Well, we have made to the end of the year and now only the December bonsai jobs remain before it all
starts over again.
And as the countdown to the holiday season begins, the list of bonsai specific jobs starts to tail off. So instead we have a month of general maintenance, contemplation and personal improvement to tempt you.
Work first and pleasure later – let’s run you through this month’s jobs.
Give your tools an end of year clean
Having got through the year, you may now be thinking of putting your tools away for the winter. But before you do so, it is a good idea to give them a little maintenance first.
Maintaining your tools will help prolong their life, no matter what they cost . The process for maintaining your scissors, trimmers and secateurs is as follows:
- Clean off any dirt from the tools and dry them thoroughly
- Rub down the blades using wire wool or emery paper
- Sharpen the blades if necessary using a whetstone
- Apply a little camellia oil to protect the blades from rusting and keep things moving
- Always store your tools with the blades closed and in a dry place
Clear snow from trees
While outdoor trees can take a little frost and snow, it’s advisable to clear snow from your trees. This will help evergreens to convert sunlight to energy, particularly non-coniferous evergreens. It also stops the snow from melting and adding more water into the pot.
If we do have any snow this winter, wait until it has stopped before popping out to give your trees a quick brush over to remove the bulk of the snow.
Alternatively, you could move your trees to a sheltered spot in advance if the weather forecast is
Learn new skills
During the dark nights, there is plenty of time to seek out new skills and knowledge online. While this can be done all year round, we all have better things to do during the lighter evenings.
You can search the internet for all sorts of new skills, but here are some ideas to get you going:
Online Bonsai Courses from Bonsai Empire
Getting Started – This 1 hour online course will show you how to create your own Bonsai tree in 5 well-explained steps. No theory, this is about doing it yourself!
Bonsai Beginners Course – This 1.5 hour online course will teach you the basics of Bonsai, and assist you in the growing and styling your own Bonsai trees.
Bonsai Fundamentals Course – During this 2 hour online course, you will learn about the principle concepts of Bonsai; Plant physiology, Japanese aesthetics and Design.
Bonsai Intermediate Course – In this 3.5 hour online course, you will learn about the mechanics of wiring, delve into the aesthetics of design, and expand your knowledge of Bonsai.
Advanced Bonsai Course – This extensive 6 hour online course will provide you unique access to the latest and most advanced Bonsai techniques.
Shohin Bonsai Course – Spread over 5 hours, this online practical course will cover the somewhat specialist subject of growing and displaying Shohin bonsai trees.
Complimentary Online Courses
There are plenty of other skills that you can learn which will complement your bonsai skills.
Photography – Taking a photography course will help to improve the photographs you take of your bonsai collection. You can find courses from beginners to advanced level locally or online.
Drawing – Taking a drawing course will help if you would like to be able to to draw a sketch mock-up of a tree that you will be working on.
Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop classes – These software packages are great if you’d like to be able to enhance your photographs.
YouTube is a great place to find inspiration, and the dark winter nights are the perfect time to spend watching bonsai videos.
You’ll find all sorts of videos on YouTube, and the quality varies greatly. But you can definitely find some good material to inspire your bonsai in 2020.
Here are some of our favourite YouTube channels to get you going:
We’d like to wish you a very happy festive period. Time to put your tools down and enjoy the time out, because it will all start again soon enough!
Best Wishes from Beechfield Bonsai.