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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Club Display at Staunton Harold Garden Centre

With the demise of the Market Bosworth Horticultural Show, we were on the lookout for a new venue to put on a small display of our Members’ trees.

As luck would have it, one of our members works at the Staunton Harold Garden Centre and Nurseries and managed to get permission for us to put on a display there.

As with all of our shows and displays, we encourage all members to enter a tree, no matter of their experience level or development stage of the tree.  These shows and displays serve to show the range of experience and abilities of ALL of our members and display not only specimen bonsai, but reflect the various stages in bonsai development.

A big thank you to Ruth and Olly, who did a stern job in coordinating the event and to all members who contributed.

You will notice that some of the trees have numbers next to them.  This is for members of the public to vote for their favourite bonsai.  The Club member whose tree gets the most votes will have their name engraved on our Club trophy and is allowed to keep the trophy (and associated bragging rights) for one year.

Some pictures of the display:

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…and some close up pictures:

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And finally the work in progress table, showing bonsai in the earliest stages of development:

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July Meeting 2019

We were pleased to welcome David Cheshire as our guest speaker for the evening.

David gave a very informative talk about Mame and Shohin sized bonsai.

IMG_3688He had brought along many fine examples of these small sized bonsai and explained the size classification differences between the two sizes.

David then went on to show examples of trees and shrubs suitable for growing in mame and shohin size.

He kept the talk interactive and at a level that even our newer members and beginners could easily follow.IMG_3682

After the break, David did a short styling demo on a Blaauws Juniper to demonstrate initial wiring and  styling on nursery bought stock plants.IMG_3692

Members had brought along their own small size bonsai for the display table and there was a good selection of trees on show.IMG_3679IMG_3680

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Members Workshop May 2019

As our monthly meetings only last for about two hours, there is really not enough time to really get stuck into practical work, especially on larger trees. To remedy this we have introduced the Members Workshops some time ago now and they have proved popular ever since.

Not only does it give our members an opportunity to work on their trees while having more experienced member to get help and feedback, it also provides a chance to see how others display their trees and it is a good social occasion to get to know the other members of the club.

Herb and Val kindly offered to host this month’s workshop, so a big THANK YOU to them!

Members who attended were greeted by the sight of a fabulous Japanese style garden, worthy of a Chelsea gold medal.

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Despite the weather threatening to throw a spanner in the works, we had a good turnout and having set up in the car port we managed to get quite a few trees worked on and discussed quite  a few aspects of bonsai styling and care in the process. Below are a few of the trees that members brought along to work on.

We also had time to admire Herb and Val’s splendid display of Bonsai.

All in all, a great day was had by all and we are looking forward to the next one.

Once again a big thank you to Herb and Val for their hospitality.

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May Meeting

This meeting was all bout watering and feeding our bonsai through the growing season.

Firstly we revealed the main prize for the Christmas raffle.  A splendid Korean Hornbeam we managed to acquire at a bargain price at the Coventry BTA event.

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We then went on to talk about watering.  Although it seems to quite a simple topic, it was quickly established that many of the newer members were a bit baffled by the wealth of conflicting advise and opinions when it comes to watering and feeding.

Mike gave a thorough run down on watering, taking into account the stage of development of the tree, the soil composition, pot size, weather conditions, time of year and location.

We then moved on to feeding, covering the essentials like N-P-K values of fertilisers, micro nutrients and the pros and cons of organic versus chemical fertilisers.

Mike again pointed out that feeding regimes are governed by many factors, similar to the ones mentioned during the watering discussion.

We had a bit of time at the end of the meeting to take a look at the display table and chat about the maples that members had brought in for this month’s display.

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Club Display at the BTA Event

We had a great day at the BTA event in Ryton on Dunsmore.

All the preparations paid of and the stand looked great, presenting a variety of trees in various stages of refinement and reflecting the experience levels of all our members.  A big Thank You to everyone who entered a tree.

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There were also plenty of trees on show from other local bonsai societies.

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April Meeting

Our April Meeting was centred around planning our club display for the upcoming Bonsai Traders Association event in Coventry on Sunday, 14th of April.

Members brought along the trees they wanted to enter for the display.  We strongly encourage members of all levels to bring along their trees, as for us, the club shows have always been about showing the diversity of the club, rather than just showing specimen bonsai.

The first confirmed prizes for our annual raffle were announced at the start of the meeting.  These being a Wire Caddy, a China Mist Pot and a Bonsai Basics book.IMG_3393

Mike gave a short presentation on how to prepare a bonsai for a show and than handed over to Olly for the mock set-up.

We tried quite a few variations of layouts, with trees being moved about, stands swapped, etc, before we arrived at a display that all club members present agreed on.

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The rest of the evening was spent on refining and dressing trees ready for the show.

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March Members Workshop

Big Thank You to Olly and Karen, who once again opened up their garden for the early season re-potting workshop.

The weather was not too kind to us, being windy and quite cold, so turn out was low and we were forced to relocate to the garage for most of the morning.

Nonetheless, we managed to get through a good bit of re-potting work with plenty of general chat and advice (and plenty of hot drinks kindly supplied by Karen).

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March Meeting

Our Club meeting for March was all about re-potting and pot selection.

The display table was supplied with a good selection of trees in various stages of development and some nice accent plants in well matched pots.

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While it was still a bit early to think about re-potting the majority of trees, Mike brought along a Japanese Maple starter plant and a Japanese Hawthorn for the short demo.  Both trees had decided to forge ahead and start to leaf out in the unseasonal warm weather in the run up to the meeting and were ready to be used for the demo.

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Various reason were given as to when to re-pot and most importantly why to re-pot (or not as the case may be), and a short discussion was had on suitable growing media for young starter plants and more established bonsai.

This was followed by a short demo of re-potting and root pruning basics.

After the break we moved on to discussing pot selection for established bonsai.  Ben kindly brought along one of his Japanese Maples and a selection of pots for consideration.

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After a short introduction on how a pot will need to fulfil the horticultural needs of our tress (soil capacity, drainage, anchor points for securing the tree, etc.) we moved on to the aesthetics, using Ben’s maple and the selection of pots he had brought along.

The meeting finished with the announcement of the follow on workshop at Olly’s.

 

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