1 January 2020

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. 

27 December 2019

Trading hours

We're open everyday from 9am to 4pm excluding New Year's Day, 1 January 2020.

20 December 2019

Festive Season Trading Hours


We are closed on Christmas Day, day of Goodwill and New Years Day but open every other day of the year from 9am to 4pm. Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas, enjoy this special time with your families and friends.

11 December 2019

Christmas trading hours


We are closed on Christmas Day, day of Goodwill and New Years Day but open on the Day of Reconciliation public holiday and every other day of the year from 9am to 4pm. Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas, enjoy this special time with your families and friends.

Avoid the chaotic shops and parking areas and shop for Christmas in our beautiful tranquil Bonsai garden. Buy a ready made Bonsai from R125, starter kits and a wide selection of Bonsai related products.  If you wish to shop early we are happy to keep your purchases until just before Christmas.

1 December 2019

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.

11 November 2019

Root over Rock - Ficus


by Gail Theron
To create a Root-over-rock Ficus does not really involve much more work or time than a 'normal' bonsai yet it adds such interest and stature to your collection. Ficus are excellent subjects for this style as their roots very quickly fatten up, fuse together and look as if they have been perched on the rock for many years.

I have tried several different methods of developing this style.

1.    From a young tree: I take either a thickish-rooted cutting or a tree of 1-2 years old which has fairly flexible roots. The tree must be designed in conjunction with the rock. Once this is done I position the roots over the rock into the relevant crevices and place the tree and rock in a container I have chosen to suit the tree and rock in size, depth and colour. I use my normal fairly coarse potting medium and mound the soil right up to the trunk and cover the mounded soil snugly with pantyhose. As soon as the roots are growing strongly in the soil I remove the mound of soil from around the rock. It is important to 'sort out' your roots just as you do your branches, eliminate all crossing roots and those giving you conflicting lines. Pay particular attention to the way the roots fatten up as it can easily happen that one root becomes heavier than the trunk which looks unsightly, while others remain thin. By trimming just the heavy root you can keep it under control otherwise it might be better to remove it entirely.

2.    A more developed tree: A tree which has been in training for four or five years would be suitable. If the heavy roots are inflexible or in the wrong place I simply remove them and use the younger roots which thicken up very quickly. The procedure is the same as with the younger tree. I prefer not to bury them in the ground as I find I have more control over the tree in a large pot. I also prefer to use a coarse mix rather than muck, as the roots elongate far quicker. 

Before attempting a root-over-rock style it is important to decide what kind of scene you want to create. Are you trying to capture a tree clinging for dear life to a high pinnacle? In this case both your tree and rock should be rugged as if they have been battered by the elements. If you are trying to capture a gentle more tranquil atmosphere where a seed has grown in the crevice of a rock and developed into a majestic tree you must choose your rock accordingly. 

Your planting must be more than just a tree with its roots over a rock.


1 November 2019

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.