Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 269



Hello Everyone



Did you know that the tallest tree in the world is more than 100m tall?  


lt is a yellow meranti – found in the forests of Borneo last year.  lt was named Menara which is Malay for ‘tower’.  


The smallest trees in the world, on the other hand, have to be bonsai trees.


Have you ever heard of bonsai?


lt is the cultivation of little trees.


The word bonsai actually means ‘tree in a pot’ or ‘tray planting’.


This art form comes from Japan where it has been practised for over a thousand years.


But there are similar practices in China where the art originated from and the Vietnamese like to create miniature landscapes too.


My Auntie Alice had some little trees that had sprouted in some pots in her greenhouse and ever the adventurous gardener decided to try her hand at bonsai cultivation.


As she always says, you are never too old to try something new.


Any tree, in theory, can be turned into a bonsai but they should preferably be small-leaved trees because they will look better grown on a small scale.


The small trunk and the leaves will look more in proportion.


So bonsai trees are grown from small seedlings and as they mature, their branches are trimmed with small scissors and their roots are confined in small pots.


Any shoots that starting sprouting upwards are good candidates for trimming because you need to get plenty of air and light into the centre of the plant.


These containers are very often quite flat ceramic pans to add to the notion of the tree growing on flat ground.


The trees look like a total miniature of a full-size tree.


They are actually easy to look after once established as long as they are given what they need.


Although they are small plants, they are not house plants and should be kept outside in a fairly sheltered place.


They do not like to be kept inside and do not like to be blasted by strong winds either.


They can be brought inside for a few days for display purposes but no longer than that.  Just like any other tree, they were designed to be outside.


They would look especially beautiful placed on a deck or patio.


lf you want to grow one, bear in mind that some of the mature ones can be up to 80 years old!


You have to be very patient to be a good gardener.



Bye bye everyone – don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!


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Thank you!


And see you again next Fun Friday!


Love and kisses



Salty Sam





Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke


Bill:  Why did the policeman cry?


Bob:  l don’t know.  Why did the policeman cry?


Bill:  Because he couldn’t take his panda to bed with him!



A panda car

Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

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Picture Gallery


Pots must be carefully chosen


A display of bonsai trees at Kew Gardens








This week, I had a call from Auntie Alice and then went over to her cottage to help her with something.

She had had an idea and needed to act on it straight away.

She already had songbird, owl and bat boxes in the garden but decided that she also wanted to have some swift nesting boxes put up under the eaves of her cottage too.

There was no time to lose because the swifts would be arriving from their winter home very soon!

Swift boxes are a different shape from other bird boxes.  I made some for her out of odd pieces of wood I found in my cupboard under the stairs.  The children helped me measure out all the pieces of wood we needed to cut and put together.

It turned out to be quite a good maths lesson in the end!

So then we went over to the mainland and picked up some shopping for Auntie Alice and took it to her cottage.

Then I helped myself to a ladder from her garden shed.

I had to go up her ladder to fix the boxes in place as soon as possible. Bill held the ladder at the bottom so it didn’t wobble and Bob handed tools up to me which was a big help.{4dfe95bac16e82896c420f36af5fbed11f8fae2830a95b6035d5a939427289c2}26Attraction.htm


Outside the front door, we found another mysterious parcel that Auntie Alice had left for Bill and Bob.

Auntie Alice had given lots of plants to Emily and she wanted to give Bill and Bob one too for their bedroom window sill.

It was a wonderful new succulent to add to their collection.

She had bought it at a sale in the Rocky Bay Nursery a few weeks ago and couldn’t resist its strange, almost alien shape.  We took it back to the lighthouse for now.

There is a picture of the kind of plant she bought here.

You can see what I mean!


Crassula Buddha’s Temple








Hobby Time


This is a lovely tunic for you to make for your 12” doll.

Of course you don’t have to make it in green if you don’t want to.




Using 4mm knitting needles and green dk yarn cast on 10 stitches

Knit 2 rows of garter stitch

lncrease 1 stitch at the beginning of the next 4 rows of garter stitch (14 sts)

Knit 22 rows of garter stitch

Knit 7 stitches and turn

Knit 11 rows of garter stitch on these 7 stitches

Cast off


Join the yarn onto the 7 stitches that you have left

Knit 12 rows of garter stitch

Cast off



Using 4mm knitting needles and green dk yarn cast on 10 stitches

Knit 2 rows of garter stitch

lncrease 1 stitch at the beginning of the next 4 rows of garter stitch (14 sts)

Knit 34 rows of garter stitch

Cast off



Using 4mm knitting needles and green dk yarn cast on 10 stitches

Knit 2 rows of garter stitch

Knit 12 rows of stocking stitch

lncrease 1 stitch at the beginning of the next 2 rows of stocking stitch

(12 sts)

Knit 6 rows of stocking stitch

Cast off



With right sides together and using over-sew stitching:-

  1. Sew the shoulder seams
  2. Sew the top of the sleeves to the shoulders
  3. Sew the side and under arm seams
  4. Sew one or two beads to the front of the tunic for decoration






lt’s the Weekend!




One bird that loves sitting in trees is the owl.

Anyone who loves owls will love this key ring.

It is really easy to make.




Using 4mm knitting needles and brown dk yarn cast on 5 stitches

Knit the owl in stocking stitch

Increase 1 stitch at the beginning of each row for 8 rows (13 sts)

Knit 4 rows

Decrease 1 stitch at the beginning of each row for 8 rows (5 sts)

Cast off




  1. Decorate with feathers and beak using Swiss darning
  2. Sew on button eyes
  3. Sew the knitted pieces wrong sides together and over-sew around the top and sides – stuff lightly just before your close the owl completely with your sewing
  4. Sew along the bottom edge
  5. Add wings and claws decoration – (the wings are defined with three chain stitches)
  6. Sew a key ring onto the top of the head



Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand


lf you have worries or problems and you have nobody else to speak to please call…




For an Embroidery Stitches Chart

Check out Blog Post 3

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