Two new additions to the National Bonsai Museum

Gifts come in all kinds of forms, and the National Bonsai Museum got a couple of priceless gifts this Christmas in the form of two California junipers. Read all about these additions here:


Bonsai Art of Japan by Bjorvala Bonsai Studio

For the last few months, I’ve been watching a great series that Bjorn Bjorholm produces from his experiences at Kouka-en bonsai nursery in Japan called Bonsai Art of Japan. So far, 32 episodes have been posted that run about 8 to 10 minutes each. This is an invaluable resource for any bonsai artist, but especially for the beginner. As an added bonus, I found out that Bjorn was born right here in the South.

I usually have a tough time staying still long enough to watch a 10-minute video on the internet, but a few months ago I stuck my exercise bike in front of my computer. I put the bike timer on 10 minutes and watch the video. It’s worked out great for me learning about bonsai and getting some exercise in at the same time. I’ve posted my favorite episode so far below that shows techniques on developing Japanese Maples, but I encourage everyone to start from episode 1 and watch this series.

Southern Bonsai Blog update

I’ve spent some time updating the software on the site and I hope to start blogging again soon. Seems like winter is always the time where I start reading and trying to learn more about the trees that I am busy trying to keep alive in the summer. I’ve read some great bonsai books and watched some great videos. I’ve also taken a couple of trips that I need to share. Not that I’m an expert, but just trying to help further bonsai in North America and my region, the South.

Lindsay Farr’s World of Bonsai Series 2

I just got finished watching the first episode of Lindsay Farr’s World of Bonsai Series 2 and this series continues to be fascinating (I’m a little behind since it was posted 6 months ago).  I think anyone who loves bonsai should be following this series and watching the videos.  I encourage everyone to head over to Vimeo and subscribe to this series and watch the episodes that have already been released.  If you haven’t watched World of Bonsai Series 1, then you have a lot of catching up to do, but it will be well worth your time. is the World of Bonsai web site, and here is a list of all of Lindsay Farr’s videos on Vimeo.

Let it snow!

In most areas of the country, snow is simply a part of winter. In the South, however, it *may* come once per year and most of the time that doesn’t stick to the ground. We had a really good snow this year though, and for some of my bonsai, it was their first time to deal with it. We got about 4 inches a few weeks ago (yes, I’m just getting around to blogging about it), but even with that much, it was gone by lunch. Nevertheless, here’s some pictures.

snow_2009 109

Juniper in snow

Bonsai bench in snow

Bonsai bench in snow

Air Layering Resources

Bonsai Bark did a nice series in the past couple of months on air-layering. If you have mature yard trees, a well-developed branch you need to remove, or would like the chance to start over with your nebari, then air-layering is definitely something to look into. Here’s the links:

A Simple Air-layering Technique Part 1
A Simple Air-layering Technique Part 2
A Simple Air-layering Technique Part 3

Here’s an explanation of the process and why it works over at EverGreen Garden Works:  What is Air Layering?

Some other resources:

Layering Techniques for Bonsai

Ground Layering at Bonsai4Me

Airlayering by the Texas Agriculture Extension Office

If you have any other resources about air layering and it’s relationship with bonsai, send me the links and I’ll add them to this post.

Help me ID this tree!

If you have ever needed to ID a bonsai that: wasn’t correctly labeled, didn’t have a label at all, or that you collected, then help might be a click away. If your an experienced bonsai artist, you may be able to help others ID their plants.

My Plant ID began in January 2008 as a plant identification service. People from all over the world sent us photographs of their plants and we identified them for free. The demand was overwhelming. When we realized that we couldn’t keep up with the amount of daily submissions, we knew something had to change. At the same time, there was a large number of plant enthusiasts who contacted us, eager to help identify. The result is With you help and curiosity, we hope to build myplantid into the premier plant identification website and forum.

* Identify plants online.
* Search by leaf features (arrangement, shape, margin, vein) and location.
* Submit plant image and let users identify it.
* Organize and keep track of all your garden plants online .
* Contribute by identifying plats of others.
* Registration required, free.