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News from Sakura Bonsai Gallery

I hope to find the time to add some news on cleaning up my neglected collection.

Locally Made Akadama

The Australian Bonsai Gallery has been making it's own Akadama for some time now.  We have found that it passes the Dispersion Test and can be used in mixes for all species of bonsai. 

We make two sizes and use the smaller size in our Swamp Cypress soil mix.  Our Swamp Cypress never suffer from leaf burn and actually thrive in our Akadama.

The old Swamp Cypress forest, pictured here, is planted on a rock slab and grows rapidly with little fertilizing and in full sun.

Anyone who has access to volcanic soil in their area should experiment with soil taken from varying strata...... give it a go. !

For some further information go to the video clip HERE

akadama soil mix australian bonsai gallery



Few High Quality Bonsai remain For Sale

swamp cypress 03 winter 2020The Australian Bonsai Gallery has very few High End bondai left for sale. 

There has been an unpresedented demand for our bonsai, particularly over the past few months.

This old Swamp Cypress, developed by us from 1981 tube stock, has been waiting for the right buyer for some time now !!

We have just completed Winter pruning and wiring - ready for the Spring flush.

It is availabe on our   For Sale page.






Fig Bonsai are selling well.

This old ficus 'Yamadori', collected in 1981 and rock planted in 1998, has gone to a good home today.  The Gallery has sold quite a number of our old ficus, particularly over the past 2 weeks.!!


fig bonsai australian bonsai gallery

Important Winter Bud Selection on Deciduous Bonsai

japanese maple australian bonsai galleryThe Japanese Maple in this clip was purchased from The Koreshoff Bonsai Nursery in 1977.  It was only a basic nursery stock plant back then but the Autumn colour was very good.  It has been re-worked to improve the basic branch structure and to facilitate future ramification.

The Liquid amber is from 1985 nursery stock and, like the maple, was field grown for many years.  I have been working on the ramification for a few years now.  The results have been good with the resultant leaf size being reduces significantly. 

Bud selection should be done well before the Spring so that growth can be directed only to important structural bud-points on the tree.  Selecting two buds from each terminal will help to accelerate good ramification.

Large Kuromatsu bonsai Stock

I was adamant that I was not going to start any more new bonsai projects...... that was until I saw these two large Japanese Black Pines.! .

At just over 20cm at the base, they are fantastic material to start with.  Looking forward to the transformation to bonsai.   'Fatty', it's your fault !

large kuromatsu bonsai stock


old swamp cypress winter work 2020At the risk of repeating myself, I like to wire and shape my deciduous bonsai in early Winter.  The branches are bare and it is easier to make design changes.  Branches are still pliable enough to make significant bends.

Swamp cypress branches are particularly pliable and easy to shape.  They are a great subject for both the novice and professional bonsai artist.  Quick to develop some character and very forgiving of mistakes.  They can be significantly carved without many problems. They will bud very well on old wood.

All the Swamp Cypress bonsai in the gallery have been developed in the open ground.  They grow rapidly in the ground so you must keep a close watch on them when developing a good nebari. 



swamp cypress 03 autumn 2020Time to work on refinement of our deciduous bonsai.

I like to work on our deciduous tree refinement late Autumn to early Winter.  The branches are, generally, still pliable enough to wire and it is easy to bud select and prune

What a difference a year makes. 

This old Kuromatsu has been in the collection since the mid 1980's.  It was field grown for many years.  We have finally had time over the past year to start some serious refining.  It is only now starting to show some results with better branching, bud development and very small needles.  It will be re-potted in the following Spring..... and will require many hands. !!

large kuro matsu australian bonsai gallery

Swamp Cypress - Autumn Colour

This old Swamp Cypress bonsai was developed from 1981 tube stock.  It was field grown for 5 years before transferring to a 'training pot', and finally into the bonsai pot in this image.
Overall dimensions: H:80cm | W: 70cm | D:65cm. Nebari: 28cm. Trunk: 13cm.  -  Pot: W:58cm | D:47cm | H:10cm.

