15 Ways to Get Squirrels to Leave Your Potted Plants Alone

Bonsai hobbyists and gardeners alike who have squirrel problems know that squirrels are not adorable Snow-white esque sweeties. They’re furry tree rats and prolific breeders who are relentless in their destruction. Turns out, the Eastern Gray Squirrel is common for about the entire east half of the United States and up into Canada. They’re gray and brown with white bellies …

October: Japanese Boxwood (Top-Bottom-Top)

My nursery pick for October is another Japanese Boxwood. This one is different because, well, it’s actually some good pre-bonsai material. It has a nice thick trunk relative to the tree, and nebari on it. Which all together is more than I expect for a big box nursery tree and $20 or less. This one was from Home Depot, price …

September: Topiary Gone Bonsai (Eugenia)

Topiary and Bonsai are almost like cousins. Both are practices that shape plants into something unnatural that we’d like them to be. Bonsai makes little trees. Topiary makes bushes and trees shaped like… stuff.   In order to get a ball of foliage you have to trim your material, and as we know that may just give you a thicker …

August: Clearance Rack Bonsai (Duranta Erecta)

It’s pretty common advice: Whenever you go to your garden center, if you see a clearance rack, give it a once over. You can get a bargain on decent pre-bonsai material. Garden centers are generally catering to people looking to plant in their yards (or their patios, or business grounds, or whatever, you know what I mean). What’s desirable for …

July: Bulging-trunk Bonsai (Ficus Microcarpa Mallsai)

Have you ever done something and while you’re doing it you know you’ve made a mistake?  My ficus microcarpa pick for the month I had that feeling about. If you’re not sure what I mean I’ll give you an example.  Yesterday I made homemade pretzels with my daughter. We followed the recipe and mixed the dough. But it would not …

June: Loropetalum Bonsai Three Ways

This month’s find is a loropetalum. I’ve had them on the brain since they were done a couple weeks ago at my local bonsai club. As such it was no surprise that I found this as my pick for the month. I found it at Home Depot for $10.98.   Why Did I Pick This One? All the others were …

10 Lessons Learned from the ABS / FBS 2017 Bonsai Convention

Last weekend I found myself at the American Bonsai Society / Florida Bonsai Society 2017 Bonsai Convention. I was only there two days for an assortment of reasons. But it was two FULL days and I did learn a lot. After such an adventure, I like to review and see what I’ve learned. Looking back I can find ten things …

May: Root bound Japanese Boxwood

This one was a touch my fault. I bought a small Japanese Boxwood from a big box store two months ago. I did see a touch of roots at the bottom of the pot but life happened and I didn’t get a chance to repot it for a while. I chopped off the top and figured I’d repot later. With …

Why is My Bonsai Dying?

After years of trying to grow bonsai, one of the things I’ve learned for sure is the answer to the question “why is my bonsai dying?”   What I’ve learned is that this question is basically the same as when my Mom says “Why doesn’t my computer work?” The answer is, there are so many possible things that may be …

Review: Bonsai / Haws Watering Cans

If you’ve just begun with bonsai you might not think about bonsai watering cans.  It would seem natural to think that though the pots and the soil mix are different, surely a watering can for potted plants works just as well on bonsai. I can tell you from experience this isn’t so. For watering your tiny trees and tiny pots …