A trip around the nursery.

Today I took some photo's of my favorite trees at the nursery and some photo's of the nursery as well.  Not much else going on except the usual weeding.  We will be going to Marukai (A Japanese Market) in
Gardena to pick up some goodies.  We will be having friends over for our annual New Years Day feast.

Building an Ark.

It has been raining continually since Friday afternoon and the forecast is for the wet stuff until Wednesday.  We have not had flooding problems, but some nearby towns have had some problems.  We have had record rainfall for our area.  We have had half our annual rainfall in 48 hours.  My father has his bonsai collection on benches next to the side of my house.  Since the house is built on a slope, the side of the house is built up.  We have had gophers digging around under the bonsai bench.  Normally this is not a problem.  With all this rain,  one of the gopher holes got overrun with water.  This in turn undermined the soil underneath the bonsai bench.  The bricks used to build the bench fell into a sink hole about 4 feet wide and 2 feet deep.  Since one side of the bench fell over, the board with all of his specimen bonsais fell over.  We got very lucky.  Some of the tree fell directly in the soft mud with no damage to the trees.  The part of the board that fell, slid down and got caught up in our chain link fence.  The board only fell about 6 inches, if it fell another few inches, all the trees would have slid off of the bench.  So in the pouring rain, I went to a part of the property that is high and took some soil with a wheelbarrow to fill the hole.  It took about 6 wheelbarrows full to fill the hole.  I also noticed a small hole in our driveway.  Same gopher problem.  Since our driveway is made of asphalt, about one and a half feet were undermined below the drive way.  I filled the hold and diverted the water.  I hope both repairs hold up and I hope the gophers learned a lesson.

Preparing for the rain!

Today I weeded rapidly and picked up the weeds that I dug out.  I wanted to do that because it is suppose to rain for about a week straight.  Today I weeded around some black pines and I also had the opportunity to weed around the pomegranates.  The pomegranates are volunteers that pop out of the ground from the roots.   Many years ago, my father planted a row of pomegranates in the field.  He grew them until they had a base of around 3 - 4 inches.  We dug them out many years ago, but we get volunteers that come out from the root zone of the trees that we dug out.  Some of these pomegranates are becoming a nice size.  I weeded around a few of them today and also pruned them back.  I may be digging a few of them out this year to sell.  They make wonderful bonsai's.  My father has one in his collection that is about 35 years old and is carved out in the middle of the trunk from top to bottom.  It always produces lots of flowers.  My father always lets one or two of the flowers fruit.  I know what I'll be doing after the rain stops............

Wonderful Year End Party!

Our Bonsai club Year end party was yesterday.  Another picture perfect day.  It was in the 80's! In December?  Wow!  We had wonderful food and fellowship.  We ate and planned our calendar for the following year.  We are looking forward to another good year.  Today was a strange weather day.  It was extremely foggy in the morning.  Then it cleared up for a few hour.  Then came a few passing clouds.  After lunch,  I went back outside and had about an hour of clear weather, then the fog rolled in thick and heavy.  I had to go back inside to get my jacket.  I worked on weeding a few rows.  Today I worked around the Atlas cedars and around the Yatsubusa elms.  I only have about 8 Yatsubusa elm.  They are all growing in the field.  I pruned them back and realized that some of them were quite nice.  Nice movement and decent size.  I may dig one or two out for sale next year.  The Yatsubusa elm is not common.  The main characteristic of the tree is that it has a nice corking bark as the tree ages.  What distinguishes the tree from other elms is that the leaves are relatively small and narrow in shape.  The also have serrated edges as other elm leaves.  Later this week we are suppose to get more rain.  We were planning on driving to L.A. to a Japanese market to get ready for our annual New Year Day feast.  We plan on having sushi, sashimi, won tons, sukiyaki, tempura and plenty of sake and soju.  I hope the rain doesn't hamper our shopping.......

What a beautiful day!

Today was a gorgeous day.  Early in the morning, we had a slight breeze from the east ant it was already the mid 60's by 8:00am.  It turned out to be a beautiful day.  I worked on digging out some trees to replenish my sale benches.  Most of these trees will be off limit until the spring.  I want the trees to be established in there pots before I sell them.  I dug out some wonderful trident maples.  One of the tridents that I dug out had wonderful movement and taper.  I also dug out some pines and ume's.  I had a couple of customers today that came by to purchase trees to work on.  I helped them pick up a few trees.  This weekend  my son came up from L.A.  He told us about his trip to El Salvador.  We went out to dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant nearby.  It is called Guiseppes.  I had a wonderful linguine with a medley of seafood on top.  It was wonderful.  We took a wonderful bottle of wine and to top things off, my son paid for dinner!  Today we topped out at around 78 -80 degrees.  When we went out to dinner it was still relatively warm.  When we left the restaurant at around 8:00 pm  it was still 65 degrees outside.  What a wonderful day.  Tomorrow is our bonsai club Year End Party.  Friday we went to a Christmas party and cookie exchange.  I think I am reaching my limits of parties and eating sweets.  I suppose I could eat just one more cookie............

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