It is available for sale HERE.

swamp cypress 03 autumn 2020

 The Pine Section of the Bonsai Gallery is looking a little more respectable now that the Autumn work is almost complete.  Needle thinning, bud selection, and wiring done; all that is left to do is to make up my Autumn/Winter fertiliser bags.

australian bonsai gallery autumn pinesAustralian Bonsai Gallery - Pine Area

As of 1-June-2020
The Australian Bonsai Gallery will be OPEN !

australian bonsai gallery opening soon

It has been very easy to 'self-isolate' here over the past few months.  Bonsai work has a habit of making 'hermits' out of us.! 

Over the isolation period we have had the opportunity to trial a number of 'ZOOM' Workshops.  I must say that they have been surprisingly successful.  All participants were very satisfied with the content and methodology we had adapted.  It is certainly true that "necessity is the mother of invention".  So, for those who are willing to make the journey to Dorrigo, you are more than welcome to visit the gallery..... For those who may not be able to travel we are keen to continue our ZOOM Workshops.

Please Contact Us if you would like to visit the gallery, or book a workshop.

I attracted some 'scathing' criticism last October when I restyled this old Kuromatsu from an Informal Upright to a more 'Literati' style.  Personally, I am sure that I am on the right track with the changes.  Some refinement this Autumn(2020) has made some improvement to the overall style.  

I will be allowing the tree to 'rest' over the cooler months, fertilising moderately so that I can transfer the tree into a much smaller round pot next Spring... more in keeping with the Literati style.

This image shows the progress from last October.

japanese black pine bonsai 04a literati

Some nice autumn colour starting to show in these Japanese Trident Maples at The Australian Bonsai Gallery.  Updated video clips can be viewed at our YouTube Feed HERE.

australian bonsai gallery autumn 2020 trident maples

This old Japanese Black Pine has been in 'rehab' for the last few years.  Last years' fertilising, foliage balancing, and a late Summer 'first flush' cut has see a great response with a healthy, even second flust now matured.  Same process for this Autumn with the addition of some fefinement and finer wiring.  On it's way to becoming a reasonably good bonsai.

Autumn 2020 - Before and After needle plucking, bud selection and wiring.japanese black pine bonsai 34 before after 2020 04 22 

Autumn Needle plucking and bud selection is a very time consuming job for the bonsai enthusiast; ... BUT spare a thought for gardeners in Japan who perform these tasks on large, full grown street trees in Kyoto. !!
I was gob-smacked to see people on ladders in the streets of Kyoto, in 2016, working on such a scale. !!!   I will never complain about this job ever again !!!

jbp needle plucking Kyoto Autumn 2016


Needle plucked and bud selected, this old white pine is ready for wiring and a little refinement in form......

... the joy of self-isolation !!!!!!   Stay Safe all.

goyo matsu australian bonsai gallery 39

Japanese White pines can be needle plucked, bud selected, prunes, and wired now that the spring/summer growth has matured.  This one is still in development.

The Australian Bonsai Gallery has more white pines to work on before the collections' Black and Red Pines are ready for the same treatment.

japanese white pine 08

The Australian Bonsai Gallery has been working hard on these Trident Maples over the growing season.  Just waiting for the Autumn to work it's magic and transform these bonsai into a blaze of colour.

trident maple group 01

FINALLY.... my new bonsai pot has arrived from Japan. I was fortunate enough to have own the bid on this... Yamaaki pot by Mr.KATAOKA Sadamitsu.

I have been looking for the 'perfect' pot for a very old Trident Maple in the collection...... now this is it.!!

yamaaki Mr KATAOKA Sadamitsu bonsai pot

Does anyone recognise this 'chop' stamp ?  I have a number of old bonsai pots with this mark.  After going over hundredsof known stamps I am at a loss as to the identity of these pots.

Many thanks to Konatsu Honda who so kindly offered this translation "I see 常滑焼(Tokoname-yaki) is the maker and 山晃釜(Yamakou-gama)is the kiln."

unknown chop

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