|PHOENIX BONSAI SOCIETY :
BACK-TO-BASICS WORKSHOP NOTES
BACK-TO-BASICS: DISPLAY & ACCESSORIES
(Presented by Fred Carpenter, 02/11/97)
| Why display? Personal pride; club pride; public education; sharing a 2,000-year-old art we are extensions of.
How to display?
Bonsai are arranged so that the tree goes with the pot, which goes with the stand, which goes with the neighboring show trees.
Accessories give added scale or theme, but use with discretion:
Our club does not use individual owner name tags next to the trees. This is primarily for security/privacy reasons.
Remember: how you have your trees at home is also a type of display. Be proud of your bonsai. Keep the domestic display area clean and orderly.
BACK-TO-BASICS: HOT WEATHER CARE
(Presented by Dick Selkirk, 04/08/97)
| Grow native or naturalized plants.
Use the recommended coarse soil mixes.
Keep your plants healthy and pest-free. Don’t let your plants get out of control, especially the faster growers like junipers and elms. Keep new growth pinched after it gets only so long. Don’t lose the shape you’ve spent time working on. Thin any tight growth to allow air and light flow.
Rotate each plant a quarter turn every week. This gives even exposure to the sun and fresh air, plus allows you to check on the health or dis-ease from all sides.
Know your plants and be aware of the water-retention of each pot of soil mix. Slight differences in soil materials when each plant was potted up, the requirements of each type of tree, the siting of each pot — all these prohibit a “one-method-fits-all” watering. Learn to customize to your plants’ needs. Set pots on low stands or slatted workbenches over a lawn, mulch or gravel, but NOT over desert landscaping or concrete. Soak the ground thoroughly in the morning. Carefully give the trees an occasional and good-strength shower.
Provide shade cloth overhead, especially after noon. (Get UV-resistant 50 or 70% shaded, on 3/4″ PVC pipe or metal conduit.) Or, better yet, site your bonsai under landscape trees or shrubs for the shade. Exposure to Arizona sun causes faster growth in plants at temperatures below about 105 F. Consider the possibility of a lath house, or a greenhouse with evaporative cooler. Sink your potted trees in a layer of mulch or sawdust. Check occasionally that the roots haven’t grown out the drainage holes and into the ground.
Set pots near a swimming pool or pond, or above but not in pans of non-tap water. (However, Bald cypress and wisteria do prefer to be kept in pans of water.) Be aware of reflected sunlight: keep trees a little ways away from south or west facing masonry walls or windows.
Group plants together, but not touching one another. Allow room for good air circulation.
Don’t let your more delicate trees get unfiltered west/afternoon sun or exposure to the winds of a monsoon dust storm.
Have your plants spend the summer in a growing bed, not in their pots. Keep vigorous top growth pruned.
Overpot your trees in the springtime. The extra room will be much appreciated.
Water maples and other plants with thin-edged leaves with distilled or reverse-osmosis (R.O.) water. Remember to use half-strength fertilizer regularly.
Learn why any of your trees die; clean and reuse the pot; keep practicing with both tried and new plants. Study the shape and growth patterns of full-size trees. Enjoy your bonsai and share your experiences.