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Bonsai Photo Backgrounds and more
April 27, 2016

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More Bonsai Photo Backgrounds

Last month's article on using backdrops when photographing bonsai, resulted in quite a few responses from subscribers.

Although Rick Jeffery previously showed us how good a black sheet works, this time he responded with a very real-life background. In this picture, Rick's bougainvillea bonsai is being displayed in the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. The Bonsai Societies of Florida are annual participants.

It's difficult to beat 'Mother Nature'!
A new suggestion was from Portia C. in Palm Bay, Florida. She shared a bargain idea for bonsai backdrops. Portia has some large, difficult to move, bonsai and uses a piece of cardboard covered with fabric!

" ... large cardboard or plywood can be used, and sheets or fabric can be purchased at Goodwill for $2.00!"

The Rest of The Story

What does a plane have to do with bonsai?

Do you recall this beautiful sky painting being used as a backdrop in last month's issue? What we didn't see was the plane ... because it wasn't there.

The artist, Carl Rosner, has been an internet friend of many years. When he saw the old painting in BonsaiBanter, he sent me the rest of the story.

He is now 86 and decided (like many of us) to downsize. For Carl this meant selling his bonsai collection and cleaning up his special interior room.

"The room was now empty and cruddy. After twenty years of bonsai, the room needed a good cleaning."

Carl is a fine artist and also teaches. One of his students, Kaye Wallace has a cleaning service.

"She brought in two people to clean what used to be my Bonsai Room (better known by Marilyn as my 'Tree House'). The crew arrived on Wednesday at 9:30 and at 1:30 they were still at it. Marilyn and I had to leave for some needed shopping and when we came back, we had a sparkling new room!

"Kaye arrived to see how the crew was doing. She noticed and admired a sky painting, a large 30” x 40” painting, which I used as a back drop to photograph my bonsai.

"I remembered Kaye had told me many years ago, she was an international Air Line Hostess. I asked her what airline, and she mentioned Capitol. So I went on Google, and found the exact plane at a Frankfort, Germany airport and showed it to Kaye, and she excitedly exclaimed that was the plane and that they used to land there in Frankfort.

"The mental wheels started to churn and the artistic juices brought me back to the easel. I put the finishing touches on the painting and signed it.

"I must say that the canvas had been knocked around for a lot of years, so I did many, many touch ups. Since Kaye would not take payment for all the work her crew did, this was our thank you from Marilyn and me.

An old painting used as a backdrop, turned into a treasure for a friend, I love happy endings!

Creating A New Top

When you decide the original apex or crown of your bonsai is too tall, go ahead and prune it. However, have a plan for the new one!

Sometimes we make the mistake of not removing enough.

We often cut where we want the new top to be ... instead of cutting it shorter and allowing new growth to develop in the right place. Always remember to leave ‘finishing’ space.

Viewing Stones

Tom Elias, in California, was quick to post this beautiful stone on Facebook. He discovered it on a recent trip to Japan. Whether you collect suiseki or just enjoy looking,

The Viewing Stone Association of North America is now on Facebook!

Bonsai Mary Gets Mail

Jessica R. - Panama City, Florida

"I am so glad I found you! I just read your piece about root mealybugs in the soil of a bonsai and I am pretty sure that is exactly my problem ... It seems like every time I push the top soil around I see clumps of these nasty things. I am taking some samples to my husband's office tomorrow to look at them under a microscope to confirm, but I am pretty confident that's what it is I am finding. "

Jessica and I are still corresponding, I think her diagnosis was correct.

The root mealy bug (Rhizoecus) is primarily a warm climate pest. It is very common in Florida and other southern states. However, if shipped in plants, it continues to thrive indoors and in greenhouses.

These creatures are killers, but are often ignored as insignificant, or misidentified as mycorrhiza. They are neither!

Read more about root mealy bug prevention and cure.

Marko G, a student from Australia "I have had a small pot plant tree for the past few years. It was very small when I bought it at a market and I distinctly remember that I was told that it was a bonsai tree. Now looking at your website I am confused as to what this tree actually is! It has two trunks and does not look at all like the images I found online."

Marko, your plant is often called "Ginseng Ficus," this plant is actually the roots of one kind of Ficus, with leaves of another type grafted on the top.

Many types of Ficus are used for bonsai.

This particular one is considered a 'pseudo bonsai' by experienced artists. The reason is, it doesn't have the traditional appearance of tree. Yours is a fun plant to grow. Many folks get started with bonsai this way.

BonsaiMary Welcomes the ...

Bonsai Wire Caddy!

We have a new sponsor this month.

Take a minute and check them out. I could have used these products during my teaching days for sure! If you've ever had a bin of tangled wire, here's the answer.

There are two styles and both are perfect for the job!

Click on photo to visit the Bonsai Wire Caddy site

With Appreciation

With an average of 20,000 unique visitors a month to my website, I continue to "meet" many interesting people. If you have a question, an answer or a story to share, please

Contact Me

Many thanks to all my subscribers who do continue to share bonsai thoughts, questions and pictures.

A special thank you to the BonsaiMary site sponsors.

Supporting these advertisers, helps keep the BonsaiMary site alive and well.

Most Sincerely,

Mary Miller

P.S. If you have a bonsai business, consider sharing it with my visitors.

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