Where did the Thyme Go?

Today is Sunday and it’s usually a good day for me to do something creative or just take a break from work.   Work have been very busy and despite of being a Sunday, there’s always work for me to do and should be doing  but decided I want to take some quick photos of my trees and share some of the trees that are being developed as bonsai (but have little work done to them yet).   It will only take me less than half hour to photograph and post….until my attention focused on my thyme bonsai.   Yes, it’s the herb thyme.   I collected this plant from a project where this thyme was going to be demolished and thrown away.    That was probably 5 years ago.  I took a chance a it and now it’s still doing well on a bonsai pot but really have not done much styling.  Partly because I didn’t know how this could be trained as a bonsai.  The branches are very brittle and delicate and it’s prone to die back.   But today it was there in front of me begging some attention.   The trunk has some interesting movement but the canopy has become too wide in proportion to the trunk.  So what started as a quick photo shoot became a pruning and styling session for this thyme.   I want to take advantage of this plants potential energy.  It usually puts out white flowers in the summer and instead of using all that energy to produce the flowers, I wanted to prune early to redirect that energy to become foliage.  1.5 hours later, I’ve cut branches and now I’m writing about it.   Not to say it was a bad thing, I truly enjoyed the moment but like a time warp, the 1.5 hours went by just like that.   This is definitely not the final shape of this bonsai.  I curious to see how it will respond later as our temperature heats up.   I will continue to fertilize this bonsai and hope that a more compact form will take shape.  Here are some photos:

This is how I found it today. Canopy is too wide for that slender trunk.
This is the other side which I chose as the front since it has the interesting bend. There is a reverse taper issue with this tree and so with the front this way, I reduce the effect.
After already pruning some leaves and branches, the canopy still looks wide and decided to remove this part to narrow the top a little.
This is what it looks like after that cut. I could have stopped there and wait and see.
Need some thyme for your chicken recipe? Send me your address I will mail them to you.
Brought it inside my office to take a photo in front of painted wall and decided to cut even more. That nice twisty branch, I felt it was distracting and wanted to simplify it even more.
I felt a brief pruner’s remorse after cutting that but on the other hand part of me is saying to achieve this bonsai’s potential, sometimes it will take bold pruning moves by the artist.
Okay, I will definitely stop here. This tree will have a lot more growing and eventually styling to get it more compact but for now I will leave it alone and continue to fertilize it. This tree will be repotted in the future tilted forward .


Here are photos of what I was originally going to do within my half hour time frame:

This is the dogwood I collected from the Nordstrom property. Full of leaves and new branches forming lower. I’m letting some of the branches grow long to develop thick branches were I need it. I will do some pruning of this tree this summer.
This is a bird’s nest spruce that I’m developing. I’m encouraging new growth closer to the trunk. I have been fertilizing it heavily and prune some of the exterior branches and foliage to bring light and redirected it’s energy to the interior growth. I’m excited to style this. It will be in the fall when I will do my first styling.
Here’s a stubby maple that will be developed using some carving. I have not done much other than pot it in bonsai mix and prune some branches I know I don’t need. This will fun to work on.
Same tree above, different view.
This is a Tam (Tamarix) juniper collected about 2.5 years ago. I can’t wait to work on this. Again I’m encourage growth closer to the trunk and just fertilizing it. I might to do initial work on this around July 4th. I can’t wait.
Same juniper above.


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This is a Japanese Snowbell ( Syrax). Just letting it grow in it’s new soil and box. Just move it late winter/early spring.


New growth closer to the trunk is good.

Published by tony bonsaiko

My little trees are my daily reminders of our grand connection to this beautiful and mysterious universe.

5 thoughts on “Where did the Thyme Go?

  1. Dear Bonsaiko,
    It is a rosemary bonsai you are writing about. Could you please tell me if a thyme could be grown as bonsai.


  2. Toni,
    I too find myself getting side tracked in the garden. Start off intending to do something only to be drawn to a tree that I get a sudden inspiration for. Reading blogs, YouTube, collecting screen shots of people’s ideas, helps me to figure out “where the bonsai is” in some of my trees. That’s why I just keep looking at them over “thyme” not giving up because at some point they will show their beauty when I am ready to see it. Lani

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