Benvenuti nel mio Blog

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Carpinus Coreana

Winter has now arrived and we are witnessing the fall of the last leaves. This Korean hornbeam  was imported this year from the Franchi Bonsai company. As with all deciduous trees in the centre, I clean the plant when it loses its leaves. After removing the last dry leaves, I noticed that a simple pruning would not have been enough to tidy up the foliage. The branches are too long and intertwined with each other, so it will be necessary to reposition them with wire. The preparatory phase is always the same: eliminating dry twigs and a rough thinning. The work ahead of me is mainly wiring with aluminium and positioning all the branches. It is not a question of reinterpreting the plant, since this bonsai already has a defined structure and its own personality. It is above all a meticulous and long work of tying and opening up the vegetation. Starting with the largest gauge, I begin to wire the entire branch, taking care of the finer and more peripheral branches. The same care must be taken when wiring the branches. The movements of broadleaf trees, which are quite different from conifers in general, have softer, more delicate shapes […]

Black pine – Pinus nigra

This is the only Pinus Nigra at the Franchi Bonsai Centre. This is it in 2009 …and in 2012! The pine is very vigorous and in good health. From an aesthetic point of view it has a balanced but very symmetrical foliage. In particular, unfortunately indeed two very large low branches grow to the same height. The work began by solving these problems. The removal of the two low branches on the right side made the foliage more asymmetrical and gave the tree a greater movement on the left. This is followed by cleaning the needles and a rough pruning. The lowering of the branches and their opening concluded the first work on this pine. The front is moved to the right in relation to the original front. ..and here we are in December 2015! A few years after the last work, the folds have stabilised and the vegetation has thickened. Front Left side Right side Back With correct cultivation it is possible to obtain very small needles combined with good plant vigour. After cleaning the needles their size becomes evident: very small considering that this is a black pine. The copper wire is reapplied and the branches are once […]

Hornbeam – Carpinus Orientalis

In 2010, thanks to a dear friend, this hornbeam enters into my collection. I have always been fascinated by the trunk of this plant: good movement combined with a nice conical shape and an abundant number of branches. This is what the hornbeam looked like in 2010:   In the winter of 2011, after the plant had been allowed to vegetate freely, everything was ready to be worked on: previously, the primary branches had been selected and shaped. Now the aim is to create order and movement in the branches. The tree before shaping: Front   Right side   Back   Left side   This is the final result:   The same work is carried out again in 2014. Now the branching has increased and the work is getting larger. Here is the hornbeam at the end of the work:   And finally we come to today. After years of cultivation, the branching is getting thicker and thicker. The work ahead of me is still sorting, thinning, spinning and shaping. Naturally, as time passes, the focus shifts to the peripheral branching. It is not my intention to modify the primary branching unless necessary and in any case only marginally with […]

Juniperus Sabina

This sabina juniper is in my garden since 2008. I chose it mainly because of its long, dry appendage which I have always imagined to be a ten jin. At the time of purchase, this was the tree : The first thing I did was a good cleaning of the bark which brought out interesting details of the dry wood. This was followed by a rough selection of the branches to be left. By changing the inclination I tried to highlight the long apical jin. The next step is to cultivate aiming to thicken the foliage with a nice vigorous vegetation. Sun, fertilizer and adequate watering are the classic ingredients for achieving this goal. This was the tree in 2009:   It is time for the first shaping: the selected branches are wired and opened outwards trying to focus on the movement of the main branches. It is useless in these cases to obtain more detail. In 2010 I proceed to the first transplanting, positioning the plant with its new inclination.   In 2012 the vegetation is thick and vigorous.   It is time for the second shaping. The first thing to do is to accentuate the inclination for the […]
Apr 15

Visit to Nijo-jo Castle in Kyoto

The photos taken at Nijo-jo Castle in Kyoto during my visit in February 2018. From Wikipedia:   In 1601, Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate, ordered all the feudal lords in western Japan to contribute to the construction of Nijō Castle, which was completed during the reign of Tokugawa Iemitsu in 1626. While the castle was being built, a portion of land from the partially abandoned Shinsenen Garden (located south) was absorbed, and its abundant water was used in the castle gardens and ponds. Parts of Fushimi Castle, such as the main tower and the karamon, were moved here in 1625–26. Nijo Castle was built as the Kyoto residence of the Tokugawa shōguns. The Tokugawa shogunate used Edo as the capital city, but Kyoto continued to be the home of the Imperial Court. Kyoto Imperial Palace is located north-east of Nijō Castle. The central keep, or tenshu, was struck by lightning and burned to the ground in 1750. In 1788, the Inner Ward was destroyed by a citywide fire. The site remained empty until it was replaced by a prince’s residence transferred from the Kyoto Imperial Palace in 1893. In 1867, the Ninomaru Palace, in the Outer Ward, was the […]
Apr 15


This Phoenician juniper became part of my collection in June this year, after a dear friend decided to part with it. Not having a juniper of this variety and being a plant in an advanced state of cultivation I couldn’t resist the possibility of having it in my garden. In fact the plant is very interesting with abundant areas of dead wood and veins starting to swell. The natural movements and those created with the folds make it very interesting and dynamic. Over the years an intense work has been done to contain the vegetation that can only be done with continuous pinching. Here is the Phoenician before the works::   Front / back   Right/Left side   Some details:     After assessing the perfect state of health, it’s time to work on it. In this long work I will always have the precious help of Andrea, a very dear friend of mine. The first thing we do is a careful cleaning of the bark and vegetation. It is thus highlighted the beautiful colour of juniper in addition to all the movements often hidden by a bark too thick. I do not deny that I was very fascinated by […]