Friday I gave a tour to a local resort retirement community. It shows the differences in the micro climates that exist here. I went to the retirement community to have people follow me to the nursery. The distance is about 3 miles. When I got there, I sat down on a bench in front of the Art center. It was beautiful with a slight breeze. When people gathered and were ready to go, I reminded them to make sure they had a hat and plenty of water because the nursery was very hot. When we go to the nursery and got out of our cars, the nursery was notably warmer. Strangely, the back of the nursery is warmer then the front of the house where everyone parked. As I started to give the tour of the nursery, the breeze died down and the nursery got hotter. It was easily 12-15 degrees warmer at the nursery. We were pushing 90 degrees! When we got to the private collection in the backyard, everyone started to go behind the bonsai benches in the shady area next to the house. I tried to describe each bonsai quickly so we could get out of the heat. After the private collection, I showed them all the bonsai's under the shade screen which are the ones that we sell. The shade cloth cools the surrounding area down by around 8-10 degrees. After the tour was over, people wandered around the nursery on their own and a few of them picked out plants for their landscape and a couple of people bought bonsai's. Saturday was a very hectic day at the nursery. I was expecting two customers that called earlier in the week. A few others dropped in unannounced. It was busy, warm but lots of fun. Sunday was our bonsai club meeting and most of our club members showed up. Another unexpected surprise. We had an old club member that had moved away show up at our meeting. He brought his first tree that my father had helped him with. My father helped him with the tree over 40 years ago. It was a beautiful foemina juniper in a formal upright style. We also gained a new member. She brought an unusual cypress that we managed to style into and informal upright style. She also brought a little flowering plant that we styled into a cascade bonsai. I did not see the small thorns until I started helping her wire her tree. Oh well, such are the sacrifices of a bonsai artist.
This morning started out warm. I did the watering early so I could get to my weeding. I weeded the entrance to the nursery and also weeded the backyard. That is no small feat. There were quite a few weeds and it took me most of the day. I wanted to clean the back because I am giving a tour tomorrow. I teach classes and do different things for this local housing development so our bonsai club can use their art room for meetings. This month I thought I would keep it simple. The digging period for this year is coming to a close and my last customer to dig field grown trees is coming Saturday morning. Tomorrow is suppose to be another scorcher and the weekend is going to cool down slightly.
Yesterday I spent time unloading the van from this past weekend. The sales at the California Bonsai Society convention were terrific. I also purchased some bonsai pots. I finally got them all priced and put away. I worked on digging out some pines for customers who will not be able to pick them up by the digging cut off date. I will dig them and put them in a container for the customer to be picked up later. I also dug out 10 shohin size black pines for a customer that wants to use them at the shohin convention in 2014. Now things are back to normal. I started to weed some troubled areas. We had a nice rain over the weekend, but nice rain equates to nice size weeds. I am a little late on starting the pine air-layers. I think I will start on a few each day so that I do not get overwhelmed by the process. I also had an interesting discussion with a customer about air-layering a cork oak. I had not heard of anyone trying to do this before. The customer said that it can be done. I might need to do some experimenting on my own.