1 January 2022

Bonsai Things to do in Cape Town - January

     JANUARY 

Month
Mean Rainfall mm
Rel.  Humidity %
Daily Sun­shine Hrs
Temp. Max Celcius
Temp. Min Celcius
Jan
11,6
70
11,1
26
15,7

POSITION
Long, hot, windy days, trees need protection & must not be allowed to dry out.
WATERING
Humidity is low, mist and place containers of water between trees to increase humidity. Trees that dry out may suffer leaf burn and die if left dry for too long. Watch watering carefully.
FERTILISING
Some trees, such as maples suffer from a combination of drying wind and build up of sodium in the soil which makes it difficult for them to take up moisture. Try sprinkling a small amount of gypsum on the soil and water well. All the watering causes’ nutrients to leach out of the soil so fertilise regularly. Fertilise flowering plants with 3:1:5. 
DISEASE CONTROL
If trees are stressed use Superthrive in small doses to help them cope. Pests and diseases may be slightly less prevalent during these low humidity days but watch for them anyway and spray as necessary.
PRUNING
Maintenance pruning and nipping needs to be kept up and wiring may be done but watch lest branches thicken and cause wire scars. Strong growing and healthy deciduous bonsai may be de-foliated early this month to encourage a second growth season and to reduce leaf size.
POTTING
Figs may be potted now but it is too hot for most species to be potted.
REMARKS
A nice time of the year to get out and about, collect stones and rocks and even compost and gravel for mixing soils. Mosses mostly look unhappy during this time of year due to low humidity. Try to mist spray bonsai often. 

1 December 2021

Bonsai things to do in Cape Town - December


DECEMBER                                     
         
Month
Mean Rainfall mm
Rel.  Humidity %
Daily Sun­shine Hrs
Temp. Max Celsius
Temp. Min Celsius
Dec
13,9
70
10,8
25,1
14,9

POSITION
The sun is high and the days are long, humidity is very low so trees may have to be moved to partial shade. It is kind to most bonsai if the ambient humidity could be increased by placing dishes or water around or by keeping ground under the benches damp. Misting is an ideal way of increasing moisture in the air.
WATERING
Frequent south-east winds blow during December drying bonsai out. A few hours of totally dry roots is enough to kill a tree, so this watering is a vital daily task.
FERTILISING
Constant watering leaches nutrients out of the soil and they need to be replaced. Do not feed totally dry trees, water them before applying fertilisers.
DISEASE CONTROL
Watch for insect pests and diseases, they do not take holidays, use appropriate measures. Remember it is normally inadvisable to mix pesticides together due to possible chemical reactions. Mix only as much pesticide or fetiliser as you can use at once, many chemicals, once mixed oxidise and may become harmful.
PRUNING
Maintenance pruning and nipping should be carried out this month. Some design pruning and wiring may also be done.
POTTING
The only trees that may be potted are wild figs. If very little root disturbance is required trees may be transferred to other pots.
REMARKS
This is show time and holidays. Enjoy both and visit bonsai friends. And give the gift of a Bonsai, it will be enjoyed for a lifetime.

1 November 2021

Bonsai Things to do in Cape Town - November


NOVEMBER   



Month
Mean Rainfall mm
Rel.  Humidity %
Daily Sun­shine Hrs
Temp. Max Celsius
Temp. Min Celsius
November
13,7
70
10,3
23,6
13,0

POSITION
The start of hot dry summer weather may be experienced, some trees may need to be moved to less sunny spots or, if necessary, put up shade cloth. Remember, trees need very bright light for photosynthesis to operate so if shade cloth is used do not use types that cut out excess light.
WATERING
If the trees are outdoors daily watering is required unless it rains.
FERTILISING
Continue fertilising and feed flowering and fruiting bonsai with a fertiliser which is high in potassium such as 3: 1: 5.
DISEASE CONTROL
Pests are always around and a wary eye has to be kept out for them.
PRUNING
The frantic growth of spring may have slowed down a bit but it is still necessary to nip and perhaps a critical eye may be used to revise and update designs of trees. Look very carefully to ensure that top branches are not becoming too heavy and so on. Sort out secondary branches and the fine networks of branchlets so that they do not become an entangled mess.
POTTING
There is still time to pot many evergreens, watch the buds.

REMARKS
Visit other bonsai growers' collections and nurseries for inspiration. There is time for seed sowing and propagating by cuttings and air-layering.
Clean-up, erect new benches... Do not be impatient but relax and enjoy everything you do as you do it.

3 October 2021

About Bishopsford

 


Bishopsford Bonsai Nursery

3 Muscat Lane South

Nova Constantia, Cape Town

Ph 0793066900

 

Bishopsford Bonsai Nursery is based in Constantia, Cape Town. Suppliers of all your bonsai requirements such as starter trees, ready-made bonsai, pots, tools, wire, growing mediums, mudmen, fertilisers, pesticides, Create your own bonsai manuals etc.  We import pots, tools and accessories directly, enabling us to keep our prices down, a number of local potters are also supported by us. All our trees are grown and designed by us and we focus on species suitable to our climatic conditions. 

