Well it's been a while since I have updated this site, and so today in a moment where I find myself with some time on my hands, I decided to update this site.
2008 was an extremely eventful and busy year for me, so much so that I did not have the time to photograph any progressions during the last growing season.. My collection is coming along nicely. On a positive note, I was able to finally rid my tropicals of any pests that has plagued them at one point in time or another. A good spraying of "Sevin" a couple of weeks before bringing them back in last fall, followed by a spraying a couple of days before actually bringing them in was sufficient. The latter titbit I got from Jim Lewis from IBC, he is always recommending "sevin" and thought that since the cautious "bonsai approach" didn't provide positive results in the past, I had nothing to loose. It paid off and now 5 months later no sign of any pests on my beloved tropicals.
Although retired I found myself working once again in order to pay for large projects that required to be done, hence why my participation in this "blog" and on the net has been sporadic. Furthermore, finding something of substance these days on the forums, worth the time and effort of a good discussion is almost next to impossible. There has been some worthy discussions and events that transpired last year, but generally it was pretty quiet.
The outdoor collection is coming along quiet nicely. My main Hinoki will be repotted this spring and styled towards the end of the growing season. The maple I acquired a couple of years ago will probably see a pot next spring, choosing this upcoming season for growth once again or a screen sided pot for root development.
Cotoneasters grow like weeds in my climate and I will be focusing on their development in years to come. I have 2 planted out that will get their initial styling this spring. Because of the relative ease and responsiveness of the tree to the clip and grow techniques, I will be adding several more to my collection in the future. These along with boxwoods will be my main if not my entire focus in years to come. I have dabbled with many species during this apprenticeship and have come to the conclusion that it is not worth battling a tree if it simply won't go were it needs to be taken.
My pines are coming along slowly with '09 being the moment of truth for several of them. As you know all my conifers were on the Persiano "Superfeeding Program". This year they will all be placed on the maintenance program. Last year was the third year for many trees and although positive results were achieved, the prolificness was not has readily apparent in comparison with subsequent years, hence the rational to get them on a maintenance system.
Having gained sufficient funds to finally finish major projects that were placed on hold, I see myself retiring permanently towards the end of June. This will permit me to focus entirely on this years growing season and taken my trees where they need to go.
This year I plan to be wed in October followed by a 2 week sojourn to Hawaii. I am looking forward to a Penjing trip with Robert Steven to China, if ever this event actually takes place (cost permitting). Stay tuned this year should prove to be interesting!
Ben Oki RIP
9 hours ago