My Japan trip – part 3

Time goes by so fast, the forth week has come already and I am behind in my writing. No big deal, but there are a few big new things I have learned this third week and want to share with you all.
For example applying moss after repotting, well we didn’t repot for obvious reasons, but some of the trees had only the soil, akadama, pumice and kirio the lovely Yuri (one of the new apprentices in Kouka-en) and I applied “misogoke”; a thin layer of wet sponge moss. Well believe it of not, it’s not applied like I used to do it and I have now learned something for my next repotting season.
Another thing Mr. Fujikawa wanted me to learn is decandeling black pine. It’s not yet the right time to do that but I practiced on material that’s not really for sale, though they are very nice trees. The hole decandeling procedure for black and red pine can been seen in episode 7 of Björn series on Youtube.
I was so glad that David, another formal aprentice of Mr. Fujikawa’s, recommended me to a Japanese teacher, so even if my Japanese is way to sparse for a conversation, I’ve been able to practice a little and Hiromi is a real good teacher and a kind person as well.
I think the most important thing I have learned this week, well learned is a little overestimated, let’s say David told me how to do it, is watering the plants. At Kouka-en the daily watering is the number one thing to learn, is essential for the wellbeing of the tree and is done methodically. In Europe and I think in every part outside of Japan, giving water to the plants is really not a big deal, is just giving water. But believe me it’s really not as easy as it sounds. Mastering this skill takes years and now I understand why only Björn and Noaka san waters the good plants and the rest of the staff waters the plants upstairs, well the row material. Björn just uploaded a very well explained video about mastering this task, on the video it seams so easy, but trust me: it’s not. Just to give you an example, as said before some of the trees don’t have the “misogoke” the moss on the soil. Try to water the plant without moving the akadama soil grains, if they move you are not good at watering. And can you tell only by looking at the soil, if the tree needs water or not? If you touch the soil, you are not good at watering. Now I understand why the Japanese bonsai teachers coming to Europe are so picky about watering the plants.
Hope you will find the time to look at Björn’s Videos and stay tuned for the fourth and last week.

…love, Melanie!

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    1. Grazie Fabio, scusa le risposta tardiva. Son contenta che a qualcuno piace, vedro di scrivere i prossimi articoli in italiano.

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