Time to start the New Year with a bang!

New Year Day has been a special day for our family.  We have a big Japanese feast with a lot of our close friends and family.  I also want to start out the new year with a special sale. For the month of January I will be having 20 % off on any tree in a black nursery can.  That does not include the trees in the bulb pans or the larger pre bonsai in black nursery cans.  It does include all of our regular stock plants in the black nursery cans including the landscape trees.  Also, this sale does not pertain to field grown trees or trees previously tagged in cans.  To get the discount, refer to the January discount on my blog or on facebook and let me know you saw the sale and I will deduct the  20% off of all plants in the black plastic cans.  Remember to ask George for the discount.  If you as my father he will not know what you are talking about.  I hope everyone has a safe, prosperous and Happy New Year!

Digging in the rain.

This morning was beautiful, cool and sunny.  I started out by cleaning around my bonsai benches.  I have many benches for the different varietal of trees that I prepare for shows and for e-bay.  I have benches dedicated to Japanese black pines, red pines, trident maples, cork oaks, prostrata junipers, San Jose junipers, procumbens nana junipers, ume, Chinese quince, cork elms, seiju elms and a bench for everything else.  Today I was working on filling the benches that contain the trident maples.  As I started to dig, it started to rain.  Of course I just kept on digging until the rain was steady enough for me to get soaking wet.  After a few minutes the rain went away.  I proceeded to dig out a number of trident maples.  I also transplanted some of the tridents that were in the growing pots for over a year.  I just cut back the roots, refreshed the soil and put them back up on the bench.  I also dug out some smaller crab apples.  When I have some free time, I usually try and wire trees and work on shaping the trees.  Lately I have been wiring some of the San Jose junipers that I dug out this past spring.  They are turning out quite nicely. In the next several months, you will see some of these creations on e-bay.  They are quite interesting because the trees have many jin's and shari's incorporated in the design to give the tree a greater appearance of age.

Stringing lights in the rain!

I always put up my Christmas lights when it begins to rain.  A few weeks ago it was rainy so I went to the garage to get my lights.  Last year I had a fiasco.  My icicle lights decided not to work.  I had a spare set to I fixed it, only to find out that some of the strands did not light up.  So I had to purchase new lights.  This year the lights went up quickly.  We have been getting steady rain showers over the last few weeks.  The trees are happy, but so are the weeds.  I spent most of the day weeding underneath the bonsai benches.  This spring I will have to dig a lot of trees to fill my benches.  This year has been an unusual year.  I have sold many finished bonsai.  I am not complaining, but my benches look bare.  I did not anticipate selling that many finished trees.  I will have to make many extra finished trees next year so I do not run low.  I hope everyone has a good Christmas with friends and family.  I am considering having a sale to start out the New Year.  Stay tuned for details.

Preparing for the Holidays.

prostrata before

32 gallon trashcan full of what I cut off

base of prostrata with a 20 oz snapple

after I cut the prostrata

First San Jose after pruning

first San Jose before pruning

Second San Jose before pruning

Now that Thanksgiving is over it is time to concentrate on Christmas and New Years Day.  Christmas is not a big deal because our kids are out of the house and we usually send them money.  We just have a little get together with my family at our house.  What really excites me is our New Year Day feast.  It is a tradition we started about 4 years ago.  When my parent first came to the U.S. in 1956, they did not know too many people.  They started to go the the Buddhist Church in Guadalupe.  There they met many Japanese families.  In Japan they really do not celebrate Christmas, but New Year Day is there big celebration.  So the families got together and would go to each others house to enjoy food and drink.  Every year the ladies would try to out do each other in their food preparation.  They would offer all of the familiar dishes they grew up with in Japan.  They would also get really drunk.  About 4-5 years ago we were talking about the good old days and we thought about having a Japanese feast at our house and a tradition was born.  We invited close friends and family.  We will only invite you once.  It is your responsibility to remember that you have an open invitation to come over on New Years Day.  We serve many traditional foods such as sushi, sashimi, tempura, sukiyaki and miso soup.  We also have sake and sochu.  I have also been working on cleaning up the front yard.  Mainly on pruning the junipers in front of the house.  That is the last thing I want to work on after pruning trees all day.  I have included some before and after shots of the landscape trees.  We have two large Hollywood junipers.  We also have a large prostrata juniper and two large San Jose junipers.  I have taken pictures of the prostrata and of one of the San Jose junipers.  I will try to finish the other one at a later date.  I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a blessed New Year!  Click on the photo's to see a close up shot of the trees.