4 September 2019

We are on DSTV channel 147 this afternoon

We will be appearing on the TV programme Sien, Smaak, Slaap Constantia airing on DSTV channel 147, VIA on Wednesday 4 September 2019 at 17h30.



1 September 2019

Bonsai things to do in Cape Town - September

SEPTEMBER  

Month
Mean Rainfall mm
Rel.  Humidity %
Daily Sun­shine Hrs
Temp. Max Celcius
Temp. Min Celcius
Sept
41,7
77
7,7
19,2
8,7

POSITION
Still cold, rainy and windy but the signs of spring are emerging and buds are swelling. Some trees are well into new leaf.
WATERING
Water if it does not rain for a few days. Wind causes evaporation even on really cold days.
FERTILISING
As deciduous trees come into leaf they will benefit from light feeds. Evergreens that show signs of growth may also be fed lightly. Growth stimulants may be used but remember that they are not substitutes for fertiliser. After the heavy rains of winter nutrients have been leached out of the small quantity of soil in bonsai pots. Bonsai are dependant on feeding.
DISEASE CONTROL
Pests, especially sucking mites and some fungi are active, take steps to control if necessary before they debilitate a bonsai.
PRUNING
Allow the soft branchlets on deciduous trees to extend to about seven leaves and then prune back to 2 leaves. This is a vital exercise to build up a fine network of small branchlets (ramification).
POTTING
It is best to wait until next month for potting evergreens but some deciduous trees which are not yet in leaf may be judiciously potted.
REMARKS
An exciting time of the year for bonsai enthusiasts as new growth appears. It’s a good time to spring clean and tidy up. Do not be discouraged by the odd storm which causes a mess, look upon the clean-up as a relaxing and therapeutic exercise. Remove spent blossoms on winter flowering bonsai such as azaleas. The production of seed takes a lot out of a small bonsai.

20 August 2019

Celtis Celebration


Bring your favourite Celtis (or more than one) to display in our Spring festival show & tell and stand a chance of winning a prize. Please email bishopsfordbonsai@gmail.com to book a space on the tables.

15 August 2019

Myrtus communis

by Gail Theron

My very first Bonsai (created under the expert guidance of Bernard Coetzee) was a Myrtus communis. Perhaps this is why I am particularly fond of this species. 

The common Myrtle is an evergreen shrub up to 3m with small, dark green, glossy, aromatic leaves. It has white flowers consisting mainly of a puff of stamens followed by single-stalked, blueish-black berries. It is used mainly for hedges and is drought-resistant.

I feel that they make very good subjects for Bonsai as the leaves are tiny and with the proper care it rewards one with a network of fine branches in a reasonably short time.

These trees are very vulnerable to certain pests, e.g. scale, mealie bug and aphids and due to the nature of the bark these are often only detected when the tree is somewhat debilitated. An application of Koinor, watered into the roots, will control these pests. 

I have found that they don't like damp feet and should therefore have a soil mixture that drains well. I fertilise mine regularly with Hortisol and have them in a sunny position. I feel that it is not sufficient merely to pinch out shoots, one has to prune back quite often. 
My Myrtles have brought me a tremendous amount of pleasure. They are readily available from nurseries and quickly develop into pleasing Bonsai. I can recommend them to beginners and experienced growers alike.


7 August 2019

Multi trunks

Gail Theron presented some of her multi-trunk Bonsai trees at the Winter Bash this past weekend. Photo credits to Cindy Rodkin.







1 August 2019

Bonsai Things to do in Cape Town - August

AUGUST

Month
Mean Rainfall mm
Rel.  Humidity %
Daily Sun­shine Hrs
Temp. Max Celcius
Temp. Min Celcius
August
73,7
79
6,7
17,8
7,4

POSITION
Still wet, cold, windy and dark but beneath the gloom sap is rising and potting is hectic. Finish potting deciduous trees this month and add acacias to the list.
WATERING
Little watering required but be wary of consecutive dry days. Check drainage holes in pots and if trees are not draining properly lift them up and place coarse gravel under them.
FERTILISING
It is still very early to apply feeds but growth stimulants such as Superthrive may be used. Once growth commences fertilisers may be used.
DISEASE CONTROL
Pests are waking up and whilst humans are still reluctant to go outdoors pests may be damaging little trees. Take the necessary precautions.
PRUNING
Pruning may now be carried out freely, stimulating growth by pruning on both deciduous and evergreens are useful.
POTTING
Deciduous trees may still be potted but take care with evergreens it is still too cold for them. Only pot when the onset of growth is obvious.
REMARKS
August days are longer but temperatures are still lower than in June. This area is still in winter, so take care not to do things best left to spring.

SUISEKI AND PENJING
The weather is conducive to collecting rocks as SUISEKI or for creating PENJING. It is also very healthy both physically and mentally to get outdoors and to enjoy a special closeness with nature.

29 July 2019

Potting season


It is potting season for deciduous trees such as Swamp Cypress, Celtis, Elms, Maples, etc now. As soon as you see the leaf buds swelling, before they open, that is the correct time to pot. It depends on our weather and the micro climate in your garden, so keep an eye out for the right time. Bonsai should be repotted every couple of years.  Stock up, at our nursery, with pots, soil, mesh to cover the drainage holes and multicote slow release fertiliser to mix into your soil. It's also a good time to take cuttings and sow seed and for that we have punnets and vermiculite for sale.