This will be my last post for a few days as I am going to be decidedly busy. However if you pop back, I am sure I will be posting topics of interest for you.
Well eventually my trees turned up yesterday, or rather some did and some didn't. Who would have guessed it Huh? I got four new trees delivered yes a staggering four new trees. So first their late, then not all of them turn up. Could it get any worse? Of course it could, we are talking about me after all, it can only get worse. So four trees turn up but guess what, they are not on a pallet! No, they arrive in the back of a truck lashed to the sides. It seems that they guy who attempted the first delivery; remember him. He got chased by the lion dog apparently. He reported that his truck was too big to get down my drive. (My recommendation for him is to watch a few episodes of ICE ROAD TRUCKERS!).
So he went back to the delivery companies depot and decided they needed to be put on a smaller vehicle. Only now the guy who drives the small truck says the pallet is too tall for the small truck! (You could not write this could you).
So guess what, some bright spark decides to break the pallet down and deliver the trees individually.
It gets worse, yes really, bare with me! When they break down the pallet there are two trees on the pallet and two trees stacked on top of the two trees on the pallet! Not the companies fault but the guy with the recent lobotomy who sent them. It gets worse, stick with me. The two trees on top of the two trees are on their side, and so all the soil, medium, potting compost, call it what you like has come out of the pots. So I have two squashed trees and two bare rooted trees. Really I could not make this up, it's like 'Carry on Bonsai' but without Sid James and co. Shit at least then I might be laughing............I think!
So I get this rather sheepish guy get out of a van asking 'Is this Shades Farm?' Now I am not sure if he was nervous due to the legend of the lion dog or wary of the owner of said dog who was going to chew his ears off as soon as he opened the back of the van to reveal all.!
Then to add insult to injury, he asked me to pay him first....OOPS! Red rag to a bull! So I explained to him how things work in Steve's world ! "£$%^%$£&&*****+_&^%$£" young man!
So do you think I could find a positive from all this. After all I lecture my daughters even now about 'Cup half full not half empty'. Well go on guess!
Yes I did, I am not the Tollster for nothing. By putting two trees on their sides resulting in the subsequent loss of soil, obviously the roots had been exposed. Or had they? Shit, what roots? The tree had no roots. So as I lifted the first tree off the van I got my camera out to record this discovery. By doing the unthinkable and here I mean putting the trees on their sides, I was now aware that the tree had no roots. Had it arrived as it should have, I would have been non the wiser (Cup half full).
I would have been happily tending to a tree with no roots and believing the details of when it was apparently collected. It's amazing how things unfold and sometimes for the good as in this case. Although it's little consolation for what has transpired. But I have to try to put a positive spin on this to keep myself sane and to stop myself turning into Paul Kersey. For the non film enthusiasts among you, Paul Kersey is Charles Bronson's character in the film 'Death Wish'.
A vigilante who goes out killing the bad guys who get away with doing bad things.
And you all think this bonsai lark is easy, I know. Buy some trees, bend em, take the money. Yes I have heard it all before. You have no idea how hard I work to make it look easy (laughing). So what next in the 'Carry on Bonsai' saga. Watch this space!
Anyway on a more positive note, because one or two of you were moaning about me not telling you about the new project other than it was a deciduous tree. I thought I would post a picture. I was going to anyway, but I had to keep you waiting. It's bit like a singer taking a curtain call. You go off stage, the curtain comes down and you keep the audience waiting, and waiting and a bit more, and then you go back out and do the encore. Then they appreciate it.
So here is the deciduous encore!
As Rolf Harris would say, "Can you guess what it is yet".
It's an Eleagnus, sorry about the pot. It is what the tree came in and it is temporary, honest. It can stay in that pot now until I am ready to exhibit it, which is a long way off. The main thing now is to get a good fibrous root system established and then I can see about developing the branch structure.
I have plenty of time to consider what pot style and colour I want for the tree. And even when I have the pot in my possession I will not be re potting the tree. It will not benefit being re potted again. It only needs the new pot for exhibition, and nothing more. The way to think of the final pot for a tree is like putting the tree in it's Sunday best. And it only needs that when it is ready for exhibition and nothing more. Sat in my nursery, it could be in a plastic bucket or a box it does not matter as long as it is growing well. To re pot simply to see it in a new pot is purely to satisfy ego. People are too quick to re pot trees in the UK and also people re pot far too often. You can only develop a good fibrous root system with time. Re potting a tree too often is not conducive to establishing a network of fibrous root. There are no quick fixes to successful bonsai growing, and anyway I do not subscribe to any of the McDonald's Bonsai 'Fast Track' ideas that abound. The slow way, is the faster way in the end. Think about it.