Strolling Through Walter’s Backyard Bonsai Garden

wpmain

Well, we know it's a pine, but we could only guess the variety and we'll forsake guessing today (your guess is as good as mine)

Seeing the trees photographed at home on their benches is a different experience than seeing them when they are photographed in a studio setting. All the photos shown here are from Jennifer Price’s timeline. The only text provided is… “Discussing trees in Walter Pall garden today…..  We’ll leave the rest to you (no guessing or researching today)

FALL POTTING SPECIAL ENDS SUNDAY

25% OFF LIST PRICES
ON ALL HIGH IMPACT PLASTIC BONSAI POTS

25% OFF LIST PRICES
ON ALL BONSAI SOIL & SOIL INGREDIENTS
s
pecial ends Sunday, August 19th at 11:59pm EDT

wp1

 

wp5

 

wp3

Look familiar? We featured a studio shot of this one just the other day

 

wp4

BONSAI TOOL SPECIAL

ALL BONSAI TOOLS & GARDEN TOOLS
25% OFF LIST PRICES

wp2

 

wpm

The uncropped version of the tree at the top of the post

 

wphimself

This must be part of the discussion mentioned in Jennifer's caption. That's Walter with the American Bonsai T-shirt. I don't recognize the other gentleman (maybe someone can clue us in)

BONSAI AESTHETICS WIRE SPECIAL

Our Bonsai Aesthetics Wire shipment just arrived
we now have every size and weight in stock

CW WIRE - BLACK

KILO ROLLS 17.95 EACH
ONLY 15.95 EACH FOR 3 OR MORE ROLLS

ONLY 14.95 EACH FOR 10 OR MORE ROLLS

 
500 GRAM ROLLS 9.95 EACH
ONLY 8.95 EACH FOR 3 OR MORE ROLLS
ONLY 7.95 EACH FOR 10 OR MORE ROLLS

WIRE DISCOUNTS ARE COMPUTED AT CHECK OUT

 

Our National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, an American Treasure

pine1This famous old Japanese white pine is one of the most powerful bonsai anywhere. You can find it at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum. As always. the photo, though enticing, doesn't begin to do justice

Overslept this morning and then had to deal with delivery of 127 boxes of Bonsai Aesthetics wire (about 7,000 individual rolls of wire in 3 sizes: 100gram, 500gram & Kilo rolls), so we’re already way behind schedule. Time for our archives. This one is from Bark’s first month in existence  (Feb, 2009)

Next time you are in Washington DC, don’t miss the opportunity to visit our exciting National Bonsai & Penjing Museum. Meanwhile, you can enjoy some of the bonsai, suiseki and other national treasures right where you are just by clicking bonsai tour.

BONSAI TOOL SPECIAL

ALL BONSAI TOOLS & GARDEN TOOLS
25% OFF LIST PRICES

goshin1

This photo of John Naka's famous Goshin was taken by Peter Bloomer. The tallest tree (all 11 trees are Foemina junipers) stands about 52" (132cm). Don't be fooled though, the photo doesn't begin to convey the power of this bonsai. This was driven home to me at the 2005 WBC Convention in DC. I was just getting my bearings when I stumbled upon it in the lobby area, purely by accident. I almost fell over. For a moment, I wasn't sure what I was looking at; it was so much larger, stronger and more vivid than I ever imagined. Now, whenever I look at a photo of a great bonsai, I remind myself that what I am seeing is a pale reflection of the real thing

BONSAI AESTHETICS WIRE SPECIAL

Our Bonsai Aesthetics Wire shipment just arrived
we now have every size and weight in stock

CW WIRE - BLACK

KILO ROLLS 17.95 EACH
ONLY 15.95 EACH FOR 3 OR MORE ROLLS

ONLY 14.95 EACH FOR 10 OR MORE ROLLS

 
500 GRAM ROLLS 9.95 EACH
ONLY 8.95 EACH FOR 3 OR MORE ROLLS
ONLY 7.95 EACH FOR 10 OR MORE ROLLS

WIRE DISCOUNTS ARE COMPUTED AT CHECK OUT

FREE Shipping* on Continental U.S. orders 75.00 or more
but only if you choose free shipping when you check out
*In order to keep our low prices, beginning September 1st
FREE Shipping will no longer apply to
Wire, Soil & Non Hydraulic Turntables
however we will make sure the shipping costs are low
and we will also make sure the wire and other prices stay low
in spite of new Duties and other increased costs
FREE Shipping will continue to apply to all other items
on Continental U.S. orders 75.00+ including Green T Turntables

