I promised I’d post an updated photo of this Crape myrtle bonsai, Lagerstroemia indica, when it came into bloom. I love all varieties of Crape myrtle, even the standard purple as in this specimen. There’s a challenge in getting your Crape myrtle bonsai to bloom while the tree retains its design. This is because the blooms occur on the current year’s growth, and pinching or pruning back the new growth to maintain the bonsai’s shape will kill that whole idea. Ideally, you do a relatively hard pruning in early summer which allows the new shoots to grow on out and bloom without causing too much trouble for the overall design. It’s not guaranteed that you’ll get this to work out, but you can at least come close. In the case of this tree, I did some wiring and put curvature into the new shoots that set flower buds. This allowed me to bring the profile back in close to where it belonged. You may want to give this technique a try if you’ve got a Crape you want to see bloom.
This American hornbeam, Carpinus caroliniana, got its first bonsai pot a couple of weeks ago. It started pushing new growth this past weekend, at which time I removed the largest leaves in order to get a smaller, fresher crop. I also tried turning the tree around, and I think I like this front better. What do you think?