Since bonsai is my main hobby and passion, I seem to always have my eyes peeled for everyday items that would lend themselves to bonsai.  Recently, Favorite Minion and I went on a little excursion to Jacksonville, Florida and while there visited the local Ikea.  This is the most amazing store and if you ever have the chance to go to one, do it.

This isn’t anything new and not my idea or innovation, but it is, however a great way to improve the nebari and roots on your bonsai.  What is “nebari”, you ask.  Well for those who aren’t familiar with the term, it is a Japanese term, and simply means “the surface roots flaring from the base of the tree”.  Using “nebari” just makes it easier to spit all of that out!  Having a nice root flare adds balance to your tree.  Using this technique will drastically improve your roots and flare.

Since I am having a difficult time sourcing pumice in the Heart of Dixie, I have been looking at alternatives.  I read about Optisorb on my favorite bonsai forum,, and found out that it was available a Oriley's for $16.99 for a 25 pound bag.  I checked with my local store and they had it, so I bought a bag.

If you read the post on Optisorb (if not, read it here), you know that I have been shopping around for a replacement for pumice in my soil mix.  I have read in various places on the net that a lot of people are using Napa Floor Dry so I found some at my local Napa store and purchased it.  It was $8 and some change for 24 liters, which makes it cheaper than the Optisorb.

Up for review is the thinning shear by Corona.  I have used Corona tools before, I found a pair of shears that were very "bonsai" tool-like years ago at target and they ended up being the best pair of shears that I have ever owned.  They are quality tools, made of good steel that holds an edge well.  I received the thinning shears as a Christmas present from Favorite Minion, she saw me lusting over them at the local Ace Hardware.