Simplicity, Elegance & More than a Little Skill…

rockmain

Simplicity, elegance and more than a little skill is expressed in plantings like this and the one below. Often Penjing landscapes will include a whole range of items, both manmade and natural. In this case we have only three trees and what looks like three rocks, or rock clusters. And of course the elegant long thin white penjing tray (white trays are common, especially with waterscapes)

I found the two Penjing landscapes featured here on Pham Thái Bình’s timeline. It’s not clear who the artists are, though the caption for the one above says with Dang Nguyen Van, though there are reasons to believe Dang is not the artist
Continued below…

BONSAI AESTHETICS WIRE SPECIAL

Our next Bonsai Aesthetics Wire shipment is due this week
Order yours now for first come first serve shipping

rmcu

A closer look at the right side of the planting

Continued from above…
My apologies for the failure to accurately attribute, though we could ask Pham to share part of the responsibility. Pham is one of many people who posts without bothering to attribute. Normally we ignore them, but these plantings are too good to pass up, so the least we can do is to pass on our sources so that you can do your own investigating if you’d like

 

rmaincu

And the other side

 

rock1

The other Penjing tray planting. More detail than the one above, but still fairly simple and elegant. And then there's that magnificent towering rock

 

rock2cu

The left side. What's going on between with the little tree and rock just to the left of the man in the boat? We could try to blow it up even more for a closer look, but this closeup is already a little fuzzy, so I don't think it would work

 

rock1cu2

The other side

BONSAI TOOL SPECIAL

ALL BONSAI TOOLS & GARDEN TOOLS
25% OFF LIST PRICES

Tools - garden

INCLUDES TOOL ROLLS, KITS & SETS

TKRS-1-ZIPINCLUDES NON-HYDRAULIC TURNTABLES

TYTTALSO SIEVES & WATERING TOOLS
ALL OTHER BONSAI TOOLS & GARDEN TOOLS

 

FREE Shipping* on Continental U.S. orders 75.00 or more
but only if you choose free shipping when you check out
*In order to keep our low prices, beginning September 1st FREE Shipping will no longer apply to Wire, Soil & Non Hydraulic Turntables
FREE Shipping will continue to apply to all other products
including Green T Turntables

STONELANTERN.COM

 

Bill Likes Red Pots Too!

FIRETHORN-1

Red berries, red pot. Or maybe more accurately, orange berries, red pot (colors vary from screen to screen, so it's hard to tell). The tree is a Firethorn (Pyracantha) that belongs to Bill Valavanis. Bill sent it to us with the line I LIKE RED POTS TOO!, in response to a post we did a couple days ago that was titled, Red Bonsai Pots, a Shift in Taste

As long as we’re featuring Bill… The 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition is less the four weeks away. This monumental Bonsai extravaganza is without a doubt, THE North American Bonsai event and it only happens once every two years, so best not to wait. There’s still time to make your plans and book you flight or fill you tank for the journey. You’ll be happy you did

6th US

Sign up now for the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition
Rochester NY, September 8th and 9th

BONSAI AESTHETICS WIRE SPECIAL

Our next Bonsai Aesthetics Wire shipment is due in a few days
Order yours now for first come first serve shipping

CW WIRE - BLACK

KILO ROLLS 17.95 EACH
ONLY 15.95 EACH FOR 3 OR MORE ROLLS

ONLY 14.95 EACH FOR 10 OR MORE ROLLS

 
500 GRAM ROLLS 9.95 EACH
ONLY 8.95 EACH FOR 3 OR MORE ROLLS
ONLY 7.95 EACH FOR 10 OR MORE ROLLS

WIRE DISCOUNTS ARE COMPUTED AT CHECK OUT

FREE Shipping* on most Continental U.S. orders 75.00 or more
but only if you choose free shipping when you check out
*In order to keep our low prices, beginning September 1st
FREE Shipping will no longer apply to
Wire, Soil & Non Hydraulic Turntables
FREE Shipping will continue to apply to all other items
on Continental U.S. orders 75.00+ including Green T Turntables

Bonsai Hedge Cutting Method

hedgeThe Japanese maple that Walter Pall uses to illustrate his 'hedge-cutting method.' This photo was taken four years after Walter started working with this tree. The before photo is below

Continuing with Walter Pall… we originally ran this post on Walter’s hedge-cutting method in 2013, but it’s so good that it’s worth another look 

I first learned about hedge shearing bonsai from Jim Smith (sadly now deceased), a highly respected American Bonsai Artist and grower who worked primarily with tropical and sub-tropical bonsai. Because Jim lived in Florida, I figured that hedge shearing was only used in the tropics or sub-tropics, due to rapid rates of growth and recovery

