Juniper Pruning Video Available Now

Juniper Pruning Video Available Now

Apologies for the recent silence but I have been working on this Juniper pruning video for weeks now. But then the weather here has been atrocious and going outside has been largely unadvisable so it all worked out.

This beautiful juniper came to live earlier in the year. A tree with history created by Harry Nicholl who might be a name familiar to those who were around bonsai back in the nineties or those living north of the border.

Harry’s juniper was not exactly like anything I have had before and so a slightly different approach was called for. I was very keen to only enhance what the trees creator had passed to me because I respect his 30 or 40 odd years of effort and work.

With a tree like this there can be a tendency to rubbish what was done before, storm in and turn the thing on it’s head, put one’s ‘stamp‘ on it or ‘take it to another level’ (God forbid). However doing that is not about the bonsai, that’s all about folk trying to look good or earn.

Juniper Pruning Video Available Now by Graham Potter bonsai

Blaauws juniper by Harry Nicholl. Over 30 years cultivation and no wire…..well only about 7 pieces in this image.

I know that in general folk believe science and technology will save us and provide the progress our species so desperately needs. How’s that going? Personally i tend to think most of the answers we need are not in the future but in the past. I include bonsai within that, most of what we need to know is to be found behind us. That’s not to say we shouldn’t keep our noses firmly pressed against the windscreen (windshield) of progress, I just think we should spend a greater proportion of our time learning and mastering the basics and paying respect to those who came before prior to blasting off all over the place like some ‘Johnny come lately’. I may have been guilty of that in the past, please forgive me!

There is all the difference in the world between knowing ‘about’ something and actually knowing that thing as an instinctive part of our being. For example, after 45 years riding motorcycles I can accomplish some pretty amazing feats on two wheels*. However were I to square up to a master like Guy Martin I would appear to be a complete and utter fool.

I like to keep in mind those who came before, who mastered skills and aced life. Knowing what they know, what do they think of me or what i’m doing?

I have grandkids now and they seem kind of dumb sometimes but when you are 1 or 4 what do you know? It’s for old scrotes like me to clear the way, support, protect and make their growing up and learning the best it can possibly be. I know they will think grandads a dumbass with all his silly little trees but long after I am gone and they are my age those memories of playing amongst the trees or mixing soil in the greenhouse will be absolute gold to them just as the memories of my own grandparents are to me now.

There are some very skilled people in British bonsai, they may not be all over social media or travelling the world but many have a deep understanding of bonsai that can only be gained by decades of experience. Most youngsters cannot possibly hope to know what us old buggers do, simply because we have put in the hours and lived the years. Like we had any choice…….

Let’s make things a little better by paying our respects to those who laid the path for us when we were young and dumb!


* Relative to being an ageing old fart.