We're currently busy removing all flowers and doing a rough pruning to stimulate the production of flower buds for next season. For the next few posts, I want to share a few of my impressions, starting with the preparations for exhibiting the trees.
There are several exhibitions for azalea bonsai around the Tokyo area in the end of May, I heard the words Kanuma, Tochigi, Ueno park and Meiji Jingu tossed around a lot. In addition, we arrange an exhibition ourselves, showing off our own and our customers' trees. For all of the exhibitions, we gather all of the trees at Shunkaen, make sure they are in top condition, make sure they are well watered through and transport them to and from the venues. Around mid May there was an impressive collection of trees, kept under roof to protect the flowers from rain, giving lots of sun to bring out the flowers on slow specimens while keeping the ones in full flower in the shade. I got to help with putting moss on the trees and cleaning the trunk and visible branches from green algae, mostly using a toothbrush. Some of the customers had done the moss-job themselves, it was fun comparing the different styles. One principle is to keep brighter shades of moss between and around the surface roots to bring them out a much as possible. Another style is to create the image of sunlight coming in from above by arranging lighter patches of moss in front center of the pot, perhaps going off slightly to one side, taking the outline of branches on the front of the tree into consideration.
|My first moss job.|
|Before scrubbing the trunk and putting moss|
At this stage, I think I know what I like when I see it, getting there is the challenge, getting there fast is just plain difficult.
|Done by Yoda-san who started one month before me. I was impressed.|