That was until I began field growing larches here in Vermont and decided that the only way to keep up is to use my sword shears (large one-handed shears with long blades that I originally learned about from Jim) and simply keep cutting back to the desired silhouettes (while letting some lower branches grow unrestrained for a while, in order to create taper). At least while they’re in the ground. However, until we originally posted this (2013), I didn’t know about Walter Pall’s hedge-cutting method, which as it turns out is considerably more detailed and sophisticated than mine

FALL POTTING SEASON SPECIAL

25% OFF LIST PRICES
ON ALL HIGH IMPACT PLASTIC BONSAI POTS

25% OFF LIST PRICES
ON ALL BONSAI SOIL & SOIL INGREDIENTS

Before

Quoting directly from Walter… “2008-05: The tree arrived in my garden in this state. The previous owner had kept it in Akadama mush and thought that he would automatically improve the tree by pinching. The crown is much too wide and flat and the leaves hide poorly structured branches. Many branches are dead. The Nebari could be much better and the maple is planted too high in its pot.”

“Well, a few decades ago when the first bonsai trees were brought to the West, the purchasers asked how they should care for these trees. The answer was given so that no mistakes could be made. It was assumed that the owners wanted to keep the trees in the state in which they purchased them. The pinching was recommended because it is useful for trees that are ‘finished’ and ready for exhibition or sale. Nobody thought at that time that the Westerners would ever be able to develop bonsai themselves.

“In the developmental phase, the goal is clearly to improve the tree. The trunk and the branches must be thickened, pruning wounds must close and the tree is to develop so many new shoots that one has a choice of useful branches. The nebari should also improve significantly. At this stage, the immediate image is secondary to the future beauty. That is why leaves can be large and the tree can look ugly for the longest time. To achieve these goals, the tree needs as much excess energy as possible which it can only obtain through the photosynthetic activity of as many leaves as possible. If exactly those sources of energy are removed too early, then the tree can’t develop. In the worst case, it dies a slow death.”

As you can tell from the sacrifice branches, Walter's methods involve more than just hedge shearing

Walter continued from above…”2009-01: A deciduous tree can be much better evaluated without its leaves. It is now apparent that the center tree ought to be much thicker and somewhat higher. The previous owner didn’t achieve much by many years of pinching. It looks rather poorly developed. The pot by Bryan Albright seems over powering.”

“The numerous leaves produce lots of energy in the form of carbohydrates that moves downwards through the branches and is deposited in the branches, the trunk, and finally the roots. The result is that branches and trunk thicken, that the surface roots – the nebari – also thicken, and that the roots grow strongly. At the same time, many new visible and dormant buds develop. The entire system “tree” is strengthened and it has good reserves for any setbacks. A radical cutback is such a setback.

In Central European climate about six to eight weeks after the first flush, in our area from the middle of May to the beginning of June, the tree is then cut back with big sheers to its previous silhouette. It is irrelevant where exactly it is being cut, or if any leaves are cut. This actually ought to occur as a partial leave pruning will allow light and air into the crown of the tree. All other growth inside the silhouette is not touched but strengthened with this method. And the tree is strongly encouraged to bud out again.”

The final photo in Walter's article

Walter continued from above… “2013-02: The tree was repotted into a very suitable pot by Walter Venne from Germany. The results of the development thus far are quite presentable. But is is by far not the end of the development. Much has changed in five growth periods, yet the work continues as before. In another five years the tree will be better again. The drawback, however, will be that he tree is not really presentable during much of that time.”

The above comments and photos are just a sampling from Walter Pall’s ground-breaking article on his hedge-cutting method.

The following photos are not by Walter

Our Sword shears work quite well for the hedge cutting method
Podocarpus macrophylla by Jim Smith. My best guess is that Jim used his own hedge shearing method to develop this tree. Photo is from The Art of Bonsai Project.

