1 June 2022

Bonsai Things to do in Cape Town - June

What to do in June

June is the start of a very busy period for bonsai, with many time sensitive activities:

·      Clean and disinfect your benches.

·      Remove dead leaves from pots and under benches as they encourage re-infestation of Summer’s pests, put down bait for slugs and snails.

·      Check that drainage holes are clear and that your pot is draining properly if not angle it on a wooden block making sure it is secure, and then correct the problem in Spring.

·      Spray Lime Sulphur twice, at weekly intervals, 35ml per 1litre, cover unglazed pots I don’t spray my evergreens as some people do, because I don’t like the awful colouring the lime sulphur tends to leave on the trees. I prefer to use Rosecare, Seizer + Eco Oil, Koinor or Plant Care.

·      If you develop Black Algae on your soil surface Copper Oxychloride WP works well without killing the moss.

·      Don’t let moss get anywhere near acacia, pine or cork bark elm trunks.

·      Time to shoot select and needle pluck multi flush pines and embark on a feeding program to build them up before candle pruning in December. Adelgids and mites seem very prevalent. I use the chemicals mentioned above in point 4.

·      Time to reassess the design of your deciduous bonsai, transition your branches from thick too thin to give you better taper, remove unnecessary growth, wire carefully.

·      Dead head azaleas (once the flowers have died remove them).

·      Check watering, Bonsai are extremely sensitive to drought and cold.

·      Potting time is soon here so gather all you may need and prepare your soil mixture.

1 May 2022

Bonsai Things to do in Cape Town - May


Mean Rainfall mm
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Some showers and cooler weather are on the way. Some bonsai may have to be moved into sunnier spots or shade cloth may have to be removed.
As usual watering needs to be watched, especially if the weather is cool and overcast but no rain has actually fallen.
This is the last opportunity for feeding as with lower temperatures and shorter days plants do not take up much in the way of nutrients.
Many pests are going into hibernation but snails and slugs are active.
Do not prune deciduous plants as stimulating growth is undesirable in winter, plants need a rest period.
Too late for autumn potting and too early for deciduous trees.
A balmy month as a rule and the last chance to mix soil in reasonably dry conditions. Mosses are starting to appear remember to leave small pieces when collecting so that regeneration takes place. 

1 April 2022

Bonsai Things to do in Cape Town - April

Mean Rainfall mm
Rel.  Humidity %
Daily Sun­shine Hrs
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Early autumn and a delightful time of year; some showers may be expected. The sun is no longer so fierce and days are getting shorter.
Bonsai tend to dry out and watering is still a priority.
Fertilising has to be done diligently if bonsai are to do well and to promote autumn colours.
Pests are active and control is necessary.
Maintenance pruning may be done this month.
Nearly all evergreens and figs can be safely potted at this time of the year. Post potting recovery is usually good.
As the days get shorter and the weather is milder it is an agreeable time to be in the garden.

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

5 June 2021

Pre-bonsai or starters available at Bishopsford

Bishopsford Bonsai pre-bonsai
Bishopsford Bonsai pre-bonsaiBishopsford Bonsai pre-bonsai

It's time to start preparing for the Spring potting season.  Buy your pre-bonsai/starter trees now so that you can ponder on your designs. Bishopsford stock about 65 species of pre-bonsai or starter bonsai trees that are suitable for bonsai. View the list of the species currently in stock here:


Bishopsford Bonsai pre-bonsaiBishopsford Bonsai pre-bonsai

Bishopsford Bonsai pre-bonsaiBishopsford Bonsai pre-bonsai