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Bedpan Azalea Bonsai?
February 15, 2017

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"Bedpan Azalea Bonsai"

I recently posted one of my favorite azalea bonsai photos on Facebook. Candy J. Shirey responded:

"This is a Nick Lenz creation - the 'Bedpan Azalea.' I am now the caretaker for this bonsai. Nick actually used a bedpan to mold the pot."

What a fun fact!

After almost two years in Candy's care, as you can see above, it still looks great.

An Often Neglected Source

of Potential Bonsai

Rick Jeffery sent me these "Cypress Copse" photos with the note: "Original planting and 18 months later .... really fun and really cheap!"

I asked Rick if these were collected trees or nursery stock.

"Nursery stock" was his reply and "... most of these were probably $6. back in the day ... not sure what they would cost now. I’m guessing the biggest tree in that little grouping would cost $8 or $12 ..."

Rick also mentioned that their bonsai club made several forests at a recent monthly meeting for the upcoming convention raffle.

'Moving American Bonsai Forward'

May 25 – 29, 2017

Convention in Orlando, Florida

Florida Hotel in Orlando, Florida

Presented jointly by the American Bonsai Society and the Bonsai Societies of Florida.

Click on this link for more details. 'Moving American Bonsai Forward'


Itoigawa Juniper by John Kirby

Although they look similar, the Itoigawa variety juniper was discovered as a sport on a Shimpaku juniper.

It is native to Japan, the Kurile Islands and the Itoigawa peninsula. Today many artists find it more desirable than the original Shimpaku.

An article in last month's issue of BonsaiBanter was 'The Story of the Shimpaku Juniper'

The article included a photograph from the early 1900s.

In case you missed that story, shown here is another photo from the original story.

As I reread the article, I couldn't help but be doubly amazed when I realized

"There's a photographer somewhere up there too!"

Chuck Iker Pottery

In last month's BonsaiBanter I featured a link to the video of potter Chuck Iker throwing a clay pot (including how he creates the "crackle.") Coincidentally, on the same day, the link went down for a quick fix.

It is now up and running again. You can see it on the Bonsai Pots page.

As you've probably noticed Chuck is an advertiser on the BonsaiMary site.

When I asked how the ad was working, he responded ... "I've seen about a 15% increase in traffic from direct links with BonsaiMary.

Not everything is about increased sales. I have developed some interesting relationships with overseas buyers, particularly Australia. Overseas sales can be difficult to deal with and at times and I tend to avoid selling outside the US. The Aussies are a hard group to ignore. Ive made some sales but as important some great contacts with some interesting folks.

BonsaiMary Gets Mail

(From around the World!)

Barry R. - Minneapolis, MN

Hi, I have a Trident Maple tree I received last spring in a 2 gallon growing pot. I want to reduce the root size to approximately 1/4 of what is there. Can I do that without killing the tree? If so, I understand that February is the time to do this.

On the Bonsai Care page I said "Don't be surprised if you get conflicting information about your bonsai care. Sometimes, it's a matter of opinion and experience. Other times, it is a total lack of knowledge." With that in mind, and since we rarely grow tridents in the tropics, I thought it best to find a Facebook source in Barry's area ... The Minnesota Bonsai Society

Fortunately, I received a reply with a great link to "Root Pruning Japanese Maples"

Gordon D. - Sunshine Beach, QLD, Australia

Hi Mary, thanks for a great website. I have been reading up on how to care for Bougainvillea Bonsai and found it all here on your site, thanks.

Gordon, so glad you found what you were looking for. Since Bougainvillea is one of my personal favorites, I had a lot to share!

Until Next Month

To all the folks still struggling with a bitter winter, be patient spring is coming! In the meantime, clean tools, straighten out your wire or just curl up with a good bonsai book.

To everyone else, make sure you have enough bonsai soil for the spring season.


Mary Miller

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