August has been a wet wet month, just like July. The trees are growing slow, so development is not progressing very much at the moment. Well, it gives me more time to work on my house, paint some rooms, and remodelling the kitchen a little. Nothing to do with bonsai, but things that also has to be done. Furthermore my main pc is broken, so my websites suffers a bit. No updates there at the moment. Hopefully the pc will be running again in September. Some articles are stuck there fore Bonsai Focus, so Farrand Bloch has to be a bit patient with this. The Shohin-bonsai book progresses now, and I look so much forward to see it published. I will let you know as soon as I know when it is released. Praying for some warm weather and to see the sun a little in the late part of the growing season.

Entering July is with a record of rain from June. June was the wettest month in more than 100 years, so only few times it has been necessary to water all trees. Some trees, especially the small Mame-bonsai, has leaves covering all the pot area, and therefore the rain do not always reach the soil. Therefore my neighbours probably has been shaking their heads, watching me watering when it was pouring down from above. One of my great joys of bonsai is seeing the results of earlier tasks, showing to succeed. The pleasure of getting results of work done weeks or months before are very rewarding.  

The development of most trees has been satisfying, and I do look forward to the next period of growth hopefully having good results of leaf trimming i.e.

 

Exhibition, competition, board meetings

At the moment I am preparing some Shohin and one large bonsai for exhibition in midd August. A work that has to be started at least one or two months before a show, depending on the specimens. I have accepted to be a judge on the Brazilian Shohin-bonsai competition again this year, and is also a judge at the Knowledge of Bonsai / Bonsai Focus magazine styling contest this fall.

This weekend I go to the board meeting in the Danish Bonsai Society, hopefully starting some new projects pushing the association forward to a brilliant future. Another busy bonsai year it is, but also a lot of fun. 

 

Book and magazineI have just finished the last two articles of a series of six in a row for Bonsai Focus magazine with case stories of styling Shohin-bonsai.

These days the layout of my new book about Shohin-bonsai is finished, and I am awaiting the result with excitement. Hopefully the book will be printed this month, ready for sale soon. I will keep you updated on this here. Have a nice summer holiday and do not forget to water your small treasures.

 

Regards

Morten Albek

The Shohin-bonsai book, Less is more is on the way to the public.It has taken a long time but progression is done quickly now, and the book will be printed in July.

Right now the text part is finished with the final editing, and the layouter is preparing the book. A process that will take about a month.I look forward very much to the release of the book, that has been delayed some.

I hope it will meet the requirements of both beginners and more experienced Shohin enthusiasts.

The book will describe different techniques well suited for Shohin and Mame-bonsai. I also focus on some of the different issues about displaying Shohin-bonsai, hopefully succeeding to spread out the knowledge of this special part of the art.

A lot of pictures are included, and I have tried also to include other artists in order to show different kind of works for inspiration.

I will of course keep you updated of further news about the release, how to purchase the book, prize i.e. here and at www.shohin-europe.com

Regards, Morten Albek

 

      

I had the pleasure travelling to Ribeirão Preto in Sao Paolo, Brazil, in late May. Kind Mario A. G. Leal hosted the Bonsai 2007 event focusing on Shohin-bonsai. As head demonstrator at this event I had the privilege to work on some very good material. The Shinpaku Juniper presented for me I must admit looked extremely difficult at first, but after a closer examination it proved very talented.

I found the fellow Brazilian demonstrators very enthusiastic, and also very talented. There really are some potential in South America. Furthermore the growing season is very long which makes it possible to shorten the time reaching results by almost the half of what is needed here in Northern Europe. Japanese black pines and the Shinpaku juniper grows very good under this hemisphere, allthough the big differences of climate must be taken into account, Brazil stretching over an enormous area, from cold south to hot north regions.

Four hour of works later, assisted by Charles White, a talented Brazilian bonsai artist, it was possible to present a future good and powerful looking cascade bonsai in Chuhin size (app. 45 cm high), assisted by another work done at the same time, a native Brazilian Cherry, Cerejeira. Also a number of Shohin-bonsai I styled for some participants, giving me good training and the fun of styling some native species I normally do not get my hands on. In the evening good talks, local music jazzed by Mario, his son brother and friends made this week in Brazil a very good one.

Thank you Mario my friend, Bergson, Charles, family, friends and all you enthusiastic and nice people participating in the event, for the pleasant stay.    

This weekend we had a small meeting in our local bonsai club in my garden. Only a few people, but a nice time working on our bonsai. Also the last day with sun before the long waited rain comes, helping the dry soil in the garden and the suffering plants. We really need the rain now. Many bonsai are on their way with flowers, as well as the accents are.

                   

May is a busy bonsai month

So many things to take care of in the bonsai garden, and further more local demonstrations, and a travel to Brazil to do demo and workshop with Shohin-bonsai in focus. Makes job and family being a little set aside this month. Sorry family, sorry job. But I love it this month, where everything happens. Pines needs their elongating needle bundles pinched, maple must be leaf thinned, junipers pinched i.e. All at once, but it is enjoyable to take the small trees in the hand and work with them.The picture shows the work on a Berberis that will appear in Bonsai Focus later this year i expect. (Bonsai Focus is the new version of Bonsai Europe and Bonsai Today melted together in one great magazine).

New leaves are opening for the coming season. If you haven’t wired during the winter or earlier spring it is now the time to wire deciduous trees, before the buds open and develop new leafs. When wired, keep an eye on the branches when the leaves develop. Young branches may need the wire removed after a few weeks, because the branches swells when leafs unfolds and the water takes up more water than during the winter.

Thicker and especially older branches need the wire on for a longer time, before they will be in position when the wire is removed. Wiring branches with leaves already fully developed the risk for damaging the fragile leaves is greater, so be careful if this is necessary.

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