Saturday, February 10, 2024

2/10/24 Weekend Update

I mentioned before that it's been a warm winter. I think we're going to have an early spring. My Kojo-No-Mai Mt Fuji Cherries have been on my mind. Specifically, I wanted to re-pot them before they wake up for spring. I noticed the buds are starting to swell, so they're already starting to wake up. Perfect!

I have two cherries in 5-gallon pots; I decided to tackle the nicer one today because 

  1. It looks nicer and 

  2. There were lots of root suckers. 

I started early this morning, about 8am. The soil did not get a chance to warm up. Digging in the soil with my fingers was no fun! Regardless, I root-pruned and re-potted the tree. Here's what it looked like:

There's still a lot of work to do. It needs to be hard-pruned.  Wiring still needs to be done. All in time. The roots have been pruned back, the suckers have been removed and it's on its way to becoming a really nice tree.
I don't have practical experience with Mt Fuji Cherry trees. I don't know if hardwood cuttings will take and I don't know if root cuttings will take. I don't really know how suckers will do. Seems to me that suckers are just doing their best to be their own trees already, so I would think they would be a great propagation candidate. I've got nothing to lose by trying, so with that mind I started.
Like I've done with the Chinese elms in the past, I took some of the roots I trimmed off and planted them up with the top part exposed. The idea being that with luck, the exposed part will sprout. Here's a picture of some of the root cuttings: 
Not too impressive, I know. But I want to document the progress. I did four root cuttings today. I have more root cuttings I can do, but the soil was too cold. I buried the other root cuttings for later. 
Let's move on to the suckers! I'm including a picture of four or five suckers I dug up:
 
 

These had the best root development. They have a strong chance of survival. I decided to place these on the top shelf.  I have another 5 suckers that didn't have as much root development. They should be fine regardless, but they're still a lower-quality propagation source.

OH! While I noticed some of the trident maple seeds are starting to sprout! Go figure.

That's all I have for now. 

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

I Ordered 20 Vine Maple Seedlings

 Quick Update: I ordered 20 vine maple seedlings (Acer circinatum). These are tiny; they should be about 3-5 inches. 

Vine maples look very similar to fullmoon maples (Acer japonicum). They are native to the PNW and are supposedly fast growers. They grow in moist forests, They're very flexible and strong when they're young. I hear natives used it to create hoop nets for fishing as well as baskets.

The grower instructed me to give them lots of water and lots of fertilizer. I'm looking forward to experiencing how they grow for me. I'll include pictures once I get them. 

Also, I started doing some pottery. Just more of the same that I've been doing.

All for now!


Sunday, January 21, 2024

Weekend Update 1/21/24

It's Sunday night. I had a long weekend. I'm tired. I'm exhausted. I want to go to sleep. But I need to document some pictures from the weekend. As they say, 'pictures or it didn't happen'.

With that, let's start. I think I previously mentioned there was snow. It started to melt so I had the opportunity to do some things I've been meaning to do. Like, calibrate the headlights for the Nissan Sentra. And one of my pallets broke. Perhaps from the weight of the snow. More likely the pallet was a piece of shit. At any rate, I took a picture of the pallet I replaced. Mostly to document the trees I acquired last year and how they look after fall's heavy pruning. 

Let's start with the pallet I ended up replacing. On it are mostly crabs, but you can see mugo pines and ginkgo trees on the left. Below the bench are cloth bags as well as an ongoing project with some bark.

Another picture of crab apples. Those are 3-gallon pots. 
This picture shows mostly crab apples, but you can also see some of my Japanese black pine (JBP) on the left.
Here's a close-up picture of a mugo pine. Yes, I know there's an awful lot of weeds in my trees. Don't judge me.
The JBP seedlings I ordered arrived. I was expecting 4-inch pots, ready for one-gallon pots. Instead, I received trees that were in 2-inch plugs and ready for 4-inch pots. Oh well. I wired and potted them up. Here's a picture of a sample JBP I received.
Here's another picture of the same JBP in a 4-inch pot. I sent this picture to the grower to let him know I was disappointed in the size. Regardless, I still think I got a good deal for the seedlings. Just not as good as I originally thought! :)
 
Group picture of the JBP's, all potted up in their 4-inch pots. I didn't include the picture of the 20 one-gallon nursery pots I purchased and am now not using. Yeah, I'm a bit cheesed. Just a little.
Anyways, that's all I have for now!

Friday, January 19, 2024

1/19/24 Weekend Update

Happy New Year! Not really much to say besides that. This will likely be a short entry. But let's talk about the weather, my junipers and JBP, and 

Alright, let's talk about the weather! Up until last week, I was joking that 23-24 would be the year without a winter. With the El Nino, it's been unseasonably warm. Last Thursday, that all changed! It got down to 13! The pipes to my shower froze. They were frozen from Friday to Tuesday. The rest of the pipes were fine, so we were able to take hot bucket baths. Tuesday, the weather started warming up and when the pipes thawed, there was no damage. Roads have been fun. Lots of snow since Thursday. Lots of ice. Shitty conditions. I swept a path from the front porch to the back door so I could get to my trees. The trees seem fine, by the way. I'm sure I'll likely lose some, as I always lose a couple every winter. 

