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:
…and some close up pictures:
And finally the work in progress table, showing bonsai in the earliest stages of development:
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.
He 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.
After the break, David did a short styling demo on a Blaauws Juniper to demonstrate initial wiring and styling on nursery bought stock plants.
Members had brought along their own small size bonsai for the display table and there was a good selection of trees on show.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There were also plenty of trees on show from other local bonsai societies.
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.
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.
The rest of the evening was spent on refining and dressing trees ready for the show.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
The subject of the meeting was review and further development of the small Larch bonsai created from nursery stock late last year. After all the (some may say boring) planning at the January meeting, it was good to get back in to hands on work on our trees.
A warm welcome was given to Chris who returned to the club after a year of work related absence and to Andy who joined the club as a new member.
Members brought along their creations to see what improvements can be made to the initial styling and get advice on how to progress in the coming months.
A lot of discussion was had about the necessity to bring good movement into the trunks at this early stage of development and some the members proceeded to add further bends or modify and exaggerate the existing bends in their trees. Further advice was given as to the pruning and re-potting in the next few months.
There was time after the break, so we discussed some of the trees that were brought in for the display table. One of the trees, a nice specimen Larch belonging to Ben, was used to show how to wire the branches and how to get mature looking foliage pads by layering the branches.
The display table was well stocked with trees in all stages of development.
Our Meeting Calendar for this year is now live. Please note that some of the meeting topics are still provisional and will be updated as and when they are confirmed.