Wednesday, 15 January 2014

The Gallery: New

I thought it was a brilliant idea for a Christmas present. A themed gift based on a plant. I had done this once for my mum. Using an online company I bought her two juniper bushes and a bottle of gin. It went down well with my mother. Well the gin did, certainly.

Browsing around our garden centre my husband and I had a Eureka moment. We saw a collection of bonsai trees, plus books, special plant food and scissors/clipper things. This would be ideal for two of Dougie's colleagues. Coupled with a bottle of sake each, this would look as if we had really given their gifts some thought. Feeling very smug, we bought two bonsai trees, plus accoutrements, and it was only just into December: we were well ahead of the game.

Unfortunately, between the two of us, we kept forgetting to water them. At least, we did make an effort but were rather too sparse with our waterings and within days one of the blooming bonsais went from THIS:

Bonsai No.1 - shedding leaves but still healthy.


to THIS:

Bonsai No. 2 - very poorly indeed. 

Leaves were dropping constantly and the poor plant was looking very distressed and neglected. A quick shufty on the internet made us aware that 'allowing the earth to dry in between watering' did not mean let the soil turn to dust. Cue a mad dash to the sink where we decided to drown it instead. It wasn't happy.

The week before Christmas one of the trees still looked fine and was was deemed passable as a gift. The other one was too far gone so we returned to the garden centre for another one. The new tree was handed over to Dougie's colleague, along with fancy bottle of sake, and I'm sure he was delighted to know that he would now be responsible for killing it over the coming weeks.

We were determined not to give up on the bonsai which remained with us. I tell a lie. I would have happily given up but Dougie loves a challenge so he has taken to caring for it. He's snipped it and watered it and today, I see, there are some tiny leaves appearing. He may just have succeeded in rescuing it.

I give you....NEW life!

Bonsai No2 recovering...but do I see dry earth again?

It's ages since I've joined in with Tara's Gallery but as it's the first one of the new year, I thought I would turn over a new leaf..... (see what I did there?)



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36 comments:

  1. Bonsais are a bugger. I don't know anyone who has managed to keep one alive and thriving.

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    1. 'Bonsais are a bugger'. That would have been a great title for the post, Sarah!

      I'm part relieved to know others struggle to keep them alive but part concerned that two other couples are most likely having a not-so-jolly- time with their new present. They must be cursing us!

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  2. Bonsai is unatural anyway, it's curtailing a plant that wants to grow and thrive ....no, honestly, it's does, it may not look like it but it does! Put your ear close to the new bud and hear it whimper "plant me out, plant me out!" ;)

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    1. If I'd put my ear to the bloody thing earlier I might have heard it say, "Water me!".

      You may be right. If we struggle any more it's going in the garden.

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  3. I cannot keep anything alive, even cactis die in my charge! Well done for sticking with it and giving it new life.

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  4. Good luck with it, looks like you did not kill it ;)

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    1. There's still time, especially when husband gets bored of the task!

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  5. Well done, I don't have a very good history with house plants :)

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    1. Me neither. I was saying on Twitter today that my mum vowed that you become good with houseplants once your children leave home. Until then, you're nurturing little people. She may have a point.

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  6. Replies
    1. I gather that's some Karate Kid reference? Does it mean it's a thankless task?

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    2. Just the opposite in fact. The end result of our strivings often takes us by surprise. (I said that in an inscrutable tone of voice by the way.)

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  7. That's brilliant, well done. I bought a Bonsai tree for someone before and completely killed it off! Good work :)

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    1. Let's hope it keeps improving. It still doesn't look much like a bonsai. The replacement we bought and gave as a gift had a great twist in its trunk. This one looks like three little trees planted too close to each other.

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  8. Hurrah for new life! I haven't ever tried keeping a bonsai tree alive, but it sounds like hard work.

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    1. It is hard work. The plant and soil are in such tight plant pots, when you do water it, the liquid spills over. I've taken to holding it under the tap.

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  9. Brilliant! I would have done exactly the same, I am dreadful with plants! So glad Dougie has managed to resurrect it. We will expect to see photos of it flourishing in a few weeks!

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    1. Plants are so much better outside when, in the main, they can find their own water!
      With regard to more photos...Don't hold your breath!

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  10. Thankfully my keeping small children alive skills are far better than my plant nurturing skills! Well done you on managing to keep one going!

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    1. You see, my mum was right. Keep the children fed and watered first!

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  11. Interestingly, I do think that Bonsai trees are very difficult to maintain. I have no green fingers whatsoever so no good asking me! What a very thoughtful gift though :)

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    1. I was so pleased with the idea of a themed gift. I just hope it doesn't become a pain for our friends. At least they can drink the sake.

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  12. Dougie......healing hands.....nuff sed.

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    1. Dr KIldare meets Alan Titchmarsh.

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  13. The greens shoots of recovery!!! What a great idea to do all the fixings for a cocktail!

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    1. There are so many other possibilities - blackberry bush with a jar of jam, olive tree with nice bottle of extra virgin. I bet our friends would have loved the juniper and gin combo instead of this awkward bugger.

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  14. We have an amazing bonsai place just down the road from us and I regularly go in to admire the 300+ year old trees they have that cost about the same prices as a BMW!

    I've bought a few small ones over the years and managed to kill them all very quickly, not sure whether it's too much water, not enough water, too hot, too cold, what?

    I shall be watching Mr Miyagi's, sorry Dougie's, progress with interest.

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    1. Thankfully these were much more affordable!
      We visited a bonsai place in Austria - I think that's what stuck in my mind, they looked so gorgeous. But, like you, I'm dithering with the cold/warm/wet/dry/sun/shade dilemmas.
      I will keep you up-to-date with progress.

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  15. In the recovery stage it doesn't look too bad. In its previous stage it could probably best be described as "bonsai dog doo-dah".

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    1. Ooh hello, Troy. How are you, Mrs Troy and Troy Junior? Well, I hope.
      I had to look up that reference - made me smile once I knew what you were on about!

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  16. Could Doctor Dougie have a look at my bald head.

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    1. It's funny but at one stage, when we were struggling to water the plant because the earth is higher than the edge of the pot, Dougie started watering it using a syringe. He says he was only injecting the earth with water but god knows what he's been shooting up there.

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  17. I am so pleased about the regrowth... Loved the before and after pics, they did make me laugh! :D

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    1. Of course, now I've gone and told everyone how well it's doing, it's going to give up the ghost.

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