I started this demonstration outlining a bit about the history of Saikei. I then spoke about the styles of Saikei, Alpine, Lowland and Coastal and illustrated the ability of the artist to free themselves from convention and create any landscape they wish.
I then prepared the trees for the Saikei, explaining that alpine trees were often much thinner visualy than their lowland counterparts. After the trees were prepared I situated the rocks using a mix of Clay, Potting Compost and Sand which provided the foundation for the rocks. I was able to tip the pot so that the audience could see the position of the rocks without fear of them falling out (such is the binding capability of the Clay mix), then I explained that the roots were able to penetrate this clay mix due to the sand and potting compost.
Then I started to fill the planting areas with a standard Saikei soil mix of 40% potting compost, 40% sharp sand and 20% Akadama, explaining that we use a denser soil composition due to the need to "mold" the soil to give it an uneven surface so that it looks natural.
I placed the trees into the composition and filled in the rest of the planting area and covered with moss, although time was running short so I didnt manage to completely finish.
Overall I was quite pleased with the result although I am going to introduce a couple of alpine plants on the far right of the pot to accentuate the movement. Let me know what you think.
I will add a "Completed" photo when I can get it into the studio.