In September 2018 this juniper chinensis enters in my collection. A tree with apparently no particular virtues, but I was actually intrigued by its sinuous trunk. As soon as I saw I felt grace, movement, energy….yes, this is a tiny dancer I thought! She will be a flamenco dancer and I will call it Carmen!
It is a common juniper chinensis with a slightly light colour. The needle, although not as interesting as a kishu or itoigawa variety, is appropriately thick and compact. Health is good and vigour well distributed.
The front is obvious, given previous workings on the tree. My contribution here won’t denaturalize the previously executed work, but it will certainly add a lighter and more dynamic look. By the way, it’s perfectly understandable: a bonsai is a living sculpture in continuous evolution and even if the previous workings are well done, with time it inevitably loses shape and definition. This is the right time to restore and redefine this juniper.
Front / Back
Right side / Left side
Definitely the trunk sinuous directions are the main focus of this tree…soft and light, with a vein of wood that accompanies the trunk curves. Necessary and long was the restoration work of the wood. inside the wood was rotten and it was necessary to remove the degraded material.
Design speaking: the idea is to tilt the plant a bit to highlight the curves and the dynamic sense of juniper. It will be also Important to shift the apex to the left in order to balance the tree. Normally I love plants with a strong directionality but on this occasion I would prefer to create a very balanced bonsai where the branches, following the movement of the trunk, caress it with the vegetation.
I would demo on this juniper at the bonsai exhibition “town of Trevi” organized by the Association Umbria Bonsai of Foligno (PG)
It will be a four-handed demonstration together with Andrea who, also on this occasion, honours me with his precious help
The work flows fast and quiet: selection, protection, wiring and positioning of branches.
There are no particular technical difficulties. only in a couple of occasions, just to be sure, we decide to protect the branches. The branches are opened and lowered while every single tuft is positioned outwards and upwards. The peripheral vegetation in fact, being the youngest, can only assume this position!
The only uncertainty was on the use of a nice low branch. The initial project did not foresee it, but during the work I had a doubt and I decided to use it…cracked, protected and bent…and finally eliminated! Of this branch remains only a small Jin at the bottom right. with hindsight the decision was right. A branch in that position would have, in my opinion, made the plant more static.
After a few hours of work the final result was this:
Front / Back
Some details of juniper
….and of course the photo of the day: Me, Andrea and Carmen! Really a handsome trio!!