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.

1 August 2021

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 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.

1 July 2021

Bonsai Things to do in Cape Town - July


JULY
Month
Mean Rainfall mm
Rel.  Humidity %
Daily Sun­shine Hrs
Temp. Max Celcius
Temp. Min Celcius
July
96,9
81
6,2
17,4
7,1

POSITION
The shortest day has passed and days are getting longer but only marginally. The same remarks apply as for June.
WATERING
The water table is high and frequent rains and dull days often mean wet condi­tions but, take care! A few dry days and bonsai could suffer. The winds are strong and frequent, shelter delicate trees and pots! Ensure that pots drain correctly. 
FERTILISING
No point in fertilising this month - temperatures are too low.
DISEASE CONTROL
Snails and slugs are busy, use appropriate bait. Fungus spores may be active during wet humid conditions. It is never cold enough in our area to kill spores of fungus effectively.  Spray with fungicides if necessary.
PRUNING
Winter prune and design prune deciduous trees.
POTTING
This is a really busy potting month for most deciduous trees such as Celtis, Ulmus, Acer, Taxodium, Betula, Carpinus, Wisteria and Malus. Visit a nursery for soil and pot supplies. It is always preferable to take a tree for which a pot is to be chosen to the pot supplier for direct selection.
REMARKS
A month when enthusiasm is sometimes at a low ebb but soon sap will be rising. Enjoy exchanging views with like minded people and reading books and maybe even surfing the web on Bonsai and related topics.