If you have never tried your hand at a group planting of deciduous bonsai before, this month is your chance to be guided in developing one of your own to add to your collection.

This is one of our planned focus workshops for the year, creating a group planting of a deciduous species of your choice. Suitable trees include maples, liquidambars elms or one of the deciduous conifers (Taxodium or Metasequoia).

Young trees are best suited for this style, to be spaced and grouped together in a pleasing forest setting, or you may choose a larger ‘parent’ tree, with smaller trees to surround it. Perhaps you would prefer to do two or three trees in a smaller planting, with rocks, moss and tiny companion plants to make a landscape. This is a great opportunity to be really creative with your design, while also having a lot of fun sharing ideas with other group members.

Make sure you bring all the supplies and tools you will need if you are planning to take part in this activity. In addition to your trees, you’ll need such things as wire, bonsai potting mix, moss and a suitable pot or tray.

If you are planning to plant in a shallow tray or onto a slab, you’ll also need muck to form the ‘walls’ for your setting. You can purchase this from a bonsai nursery or make your own by mixing cow manure and clay, or using another recipe of your choice. The idea is that the muck, when used, has the consistency of putty or play dough, so it is easily molded to the desired shape.

Remember that an odd number of trees works best, but if you have extras, bring them along too, so you have plenty to pick from.
Looking forward to seeing you at the workshop.