Although the last week has been intensely busy with the very well received exhibition, Natural Flux, i still found time to learn something new. Thanks to Yannick Kiggen, who came over from his native Belgium, I was up at a ridiculously early time on Sunday morning to drive him to Stansted for a Ryanair flight home. yannick was a great help with the show, especially on the late night preview evening, with his manly looks and general all round willingness to pitch in and wash glasses. My deepest thanks were repaid in a small part with a fried breakfast of the highest quality.
Thank you Pellici's of Bethnal Green for showing him the pinnacle of British cuisine.
Anyway, the early morning start was not a problem and in fact turned out to be a blessing in disguise as I was able to listen to a very good Radio 4 program on the way back about fairy rings and the importance of fungi in the ecosystem. The repetition of the fact that without symbiotic fungi, most trees, plants and life in general could not thrive was drilled into the listener along with some other interesting facts such as different types of mycelium which have territorial wars and that they are a one directional species. For those of you who can access the BBC iPlayer, I would recommend listening to the documentary. For those that live outside of the UK, I can only apologise and would suggest moving here (or use a VPN). Either that or read about fungi.
What impact does this new knowledge, or rather a reinforcing of existing knowledge have? It simply validates the absolute priority for developing a healthy biological system within out bonsai pots, be they contemporary or not. Using a good quality organic bonsai fertiliser will help with that. Chemicals can throw off the balance, sterilise the soil and cause unhealthy but seemingly vigorous growth. Maintaining a healthy balance between water and oxygen will help maintain the biological system even further. Careful use of fungicide on the top of the tree only will help.
Essentially, do not consider the pot and it's contents as some kind of inert system. Good bonsai practice and horticultural success starts with the roots and consideration of what is happening and what you want to happen.
Back to the gallery and with a sad heart/relief, the closing of the first Natural Flux exhibition.