 

In addition to the supply of Bonsai products we also offer guidance on bonsai maintenance, repotting, pruning, boarding, commissions, corporate gifting, garden tours and we hold workshops and courses (Covid permitting).





Bishopsford Bonsai Nursery is owned by Gail Theron who started her first Bonsai in 1970.  She had two years training as a nurseryman at a very large Garden centre in Cape Town in 1979 and 1980.  As bonsai, and Oriental arts had already been her and Lionel’s interest for many years they decided to expand their own nursery and purchased seven acres in the delightful Hout Bay valley in order to achieve this ambition.  The nursery called Bishopsford was established in 1980 and grew from strength to strength. Bishopsford now stocks about 60 different varieties of trees, with over 850 starters or pre-bonsai and 750 ready-made bonsai trees available for purchase. We also have an online store with a small sample of our stock listed (https://bishopsfordbonsai.co.za), we ship throughout South Africa.

 

The magic of bonsai at Bishopsford has not only endured but has developed significantly over the past years. Comments frequently made; "A labour of love and food for the soul".  The nurturing of these little wonders of nature has become a passion and way of life and for us is certainly food for the soul.  Sharing knowledge and experience and watching new bonsai growers develop is an added joy. Hopefully a stroll amongst the trees will fill you with a sense of peace and tranquility and leave you fulfilled.

 

 

Gail and Lionel travelled extensively throughout Asia, namely, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia in their quest for knowledge and enjoyment of anything Oriental.  They attended many National and International Conventions. 

 

Gail has been growing bonsai since 1970 and was mainly self-taught. She was a committee member of Cape Bonsai Kai for approximately 34 years, holding the post of Technical Chairman for many years. She is an honorary life member of Cape Bonsai Kai and Oyama Bonsai Kai.  She has presented a large number of talks, participated in numerous exhibitions and been invited to judge bonsai at shows.  

 

In 2014 the South African Bonsai Association honoured her with a Lifetime Achievement Award.  Her dedication and talents are also internationally recognised.  Her bonsai collection consists of many beautiful award-winning trees including one which was named; “East Cloud” by John Naka. 

 

In the early 1970s there was very little information or contact with bonsai from other parts of the world and Gail embarked on the plan to bring visiting Bonsai Masters to this country.  She was involved in the visits of many internationally renowned Masters. These include John Naka, Ben Oki, Melba Tucker, Vaughn Banting, Dorothy and Debra Koreshoff and for CBK’s 30th anniversary Mr I C Sue and Cheng Kung Cheng and after that Budi Sulistyo.   





In 2015 Gail and Lionel had the opportunity to move the nursery to a beautiful spot in Nova Constantia with the joy of having their daughter, Debbie, who has been involved in bonsai for some years continuing assisting them. Most recently Bishopsford has added a third generation to its team with the addition of Gail’s grandson, Nic.

 

Sadly Lionel, aged 85, passed away, in August 2020 but his memory lives on in the beautiful bonsai garden that he created. 

 

Bishopsford Bonsai Nursery is well visited by many bonsai enthusiasts from all over the world and gets many compliments from visitors of all ages. Pay a visit to our tranquil bonsai garden where you can also view Gail’s private bonsai collection. 

 

Find us on: 

Facebook:  Bishopsford Bonsai

Instagram: @bonsaict

Website: https://bishopsfordbonsai.co.za


1 October 2021

Bonsai Things to do in Cape Town - October


OCTOBER                                SPRING!

Month
Mean Rainfall mm
Rel.  Humidity %
Daily Sun­shine Hrs
Temp. Max Celsius
Temp. Min Celsius
October
32,7
74
8,9
21,2
10,6

POSITION
Early spring! All or nearly all deciduous plants are out in leaf, the soft new foliage is a delight. We normally still experience rain and some cool weather is still around. Days are definitely less cloudy and longer. The drying south-east wind has not started seriously but be careful of hot dry days. 
WATERING
Daily watering of outdoor bonsai may be required unless it rains.
FERTILISING
This is the time of year when advantage must be taken of good strong growth and from now on feeding should be regular and conscientiously carried out. Trees put on girth and wiring must be carefully watched lest scars develop.
DISEASE CONTROL
Pests are starting to enjoy life and may be decimating bonsai. Judicious control needs to be exercised. Some pests are not easy to see or identify. If a tree is not looking "right" ask for help. 
PRUNING
Nipping and feeding is what is done now, it may seem a contradiction to feed and then to nip most of the new growth off but that is the way to build up a fine structure of small branchlets and achieve detail design.
POTTING
Many evergreens may be potted now. Watch for swollen buds. The correct time is usually when buds are swollen but before the leaves unfurl. An exception may be figs it is far too early to pot them. 
REMARKS
In our area the weather may be unfriendly with cold wind and rain but it is spring and when the weather is nice take the opportunity of collecting moss and stones for use with bonsai. It is also a good time to collect potential bonsai from the wild as long as the appropriate permission has been sought, have respect for the ecology.

This is a very good time to plant seeds and to take cuttings

1 September 2021

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.