Happy New Year!

Today I went shopping for some Japanese ingredients for our New Years party. I also had a customer come by. It is a great way to send out 2009. I have great anticipation for 2010. I have been preparing trees throughout the spring and fall months. I will start selling some of these trees in the coming weeks. I have planned far in advance of selling the trees. I will be able to be consistent in updating my stock for e-bay. I will also be able to offer a more refined tree to my customers that visit me. I can do all of this without raising the prices, because I planned my workload to reflect greater future sales. I hope all my planning and work will make 2010 a banner year for the nursery. 2009 was full of ups and downs. I will continue to plan well ahead of time to be able to keep up with the increasing demand. I have also started some very interesting cuttings. I have take some fairly large cork elms, ume, chinese elm and other varietals from cuttings. I know that taking large cuttings are harder to root. However, I am working on a method that should give me a better success rate. I will tell you my method if it works. I hope everyone has a very safe New Years Eve. If you drink, don’t drive! If you drive, drive safely. I also wish everyone a wonderful, exciting and prosperous New Years! I will be thinking of you when I am stuffing my face New Years Day on delicious Japanese food….

Relaxing through the holidays.

Okay, you caught me! I should be out working but I have been relaxing in the house with my family. I have been finishing up on some weeding and trimming of the elms, in between my relaxing moments. All my kids came up for Christmas and we had a good time. We opened gifts, ate too much and played lots of board games. Now for cleaning up the trash and getting ready for New Years. We normally have friend over for Japanese food on New Years day. This year will be no exception. I hope everyone had a good Christmas. Cheers to everyone for a healthful and prosperous New Year!

Working on the elms/helping customers

Today I was working on finishing up the pruning on the Chinese elms. There are a few that have a very nice trunk size. I will be offering a few of them on e-bay later next year. I have had quite a few customers in the last week. Christmas is usually fairly slow for me. However, this Christmas has been quite different. I think I have had a few customers every day over the last week. I also had a few today. After the Chinese elms, I have started to work on the cork bark elms. Most of them are quite small. I have two that are huge, perhaps 3-4 inches at the soil level. I will not be selling those until next year. I have a lot of new shoots that are coming out from where I dug the cork elms last year. In the spring, I will dig out the new shoots and replant them elsewhere in the field. That will require a lot of maneuvering of the trees. The cork elms are quite popular and I need to increase the number of trees to keep up with future demand. I hope everyone is not too stressed out for the holidays. Have a Merry Christmas and a healthful and prosperous New Year!

What a beautiful day for bonsai!

Today was a perfect day. The morning started out cool and started to warm quickly. We hit a high of 72 degrees and tomorrow will be slightly warmer. I have been working 0n pruning the Chinese elm trees in the field. I prune the trees in the order in which they drop there leaves. Some of the elms in the ground have a nice size. After pruning back the Chinese elm, I will start working on the cork elms. My father is working on removing all the wire on our bonsai’s. That is no small feat. We have hundreds of trees with a lot of wire on the trees. Tomorrow I am going to give a tour to a gentleman who is turning 90 in a few days. He has always been interested in bonsai and his daughter found out about the nursery and wanted to surprise him. She is flying in from Georgia and he lives in Santa Barbara. I guess it is never to late to start enjoying bonsai…

What a party!

Last Sunday was our annual Year End party. The turn out was light, but those who attended had a wonderful time. We held our usual critique in the morning, followed by a Santa Maria style BBQ. We also made plans for the upcoming 2010 bonsai year. Last, but not least was our raffle. It amazes me how much participation we get for our raffle. The raffle is one of our biggest fundraisers for our club. We got about 2 1/2 inches of rain in the last storm. That means I will not have to water the trees in the field for a few months. Hooray! I have been working on removing more of the pine air layers that I have been working on. It is interesting how they are staggered on root development. I started the over 200 air layers within a week period in late May. I was able to take some of them off in September, a few in October and I took another dozen off today. What I do to check for readiness is that I slide the cups down to check for root growth. If the cup is full, I cut the air layer off. I thought most of them would be ready now, however with the cool weather we have been having the roots are slow to develop. I am continuing to clean up and work on the trees I dug out this fall. I am trying to prep them for the upcoming conventions. The Shohin convention is in early February and the Golden State collection North holds their annual sale at the end of February. Remember to protect your trees that are frost tender. Also, make sure to check on the watering from time to time. You will not have to water them that often, but you will need to water them. I take my frost tender plants and put them into a greenhouse(old chicken coop). I have to remind myself to check inside the greenhouse to check on the plants. When it rains, I forget to think about the greenhouse so I have a reminder notice in the office to check in on the plants. I hope everyone is staying warm. Try not to eat too much at all of the office and Christmas parties like I have….

Next Page »