Sunday, May 29, 2011

The best of fall 2011

I was doing an autumn clean up in my garden and found a few treasures. On the image top to bottom left to right: oak, birch, gingko, maple.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mushi taji

When I visited Japan last year, I was puzzled by small straw mats tied around tree trunks (see the image above). Is this a horticultural technique? Is it a religious custom? Or is it just a garden ornament? I stumbled across the answer in a wonderful book on Japanese gardens by Motomi Oguchi. This straw mat is called mushi taji. It is put in autumn when insects descend from the canopy down the trunk to the ground for overwintering. Mushi taji tricks insects to overwinter in it and at the end of winter it is burnt. A more elaborate version of it, called fuyugakoi, is used in colder parts of Japan to protect the trees from frost and retain moisture in the soil, in addition to pest control. Fuyugakoi can be quite decorative as well.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Bonsai Study Group Show

Yesterday, I saw exhibition of the Bonsai Study Group at West Pymble Community Hall. It was a relatively small show with the emphasis on small bonsai. For me, the highlight of the exhibition was Pat Kennedy’s bonsai pots stall. Bonsai in Australia may have a long way to go, however we already have high quality locally made bonsai pots. The photo of Chrysanthemum is just random.

Friday, May 06, 2011

New wood-fired pots

A couple of pots that came out from the last month’s wood-firing. This time I prepared the glazes myself. The pot on the left is 12.5 × 11 cm, unglazed with natural ash.The pot on the right is 16 × 7 cm, celadon glaze.