Keats was an English romantic poet who wrote about autumn, “tis the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”. Not too sure if I share his whimsical notion. I don’t much like autumn OR winter here in Blighty. Last week I was in Spain enjoying beautiful warm dry sunshine. An hour after I returned it began raining and it hasn’t stopped since. You know it’s autumn because everything is wet and soggy and it’s getting dark before you finish work. The heating is on and I have early onset trench foot.

Bonsai folk have a special relationship with the seasons. Who doesn’t go out early in the morning or after work to have a look around their benches and admire their fine bonsai or, more to the point lately, to pick them up off the ground following high winds. Our trees are a great barometer of what’s happening out there and a wonderful link to the eternal rhythms of life that, by and large, go un-noticed by modern ‘interactive’ man. These things are important for our wellbeing, much like eating prunes.

We English have a reputation for *issing and moaning about the weather. Having travelled around planet bonsai a bit over the years I can assure you that the weather is the great bug bear wherever you go. One place it’s too hot, another it’s too cold or wet. The secret is to find the little gems of magic that sparkle no matter what the weather is doing. This time of year many things are starting to look a little worse for wear in the bonsai garden but here are a few gems I spotted on a quick once around the nursery. Enjoy whilst you can…..