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

Friday, 15 March 2013

Meeting an old friend...

One of the benefits of my recent trip to Spain was to meet an old and dear friend of mine, although it was a little painful, with a deep sense of regret and remorse. It was like running into an ex girlfriend who you were just about over, but in reality you would jump straight back into bed with, relive the old times and then feel dirty in the morning. What or who could induce such emotions in a grown man? It could be said that we are at our weakest when in love and I have evidence of this...

I tried to play it cool and pretend that I didn't want to run my fingers through her foliage and breathe deeply her fragrant scent, and after a day of denial, I gave in to her siren like calls and brought her to the work table. It is times like this where my pseudo-buddhist leanings of not becoming attached to material things is seriously tested. I don't care for many objects and possessions, but there are some which I covet.

As things stand with this tree, there is very little to be done other than let her grow to recover. Last year it was transplanted and pruned a little too hard and as such it has suffered. The trick with Rosemary, as with most women, is to not beat down on them too hard. They respond well to compliments, encouragement and a gentle hand and so they are the polar opposite of the majority of trees which are used in European bonsai and definitely not a tree for macho, macho men without a sensitive side.

Thankfully however, the tree, which is still, and always has been, awesomely strong, has recovered well and is growing all over, and most importantly even the internal branches are growing. She was due for a slight redesign in a few years anyway as the external branches are getting coarse, thick and old, so it needs a prune back and redevelop from youthful shoots. Not today however, just a tidy up, remove dead branches and thin out anywhere super dense.

It needs to grow to put on some highly photosynthetic young foliage or it will run out of energy. After getting back into a positive net energy state then we can look at pruning back hard and asking weak branches to become the new leaders. One of the tricks to getting and keeping them growing is to...come to a workshop and I will tell you...or quite simply, use some common sense and never stop it totally from growing and drawing water and nutrients to the tips. Growingtips people, growing tips. I have said it beforeand I will say it again. Doing bonsai is fairly logical really. There is no mystery or magic to the technical side of it, just an application of common sense and understanding objectives, plants and stuff like that.

The mystery and the magic come from falling in love....

Tis better to have loved and lost,than to have never loved at all...

The after shot...or is it the before shot? There was hardly any noticeable difference but it was sweet relief to play with her again, and the memory remained long after reminding me that Beth Orton once sang, "And I can still smell you on my fingers and taste you on my breath... "

I need a cold shower...

Well that wraps it up for a while...im already on the road around the uk, working night and day to bring bonsai of dubious quality to the world. Next stop Willowbog!


Disclaimer. I am not in any way implying that Willowbog are purveyors of anything but bonsai of the highest quality. In fact undoubtedly I will walk away with another random purchase...and then in the cold light of morning, it all goes a bit Gregory Mitchell...



  1. Hello Peter,

    lovely tree and like usual with a good story. Keep up the good work.
    One more thing, if I was you, i would change the title in " Meeting an old GIRLfriend" ?
    It's fairly logical.:):):)

  2. The bones of the tree are great but I preferred the old pot.


  3. Beth just made me day
    Not bad herb, either.

  4. I love the character of your old friend. Just how old is she anyway? How long did it take to build the trunk up like that?