From the flower bed to the Tokonoma

An outskirts Juniper

Juniperus Old Gold

A long lasting workshop

Chamaecyparis Pisifera

The charm of Shari

Scheduled works on a Juniperus Chinensis

Twisting path

Yew : a splendid species




From the flower bed to the Tokonoma

It often happens, during some walk with the family, to see both in private houses and in public gardens some junipers or pines of different species free to grow wild and invade all the room around becoming an unshaped bush.
Meeting these wild bushes the Bonsai artist's mind immediately start to imagine what could come out from that green and so, if possible, he tend to ask the owner the permission to drew it out free of charge.
This is what happened to the Juniper herewith described: it has been collected in the early spring of 1998 from the flower bed of a shop. This raw material stimulate the bonsai artist fantasy, even if there is no lack, obviously, of negative points.
In these trees you can find winding trunks with very important live veins, characteristics coming from the free growing and the major exposure of the green belonging to that lymphatic veins.
Onother advantaging point is the vigorous foliage that once put into the pot and costantly pinched on the very final ends of the needles, will allow to thick itself reaching good results in short time.
Talking about the possibilities we may met working on this material, I think the great difficulties is to be able to keep the desired shape, forcing ourselves to wire the tree several times during the cultivation phase.
Some juniper species (Hitoigawa, Shimpaku, Toshio, Chishio and some other) tend to grow slowly. The branches, even the young ones, are stiff and strong so they can holde without any effort the growing foliage coming out in upward compact tuft.
These helps in the maintenance because, during the growing period, it will only need a few trimming operation, and once removed the wire, the branches will keep the desired position.

This is not true for both the nursery juniper and the collected ones, they grow in a very vigorous way in all direction, so when you remove the wire the branches are not able to hold the heavy foliage, losing their position.
Seldom it is possible to find on these materials natural shari and jin: this will allow us, if necessary, to have fun making lines of dead wood (shari) following our artistic inspiration, but always, in full respect of the tree.

It's more and more difficult to see in recent years working nursery trees, formerly very common, are now in fashion "Yamadori" materilas and also the beginners adapt to this.
From my point of view this is not instructive, on the contrary it is negative: using nursery materials you can hardly obtain masterpieces, but being without bonsai characteristic they helps much more in expressing our artistic vein, our sensitivity and creativity that among a good technique let us to make a work of art worthy of a place into a "TOKONOMA".

Pic # 1
During collectin time all useless branches has been cut away. The selected front has interesting movement, that was the reason of the choice. When the rootage allow it, it is better to put it directly into a bonsai pot.

Pic # 2

Before branch modelling it is better to work the dead wood (jin e shari), so you have more room to work around with mills and carving tools.

Pic # 3
To make real the original project, all the interesting point should be taken into consideration to show the best pert of tree structure. Once selected the most appreciable side, the front has to be selected.
Pic # 4
Back - during a demonstration in S. Giovanni Rotondoduring 1999U.B.I. congress.
After rafia the apex has been lowered to shorten the tree, before it was tto high in respect to the base diameter.
Pic # 5
Spring 2001, shape and balance are under evaluation to better underline the final design trying to focus on the major interesting points.
Pic # 6
A light rotation toward right give more stability balancing the apex with nebari, and giving more result to the movement of the trunk The foliage have been balanced toward trunk dimension, keeping interesting focal puint.

Pic # 7- Spring 2002



2006 - Donato Danisi