Set to be the BIGGEST meet up in the history of Bonsai over 70 artists will be on stage at the same time! It sure must be a BIG stage. I will be covering the event on this Blog. Watch this space.
During the British Shohin Bonsai exhibition at RHS Wisley Gardens in the south of England that was hosted by Sutton Bonsai society I attended workshop led by Taiga Urushibata. So much time can be wasted at workshops simply wiring your tree, so I pre-wired my pine before the workshop, I also took along another pine to work if time allowed.
I could easily have styled this tree but I wanted Taiga’s ‘take’ on the tree, there were so many option available… what was his idea for the tree, how would he style it? I believe that you are never to old to learn no matter how many years you have been working with bonsai.
The tree is a ‘natural’ cascade as the base of the tree has a sharp bend bringing the trunk more than 90º also the base and nebari are very interesting displaying deadwood and deep fissured bark. There is a VERY old shari running almost the length of the sweeping curve trunk.
After a short discussion Taiga agreed that this was the best option and the styling began. I wanted to bring the crown of the tree closer to the base, this meant a very severe bend. The tree had raffia in the area to be bend. Taiga told me that such a bend was not safe however I was confident that it was OK as the tree was strong and Scots Pine are very flexible. A tourniquet was applied to a temporary steel bar; this tourniquet was later replaced with a shorter one attached to a dead branch nearer the base of the tree. Taiga expressed that a bend such as this would not be possible with a Japanese Red pine as the branch would snap in two.
The final design was more or less as I envisaged. The other trees worked by Taiga included a few Junipers, a Yew and pines.
RHS Wisley is without doubt the BEST laid out gardens I have ever visited plus the fact that’s it’s HUGE and really required two days to take in all aspects of the garden.
The quality of the show was OUTSTANDING, and a good collection of traders made the show a must visit event, and I was happy to take the journey south and accept the challenge that’s the M25.
I was invited to present a tree and did so with my cascade olive. NOT a shohin tree but the exhibition also had Kifu and Chuhin trees displayed.
The event was sponsored by Bonsai Plaza
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visited the Australian National Arboretum on Wednesday 11 Nov. The visit included a short tour of the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection. Prince Charles was genuinely interested in the collection expressing that he may well start some bonsai on his return to the UK.
The press love stories like this and whether you are a fan or not of the Royal Family there is no denying that this visit will enhance the status of Bonsai in Australia because of the coverage the visit received. So my next challenge is to get them to visit one of our events.
My friend Leigh Taafe in Canberra gave me the permission to use these photo’s. Leigh is the Curator of National Bonsai & Penjing Collection of Australia. In the photos along with Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are Leigh, the guy in the suit is the ACT Chief Minister (politician) and Shannon Young (Leigh’s Assistant Curator) take a look at the collection HERE: and Canberra Bonsai Society HERE
Today I was invited to be the judge it what has to be the most dynamic Bonsai club in the UK. The Wirral Bonsai Club goes from strength to strength, I visit this show every two years and I am always pleased at the level of excellence not only in the trees but in the whole presentation shown by the individual participants. The asked me if I would put their trees on my blog on my return to encourage folk to visit them tomorrow and Bank holiday Monday at Gordale Garden Centre on The Wirral. This is indeed the BEST club show in the UK I have every attended.