Accent Plants and Creating a Small Penjing, The Bonsai Zone, July 2021

Sharing Bonsai Creations

Video Transcript

hi everyone nigel saunders here it is hot and humid today and it could thunderstorm any minute now they’re taking down a tree in the neighborhood and i’ve got a bench that’s just full of rocks so perfect time to make a video [Music] [Applause] i need to move all my rocks off my main workbench so i can make videos so i was working yesterday i got a skid that has a plywood top on it and i’ve got it on four concrete penny pavers with some blocks of wood to raise it off the ground and then i’ll throw this uh piece of this mylar foam over top and i can place the rocks on top and that should keep them uh keep the skid in good condition so it doesn’t rot away from rain in that and a nice place to store the rocks so i can select them for my plantings i’ll move my rocks from the bench now to the skid [Music] i think this is my favorite one just love it it looks like some mountain mountain top or hilltop that’s so cool this one’s pretty cool too yeah nice one too you know i can’t complain about this one either she’s a beaut [Applause] yeah it’s got a flat bottom really cool rock kind of like this one too it’s got a flat spot there i guess it would sit like that uh i’m going to place them on the skid i’m going to try and place them by size so all the large rocks will be one area the mediums and the smalls that way if i’m looking for a rock i can just kind of look in the one area this one’s really cool yeah i like that one it’s got lots of interesting features part of the fun of these rocks is deciding which side is the side you display so cool this one’s cool it could be like that or could have a rock overhanging a lot of possibilities for it here’s the pyramid-shaped rock it’s got forced faces kind of unique yeah there’s another nice one kind of flat on the bottom got a nice rounded top with lots of features a bit of moss and everything really nice there’s another one that one looks like it could hold water in there maybe yeah i think that would definitely be the [Music] front of the rock somewhere there cool rock this one’s nice sort of getting into the medium-sized rocks now yeah that’s got lots of features on it amazing i just love it here’s one that’s a bit more angular but still nice it’s got all these lines in it really cool i like it there’s another nice one kind of a peak it’s got a lot of flat spots on it so it could either be this could be the bottom or this yeah depending how you want to use the rock really cool there’s one here flat on the bottom there it’s flat here flat there you could use it anyway but i think i think something like that would be the best side for it here’s a cool one it’s kind of again flat on the bottom all kinds of cool texture on it yeah that’s really cool here’s another one really cool again flat bottom nice rounded top to it great features on it wonderful [Music] so some rocks were kind of angular and jagged but we picked out some smooth ones because you never know you might want a landscape where you have nice smooth rocks that kind of you see this kind of look in areas where the glacier is retreated [Music] you get these smooth rocks where the glaciers glide over it and they just make it all smooth so yeah nice rock getting into the you know medium to small rocks now here’s a really nice one just got cool features it’s a nice small size great for you know penjing or anything so i’ll continue i’ll move all the rest of the rocks over to the skid and then i’ll have the bench clear and hopefully i can make a video then here’s an example of some of the smaller stones and even though they’re small they have a lot of detail in them they’re really really nice here’s another one yeah really it looks like a miniature rock another one there yeah just perfect for creating penjing so happy to get these i’ve got my bench back for making videos which is exciting except for my grasses from david so i’ll have to plant those in a pot today let’s go have a look at the rocks now so they range from largest in the front to smallest at the back so it should kind of give a a forced perspective look to the landscape i think it kind of does doesn’t it looks like some rocky terrain you would see in like uh i don’t know somewhere in the world i’ve got really nice pots that wayne from the toronto bonsai society made and i think i’ll put the grass in one of these pots so i have a look at it so this pot again it reminds me of bamboo so the grasses would be a nice a nice fit to this pot the metallic one it’s not bad it’s it’s about the same color as the plastic here kind of a dark greeny gray looks quite nice too and then i’ve got this kind of bluish gray one [Music] yeah it looks okay too maybe what i’ll do is i’ll plant most of them in the bamboo kind of pot and then i’ll plant some in this one also i think i’ll save this one for maybe a tree or something i’ll cut some screening to put in the bottom of the pot i think just covering up the large hole will be good like that so now i got the two pots ready so i’ll add some bonsai soil [Music] i’m wondering if it will come out here i think it will oh dear yeah i think it will come out of those little holes there i put screens over the small holes i think they are too large my particles will fall through so i’ll add the base layer of soil now now i’ve got to get my grass out all right let’s get there’s one plug a second plug [Music] the third plug the fourth plug i think i’m going to go for five in here and number five like that now grass usually fills in but i do want to arrange it so there’s a bit of an opening at the front something like that does that look good i don’t know maybe it looks better just evenly placed i think it’ll fill in you know as the grass grows i’ve got to decide a height too you know where i want the base of