Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Wabi-sabi

I completed the repotting and root maintenance on my maples for this year. A bit early - but i suspect they will wake up early this year. They are having their third repot and and potting up to their final pot sizes. All of them at least a year late for their new pots - but poverty and the ongoing recession put and end to any new pot purchases over the last 2 years.

Luckily they were in well shaped pots - with no internal lip - and a nice taper on the walls - so they popped out easily. This is the root system of my Deshojo - they are in nice(ish) condition - but heavily compacted. A little bit dark and a tiny bit stinky.



A little help from the cat to get the positioning in the pot right. The position was adjusted for favourable wabi-sabi before soil was packed in.



The roots were combed out and any crossing ones removed. A little shaking and poking to settle the soil in and it was time for watering. The roots on the bottom were trimmed in tightly so there was no spring in the base. This maple is a random Acer Palmatum i got from M&S. Its thickening nicely and has a wonderful autumn colour - a deep wine red. The soil is old Akadama from before the Fukushima disaster so there is no danger of radiation. Its got a lot of Fuji grit in it as well - 2 scoops to 4 of Akadama i think - it looked right.

The soil mix and potting method is exactly as the Japanese nurseries do it. Their centuries of experience with this species gives us valuable knowledge. I have varied the particle size a little - the palmatum random getting the larger particles. The drainage layer is biosorb though. The rest is 1.5 to 5mm akadama with 25% fuji grit. plus minus.

I do wire the big maples into their pots as the wind can easily knock them over. These wires will also anchor the guy wires for the training rigging later in the year.



I gave them a really deep watering to get all the dust out and make them at home. Cat is assisting as usual. Note I am barefoot watering the plants on the lawn in January.

The soil level is well below the rim so that it will be easy to water - even after some growth and the usual moss invasion. This pot also has a nice taper and no internal lip - so when its time comes it will come out easily.



Here is the Deshojo's new pot. The ever present cat was assisting as usual. Really liking my new pots this year. I found a terrific vendor on Amazon with a really nice selection - and amazing fulfilment.



I'll pose some nice pictures of them in their new homes in the following weeks.


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