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

Saturday, 4 May 2013

A little polish fun...

For not the first time and sadly not the last, I find myself waiting for a Ryanair flight back home. Still, I come back having spent three days of bonsai fun and three nights of stress due to leaking water tanks at the almost forgotten Saruyama HQ. Due to the efforts on the home front, disaster should have been averted, so less of the stress, more of the fun...

I have been visiting Ibuki Bonsai for a number of years now and seen it improve and expand. Many of the trees I have worked on have improved and only a couple have died...So I take that as relative success. On my latest trip it was still on the verge of transplanting trees so we had a day of repotting including this white pine which although is not an awesome tree, it is still a pretty little thing worthy of some attention. Apologies for the poor photography. I was there to repot, not to do a photoshoot.

A fairly standard looking literati-esque white pine from over grown material...the branching is poor in places, especially the apex but it just needs to bud back and fill in, which under the excellent horticultural care it is receiving, is doing nicely. So it needed a new pot...I asked Mariusz to go and get me one, and he went for a nanban style pot. Not too dissimilar in size to the existing pot...to which I replied, "Try and be a bit more imaginative...lets create a scene" (As in a vista rather than a domestic in a supermarket). After a little cajoling, he came back with a couple of pots, as did I. Now for those of you who think that you know my taste and style and haven't seen Mariusz's facebook page, you can try and guess which one it went in...answer at the bottom of the page.  The present is...the satisfaction of being right.

 Maybe it was this kokagami or antique mirror shaped pot? A little on the funky side I know. The name certainly is. Size wise ok, unglazed, feminine...not bad. Especially as it was made by Mariusz himself....

Or maybe this? Shallow, long and excessively off centre planting angle? Pot too large? Certainly not too powerful. A well made modern chinese pot.

Or maybe the corner on square approach? Now I love squares at an angle. One foot forward, thin end of the red wedge and all that. It certainly is the right size, creates a different appearance and does not overpower the tree. A definite candidate...and another Ibuki original pot.

Answers in a minute folks...

I did come back from (or is that am coming back) Poland with two fantastic presents...one is a bag full of meat.

My breakfast on day two. I didn't eat meat again for another 48 hours...although it was some delicious local sausage. The other present was this...a little accent plant which will soon get planted up into something more appropriate.

Or maybe I should wire it? It is a Cassiope of unknown origin. I will be getting a few in soon for sale. Lovely little bell flowers on the ends.

So...for the reveal...which pot was it?

Oh yes...the excessively off centre planting position, or as Akiyama calls it Shochiku-en style...referring to the previous owner of the old school garden in Tokyo, Mr. Shinkichi Koide who loved to go classical. Negative space in planting position is essential for creating a scene, so if we wanted to display in a tokonoma or exhibition and want to create a flow in what is essentially a cylindrical up and down tree, then we must push it to one side or the other.

As it happens, we had a tokonoma to put it in...

Isn't she lovely?, isn't she wonderful?...

My flight is boarding soon...until next time...


  1. Good choice for a pot. Even the placement on the table is in form. I like it.

  2. That's a great presentation for your bonsai, no only the pot but the table and the corner where you place it. I was wondering if you had to do any root prunning when you repotted your pine? Also: What mixture you used for the soil on your new pot? Cheers.

  3. Hey!

    Such an interesting post! I always love to know more about the Bonsai tree. It is just like my family member. I would like to polish my tree also but it is already pretty shiny. Anyways I would like to read more about the Bonsai tree.

    Keep on sharing with us!