We had a winter holiday for the first time this year. Normally we go away in summer to somewhere Mediterranean but watering the trees in summer is problematic with a collection of our size. We tend to get a rota going with people arranged for each day and a backup contact for each person. If you have a collection of your own bonsai, its a good idea to find a fellow bonsai grower and help each other out at holiday times.
This year we decided to go away in January. We had to go a little further afield, so had our first trip to the Caribbean. This meant far less watering had to be done, which made it much easier to go. We just about managed to squeeze all of the bonsai into the greenhouse, leaving the outdoor area pretty much empty. I was worried that if we had a major cold spell, minus 10 for example, we would get problems, so moved it all inside. Thankfully it wasn’t too cold here in Sheffield, so all was well.
Here at the shop, me and Jude work in the greenhouse year-round, whatever the weather. We freeze in winter while packing orders on the counter in the middle of the greenhouse, which doubles a packing bench, workshop area and potting bench. A break from the cold was much appreciated. I’ve been so focused on running the business that we haven’t had a proper holiday for a few years now. Up until going away this year, Jude used to wince when holiday adverts came on the TV, as I would turn ashen-faced and start griping about how we were never going to get another holiday as long as we live at this rate.
So, now we’re back in the fridge again, albeit with a suntan that no-one will ever see, and a little more skint than when we left! I would say that it was nice to have a break from bonsai for a while, but as any bonsai fanatic knows it never leaves you. It only takes a nicely shaped small tree in the hotel gardens and you’re there thinking – “I could bonsai that”!