NEW SPECIAL

ALL BONSAI TOOLS & GARDEN TOOLS
25% OFF LIST PRICES

Tools - garden

INCLUDES TOOL ROLLS, KITS & SETS

TKRS-1-ZIPINCLUDES NON-HYDRAULIC TURNTABLES

TYTTALSO SIEVES & WATERING TOOLS
ALL OTHER BONSAI TOOLS & GARDEN TOOLS

 

FREE Shipping* on most Continental U.S. orders 75.00 or more
but only if you choose free shipping when you check out
*Beginning Soon FREE Shipping 
will no longer apply to Wire, Soil & Non Hydraulic Turntables
FREE Shipping will continue to apply to Green T Turntables

*In order to keep our prices down, soon we will no longer ofter free shipping on wire. This is primarily due to increase costs, especially new  import duties combined with the weight of wire and a small handful of other heavy products

STONELANTERN.COM

 

Red Bonsai Pots, a Shift in Taste

pallblack

This Trident maple (Acer burgerianum) was imported from Japan in 2016 by Walter Pall. The tree is around fifty years old and about 50cm tall (20"). The pot is by Walter Venne. Here's Walter's caption... "The maple got a new pot by Walter Venne. To many this will be a big surprise. Ten years ago one could not get a red pot nor could one sell it. Now it's still very new and somehow daring to use one. In ten years it will be common. A shift in taste is going on."

Walter Pall must have one of the largest selections of imported Japanese bonsai in the world and he usually sets about upgrading each tree fairly soon after he receives it. If you compare the original photo (just below) to the other photos here, the changes are obvious

FALL POTTING SEASON SPECIAL

25% OFF LIST PRICES
ON ALL HIGH IMPACT PLASTIC BONSAI POTS

25% OFF LIST PRICES
ON ALL BONSAI SOIL & SOIL INGREDIENTS

pallbefore

Though Walter doesn't say, you might imagine this photo was taken in Japan before the tree was shipped

pallfall

Fall color in an earlier pot. The guy wires serve to lower the the main branches. With apically dominant trees, lowering branches is usually essential if you want to create and maintain a natural aged look

 

pallrey

Same photo as the one at the top, but with a grey background this time. Walter usually features at least two background colors

 

pallcu

I cropped this one for a closer look at the trunk and rock

NEW SPECIAL

ALL BONSAI TOOLS & GARDEN TOOLS
25% OFF LIST PRICES

Tools - garden

INCLUDES TOOL ROLLS, KITS & SETS

TKRS-1-ZIPINCLUDES NON-HYDRAULIC TURNTABLES

TYTTALSO SIEVES & WATERING TOOLS
ALL OTHER BONSAI TOOLS & GARDEN TOOLS

 

FREE Shipping* on most Continental U.S. orders 75.00 or more
but only if you choose free shipping when you check out
*Beginning Soon FREE Shipping 
will no longer apply to Wire, Soil & Non Hydraulic Turntables
FREE Shipping will continue to apply to Green T Turntables

STONELANTERN.COM

 

 

American Bonsai Originals

MMAINI think this tree has something to say about just how far American bonsai has come. It's a Japanese white pine by Ryan Neil. From his Bonsai Mirai website.

Yesterday we featured a Bald cypress that belongs to Ryan Neil (Bonsai Mirai). This got me thinking about just how long we’ve been featuring Ryan’s trees. Turns out it has been exactly seven years (August, 2011). Here it is, our first post devoted solely to Ryan’s bonsai. It was titled Elevating the Art of Bonsai in the West. As always I’ve made a few changes

NEW SPECIAL

ALL BONSAI & GARDEN TOOLS
25% OFF LIST PRICES

see below

M2Pygmy Cypress (Cupressus pigmaea). Here's a quote from Wikipedia... "Cupressus pigmaea, the Mendocino cypress or pygmy cypress, is a taxon of disputed status in the genus Cupressus endemic to certain coastal terraces and coastal mountain ranges of Mendocino and Sonoma Counties in northwestern California. It is a highly variable tree, and closely related to Cupressus goveniana,enough to sometimes be considered a subspecies of it."

 

M3Japanese Boxwood (Buxus microphylla japonica)

 

M4Needle juniper (Juniperus rigida)

NEW SPECIAL

ALL BONSAI Tools & GARDEN TOOLS
25% OFF LIST PRICES

Tools - garden

INCLUDES TOOL ROLLS, KITS & SETS

TKRS-1-ZIPINCLUDES NON-HYDRAULIC TURNTABLES

TYTTALSO SIEVES & WATERING TOOLS
ALL OTHER BONSAI TOOLS & GARDEN TOOLS

 

FREE Shipping* on most Continental U.S. orders 75.00 or more
but only if you choose free shipping when you check out
*Beginning Soon
*FREE Shipping will not apply to Wire, Soil & All Weather Turntables

STONELANTERN.COM

Roshi Tools 30% to 40% off Special Ends Tonight – Roshi Bonsai Tools Are Famous for Precision, Durability, Beauty & Great Prices

Roshi2770

Our selection of over 50 high quality and affordable Roshi Bonsai Tools come in both stainless and high carbon steel, and right now our Stainless Roshi tool are 40% off list and our Cabon Steel Roshi tool are 30% off list

SPECIAL ENDS FRIDAY, AUGUST 10th at 11:59pm EDT

When I fist saw Roshi tools I was struck by their beauty. Then, when I held them in my hand, it was easy to feel the quality and I was surprised by how affordable they are. Now, a few years later, I’m still surprised by the quality and price of each and every one. Especially when I us them.

