British Shohin Association Annual Show 2012 photos and movie

I have just returned home for the BSA Show at Willowbog…Willowbog is in the wilds of Northern England 5 mile along a single track road off the main road network. It took me a total of seven hours travelling to get to the show and what a show. The Quality of display and the excellence of the trees is the best we have ever seen in one show in the UK.

The BSA has really come into its own with the group producing a wonderful event with a great friendly atmosphere. John Armitage and Peter Warren were on hand to offer advice and they gave a ‘trade secrets’ demo/talk in the afternoon. Andy Hardman (who was celebrating his 50th Birthday) gave talk on Accent plants, the room was so full I could not get in!  I also managed to interview two more potter for my potters showcase series.

Scroll to bottom for Movie

Bending the whole trunk of a Yamadori Yew

This Yew Tree has been in development for many years, this was the point that I needed to bring the foliage closer to the trunk. It was a nail biting experience, but the tree survived and thrived. I will be posting more about this tree later in March.

Strange pot for a semi cascade Juniper

I have had this juniper for over ten years, I bought it because I wanted a Japanese Juniper in my collection, this little tree has been the most expensive tree in my garden, because I paid so much for this tree I have been reluctant to part with it, most of my collection consists of yamadori that I have collected.

This tree was originally Moyogi with set branches in a typically imported tree. However the tree suffered from vine weevil about 7 years ago and lost but one branch! It has stood in my garden looking very sorry for all this time…. In fact…many of my bonsai ‘friends’ have made fun of me for paying so much for a runt of a tree.

Some times a particular pot can stimulate an idea, this is one such pot. My friend from Holland Hans Van Meer, gave me this pot by William Vlaanderen  because I believed this tree would ‘work’. The idea for this pot is Hans. I think that this runt of a tree will develop into an interesting bonsai… you saw it here first…what do you think?

The Tall Yew Six years after collecting.


Today I filmed this tree because this year will see a dramatic increase in foliage, refinement of the image and maturity of the bonsai. The tree had its first styling last year when the main branches were put in place.

Creating the right structure from an early stage means that you can avoid having to correct mistakes and loose years of work later. The image is OK now but it is still a very young ‘bonsai’ but not a young tree. With good horticultural technique, timely application of bonsai ‘know how’ and a good few HOT summers this bonsai should be ready for exhibition in 2016.

The story of collecting this tree from the mountain can be seen here

Creating a Shohin Juniper from mass produced imported material.

Japan, Korea and China produces these small junipers by the thousands, they can be purchased relatively cheaply and in some cases can be transformed into exception bonsai. If you are considering purchasing one, look for compact trees that do not have too many twists and turns and little character… it’s better to have a tree that displays good taper, pleasing movement and healthy branches ready for styling.

One of my students is preparing for the UK heat of the EBA New Talent Competition in 2013 (getting a good start) Mikey is styling as many small Junipers as possible leading up to the event next year. I supplied this little tree for him to work with. Mikey is still very much rough around the edges with his bonsai styling but he does have an excellent eye for detail. He tasked with styling AT LEAST one tree a week (funds permitting) and between styling he is pouring over every Bonsai book in my library.