Progressing through Bonsai Mirai

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted on this forum. This is due mostly to being very busy in my evolving bonsai garden. I chose a large variety of species so that I was sure not to be so bored that I might over work my trees. Well it certainly paid off! I’m never at a stand still with my garden, but I’m still guilty of overworking some of my trees. After gaining some experience though, I am learning to respond to my trees, and listen and observe how they are responding to me. Although I don’t participate as much in the chats or live classes (I work on Tuesday nights now), I still harken back to my history with Mirai and watch old and new classes often. I’m hoping in this feed that our community can share stories, photos and realizations that they have had growing with Mirai. I’ll start by showing one of my first projects that Ryan helped me with on the Q&A. This shore pine that I got from Scott Chadd was first potted in 2018. I decided to put it on a stone, and found that the tree absolutely loved it. Without reviewing the slab-stone videos in the library, I would have been lost. The tie down method using two part apoxy and stainless steel 16 gauge, making my own mock muck and sphagnum was all Ryan Neil imparted knowledge. Thanks again Ryan and Mirai staff and community. More to come!


I have only been a Mirai member for a few months now so most of my “aha” moments were retrospective. I realized errors that I have already made (overpruning, incorrect timing for work, poor material selection etc…). I am hoping once I get through my first year I will have more examples of success!

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Stick with it and for sure you will. I posted this on the beginners forum to encourage continued participation. I’ve had too many friends give up because of little mishaps or complete failures. This is largely how we learn and grow.

I agree in the principal of having many plants to disperse our “need to bonsai” energy and keep from nitpicking a few plants to death, something that I have been guilty of earlier in my bonsai endeavors. I now have approximately 80 plants. I call them plants because they are all still in various stages of development. I also agree that Ryan and his Mirai group have been my best teacher, by far. I also see David that you are a bonsai artist of a certain age, as I am myself (73). Being retired allows me to dedicate time to the art that a full time working individual mag not have. I’m not sure others can realize the challenges that age presents in practicing bonsai. I always chuckle when I hear about a tree requiring 10-15 years to fully mature into a bonsai. Aside from potential health issues, my biggest challenge is moving heavy pots and containers of soil mix. Buying finished bonsai is not a solution either as it defeats the joy of “doing bonsai”. Maybe we need a forum category for seniors, lol.


Being in the same age category, I am also bemused by the 10-15 year time line. I am actively planning new additions while at the same time considering how to disperse the collection when it becomes time to do that. I have been practicing bonsai for 5 years and am trying to figure out how to compress a lifetime of doing bonsai into how ever many years I have left (God willing).



Dispersing the collection; tools, mix, pots and other supplies, is also in the back of my mind. Still years away I hope but nonetheless a realistic fact of life. I am not a member of any club but I was thinking of contacting a nearby club to donate to when that time comes. Ideally I would like my collection to go to a youngish newbie to bonsai and maybe help them in their journey through this glacially slow process of creating bonsai.


Looks like when you guys were posting this, I was buying my first nusery stock. Then watching a lot of Mirai videos and finding out that I couldn’t really do anything with my trees till spring. Well its finally here! So I’m getting excited to work on them, and hoping the live through my learning curve. Here’s my first go. Not exactly a traditional design, but felt right.