Welcome to the Saruyama Blog, intermittent and generally off topic. Occasionally you might see some trees...and weird ones at that.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Assessing the damage...

Now all the fun and games are over and its back to reality, it is time to look at what was left behind, somewhat to the elements. For any travelling professional, the most difficult balance to strike is looking after the home front whilst making progress with clients and personally away from home. Without dedicated help such as an apprentice, then it is almost impossible to take trees to a finished state as even small problems can slow the development down. This is not so much of a problem when trees are still in early stages and in big pots, but as the trees get closer and closer to the exhibition stage, the potential for disaster increases.

Coming home is always blessed relief, but there is a sense of nervousness going out into the garden for the first time. I have had my fair share of casualties in the past, despite the best efforts of my little brother and Lady Saruyama. There is no substitute for experience and in depth knowledge and should any problems occur then the only way to approach it is that I as the owner have ultimate responsibility and that anyone I asked to care for them has tried their best, but it was my choice to go away.

Thankfully, it seems as though things have gone swimmingly despite the weather, the gas for the heater running out a few days early and the poor weather we have had. Take a pound out of the till M'Lady.

This hawthorn, originally a Dan Barton tree, is beginning to swell nicely. It stayed outside as space inside is at a premium, but the bubble wrap protects the pot and roots from the worst of the weather and rain.

Spring is coming...

As shown by the swelling buds on the chojubai. They flower throughout the winter (if they see a bit of sunlight) but now the green shoots are poking through, it is a relief.


Especially on this one, tired after it's trip from Noelanders. I think there may be some slight damage to the branch tips, but it is budding on old wood so we are all good. I will bottom heat it soon, once the heating bed gets set up and the air temperatures improve.

This little bad boy seems impervious to anything. The base of the trunk was getting over run with mycorrhiza so I cleaned it off in January, but it has come back already. One of the benefits of a John Pitt pot, large air holes in the bottom.

Rosemary on the verge of flowering. I still chuckle when I remember all those naysayers saying you can't grow Rosemary bonsai in the UK. Try studying a little before you make such sweeping statements there lads. Mine haven't stopped growing all year round.

And this Camellia is having a go at flowering all year too. It is still producing new buds, even though it started flowering over one month ago. Come on son.

All the conifers outsider were a little on the dry side, so I will need to explain that to Lady Saruyama...

It wasn't just the trees that escaped relatively unscathed, but also all the stuff I brought back with me. Normally I pack my own stuff so badly that I suffer terrible losses. This year however, it all went in the carry on and arrived unscathed. Its amazing how much you can fit in one small suitcase!

And for the eagle eyed amongst you, there is a John Brocklehurst root stand in there. I took it to show a number of people in Japan and have orders for as many as he can make. The general consensus was that the retail price he is selling at was cheap even as a wholesale price for the Japanese market. So think yourselves lucky. I will think myself lucky later on today if Parcelforce manage to deliver my last remaining package to me unscathed. Fingers crossed...

Addendum....twenty minutes later and Parcelforce delivered. Fingers uncrossed and all is well with the world. Expect to see this pot in Noelanders next year...until then, you will have to wait.


  1. A lot of blue pots there Trev, I think you may have caught the same disease I have....in relation to pot purchasing that is...ahem....
    Anyhoo many thanks for the feedback on my stands, it's great to know that the Far East Chapter are appreciative.
    Loving the verse son.


  2. Thanks for the updates Peter, really enjoyed them. Glad to hear all is well and I'll see you next month in Bristol, Love, Peace & Bananas, Simon