AUTUMN 2014 JAPAN BONSAI EXPLORATION– Part 7

Tony Tickle:

singing in the rain

Originally posted on Valavanis Bonsai Blog:

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Stuck in Tokyo or a visit to Shunka-en Bonsai Museum In The Rain

Because of a delayed flight I stayed overnight at a hotel near Narita Airport. Got up early, worked on the magazine, wrote a recommendation for a close friend then took off to visit Kunio Kobayashi’s Shunka-en Bonsai Museum. I just got back to the airport and had the pleasure to ride on a bus, four trains, two subways and three taxis in order to visit bonsai in the rain, and well worth the effort.

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Bonsai look different in the rain and are difficult to photograph. Yuji Yoshimura taught me that bark texture and color are best when dry to see the details. Well, I did not have a hair dyer to dry off the trees and I have loads of Mr. Kobayashi’s bonsai in the sun, so simply enjoyed the bonsai in the rain and took some…

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Creating a miniature Crevice Garden Part 1

I am in the EAST LANCASHIRE GROUP Of The ALPINE GARDEN SOCIETY (AGS) it’s definitely the best ‘Club’ I have been a member, the group is very active full of enthusiastic participating members and a credit all. I joined the group to best understand plants in miniature for Kusomono. 

One of John Downes amazing miniature gardens

One of John Dower’s amazing miniature gardens

At the last meeting we enjoyed a practical talk with photographs and video by Member John Dower from Frodsham. John has recently been appointed a Trustee of the AGS and is one of the countries leading exponents of the development and showing of miniature gardens.

The gardens have a maximum size of 36 cm for showing, although the principles outlined apply equally to any trough, sink, raised bed or other display of alpines.

John threw down the gauntlet asking members to create their own miniature gardens and present them at the next annual show… this is my effort so far!

I have chosen to make a miniature crevice garden, I have used limestone and a bonsai pot. After a couple of attempts the stones simply were not secure, as I need ‘height’ and gaps between for planting. The only solution was to bind them together with waterproof cement, but still retaining enough room in the pot for compost and drainage. I made an ‘icing bag’ out of plastic shopping bag to help push the cement into the cracks, some gaps in the stone were left for drainage.

  • Place a layer of drainage
  • Line the pot with plastic
  • Place the stone in position
  • Cement together
  • Allow 3 days to dry out
  • Clean cement and trim off excess
  • Fill with soil mixture (John Innes No.2 with crushed Pumice) using a chop stick to force soil into the crevices.
  • Ready for planting up

Next step is the hardest bit choosing plants of the correct scale and colours.

AUTUMN 2014 JAPAN BONSAI EXPLORATION– Part 6 (Final?)

Tony Tickle:

maybe the last from Bill in Japan…maybe not

Originally posted on Valavanis Bonsai Blog:

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Today we visited the top bonsai gardens and collections in the Nagoya area on our private bus.

Daiju-en Bonsai Garden

Toro Suzuki is the third generation proprietor of Daiju-en Bonsai Garden in Okazaki, Japan. His grandfather, Saichi Suzuki, was one of the greatest pine bonsai masters of all time and is responsible for the introduction of Zuisho Japanese five-needle pine and the Princess persimmon. His father Toshinori Suzuki continued in his father’s footsteps of training masterpiece bonsai and added Needle junipers to one of his specialties. Many of the now common pine training techniques for shortening needles came from Saichi and Toshinori Suzuki. Toro Suzuki is in charge of the Nippon Taikan Bonsai Exhibition which finishes today.

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Toro Suzuki continues to specialize in Japanese black pine bonsai, but also has a great number of Japanese five-needle pine and Chinese quince. Dean Harrell from Virginia is currently studing with him along…

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AUTUMN 2014 JAPAN BONSAI EXPLORATION– Part 1

Originally posted on Valavanis Bonsai Blog:

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“Bill Jumps A Broad- Again”

Kora Dalager and I are back in Japan showing ten people the best of the Japanese bonsai world and the Taikan Bonsai Exhibition in Kyoto this coming weekend. We have tour members from California, Texas, Virginia, Pennsylvania New York, and Switzerland.

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We had a beautiful, bright sunny day in the Tokyo area. Not a cloud in the sky which made photographing a bit difficult. BUT, it looks like I skipped town at the right time. When I left home, all my nursery stock, pre-bonsai and sales bonsai were put away for winter. Only 98 of my best trees were outside, and still are, even though Diane offered to move them in the garage. Buffalo, New York has received 50 inches of snow and are expecting ANOTHER 2-3 feet of snow now in the second wave of weather. It missed Rochester, this time, who know about…

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AUTUMN 2014 JAPAN BONSAI EXPLORATION– Part 2

Originally posted on Valavanis Bonsai Blog:

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This morning was spent visiting the Shunka-en Bonsai Museum of Kunio Kobayashi in the Edogawa Ward of Tokyo. Fortunately, Peter Warren from England was at the museum and had time to show our group around explaining interesting details about the museum, containers and display, in proper English too.

