It’s exactly one week since the Noelanders Trophy XIV took place at the Centrum voor Duurzaam Bouwen, in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium. It’s a superb venue large and full of light offering a wonderful space to exhibit trees of all size.
I arrived in Belgium ahead of the foul weather on Thursday evening, this afforded me a leisurely start on Friday setting up my trade stand an securing an early slot to have my Exhibition trees photographed by Willy Evenepoel for the Exhibition book. Such is the popularity of the event Willy finished photographing the trees at 2.30am the following morning! As the participants in the exhibition and traders started to arrive and set up it became clear that the weather was going to cause everyone a heap of trouble. It was thick with snow and a VERY cold -8c.
Friday at Noelanders is a mixture of frantic unpacking, setting up and catching up… Nothing can beat meeting up with friends from across Europe and my good friend Sebastijan Sandev has made a wonderful video that captures the mood perfectly. Dinner on Friday evening was at the event as it has a rather good restaurant! Then it was an early night ready for the weekend.
Saturday is ALWAYS a busy time because bonsai folk want to get to the traders early so as to select the best material and any ‘bargains’ to be had.
On Saturday and Sunday afternoon there were simultaneous demonstrations by these guys:
- Enrico Savini from Italy
- Carlos Van der Vaart from the Netherlands
- Robert Steven from Indonesia
- Suthin Sukosolvisit from the United States of America
- Werner Busch from Germany
- Luis Vallejo from Spain
Saturday evening was the gala dinner, and it’s always quite an event, the second year running Ryan Neil and a couple of his state side buddies along with Peter Warren and Peter Snart made up the table with Mikey and me. Walter Pall chose to miss this year therefore the proceeding was somewhat quieter on our table.
Early Sunday morning enabled me to video the whole exhibition, every tree, accent planting and details. The videos are split across eight movies exactly as the show was set up, so the Shohin is on one movie, large trees another etc. The weather had taken a severe turn for the worse and the number of visitors reflected that…
Same time next year and same place, I will be there and hopefully have trees selected. I take my hat off to the organisers of this wonderful event as it is run with precision and friendliness, lets make sure that the bonsai community continue to support the event and continue to make it THE premier event in Europe.