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Kurume Azalea Flower bud removing

I’ve posted about this before, but it’s a good time to share it again. Kurume azaleas have 3 flowers per bud, which can look congested if they are all allowed to open.

In the spring, as the flower buds open (when I have time) I like to reduce each set of 3 flowers down to a single flower per bud. Like this:

On a branch, it looks like this:

And on the tree overall, it goes from this:

To this:

It basically means two peak blooming periods, with the second one being much more even. Like this:

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Shohin box stand

I bought my first Shohin box stand this year. Showin’ Shohin requires lots of little trees and pots to portray the season, and have the “right” mix of randomness.

First the stand, purchased from Wan Thatsaniyom. A few shots he shared of the build.

Stained…

Front view:

Problems on the way around the world, however…

Really disappointing to both of us. However, it should be reparable.

And the arranging begins…

Watch for pests!

This tree was clean on Monday, and I didn’t pay much attention to it when I was back in town, other than to think it was looking slightly puny…leaves seemed like they weren’t quite getting enough water, so I watered it in the afternoon and didn’t pay it any closer attention. Friday evening, some black spots caught my eye and it was clear this maple was loaded with aphids. Wow!

Pay close attention every day, and get to know your trees well enough that if a glance tells you something might be just a bit off, investigate quickly!

This tree got nuked with Malathion, which will have been rinsed off by the time you read this.

Take it a step further. If aphids are popping up in this maple, are they hitting other maples? Let’s take a look at the maple a couple benches down…

Fortunately, they’re easy to kill, but easy to return. Stay vigilant my friends.