the grass to be i think right now it’s a little high so what i’ll have to do is kind of take each of these plugs you can see all the roots in the bottom and kind of comb them out so these are in bonsai soil there’s a little bit of a drainage layer on the bottom and then it looks like the fines the stuff that’s been screened out of regular bonsai soil it might be a little organic in here too but pretty good growing medium for this grass okay so that’s spread out let’s see how high it sits now that’s pretty nice so you know how i was going to kind of space them out and create a scene maybe the scene should be created by heights you know having the ones on the edges lower and then the one in the middle higher so sort of like a mound i think that would look good so i’ll do i’ll break out four of them getting them kind of flattened out so i’ll be visiting david’s place soon uh mid-july and we’ll do a bench tour and david he’s had trees in the u.s national show he’s got some fantastic trees i first met david way back when we were doing guelph bonsai shows which wasn’t you know far from when i first started in the bonsai so david’s been a staple of canadian bonsai for many many years yeah so there’s two with the flattened out root systems let’s get a third done now so these are what you call accent plants um when you display a bonsai you can have like a three-point display or a two-point display a three-point display you’d have your bonsai your accent plant and then maybe a scroll in the background something like that a two-point display you would just have your bonsai in an accent plant and the purpose of these accent plants is it conveys a location or a feeling of seasons so if i have [Music] butterfingers if i have like this grassy pot of grass it sort of denotes blushness and or maybe a prairie plain or you know somewhere where grasses grow it it doesn’t it doesn’t portray like um a jungle or a mountaintop or something like that it’s more yeah more of like a prairie or something like that to me anyway and then you know axe implants you can have them so they’re in flower maybe in spring and it denotes you know a season a spring season so if you have a pine maybe you have a flowering meadow or alpine plant beside it and it kind of conveys the feeling of spring if you have a plant that has fall colors as your accent plant well it kind of conveys fall so it can convey seasons it can convey the location it can be something that maybe color complements so maybe you have an accent plant that’s very colorful as opposed to a planar bonsai or maybe the opposite maybe your bone size is really colorful and you want something to mute it down so your accent plant is very plain in color so you can play around with the artistic side of it quite a bit so this is my one in the center and i’m just going to tease out the roots a little bit i’m going to leave the gravel in there and everything because that’s all good so that’ll go in the middle and i’m wondering because i have these flatter ones on the outside i think i need more in the middle to create that mound so i’m going to use more than the five when i look at it it just looks a little skimpy in the middle it looks like it needs more you know denser grass in the middle so i’ll put those really close to each other i think i’m going to end up using all these these grasses for the one planting which is okay okay that’s looking good and then i’ve got two more so they can go each side of that okay so the final one give it a bit of a rake here i’ll have to ask david i i’m not sure what kind of grass this is but he said it was a nice fine grass and it might look good a lot of these grasses you can prune them too you can you know like a lawnmower you just cut them down to height if you they’re getting too tall but these ones are going to some kind of a seed or flower on them okay so that’s that’s looking nice it’s kind of mounded up a bit i think that’ll do i’m going to fill it in with bonsai soil now all right here i go with the bonsai soil just kind of put it around filling in the planting you just tamp it down the soil kind of get contact with the roots so it doesn’t look very good when you show the soil like this it kind of spoils the lushness of it so i think on this one i’m going to plant some moss around the outside of it okay so off to get some moss now i’ve got my moss collected so i’ll give it a water it’s pretty dry we haven’t had rain in a while it’s been really hot and humid but no rain that’s supposed to come today so that should get it all soaking and soften it up i’ll give my uh planting a watering too all right here i go with that soil’s draining really well while i’m waiting for the moss to soak up the water i’ll give you a few updates let’s start with the moss that’s on the little cedar spirit tree so that was just a you know dried up miserable looking moss just like i just picked and now you can see how nice and lush it’s getting looking really nice nice and velvety how’s it going let’s head over and look at the linden tree it’s all in bloom now [Music] there’s all kinds of insects on the flowers if you look up here and they just love the flowers so the leaves are really really tiny this year which worries me a little bit they’re so small but i don’t know i think once the flowers are done i’m going to remove all the flower buds so the tree gets a little more strength going into the foliage instead of just making flowers and seeds so maybe it’s just kind of weak from last year where it had a lot of flowers too but it smells beautiful and it looks fantastic my sarissa tree that i prune back creating those pads or layers has filled in and i think it looks really good now i think it probably looks its best so i’m going to check i’ll put the uh how long it’s been i’ll check on my past video where i pruned it and you’ll see how long it took from the time