Last Thursday to Sunday Willowbog Bonsai had the privilege of hosting four workshop days with Mr. Peter Warren.


A total of sixteen enthusiasts participated over the four days, several doing two days, all had worked with PW previously.


Angela worked on an interesting European beech clump that Peter and I had sourced in Spain in late December last.. This is it getting planted on a slate for a very ” natural ” looking image. We will trim the slate to a more suitable shape later.


With it being that time of year, quite a number of folk were getting bonsai re-potted. Here, PW regular Janice, tackles what I think was a Japanese larch.


This maple was one of several trees that Gary dealt with under Mr. Warren’s supervision.


Relative newcomer Terry gets the first, and most risky, step of starting this great Scots pine yamadori on the bonsai path. Potting into something resembling a bonsai container at this early stage before investing many hours of time and effort with pruning and wiring. In fact with the really good root mass that it had we got it into a really nice Chinese Master Xu oval that should suit the proposed design well.


Sam preparing a nice red bodied clay round pot , Walsall Ceramic I think, for his yamadori origin European yew.


Many hands make light work ? A good match between tree and pot I think. The tree is UK origin raw material purchased from a highly reputable bonsai establishment [ no apologies as I have not used that phrase for a long time ! ]


Martyn has worked with Peter for several years now and in this photo was getting a home made slab ready for the planting of a dwarf Scots pine variety.


More re-potting, Kevin attended to several of his collection on his day with Peter.


The G-man removed his European beech from a sadly broken Walsall Ceramic oval,  the remains of which can be seen in the potting tray. Peter G examining the roots very carefully here before…


I actually do the poor man an injustice because he actually got all his growing medium prepared well before taking the tree out of the pot. A great feature of these workshop is that they are essentially a teaching exercise.


Each day begins with the theory. Of course, there is plenty of practical work on tree accomplished as well but the imparting of knowledge actually supersedes that in importance.


This way the enthusiast gets better, more knowledgeable, more experienced, at a similar rate to the improvement in their bonsai.


Not everyone was only re-potting. David’s Japanese larch  [ purchased from a etc. etc. ] was re-potted but also refinement pruned.


John wired and styled his juniper.


He stuck at the day long task really well and was rewarded with a great transformation.


Willowbogger Antony pruned several of his deciduous species, an excellent time to do this when, with out the leaves in place, you can actually see what you are doing.


His Hawthorn progressing very well with the grow and prune technique involving minimal wiring to achieve a very natural, Hawthorn like, branch structure, zig-zaggy rather than curvy [ curvy is good in the right place of course ! ]


Peter explains this point to Gary.


The final touches to Peter G’s nice Quercus robur, a style right off the Warren hymn sheet.


This European yew was another of Peter G’s bonsai, this one getting a light refinement prune.


But first dress it in a skirt and ogle it !!  [  mmmmm, not saying anything further ]


The last picture that I have of these four days is of Martyn’s Western hemlock raw stock. A great species that it would be nice to see better represented in folks bonsai collections. We usually have raw stock available.

So a great and enjoyable few days, several folk not featuring in this record ,  lots of trees not recorded and I am aware that it would make these blogs more interesting if I got some of the after photos, I will try harder next time. Thanks Mr. Warren and to all the participants for supporting what we do here at Willowbog Bonsai.