Tartar horsemen, curl like the dewlap of a mighty bullock, unfold like a mist rising out of a ravine, gleam like a lake touched by a zephyr, and be wet and soft like earth newly swept by rain.
SATSUKI AZALEA BONSAI
I purchased this tree from a small nursery for just £30. At the time of purchase it was a rather silly looking tree but it did something for me and I figured with some work over a few years I might just be able to make a reasonable Bonsai from said original purchase.
Unfortunately I did not take a photograph at the time of purchase … oh how digital pictures have changed the way in which keeping a photographic record works!
This Satsuki Azalea is no longer in my collection, but I still felt it worthy of inclusion here within case studies.
This first picture then is approximately one year after purchase; I am trying to make some order of what is available to work with. At the time of purchase, it resembled little more than a small bush. Initial works was restricted to removal of unwanted growth, a repot into a larger than normal pot, and some wiring to start of a shape which I felt I could see when I purchased the Satsuki.
Here then as described is a picture approximately twelve months after initial purchase in 1992.
As you can see I planted the Satsuki into a well over-sized , and with a substantial feeding regime the idea was to have more to play with in the hope of creating further development. Flowers in the interim period were reduced by 50-60% then removed after just ten days to ensure the plant put its energies into vegetive growth.
This picture is after a further five years and a nice shape is already beginning to form. Unfortunately I did not take a picture at its best … typical.
The final picture I have is in the year 2000. I decided to let the tree flower in its entirety as it was a picture of health.
I later stripped out around 40% of flowers to better be able to see the shape. This technique is frequently used by Japanese Satsuki exhibitors. A visitor enquired if it may be available, hence I started by saying it is now no longer in my collection.
I hope you have enjoyed seeing this tree. I know I really enjoyed the challenge of working with my first proper Satsuki Azalea Bonsai.