Trying to balance work and bonsai

Living a balanced lifestyle is harder than it looks. I know this as I am currently balancing work, family, running and bonsai. This does not seem like it can be a difficult thing to do but it’s hard to manage. We all have the same amount of hours in a day. How and what you spend it on is entirely up to you. A lot can be said if you look at how a individual lives their life by looking at what they prioritize. Somethings get done and other are put on hold. This is something that I really grapple with as I do not want to be seen as person with too many things to balance that cracked under pressure, but on the other hand I want to teach my daughter that through hard work you can achieve great new heights. I have my personal statement pinned next to my desk and in the statement I mention “I value honesty, integrity and consistency because I believe in being genuine”. The honesty and integrity part comes naturally the consistency part is the thing that I need to work on everyday.

Personal Statement.jpg

Living a balanced lifestyle is something that I have been struggling with as I have a lot of hobbies(interests) and I started my own company (BWR Productions) about eight months ago. Everything is running smoothly but I just can not seem to get into a routine that is simple enough to uphold in the long run but fits into my day to day schedule. As soon as I think I’m getting it right I have to leave everything and attend to something else and on top of that feel guilty that I am not spending enough quality time with my family. I have a teenage daughter and I try and spend as much time as possible with her and my wife.

This week is one of the few weeks that I have managed to get through feeling like I got the balance just right and I will be using it as the base to plan the rest of my year. I like changing things up every now and then. This week I managed to work on five (5) bonsai trees which is a tree a day! I set out 30 minutes every day to work on trees. At the end of 30 minutes I stopped. The stopping was the hardest part as I can still see that there is much more that needed my attention, but what this has taught me was that by being consistent I could do a lot more than trying to get everything done in one day and ending up being tired and not wanting to get back to working on the trees the next day.

Here is some of the work that I got done this week.

I worked on two trees that have fallen over in their pots. The first one is this Spekboom. The water has washed out some of the soil in the one side of the container.The tree started leaning to the side where the soil was washed out. I placed a wedge under the roots to keep the tree up but I had to figure out a more permanent solution. I filled up the side where the soil has washed out and tied two pieces of wire to the edge of the bonsai container and added in one more wire on the side of the trees trunk to keep it up.

By doing this the tree will be kept stable while the roots grow. If the tree moves around in the pot the roots will not be able to grow and stabilize the tree.

The next tree that also fell over is a Celtis Africana that was hooked to the garden hose and pulled over. This was a stupid mistake but there was nothing that could have prevented this . So I just left the tree so see if the roots would survive the trauma. After a week the tree did not show any signs of trauma it was then time for me to angle the tree up again.
As you can see the roots were putted out of the pot and the tree was leaning to one side. I used the same method I use with the Spekboom tree.

IMG_2389.jpg With this tree is was a bit more difficult to angle the tree up as the roots have started to anchor itself in the current position. I did not tie the wire around the trunk of this tree as I did not want the wire to leave marks on the tree. This tree grows very fast in the growing season and wire bite is bound to happen if the wire is tied around the trunk of this tree.

I then moved on to trimming back some of the stock tree to encourage back budding before styling the trees. Here is a Stone Pine that I have been growing and cutting back for the past two years.
This was the tree before I worked on it. I know the weeds are everywhere…


Just a few minutes of TLC and the tree looks like a different tree.


Next up was my Yellowwood tree. The tree is long and only has branches on the top part of the tree and I regularly trim the tree back to get branches to fill up but also to encourage back budding. There are signs of leaves growing closer to the thunk and lower down. It will be a few more years of growing before this tree gets styled for the first time.

IMG_2418.jpgI cut back the long shoots and cleaned up the pot. The one thing that I truly love about this tree is the base of the trunk.

It flares out nicely. Sometimes I wonder if I should not just cut off the top part of the tree and start over with just the stump…

So as you can see there was some progress made this week with the general bonsai care in my garden. Hopefully next week will go much easier.

Hope you enjoyed my blog. Please leave your comments and question in the section provided below.



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