i pruned it to before the canopy filled in with all the new growth and you can see some of it is extending here so it needs pruning just the odd one needs a bit of pruning but yeah looking really good the leaves are nice and miniature it’s filling in nicely i still have my my kind of pads on the tree they’re still defined just enough my nightshade vine is really filled in again after its last pruning you can see all the suckers came back i’ve got a bit of liverwort at the base but not much i think this aquarium gravel did a pretty good job of keeping that keeping it away so yeah i can see it’s getting some flowers on it here even up here so i think it’s due for a pruning pretty soon i’ll let it grow a little longer i don’t want energy going into making flowers i’ll wait till fall i’ve got some new tables out here i had this one that was indoors in the plant room i moved that outside in spring and then over here i have another another one of these steel frames so i put a skid on top and i’ve got some of my trees my sequoia seedlings here which are doing really well i’ve got let me see how many good ones i have one two three four five six seven eight nine 10 11 12 13 14. so i’ve got 14 kind of strong seedlings growing some of them didn’t make it that’s why i moved it outside i thought it have a better chance outdoors than in the greenhouse and they seem to be doing well my walnut tree here growing quite nicely yeah so i’ve got a few i’ve got my brazilian rain tree out on the skid here my ficus rumpfy here and my willow my willow leaf ficus over there and then i move this bench over into the sun and it’s got ficus religiosa quite an old one i’ve got my two little leaf ficus benjamina that i did all the root work on and i’ve got my royal oaks on it and they’re they’re doing really well nice small leaf size uh the trunks are getting thicker and they’re growing quite tall now looking really good okay i’m back to the bench now so i’ve got my moss soaking here i think that’s good i can kind of scrape off some of the soil on the back surface and then plant it around the grasses all right here i go i’ll start with this strip and just kind of rub the back surface a bit and then i can put it around here kind of pressing it into the bowl size soil it’s good to keep a little bit of the soil on the back i used to rub it right off and it worked well too but i think it’s better to leave a little bit of that fine kind of silt or clay that the moss is growing in helps keep it alive in drier weather and once all these grasses start growing by themselves you know sorting themselves out they’ll look really natural as they grow in the pot they’ll start filling in the empty areas and hopefully anyway here’s a look at quackers now and you can see how big here she is hello hi look at you now big bubbles you still have little tiny wings and big feet like that means you’re going to grow a bit hey quakers hi you’re almost as tall as laura’s boots now look at that yeah that’s quackers grew up quickly i decided to try a few rocks in the grass planting so i haven’t pushed them down yet but here’s a look at it so i’ve kind of got a flat one off to this side and a kind of uh some in the middle and another one over this side just to kind of tie it all together i think it looks kind of cool i think it looks like a more of a little landscape i’ll play around with the rocks a little more and try getting them in a better position i’m just placing some moss kind of around the rocks and that kind of makes them look a little more planted i’ve got my accent plant all cleaned up and mossed and rocks in there and i think it looks really cool it’ll change a lot over the summer as the grass fills in i’ll rotate it around so you can see it from all directions so here i go [Music] yeah i think it looks good from every side i think this is definitely the front up here but looks good from the back too yeah so that’s my accent plant my grasses that david got me fantastic a long time ago i 3d printed this little tiny pot and i painted it up to look like kind of a cracked ceramic glaze on it here it is and i don’t want to put a tree in here because it’s so shallow and i have a hard job keeping the you know the very small plants alive [Music] so i always wanted to plant a rock in here to have sort of like a a miniature mountain or something like that and just grow moss on it so it was going to be a moss planting with cool rock and i just so happened to have some really cool rocks now so i’m going to pick out a rock for this and we’ll plant this little pot this 3d printed pot here’s a close-up look at the 3d printed pot so it’s very tiny very shallow so i’ll i’ll get some rocks and i’ll try out a few different ideas with the pot you know maybe a very small rock maybe a medium-sized one maybe a tall one i’ll try different combinations and see see what looks good here’s quite a large stone let me try that i think it’d be i think that’s too big here’s a smaller one i think that’s looking about right so i think that kind of a size looks good i’m going to look around and see if there’s any other rocks that size that would look good i could have a series of rocks so maybe you don’t want that size there and another one here like that kind of like islands or something i could have a very jagged looking rock i don’t know if that would look good i don’t think so looks okay that but possibility i have a very long rock i think that’s too big still i have kind of a distant mountain shape that looks a little too small i’ve got kind of a flat rock i think that looks a bit small too i’ve got one that could kind of make a cliff or something maybe looks kind of cool that if you had another rock on this side very reminiscent of the yeah very reminiscent of the sort of chinese landscapes chinese binging doesn’t quite balance that rock but you have to glue it down or