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John Skill`s Bonsai Page

My own garden in Yorkshire has been created to reflect what I

like best about my favourite garden - The Magic Garden.

You will see from the photograph of my garden many similarities inspired by the Magic Garden in Bradmore. However, I have a corner behind my garage where I grow a small collection of Bonsai trees - the ancient Japanese art form of growing trees in pots.


A bonsai is a tree in a pot, which has been subjected to a number of horticultural and sculptural techniques in order to create a tree-like image.

I thought you might like to see some of my modest collection; all of them "works in progress."

The varieties range from Pine, Cotoneaster, and Chinese Elm to Yew, Juniper and Blue Cedar. Most began their early lives as ordinary garden centre specimens for garden planting, and have been cut down to size and shaped with wire over a number of years.

The following websites are well worth looking at too, and may even tempt you to "have a go". 

 John Skill

This photo shows some of the tools I use to maintain and style my outdoor trees. Many of these tools are specialised, but for the bonsai beginner all that is needed is a good pair of secateurs, scissors, wire cutters, nail scissors and a small hand rake or steel hook for teasing the roots out.
I use aluminium bonsai wire to shape my trees to the style I want to make. It is important to keep an eye on wired branches and trunks before it cuts into the bark tissue.
Here you can see a selection of the different pots I have for my trees, many of which are cheap plastic training pots. All pots must have good drainage holes and feet to allow the drained water to flow away. Pots should be big enough to easily contain the tree roots and also allow space for some growth. The link between tree and pot forms part of the overall aesthetic of the bonsai composition.


John and his wife Karen have spent many hundreds of hours driving down from Doncaster to help us on our open days.

They have not only run the plant stall, but have helped with photographs for the web site, lit many thousands of candles; propogated hundreds of plants for the plant stall; served hundreds of glasses of wine; supported us when we were feeling stressed and have been there every time we needed help, or just someone to talk to.

Truly Great Friends!

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