Speaking about my trees: I ordered 20 small junipers (Juniperus procumbens 'Nana') earlier. I personally do not like junipers. Reason: it's what every shitty 'bonsai' retailer pushes. Home Depot, Walmart, van on the side of the road. Shitty little 'trees' with that WHOOSH! shape that looks more like a Nike symbol than a tree. Whatever! People really like the junipers, so... yeah.

Japanese Black Pine (JBP). Yeah. Awesome trees. The poster child of what bonsai is. Bonsai aficionados apreciate and love them. I'm not a huge fan. I much prefer a Japanese maple. Regardless, I ordered 20 seedlings. They're a couple years and they started life as 'cuttings', so they had a good start. I just ordered them, they should arrive this weekend. Maybe I'll include some pictures. These are small. Ideally, I'd do some work on them and grow them out before being offered for sale. 

I also wanted to order some Vine maple seedlings (Acer circinatum). They're native to here. But I only have so much space. Maybe next year. 

That's pretty much all I have. Just wanted to jump on, say something, and tuck myself back into winter mode. I still haven't done any clay, but I will start again soon.

Very soon. 

Monday, December 4, 2023

12/4/23 Weekend Update

 Since last update in October, I haven't done much in the craft room. And that's by design. True, I did a few more pots, but for the most part, things have been quiet in there. I'm focusing on preparing for the spring with seeds and cuttings instead. 

Not sure if I mentioned that I have some crabapple hardwood cuttings. I pruned back the crabapples. I used the trimmings to create hardwood cuttings. I wrapped the cuttings in bundles and stuck them under the grow benches. I intend to allow them to callose up and try to grow them. Everyone says that you can't grow crabapple from hardwood cuttings, but I'm going to try anyway. 

While I was at it, I noticed the neighbor across the way trimmed back his Washington hawthorn. I grabbed the trimmings and created some cuttings. I've heard hawthorns grow from hardwood cuttings, so we'll see.

I also ordered some trident maple and ginkgo seeds. I've heard you can simply sow these seeds in the fall, so I have the ginkgo seeds outside. I intend to do the same with the trident maples. I'm going to order some vine maple seeds as well. I heard vine maples grow locally, so they should do good. Plus they look fire!

That's about it for now. 

Monday, October 16, 2023

Weekend Update 10/16/23

Just because I called it for the season doesn't mean I'm done. 
Always something to do.
Just because I'm not going out to the Pumpkin Patch until next spring doesn't mean I'm not keeping busy. 
Always crafting. 
Just because my trees outside are settling in for their winter nap doesn't mean I've got nothing to do. 
Always changing of the season.
With that in mind, here are some pictures from the craft room. 
Crescent shape/freeform pots, large size is my emphasis. Well, large for me. I've got a bunch of trees outside that will need pots in the spring. I don't know how much clay I have left, but I plan to exhaust my supply of clay this winter! I do plan to do other things of course. :)
 
Level 2 of my tropicals' winter quarters. They've been hard pruned and awaiting new foliage for next year. Yes, those are stumpy money trees! Yes, that's a Thai chili pepper that I plan to 'bonchi'. 

Level 3 of my tropicals' winter quarters. Mostly scheffleras here, with some ficus tossed in (f. religiosa and f. microcarpa). You can see the hard pruning on some trees. Moss grows everywhere here. As does the occasional hitchhiker, such as garden centipedes or slugs.

Top level of my tropicals' winter quarters. Here sits my F. microcarpa mother tree. You can see some schefflera cuttings I saved during the hard pruning. Hopefully, some will make it. 

Level 1 of my tropicals' winter quarters. The lowest level. Most of this level is taken up by Aaron's succulents/cactus. I use part of this are to grow some sedums as well. 

 
The last picture I have is a close-up of a hard-pruned schefflera. You can see where I've hard-pruned it time and again. Yes, this is one that I converted from Walmart garden center material a few years ago. 

So there it is. That's what's going on at the ole homestead. 
All for now.

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Random Pictures From the Pumpkin Patch 2023

 For no particular reason, this post is just random pictures taken at the Pumpkin Patch. 

Let's just skip to the pictures, followed with a small description!

Kusamono sedum in crescent pot with companion driftwood. I like the overall composition. I like how the sedum spills out over the pot, almost hiding the pot. The driftwood adds a bit of texture and interest.

 

Pinecone Derpy fish. I enjoy making goofy looking fish. The scales on this one stick out, looking kind of like a pinecone.

 

Derpy Fish. Another example of the buggy-eyed derpy fish I make. This one features tentacles on its sides.

 

One of our happy customers with her recent score of goblin plushy.

 

One never knows what I might bring to the Pumpkin Patch. Here I have a few handmade macrame pot hangers. What else might I have? Who knows!


Great early season shot! A lot of great pieces here that have since sold.


Small pots with airplants. Arguably my favorite pieces to make. allows me to explore shapes and ideas that are floating in my head in miniature.


Early season shot of my set up at the Pumpkin Patch. This was my 'FORGOT DAY'. Forgot my table cloths. Forgot the plushies. Forgot the jewelry. Forgot my glasses. Forgot my flip flops. Forgot the hammer for the canopy stakes... Good times!


So there you have it. Some highlight pictures of the Pumpkin Patch. Kind of a 2023 Yearbook.

2/10/24 Weekend Update

I mentioned before that it's been a warm winter. I think we're going to have an early spring. My Kojo-No-Mai Mt Fuji Cherries have ...