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This weekend Mr. Kobayashi is holding an exhibition of his client’s bonsai so all of the apprentices were busy cleaning trees and polishing the tables and containers. Trees were actually being placed as we enjoyed their beauty. It was interesting to me to watch three apprentices carefully place a Japanese maple bonsai on a display table as one took charge to perfect the positioning.

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As in October, I noticed even more pieces of charcoal on the soil surface of many bonsai. Many of the pieces were quite large as well. Since many of the bonsai were transplanted in spring, it is easier…

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Gallery

Higo Gayu Kai 2014

This gallery contains 63 photos.

Originally posted on Bonsai Eejit:
More stunning Shohin displays from the blog of Nekotoban, this time from Higo Gayu Kai 2014. [gallery ids="4911,4912,4913,4914,4915,4916,4917,4918,4919,4920,4921,4922,4923,4924,4925,4926,4927,4928,4929,4930,4931,4932,4933,4934,4935,4936,4937,4938,4939,4940,4941,4942,4943,4944,4945,4946,4947,4948,4949,4950,4951,4952,4953,4954,4955,4956,4957,4958,4959,4960,4961,4962,4963,4964,4965,4966,4967,4968,4969,4970,4971,4972,4973"]

AUTUMN 2014 JAPAN BONSAI EXPLORATION– Part 5

Originally posted on Valavanis Bonsai Blog:

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This year the autumn viewing season for maples has been excellent. A sign in our hotel indicates the stage of leaf coloring in several of the popular viewing areas. It looks like we visited Kyoto at the best time, too bad I did not have the opportunity to visit any of the gardens.

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Last views of the 34th Nippon Taikan Bonsai Exhibition

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Sargent juniper, Juniperus chinensis var. sargentii ‘Shimpaku’

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Only three shohin bonsai compositions this year were displayed. In early January there is a huge shohin bonsai exhibition which fills the entire building.

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Shishigashira Japanese maple, Acer palmatum ‘Shishigashia’

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Japanese black pine, Pinus thunbergii. This masterpiece bonsai was created by Kenji Oshima and won the Prime Minister Award at last year’s Professional Bonsai Exhibition.

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Even the suiseki were carefully watered. Note the cloth placed behind the stone to avoid moistening the valuable display tables.

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Winged spindle tree, Euonymus sieboldiana

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Red…

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AUTUMN 2014 JAPAN BONSAI EXPLORATION– Part 3

Tony Tickle:

Check out the prunus!

Originally posted on Valavanis Bonsai Blog:

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Autumn In Kyoto

This morning a few of us visited a large flea market at the Toji Temple, which is near our hotel in Kyoto. We arrived early to avoid crowds, but were met with hoards of people including many foreigners looking and buying. Near the main entrance there was a large area with vendors selling flowers, plants, dried fruit and even bonsai.

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It appeared as though anything you wanted could be found here, antiques, clothing (new and old), jeans, car license plates from Washington state, snacks, old books, antique scrolls and inserts, dishes, light bulbs, cutlery, tools, bonsai tables, stones and even pins! Lots of good stuff and we left fully loaded with goodies. We did not visit the snack shops….

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34TH JAPAN TAIKAN BONSAI EXHIBITION 

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Today was the set up and judging for the 34th Japan Taikan Bonsai Exhibition one of the main Japanese exhibitions . Earlier…

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AUTUMN 2014 JAPAN BONSAI EXPLORATION– Part 4

Tony Tickle:

Bill sure gets around!

Originally posted on Valavanis Bonsai Blog:

SIGN

The 34th Nippon Taikan Bonsai Exhibition opened this morning after the traditional ribbon cutting ceremony. The show was well attended and the crowds continued to increase until mid-afternoon. Although anyone could take photos it was a bit difficult with people getting in the way. Also the yellow and purple backgrounds did not help with the white balance and different lighting.

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Japanese five-needle pine, Pinus parviflora

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Rock cotoneaster, Cotoneaster horizonatlis

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Japanese yew, Taxus cuspidata

While setting up the exhibition I happen to notice a couple photos of my trees being assembled for a special exhibit. The photos were recognized but I wonder where they got them. So I asked and was told that Toru Suzuki asked for photos for a special World Bonsai Corner photo display. Then I remembered that I did send the photos months ago. Perhaps a bit of old age creeping up here, no just gracefully “maturing.”

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