During my recent trip to Japan i managed to visit Fuyo-en. Fuyo-en is a garden that always has a high number of quality bonsai. I was a little pine-ed out by this part of my trip so it was nice to spend some time with their amazing deciduous trees. I took a number of photos which can be found HERE.

What was also nice was to see some of the recent work that was going on around the garden.

The frist bonsai i noticed of interest was what I am guessing was a flowering apricot. It had recently been grafted in a number of places. I have read that these trees often need to have young wood grafted into areas of older wood to maintain vigour and keep the bonsai compact.

The grafted bonsai.

Although the grafts looked to not have completely healed nearly all of them were  producing flowers as can be seen below.

The grafting in detail.

One of the other trees that caught my eye was a maple with an enormous nebari. The bonsai was being worked on by one of the apprentices who was wiring all the branches to the tips.

An impressive nebari

I always enjoy seeing techniques done by Japanese professionals. Even seemingly simple tasks can reveal tip and tricks when performed by someone who works at these high levels.

A freshly wired branch.

One such trick that can be learnt from the above image is the use of the little wire bracket. It has been used to gently spread two sub branches. Had this not been used, the two branches would have had to been wired with quite a large diameter wire to achieve the same spreading effect. Having avoided using a heavy gauge wire, the wire that is on the branch appears far less obtrusive than it could have. A small trick with large results.

I always look out for these little tricks when ever I am around other people’s bonsai, as I find there is always something to learn.