May 2021 Report

Two outside workshops were held at beginning of May in Syston and Whitwick with numbers restricted to 6 attendees wearing face masks, social distancing and no refreshments. Members were itching to get back to group bonsai working and being as safe as possible within the pandemic restrictions. Having last met at beginning of March 2020, members had been keeping in touch by WhatsApp with messages, pictures and occasional calls. We also learned that our former meeting place in Queniborough would be unable to accommodate us in the foreseeable future due to continuing restrictions effecting the premises. So we were on the hunt for a new base.

A meeting place was found at the Park Hall in Whitwick Park, Whitwick, near Coalville and the the club started back cautiously on 18 May. Its a modern community hall with disability facilities and a spacious car park at front of the premises. We required members’ approval that the new location was suitable for our needs.

With sanitiser at the ready, face masks on and tables/chairs set out for social distancing, members attended an informal first meeting bringing trees, materials and tools to work with. They also viewed the new location and facilities, and gave the thumbs up in agreement. It was exciting to see each other and talk bonsai as well as a lot of other catching up to do. Strange times we are all experiencing and was good to be back to some sense of normality and routine.

June 2021 Report

Herb Haywood and his wife Val in 2018. The club’s new Leader.

On 29 June a further Members workshop was held at Whitwick with demonstration on grafting, jining and sharing plus work done on other trees brought to the event. It was a busy workshop with a great deal of discussion on the use of dremels and their accessories with ladies adding this electric tool to their work boxes for the first time. There was great concentration and much sawdust flying and generally the experience was greatly enjoyed.

Grafting: inserting a branch growing from root into trunk to develop new upper top growth on a Field Maple (Campestris) at workshop.

Next meeting on Tuesday, 6 July, 7pm at the Hall, Whitwick Park, LE67 5HB, Practical session on Defoliation of deciduous trees and after care. Display table will be for examples of grafting, jining and sharing. Subs will be due and club raffle will resume. A bonsai library scheme is being introduced. New enquiries welcome – see our Contact page..

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April 2021 Update

Show trees
Members trees on display

Leicestershire Bonsai Club is re-starting on Tuesday, 18th May, 2021

Time has really passed since our last meeting in March 2020, after which all community events stopped for Covid 19 and national lockdowns. Over a year has now passed without a face-to-face get together for the Club. With varying IT abilities in the group, we used WhatsApp to keep in touch with communications and sharing pictures. Zoom didn’t work for us.

The pandemic restrictions are now being eased with various phases, and things are beginning to happen again. We began to wonder if would ever see the day but yes, community groups will soon be able to meet again. And the Club is preparing for our event.

It will be a new location for us. We are moving to Whitwick on a trial basis and the start date will not be our usual first Tuesday of the month. In order to comply with Covid regulations, we are meeting at the first opportunity we will be allowed to on the third Tuesday,18th May, as a one off occasion. Thereafter we will revert to our regular first Tuesday of the month as from 1st June. Our time remains the same from 7-9pm.

The location will be Whitwick Park Hall, a modern community hall within Whitwick Park, North Street, Whitwick, Leics LE67 5HA. The location can be viewed on the web – see Whitwick Park Hall, Leics. Parking is available next to the hall and there is disable access and toilet facilities. For further details please contact Herb Haywood on 01530 813930. There will be some Covid precautions in place and the wearing of personal face masks is required. There is no charge for this meeting. Adults are welcome to come along and meet us if you have an interest in bonsai. We cater for all abilities from the new to the experienced.

The theme of the evening is a Free and Easy Catch-up for the group and an open workshop for people to bring their trees to work on, plus tools and materials. Also required to bring own refreshments on this occasion.

In addition, there are a couple of Club Workshops taking place over the May bank holiday weekend on 1st May in Syston, and 2nd May in Whitwick, being hosted by members in their gardens, from 10am-4pm. The Saturday workshop is now full but spaces are available on the Sunday. Phone 07870117882 for further details.

We are kinda itching to get back to ‘normality’ and looking forward to seeing our fellow bonsai enthusiasts soon. But remember, Covid is still about, so remain careful, safe and keep well.

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March Meeting 2020

This gallery contains 3 photos.

An excellent presentation was given by Andy, a Club member, on familiarisation of soils, or potting medium as known to us.  We are now approaching that time of year in UK when we will be looking to pot up some … Continue reading

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February Meeting 2020

Following the recent death of our club leader, Mike Konig, we had a special meeting to assess the situation and consider how to take the Club forward. Mike had been a huge influence with the Club and his extensive knowledge of over 30yrs developing bonsai will be greatly missed. The 2020 programme will shortly be published on the web site. A new development will be trialling a new workshop at Staunton Harold Garden Centre with a view to making it a permanenet feature next year.

Members at Special Meeting 4 February 2020

Members brought trees to the display table that had special connections to Mike and after the formal part of the meeting, members gave little reviews on why their trees had special memories.

Our 3 March meeting will be covering soil mixes for various stages of development and advice on sourcing material and rocks for ‘root over rock’ workshop in April. Also we will be encouraging members to select a tree or two from their collections and are going to develop these specific trees throughout the year in preparation for showing.

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Mike Konig

Here are the details for Mike’s funeral.

