Due to the unnaturally hot weather today, I decide to try and stay out of the sun, given the tendency of bald spots to burn and necks to turn red. I have spent the day pottering around the house doing odd jobs and checking on the home brew, replying to emails and doing a bit of preparation before going off to Texas next week.
I decided to do something which I should have done a while ago and I spent an hour cleaning my tools. This is something I have always been quite fastidious about but have let it slip recently. It is essential to maintain tools on a regular basis so that cutting edges stay sharp, joints do not rust and so that disease cannot spread. As I travel to many bonsai gardens across the world there is potential for spreading fungal diseases and I do not want to be responsible for the Bonsai version of Dutch Elm.
Sounds corny but clean tools mean a clean mind and a focus on the job ahead. Even the greatest artists in the world had to clean their own paintbrushes. I have been meaning to write a whole "How-to" thing about tool maintenance, I approached Bonsai Focus about it but they were not overly keen to get on with it. I need someone who can do some good photos and maybe some videos to help me out here...
One of the reasons my tools were so dirty were because I had been doing a few days work with Ian of British Bonsai. Here is the before and after of one little Juniper that we worked on. The aim is to get it in to BSA 2012. Without wanting to sound patronising, it is a pretty little tree and has enough character to hold its own amongst other container grown trees. I look forward to its development. It will never be a world beater but it is what it is. More details to follow.
Looking forward to next week’s trip to Texas and Rochester to see some of the best Bonsai in the States and catch up with some friends.