 

Roshi7702

 

Before we go any further, here’s our disclaimer… Stone Lantern owns the Roshi brand. We are also the ones who gave these remarkable tools their Roshi name, which means ‘Old Master‘ in Japanese (they were originally branded Corex to help you better understand why the name change)

Roshi-Banner4

 

Economy grade Rosh Shears

TMC16 - TMS16A while back we introduced these Economy grade Roshi shears. Why economy when Roshi Tools are already so reasonably priced? Well, some people want to pay less than 20.00 for quality shears and still want ones that actually cut and keep on cutting. So these are for those of you who fall into that group.

 

Roshi Tool Kits

TKRS-1-ZIP

Perhaps the best way to buy Roshi tools is in one of our convenient kits. When I compare the price we pay and the price we sell them for, I'm forced to question my sanity (sometimes that it... some times we do okay)
-

The Evolution of Bonsai

m1

This photo and the others shown here are from a post by Ryan Neil titled, Bald Cypress #1, Evolution

I recently found these photos and an eye opening story by Ryan Neil on his Mirai blog. It’s titled Bald Cypress #1 Evolution. Ryan’s story touched on American trees and American bonsai and how they can’t be judged except on their own terms. But rather than me trying to explain, here’s part of what Ryan wrote…
Bald Cypress #1 embodies the diversity of landscape and form Mirai strives to explore through our trees. Its rapid taper, flat-topped foliage, and overall Dr. Seuss-esque form demands consideration. However, its influential presence is not isolated to Mirai. This tree extends beyond the garden as a representative piece of the American Bonsai Movement, capturing the essence of the Southeastern American landscape.
Continued below…

ROSHI BONSAI TOOL SPECIAL

ENDS TOnight
FRIDAY, AUGUST 10TH AT 11:59PM EDT

see below

2012The original photo from 2012, before it was moved to Bonsai Mirai. Even though it's summer, the leaves are very sparse

Ryan continued from above…
The story behind the design of Bald Cypress #1 began with a cross-country road trip from Oregon to New York on the way to the National Show in 2012. Having returned from Japan in 2010, I was still deeply questioning what it meant to do bonsai as an American. As I drove from West to East, I noticed the nuanced beauty in the people and their surrounding environments, each with unique identities tied to the land…. ”
For the rest of the story, visit Ryan’s Mirai blog

m2

Cropped for a closer look

 

m3Closer still for a good look at the textured bark

 

w:0leaves

Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) are one of a small handful of deciduous conifers

Bonsai Superlatives

770ficushsieh-shun-chin1-500x3911 I'm running out of superlatives. How about... 'somewhere north of magnificent.' My only question is, could the pot be a little bigger? By Hsieh, Shun-Chin of Taiwan

Continuing with spectacular Ficus bonsai…
Though the Taiwanese aren’t alone, a large dose of creative bonsai energy seems to be emanating from that unique island. And it’s not just Min Hsuan Lo and Cheng, Cheng-Kung, they have plenty of talented company. If you want some evidence, check out the Taiwan Bonsai Creators Exhibitions

FALL POTTING SEASON SPECIAL

25% OFF LIST
ON ALL HIGH IMPACT PLASTIC BONSAI POTS

25% OFF LIST
ON ALL BONSAI SOIL & SOIL INGREDIENTS

 

A little change of pace. The tree on the right (Hibiscus tiliaceus*) has the mark of Min. At least the Min Hsuan Lo many of us have come to know. The Crape myrtle in full bloom provides a touch of wildness and color. From the 2008 Taiwan Bonsai Creators Exhibition 


Powerful, unique and full of movement, though knowing our audience, I imagine some may feel that the foliage is overly groomed. Premna microphylla by Yang, Chun-Cheng
trunkcuTrunk, branches and pot of the tree at the top of the post

ROSHI BONSAI TOOL SPECIAL

ENDS TOMORROW
FRIDAY, AUGUST 10th at 11:59pm edt

Roshi-Banner4

30% OFF LIST PRICES FOR CARBON STEEL TOOLS

40% OFF LIST PRICES FOR STAINLESS STEEL TOOLS

FREE Shipping on Continental U.S. orders 75.00 or more
but only if you choose free shipping when you check out

STONELANTERN.COM