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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September 2021 Report

Our normal date of first Tuesday of the month was delayed to the following week due to a new central heating system being installed in our meeting place. Well its good news to know that we will be warm and toasty at our gatherings during the up and coming colder months of the year.

The topic for the evening was pine needle reduction and juniper thinning to form pads. What a popular subject this was as many trees were brought to the meeting and it was such a hive of activity, our regular photographer was too occupied to take any pictures of either members working on their trees, or the display table with its theme of any evergreen trees. Even the photographer would like to be able to have the opportunity to work on his trees whenever possible, so we can forgive him on this occasion. There was lots of discussion and advice, and a rather messy session with all the clearing up to do afterwards.

We are gaining a little clutch of new members and welcome Dave T who came along to his first introductory meeting and joined the club straightaway. We were also pleased to see Keith J back amongst us. One of our disabled members who has been unable to attend for a while. Good to see both of them at this meeting.

During Covid, we used throwaway plastic cups with our refreshments. Thanks to Simon, we now have a new supply of fabulous coloured ceramic mugs and the tea and coffee definitely tastes a lot better. Overdue thanks also to Herb and Val who provide the refreshments and with all the talking that goes on, a drink or two during the evening is very welcome, with no charge.

It has certainly been a strange year in more ways than one. Apart from Covid, Brexit, and shortages of supplies; the seasonal weather has been extraordinary too. But when the weather has been good, its also good to get into the garden and do some bonsai work. The top picture was taken at the club’s last workshop for the year on 25 September when the weather was kind and gave opportunity for some serious work to be done. But the workshops are also an opportunity for time to relax, and get to know each other, share advice and enjoy the fresh air and share a common interest, as the following picture shows. The autumn colours of maples and other plants and trees was just amazing.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday, 5 October at our Whitwick location commencing 7pm. In spite of the fuel crisis, we are hoping to have a good turnout for an instructional evening by our club Leader who will be talking on bonsai tools – what is needed, how they are used, how to sharpen and maintain them. Its important to have clean, sharp tools for the health of our trees. And the session will also cover preparing our trees for winter protection.

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LBC’s Change of date in September 2021

Due to contractors working on the central heating at the location, our September meeting date will NOT be the usual first Tuesday of the month. Instead we have moved our meeting to Tuesday, 14 September at 7pm for our usual location at The Hall in Whitwick Park, North Street, Whitwick, Leics LE67 5HA. Anyone interested in wanting to learn about bonsai are welcome to come and see us at our meetings. For more info, please contact Herb on 07414523509 or see our Contacts page.

Back in August we held a further members’ workshop and we thank Jan for hosting this event. Although the weather looked ominous, the rain actually held off for those who attended. It was a small turnout but much work was achieved and the host’s cat took a keen interest in the activity.

Jan has a small garden and has found a way to display some of her collection. It was a good day for getting a lot done. Can you spot the cat interest? Clearly loving the attention.

Our next members’ workshop is programmed for Saturday, 25 September and will take place in Syston, Leics. It will be the last one for this year. Only paid-up members can attend our workshops. They are held monthly in addition to club meetings, from April to September for all abilities. An opportunity to have extra time to work on trees and seek advice.

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LBC So good to be back

juniper cascade pruning

LBC had a meeting on 3 August and the subjects were cascades, mame and accents. A good number were brought to the display table, some of which were worked on during the evening. The club, at its new location in Whitick with a new leader, is getting back into its stride following closure in March last year due to Covid.

The Club’s Shield with its custom made carrying case

Last year we could not hold our annual club competition in the summer when we mount a public display at a location and ask the public to vote for their most popular tree. This year, as a one-off, we are holding the competition at our December meeting. The club member of the winning tree is awarded the Club Shield and has their name engraved as a record.

The Shield now has a supburb custom made carrying case to protect it and this was displayed at our August meeting. It was made by one of our members and we gratefully thank Simon for his generous gift.

General pictures from the meeting. Members were so engrossed the time flew and we had to pack-up very quickly to leave. Can you spot the dragon on the mame pot – such good fun. If you notice newspapers on the tables, these are not for reading at meetings but to protect the table tops. We like to think we are green conscious and recycle where we can.

A members’ workshop is being held in East Leake on 22 August hosted by our member Jan in her garden. As always, we hope that the weather will be kind for the event.

Our next club meeting will be held on Tuesday, 7 September 2021 at 7pm at The Hall in the park, Whitwick Park, North Street, Whitwick, LE67 5HA. Interested visitors with a view to membership are welcome to come and see us at our meetings.

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LBC settling into a regular routine

Defoliation time with members

July 2021

Pleased to report our club is gathering momentum since Covid restrictions relaxed and we have now had several meet ups. It’s so good to get back together and there is a buzz in the air again. Such strange times since March 2020 when everything seemed bleak and we all tried to cope in the unusual circumstances of a pandemic.

We have settled into the new premises and have acquired new members Jan and Sebastian. Welcome to the club and we are pleased to have you on board with us.

On 6 July we had a well attended club meeting and launched our club library loan system. The evening covered defoliation and we had hands on experience with our trees. We also introduced the club raffle tree for our draw at the end of the year. The display table was well represented with members trees indicating some grafting, jinning and sharring work and trees looking seasonal for time of year. We even had a rose and a rhododendron that a member has been cultivating putting on a florific display.

On 18 July we had a member’s hosted workshop on the theme of summer pruning and any other issues with trees at the time. Phew – it was so hot. A real scorcher of a day. Not the best day to be outside and heaving around pots with trees, materials and tools but nonetheless, members made most of the day in the circumstances.

03 August we meet up again at our Park Hall premises in Whitwick Park, LE67 5HB at 7pm and the theme for the evening is developing cascades and maintaining our smallest trees.

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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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