something or can i find a different face i don’t think any of the others are as dramatic yeah but something like that would work not really after a chinese landscape though that looks kind of cool and maybe even a third rock back here yeah that’s kind of a cool landscape kind of liking this multi-rock idea interesting i’ll keep playing around maybe i’ll find some other rocks i was trying out a little larger a rock and looks kind of cool in this pot i don’t know maybe that’s just too big i don’t know you don’t want a flat face kind of facing forward you want some kind of drama in the rock see that’s a pretty good view there we have the peak up here and it tapers back i think it might be just a little big for the pot though there’s another kind of taller rock maybe a two or three rock combination here’s a two rock combination that looks quite nice this one kind of you want that asymmetrical triangle you know the highest peak this one kind of has a flat face there which looks good it leads your eye to the peak maybe the peak and then maybe even another rock back here i don’t know that looks okay i’ll think about it i looked at a lot of rocks and tried them out in the pot and i think this looks good i’ve got kind of a taller one here and another one nested beside it i think that’ll look quite nice so i’m going to put a drainage screen in the pot and i’ll plant a thin layer of moss and then the rocks will just stick out and i think that’ll look pretty good i’ve cut a drainage screen for the pot so that just slips in like that [Music] and i don’t think i’ll put a layer of soil i think i’ll just use the you know the silt that’s underneath the moss and i think that’ll be about the right height in this pot so here’s my moss oops yeah i think that’ll be perfect kind of that height so i’ll get the rocks in here [Music] [Applause] and i’ll play around with the position of them trying to get you know the most interesting face of the rocks something like that i think i’m going to want [Music] the rocks up a little bit so they’re not sitting on the screen i think that would be a little low in the pot so i’ll put a little bit of bonsai soil in all right so just put a little bit in i think that’s going to do it i can place the lock there just so they’re not sitting quite so low i’ll have to get some more moss i’ve run out okay let me get some more moss i’ve got some more moss so i’ll give it a soaking i find if i leave the moss you know this the parts i haven’t used i just leave them in this tray which is just a drip tray for a bonsai pot and the amount of water in here keeps them really green and healthy for the whole year so you can just leave it in this tray all summer and it stays nice and green i’ll continue the moss planting now so i want to get this nice green stuff kind of here by the rocks and all this muscle green up over the next you know a few days as i continue to water it and something like this could be used as an accent plant it’s not really an accent plant but it’s a an accent planting i guess is the word so something yeah something like this could be you know accompany your bonsai in a show okay i think that is planted [Music] i’m going to give it a watering all right here i go let that soak in and give it another like that here’s a look at the planting now it looks very miniature if you see my hand beside it you know it’s something you can pick up very easily yeah i think it looks quite nice so that could be used as an accent with a bonsai planting you know a little moss garden beside your tree [Music] i’m really happy with my little rock and moss garden there’s one more little task i’m going to do today and that’s to plant that baobab seedling that germinated here’s a look at my accent section on the bench i’ve got my grasses from david my rocks that we collected a couple of days ago and my fern [Music] nice little section of the bonsai garden if you like moss and moss plantings like this check out a channel it’s called cherry chee and she’s got some fantastic plantings that she makes she makes the planters herself plants the moss and shows you how to take care of it really awesome channel i’ll put a link to it in the description below bought my baobab seeds out of the greenhouse which are in a damp cloth and i’ve got a pot here from tom from growing clip bonsai for seniors a youtube channel i’ll put a link to that in the description below also so let’s get out the uh the seedling that’s germinated all right in here somewhere there it is right there there’s my bear bob embryo there’s a few bugs on it but they’ll they’ll go away soon enough so you can see it’s almost out of the shell and usually you help them along come on off you go bugs usually you kind of pull the shell off if you can i’m just going to try and get it off here here it comes [Music] there it goes there so there’s the leaves it’s all ready to grow just needs to be planted i’ll put it right in the middle here get that root down into the soil gotta be careful not to damage the root and then i’ll just kind of pile the soil up a bit like that leaving the top exposed and then it’ll get a good watering so here i go i’ll put the little seedling back in the greenhouse you can see it there and hopefully it’ll grow mighty and strong out of all those babab seeds i’ve got three underway over here which is cool and then over this side i have the new one there and i’ve got my two baobabs from last year that are growing nice and strong so that’s pretty good i’ve got one two three four five six on the go so that’s awesome i really had fun today getting my grass accent plants planted my little moss garden and my baobab planted so that’s all for today i’m nigel saunders thanks for joining me in the bonsai zone i’ve got a rock full of benches they’re cutting a tree down on the neighborhood

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