Most people my age are desperately trying to simplify their lives. Apparently everyone is really busy and leisure time is at a premium. Once the kids have finally left home for the last time us old gits only really have retirement to look forward to (not me, no pension) and so I am told we should offload as much as we can prior to getting the big E’. After all (again i am told) I can’t expect to do what I used to twenty years ago. You’ll not be surprised to know I say “Bollocks” to that.
Being ‘comfortable’ is not a natural condition for a human, striving, grafting and fighting for every inch is what we were designed to do. Looking to nature just consider plants, what happens once they stop growing and flower? They produce fruit and then quickly go to seed before withering away. That’s fine if you are a tomato plant but not if you are a father, husband or son (daughter etc’). The more pressure that’s applied to us and the more that’s expected of us the more we produce and the more ingenious we become in order to handle the loads put upon us. As far as I am concerned once I reach the point in life where I stop taking on and doing more, call time and say ‘enough’ it’s just a matter of time before I go to seed and become compost myself.
The last few years I have been working harder at everything I do than ever before. I might not be doing so many hours as I did in my twenties but like my old boss used to tell me ‘It’s not the hours you put in but what you put into your hours’. On the outside it might not appear much is going on but since I started Kaizen Bonsai in 2014 our turnover has increased something like fourteen times over. Thats going on 1200% more than what Bonsai Mart was doing when we took it over. We still only have four permanent members of staff but I am told it’s impossible to turn over the figure we do per head. I am a stubborn cantankerous old sod and being told I can’t do something is like the proverbial ‘red rag’. Just imagine what I was like as a kid!
I really don’t want a medal, a pat on the head or even thanks but I could seriously do with some help. Part of getting older is realising that some folk are better at some things than we are. I’m crap at accounts and even worse at anything ‘tech’ so I let some very good people take care of that for me.
Of late I have been complicating my life by expanding our business into some new areas as well as increasing the range and scope of what we have now done for years. One thing I have done is bought up every bonsai tree and bit of bent stick-n-leaves I can find. As a result I have a few plants I am at a loss to identify. I know there are a lot of folk who like to read the old cobblers I write and than many of those good people are very knowledgeable about bonsai and the plants we cultivate. In the past I have been put right more than a few times by my readers and customers. I am always open to learning something new and as such love to get unusual and unknown plants onto the nursery so I can learn about them.
So here’s a little bonsai quiz. What on earth are these?
So, all sorted now. Sincere thanks for those of you who put me straight.
Plant No1. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Known colloquially as Chinese hibiscus, China rose, Hawaiian hibiscus, rose mallow and shoeblack plant.
Plant No2. Acacia arabica of the family: Leguminosae. It is estimated that there are roughly 1380 species of Acacia worldwide so this ID is likely a bit vague.
Plant N03. Calliandra brevipes. Pink Powderpuff is an attractive shrub with finely divided leaves and clusters of red powder-puff flowers. It is native to southeastern Brazil, Uruguay, and northern Argentina.
The last tree, do the leaves fold up at night?
The first plant could well be a Hibiscus – there are hundreds of different species. Check the arrangement of the leaves- are they opposite one another as you go up the stem or are they alternate? All Hibiscus have alternate arranged leaves..The picture of the leaf reminds me of Aucuba spp (Japanese Laurel) but I don’t think they are thick or glossy enough. I’ll have a look at the Acacia spp and see if I can come up with any ideas
Hi Graham – I retired at 62 (now I’m 66) and I have an 8yr old daughter plus a 6yr old son, so I have no intention of slowing down as my wife is 35 – she keeps me on my toes, I love your trees unfortunately my knowledge of bonsai is limited so absolutely no help to you whatsoever. Just needed to say thanks for the trees etc and quick service you provide – the earlier purchase of a plum cherry starter from you yielded three fruit which were delicious!
I dont know what they are either but i would like to make the comment that you have the best videos on bonsai ever! I tell everyone that questions me about bonsai to watch your videos keep up the good work
The last one it’s a calliandra, more provable calliandra brevipes, there is more than 180 especies.
I love your blog and posts…best refards from Brazil
1. Hibiscus rose-sinensis (China rose)
2. Acacia constricta, (Whitethorn acacia)
Acacia also matches Acacia Farnesiana, sometimes reffered as Vachelia Farnesiana
First tree the bark and leaf looks very like Forsythia
The tree described to you as Hibiscus is in fact a highly poisonous and contagious plant which cannot be handled or even looked at without serious consequences.
Send the tree to me immediately and I will ensure that it’s dealt with in the appropriate manner.
As you are a true and valued friend, there will be no charge for this service.
The first one looks like Sleepy mallow.
as to me:
1. some hibiscus variety (not 100% sure though);
2. Tamarindus indica (it has thorns as well);
3. Albizia Julibrissin
The last one looks like a Mimosa.