  • Wednesday, 5th February 2020 at 12.30pm.
  • Gilroes Crematorium, Groby Road, Leicester LE3 9QG
  • Flowers – family only
  • Donations to Cancer Research UK at the service or send to:
  • Co-op Funeral Services, 131 Humberstone Road, Leicester LE5 3AD

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January Meeting 2020

The Club met for its Annual General Meeting on 7 January chaired by Club Leader Mike Konig. In summary of his annual report for 2019, Mike said “He was pleased in the development of its membership, the regular table displays at meetings, exhibiting at shows and the recent Club raffle which was now self-funding its prizes. We have come a long way since earlier days. Personally, he was also glad that despite health setbacks, he had been able to attend most meetings.”

It was with great sadness we learned that following our AGM, Mike Konig unexpectedly passed away that evening at home. Although he had been fighting lung cancer, his sudden death was a shock to all. He was feeling better than before Christmas after medication had been adjusted and his mood was quite upbeat. He was pleased with the meeting and was looking forward to forthcoming events. He was passionate about bonsai and Leicestershire Bonsai Club. He will be greatly missed for his knowledge, humanity, generosity and the effort he put in to make the Club a success by current and past members, and within the UK bonsai fraternity where he was widely known.

Our heartfelt condolences go to his wife Stella, and their family. RIP Mike.

The Club programme for 2020 had been agreed, but in view of Mike’s death, changes may now be made before it can be published. Next Club meeting is 4 February and will be a Members Open Discussion on taking the Club forward. Trees brought to the display table will be a reminder of Mike.

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Merry Christmas and a happy New Year

A Merry Christmas and a Happy new year to all of our Club Members and everyone who follows and reads our Blog.

xmas

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December 2019 Meeting

Ho, Ho, Ho it was a fun evening for our end of year social. After a year of developing and maintaining bonsai, with some shows and workshops thrown in, it was good to take a break and embrace the seasonal spirit with some festive refreshments and light hearted events.

First up was a pub quiz with general questions including pictures of famous people to identify. Members split into two teams and was a very close call with Olly’s team acheiving 32 and Dave’s team 31 points. Winning team received a prize.

After a break to refill glasses at the bar, we democratically voted for the best dressed seasonal tree (any tree could be submitted).

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The Trees were all very different and twinkled and sparkled with decorations. Herb’s Tree (pictured above) was the winner and awarded a prize.

Then it was the eagerly awaited raffle which had been running all year for a spectacular first prize of a large, mature, trained Korean Hornbeam in a ceramic pot together with a voucher towards the cost of a tutorial at a professional workshop of the recipient’s choice to aid with maintaining the tree.

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The lucky winner of the main prize was Mark, who also went on to bag a group of 3 trees. Other prizes included a China Mist pot, a turntable, a wire caddy with tool box, soil grading sieve, a large, mature Larch, a Privet, a group of 7 Ash in growing-on box, and a ceramic plaque from this year’s Heathrow Show.

Below are a few pictures of the winners with their prizes :

The evening drew to a close with next year’s programme being announced and distribution of agenda for AGM at January’s meeting.

Unfortunately Mike, our club leader, was unable to attend due to poor health but was with us in spirit by compiling the quiz, entering a dressed tree and contributing hand-crafted items to the raffle. Thank you Mike. We missed your presence and all signed a card for you in your absence.

To all our readers we send Greetings for the Festive Season and wish you a Happy 2020. Thank you for following us. We are back in January. 

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Heathrow Show

This was the fourth successive year that we have displayed our members trees at the Heathrow Show.  It is one of the main event in our annual events calendar, and I was pleased to see that most of our members have entered a tree this year.

As last year, Olly and Herb set of on Saturday to help with the set up of the event.   They arrived there at about 12.30 and got stuck in with helping to complete the set up. They even found time to set up part of our display, pending the arrival of further trees to be brought by Ben on Sunday morning.

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They then went on to the Scout hut to sort out their sleeping quarters for the night and a well earned BBQ, some drinks and plenty of bonsai chat.

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Early start on Sunday to get to the event venue for 8:00 am and finalise our display with the trees brought down by Ben in time for the doors to open.

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As in previous years, footfall was amazing and the hall was buzzing for most of the day.

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We received good feedback on our display, as well as some well meaning and non judgemental constructive criticism, which makes the event such a worth while effort.

We booked our place for next year so plenty of time for other members to get a tree ready.

Below are a few pictures of trees that caught Olly’s eye, and you can find more images by searching through facebook and Instagram.  There are loads of people and clubs that have posted individual images and photo series from the show.

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October Meeting Report

First of all an apology.  We seem to have lost a few meeting reports.  I am investigating why they have not posted as planned and will hopefully be able to recover them.  Please bear with me on that.

 

Members brought along trees for entry in our club display at the Heathrow Bonsai Show which made up the display table for this months meeting.

 

Octobers meeting was a practical workshop to start a mame/shohin size cascading juniper from nursery stock.

We obtained the material for the practical session from David Cheshire Bonsai , a selection of well rooted Blaauws and  Shimpaku Juniper cuttings.

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Mike brought along a few small juniper cascades in various stages of development to show the process and succession,

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Members then chose a tree to work on, following steps as explained and demonstrated by Mike.

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After two hours of concentrated work, everyone had managed to produce a piece of material with good trunk movement and well placed branches, ready for further development over the next couple of years.  We will be scheduling a follow up session in next years calendar.

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