Daytrip to Gunma

In this post I am going to show you the collection of a client we have who lives in Gunma. Gunma is located about an hour southeast of Nagano. The first half of these pictures were taken last fall. We had made a trip to clean old needles from his pine trees and a general cleaning of any weedy pots. The second half of the pictures were taken in mid February. We had made that trip to deliver a few trees and do some work on a few of his juniper trees, but it snowed and…well you’ll see.

The front enterence...WOW!!!

I like this cascading red pine a lot!

Here is the maple, var. shishigashira, that received top prize at this years Kokufu exhibition with all its leaves.

Nice landscaping. I wouldn't have wanted to move those rocks!

Ezo Spruce

Shady area

These trees sat under a covered area toward the side of the house. Gunma has very hot summers so many of the smaller and deciduous bonsai are kept in the shade during these hot days.

The shade house located to the side of the garden

White Pine

 When this client decided to build his garden, Oyakata assisted him in creating the layout. Its is very cool to see gardens like this as it gives me ideas about how I will design my garden once I return to America. Many houses here in Japan take pride in the layout and beauty of their yards. You typically don’t see large areas of grassy lawns as you do in America. I find myself snapping pictures as I walk around town of cool features and design ideas I find appealing.

Chinese Quince

Though most of this collection is made up of white pines, red pines and junipers, there are a handful of deciduous bonsai such as this chinese quince.

And then there was Winter….

Snow covered garden

On this day we woke up early to make our way to Gunma to do some work at the clients garden. On our way there it began to snow. When we got to Gunma we found about a foot of snow had fallen.

There's no work like snow work!

So our work that day went from cleaning up bonsai to cleaning snow off bonsai. We used brooms to knock the majority of the snow off the trees then our hands to get as much of the rest off as we could. We were to use our bare hands as to best protect the trees from damage and by the second tree, I couldn’t feel my hands.  It took about 30 minutes to clean most of the snow off and then we were finished for the day.

With all the fallen snow, the garden was very beautiful!

As we were about to get onto the interstate and head back to Obuse, we found that they had closed the road heading north, the way we needed to go.

Closed road to the north...many trucks were turning around and waiting it out. Can we find a back way?

A line of vehicles stopped due to snow, glad we weren't on that side!

 The interstate to the south wasn’t closed so we decided to head that way for a few exits then get off and make our way back on the back roads. The road was closed beginning at the exit were at and a line of traffic had built up to the south for a few miles.

Making the jump into hyperspace!!!!

The interstate roads were not too dangerous, but when we got off the main roads and onto a small winding road up the side of a mountain, my adrenaline was pumping…

Oh boy...this is gonna be fun!

Oyakata was fishtailing up this mountain road. He has lived with these type of conditions for most of his life and it showed. We were speeding up this road and I’m not sure if it was because he was afraid of stopping and getting stuck or he was having too much fun…by his many evil chuckles, I think he was having fun!

View from the top...

 By mid afternoon we had made it back to Obuse safely. It was a fun day seeing the countryside covered in snow from the inside of our van coffee in hand and not a broom. But with all this snow there was one thing in the back of my head the entire day…wish I had my snowboard!

Thanks for reading!

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8 Responses to Daytrip to Gunma

  1. bonsai eejit says:

    ‘Making the Jump into Hyperspace’ Love it 🙂

  2. jeannie brackett says:

    Favorites were the White Pine and Chinese quince which I think flowers at some point, right? Also loved the landscape-you would have though he had a nursery as many bonsai as he had and I love the red quarts or rock he displayed in the yard. The home was lovely as well-

    • tylersherrod says:

      Yes he has some very nice tree, many are very famous. I guess he’s like most collectors who have a lot of money to spend and end up letting their collection get bigger and bigger. And those who are crazy about bonsai can never have too many trees….until we have too many! I haven’t made inside yet, but I am told he has a very nice collection of samurai swords as well!

  3. John DeMaegd says:

    This was not your common man garden! I am guessing it was a very wealthy man who owned these trees and had the resources to accomplish this landscaping! I was drooling at the bonsai alone, I may have gotten some oon me by the time we got to the landscaping. Thanks

  4. Pingback: Daytrip to Gunma | Potted Plant Society

  5. alex says:

    Six months is far too long to wait for another post. Get on the ball, Tyler! =)

    (Pretty please?)

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