Dandy Farmer Logbook



How to Sit on a Rock

Having worked with gardeners in Japan before, it was no surprise to hear our bonsai teacher's response when asked about the first thing in caring for bonsai. "Watering," he said, and then quickly followed with "Ishi no ue nimo san nen" (石の上にも三年), a phrase that means to warm a rock by sitting on it for three years. It refers to the patience and perseverance that is needed to eventually overcome any challenge. But could learning to water really take three years to master?! Our young teacher brings us over to the watering basin, a large glazed pot next to a faucet, and hands us the copper watering can balanced on its edge. It's called a jyōro and reminds me of a kettle with a...

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Our Story Begins with an Acorn Sized Garden

  One morning while apprenticing in Tokyo, my teacher Kenji walked me through the scene of his latest creation. He led me along a path through the village and past the edge of rice fields to where the farmed valley met a tender forest. We rested in the cool shade of a Japanese maple, under winding branches that reached for the sun. As time began to slow, I felt unencumbered and transported. He stopped for a moment while I stepped back to break my reverie and survey the scene. Held in the palm of my hand, a miniature potted garden. Each step along our journey could be traced in those tiny spaces. The hill, a mound of moss; the path, a sandy bar; and the arching maple tree no bigger than my outstretched palm....

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Cloning a Corkscrew

Cloning plants may sound a bit like creepy science, but it is a great way to get more of the plants that you love. Plant propagation is one of the most basic tools of a plant lover, and over time will save you lots of greenbacks. The methods are many, but if you are a beginner, cuttings take little to begin and is easy enough to try without harming your host plant. A great starter plant is Willow, both forgiving and strong. I used a corkscrew willow (salix matsudana 'golden curls') this spring, and now have a few dozen healthy saplings, waiting to be replanted later this year. Cuttings can be taken in late autumn to early spring. I chose spring, as it is when new shoots are...

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Living Desk Sculptures

Water and sunshine should be enough to keep your bonsai happy, but be sure to avoid the extreme temperature changes of being next to an A/C or heating unit, which may dry them out.

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Spring Bonsai

We welcome the addition of our first collection of spring bonsai in various shapes, housed in handmade white stoneware clay pots. If you enjoy flowering varieties, check out the Japanese Spiraea, Cotoneaster, and Blue Star Creeper. Keeping your bonsai inside is fine for a week or two, but they do like the wind and sunshine of a balcony or other outdoor space. Give them a good soak before placing them outside for some fresh air.   

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