanting to enter. Up here nurseries don't get anything in until just a couple weeks before Mothers day.
And with winter still giving everybody a problem finding material maybe moving the deadline back wouldn't hurt.
Also,if someone new from a frigid area needs help with a contest tree I may be able to help them out.
At least how to keep one alive during winter.

Good luck to all contestants!
A little hint. I got this from Stacy (Sawgrass).
Think shohin. You can get to a finished image faster with less tree. I used it in the last contest and walked away with 5th prize.
A tool set from @bonsaibp. I paid $6.00 for the tree. Put it in a $10.00 pot.
I sold it at our club show for $100.00. Took it to just work on but someone wanted it real bad.
It was a procumbens nana juniper.
 

Cgris

Seedling
Messages
9
Likes
5
Location
Delaware
USDA Zone
7
#55
Here it is. You've all been waiting for it. (Moderator: feel free to move this thread to wherever you think it best fits)

Rules: Rules schmoolz. Play nice. Play fair. Be ready to learn and to work at it. Minimally, keep the plant alive for four years.

Purpose: Provide an arena in which rookies are pushed and supported to identify and put into practice fundamental tenets of Bonsai development. Wanna play? Be young enough at this to honestly call yourself a Rookie.

Overview: This is a long-range engagement, spanning multiple calendar years. We're trying to develop seminal skills and critical thinking in us rookies. We're hoping to get terrific level of support from "mentors" here, and to shift rookie thinking from "How much should I get done this season, and what is my next step?" to "What is my long-range plan, and what should I do this season to head that way?" The more and better we engage and listen, the better off we will be, and the better our plants will be four years from now. Focusing only on comparison to others and on ranking is (for the most part) not going to serve us well as rookies. Compare yourself to yourself, that is where the real growth happens.

Guidelines

Responsibilities of participants:
  • Find your schtuff. Pick a plant! Whatever you want to work on, from wherever you can get it, from whenever you got it, for however much you spent on it (it's not about the plant, it's about the learner!)
  • If you want in and to "officially" start your clock, then start your thread before the end of April 1st 2018
  • Tell/post about it at the start so everyone knows what your working with, and can see what it looked like at the beginning of the project. Share as much background on the material as you can. Folks will be cheering for us, and often that will show up in the form of advice. It's up to us to sort through it and see how it applies.
  • Show/tell your first step. Share updates as needed. Feel free to ask questions, but don't be sad if the first response is "check out this resource and come back when you are done reading it"
  • Don't be afraid to run this with several of your plants at the same time, but the one you choose to post in your first thread will be the one that everyone will be expecting to see throughout this non-contest.
First mandatory checkpoint: Check in at the Northern Hemisphere's Autumnal Equinox with an action plan/goals for the next year (include a drawing or sketch of your vision). This will probably be sent to somebody important and be critiqued behind the scenes, so that we're all forced to come up with our ideas independently. We may or may not get analysis and guidance.
  • Continue to post updates as needed and seek guidance as required. The Big-Dogs are here to help and they want to see us succeed.
Second mandatory checkpoint: Check in at the Northern Hemisphere's Spring Equinox. Same gig. Post pics, give an update, discuss successes and failures and thoughtful purposeful adjustments.

Judges will give some feedback here. Perhaps even a relative ranking.

Repeat this cycle 4 times and at the Autumnal Equinox in 2022 somebody will somehow identify those who have been most successful.

Judging guidance - @sorce is taking the lead on this. He'll hash it out behind the scenes and let us know what is happening. "Judging panel composition and grading scale aspects" are all in his court. Points are not really as important as learning to think long-term and to be strategic.

Prizes:
If your are in this for the prize, then you are missing the point. The tree and your connection to it will be the prize. Anything beyond that will be a "su"prize
We'll probably get lollipops or doughnuts when we are at the 4 year mark.

Any questions? Look for the simplest answer and that's probably it.
I wish I hadn't missed the deadline to start this! Just found Bonsai Nut and have been trying to get my feet off the ground for several years now. Hopefully I can learn from others!
 

M. Frary

Bonsai Godzilla
Messages
12,403
Likes
17,527
Location
Mio Michigan
USDA Zone
4
#59
Lots of people here from the right coast. Maybe put your location in your profile so it shows on the screen. That way people won't need to ask and you will get better information.
You're starting at the right time too. It's almost spring,when we do the most work on trees and look for trees to buy or collect. You get the whole growing season
 

GrimLore

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
8,476
Likes
7,216
Location
South East PA
USDA Zone
6b
#60
Was curious how many up north are finding slim pickings.
They larger nearby Nurseries here are open but look empty so far... Lowes, HD, and others I haven't even bothered with having had 4 Nor Easters locally last month I suspect as you say slim pickings. I will be checking out the local AGWAY though as I have to pick up some Dog food this week.

Grimmy