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

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Sun baked shopping...

One of the benefits of being a bonsai professional is buying trees...or rather investing in stock. It is perhaps one of my favourite hobbies...and one of my least favourite seems to be selling them as I have made very little effort to do so. Today was a day where I could indulge in a little retail therapy and invest in some material for the future. Finding good, reasonably priced yamadori material that is suitable for bonsai cultivation is difficult and there are plenty of charlatans out there as regular readers of this and other blogs will be aware of. Buying value for money trees which have roots and are then possible to either style or resell without the risk of damaging your own reputation is a challenge. Thankfully there are a few collectors out there who are trust worthy.

I have been a bit wary of investing heavily in Spanish Sabina's until I was happy that they would grow well and be capable of being styled in the UK. The current vogue for them in other parts of Europe has lead to a number of collectors hawking their wares as seen at this years Noelanders. After the improvement in all of the trees I purchased last year (after a slow start to the spring) and almost a year of thinking about and working on the growth habits of Sabina vs. Chinensis, it was time to start getting some material ready for future years...so I got up at 4 am and headed down to Gatwick for an early flight to Spain.

Easyjet, the preferred choice of the budget shopper. An uneventful sleep on the plane and I touched down to colder temperatures (just) than I had left behind in London. A short drive and it was time to start selecting material...a lot of the very good material was already cherry picked and will be finding it's way to the UK via a fellow professional. A number of times trees which I coveted were already taken and so I had to resort to a different type of cherry picking. Early birds and worms somehow sprung to mind...

Mmm...fruity. Still, there was plenty of new and old material available and due to the wide range of tastes in the bonsai church, I was able to find some material which I thought would make worthwhile trees.

This little bad boy was calling out to me. Will make a superb kifu sized compact tree one day...

I am thinking of making a cascade out of this...it lends itself to it don't you think?

I can't help myself where rosemary are concerned. Will it make a tree or just an expensive herb garden? Answers in five years...

It seems I have a thing for shohin olives...a barked up tree with potential...are you watching Mr. Armitage?

Some "beginner" yamadori material. It is important to build confidence, both for myself and for clients before embarking on larger more adventurous pieces. Trees such as this will give a good result but enable cultivation and foliage management techniques to be mastered easily. Collected Sabina require a totally different approach to styling, development and ramification than the container grown Chinensis most people are used to, and so there is a lot of fear of working on new species. In order for people to dip their toe in the water, I recommend getting trees like this...hence it went in the shopping cart.

This is just a few of the pieces that will be arriving over the course of the next year, some were freshly collected and so they will rest until certain that sufficient root growth and foliage development means that they are ready for the new benches I will have to build to accommodate them...or I could sell some trees I already have.

Am now heading back home to pack my bags for a trip to the US tomorrow...for more satsuki fun in the sun

I'm sure I have mentioned that Akiyama used to tell me that we sell people dreams...well I have been sold a few myself today...


Dream on...



  1. great post, glad you're perfecting the methods before selling the stock, highly commendable way to do it m8.

    the only slightly expensive ;-) garden herb will do far better in my lovely warm cornish garden don't you think?? , well fed, pinched now and again so i can do home made focacia and i'll share the bread with you, what could be fairer than that !

    1. Bread? Bread? Not on my diet Marcus. As for perfecting the methods, that takes years, and it only works if those methods are universal to all. Just ask Ryan about his experiences with RMJ...we are all on the learning curve

  2. You have been quite prolific in tweets and posts the last few days and I cannot help but wonder if everything is ok...?! :-)) theo

  3. Great post! I am an avid shopping enthusiast that is kind of a shop-a-holic; I always have the most up to date apps and technology to help me find the best deals. I've recently been looking into a social marketplace, where people basically group buy products which lower the cost fro everyone. Have you ever looked into these websites?

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Hey Peter, No advertising intended. I actually picked up a few bonsai trees from group buys and that website.I love the way they look around my apartment.

  5. The new Porta a Mare shopping center opened last week. Shopkeepers of the nearby Borgo dei Cappuccini neighborhood are quite worried about the competition.this site