The story of the Bougeys

As normal, I can spot a potensai at 120km an hour. One day, I passed a construction site and there were lots of tree stumps lying around. I did slow down, I will admit, but 2 kilometers further I made a u-turn. I stopped and asked the people what they were going to do with the trees. “Oh, the rubbish?”, they asked. “Uhm…yes,” I replied. “Oh, that? We are throwing it away.” One hour and two trips later, we had it on the back of my eldest son’s car.

IMG_4100When we got home, these stumps, which had been pulled out of the ground with a tractor and hacked into pieces, were sorted from big to small.  There were 18 ‘pieces’ all together.  Some had roots and some had none. None had leaves.  I wish I knew what had happened to those.  Bougainvilleas root very easily.  The biggest killer of bougeys is rot or too much water.  In fact, they like to be dry, rather than wet.  All ofIMG_4106 these stumps were collected about 3 days after they were pulled out. That is Reevin on the right with the biggest stump.

Since about 2013, it has been Reevin’s dream to raise funds for rhino anti-poaching.  Since the 3 biggest stumps are too large for me to handle (and I already have two big bougeys), I decided to raffle the 3 (if they survive) as a thank you to him for helping me.  We are happy to say that 13 out of the 18 survived and the biggest 3 are looking awesome.

I use a simple soil mix.  I make my own compost from garden rubble, mowed lawn cuttings and leaves.  I use 2 parts compost, and 1 part river sand. I have a mix of mycorrhiza and my grandmother’s secret ingredient which I sprinkle around where roots should develop and used BonsaiBoost as fertilizer.  I fertilise straight away.  I believe that the tree needs all the help it can get to recover. I do not carve straight away and most styling will only be done once we know which branches are alive.

The trees were potted on the 28th of November 2014 and the after photos were taken on the 1st of April 2015 unless otherwise indicated.  The following photos are put in sequence to show you development. I am hoping to use this post to show progression and ultimately get the raffles going.

Bougey 1


PS – The beer bottle is for size:-)








Bougey 2









Bougey 3


Bougey 4


This photo was taken on the 23rd of June 2015. I used BonsaiBoost exclusively and NO styling has been done on this tree. It is just growing in this shape and form.  Something tells me this is how she wants to look.  I need a name for her. I will make a pot and repot in August 2015.



Bougey 5







This bougainvillea is incredible in the sense that it has two colours, no make that 3.  It has pink flowers, pink and white flowers mixed and white flowers all on one tree. This one had a dodgy shape, but I kept all the branches.IMG_4801

I am looking for someone to carve the top 3 beauts as I am not brave enough. These are the ones that will be raffled off. Send me a message. And then…”Watch this space” for the raffles  to start.


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