On Monday 13th May 2019 MK Bonsai was pleased to welcome Linda Mcardell to our club night. Linda came to give a talk on her own particular passion in the Bonsai world – Mame.
For those who don’t know, Mame are particularly small trees that fall into the approximate size classification of 5cm to 15cm tall. They are considered ‘palm-sized’. Other small classifications would be the slightly larger Shohin ‘One-handed’(13-20cm) or the Shito ‘Fingertip size’ (5-10cm) right down to the ‘Poppy seed sized’ Keshitsubo’ (3-8cm). Any smaller than this and I think it would have to be a seed!
Linda brought a wonderful selection of her own Mame trees and had lovely examples of Cotoneaster, Birch and her own personal favourite, Rowan. She explained very clearly how to get started with our own collections of these tiny trees and her infectious enthusiasm got many of us starting our own collections with some of the material that she brought to sell.
One of the main attractions seems to be how little space that the Mame take up and, as someone whose garden is rapidly been overtaken by ‘Trees in Pots’, the thought of being able to keep an entire collection in a seed tray is appealing.
Linda had some great advice on collecting cuttings and growing from seed with the key seeming to be ‘keep it small’ don’t grow on and cut back.
Although the trees do need more careful watering and shading attention due to the tiny size of their pots Linda showed us how a seed tray with gravel and some carefully drilled holes could provide a moist atmosphere that the trees would thrive in.
When you consider that some of the trees she showed us were up to 30 years old, she clearly knows what she is talking about!
So, armed with our new found knowledge and a handful of the smallest trees we would like to once again thank Linda and look forward to her next visit.