Nihon de Hajimete, Part 6: Shinji Suzuki and Shoujuen

Japanese Bonsai Pots Blog

The next morning saw us bright and early at Shinji Suzuki’s wonderful garden. Everything about Mr. Suzuki’s garden spoke of taste and refinement, from the trees, to the garden environs, the pots…even the tea, and obligatory snacks, were tasteful and high class.

While most all of the nurseries we visited had at least one, if not several, Kichou(registered large bonsai masterpiece) or Miyabi(registered shohin and chuhin cultural treasure) Bonsai, At the Suzuki garden, there were nearly more Kichou bonsai than we saw the entire rest of the trip!


American apprentices Matt Reel and Tyler Sherrod hard at work. In addition to these two talented gentlemen, Michael Hagedorn was also a Deshi here, once upon a time.

The first trees one sees upon entrance: those are NOT shohin. Around 5 feet tall, with the massive pots.

And, turning a corner…
A Few Bench Shots









Some Individual Trees

Mr. Suzuki’s famous Tosho

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Crenata display

Scrivi qui i tuoi pensieri… (opzionale)

Kitora no do

IMG_7765 Sono in cerca di un vaso adatto a questa zattera, penso che se lo possa meritare un bel tokoname ;).IMG_7766IMG_7767IMG_7768IMG_7769IMG_7770IMG_7771IMG_7772IMG_7773IMG_7774Zattera di fagus crenata


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Reminder: Eda Uchi Kai Bonsai Ten

R.I.P Peter Adams

Just heard that Peter Adams has sadly died. A true artist in the bonsai world.  I think I have every book that he wrote in my collection. His drawings were inspirational. Rest in peace.

These words below taken from his joint Facebook Page and written by his wife Kate.

‘I am so sorry to report that Peter died suddenly, but peacefully, in his sleep last Sunday, November 24. It was very unexpected, we had just enjoyed a marvellous visit together on Saturday and he drew a sketch of me as I sat there. His death has been so very hard to accept, especially since we planned to leave for home together next Monday, December 2.
There will be a memorial at a later date. Details will be advised on this page. His ashes will come home with me soon. 
I miss him so very terribly.’


Building Bonsai Benches

Thought I’d share this video. Paul was kind enough to let myself and Stephen visit his home in Florida back in 2011. He’s been off the video radar for a while as he moves home, but his videos are back and I thought that this one was worth sharing. A step by step guide to building a bench for your trees.

Bonsai Ireland Hub

It’s time to get organised people!

After years without an organised bonsai scene in Ireland we now have a new drive to fulfill the needs of bonsai enthusiasts across this Island. As Chairman of the NI Bonsai Society, a club that has been running from 1986, I get many requests from people all over Ireland looking to get involved in Bonsai as a hobby. Some travel up to our events from as far away as Cork, but many can’t commit to this. This is a missed opportunity as far as connecting like minded people goes.

Well, this is now coming to an end! With the hard work of Paul Masterson in creating the Bonsai Ireland Hub,you can now sign up and chat and connect via the the new hub site. Each member club will be showcased and we will share information about bonsai events across Ireland. We are also hoping to use it to launch new clubs as we go along. Munster, under the leadership of Adam and Piotr is already up and running, and we hope Dublin will follow shortly.

We are not trying to match the other bonsai forums out there doing a great job, just trying to fill a need here in Ireland. However, if you are an ex pat, or have Irish blood (probably most of the Western World!) then you are welcome to join the  Overseas Irish Group.

The Hub is up and running but no doubt there will be changes as we try and meet the needs of the members. We now need you to sign up and get involved to allow us to test things out and ensure that all is in working order.  Just click on the logo below to visit the hub. Come on, ya will, ya will ya will 😉


Japan International Bonsai Tour Exploration– Autumn 2013, Part 5

Valavanis Bonsai Blog



My friend in the hotel lobby.


On Saturday morning we went to the opening of the Choseki Kai Suiseki Exhibition before heading on to the Taikan Bonsai Exhibition. We actually got there at 9am and the show opened at 10, so it was a quiet time to appreciate, study and photograph the stones and displays. The suiseki exhibition is annually held at the Kenniji Temple, the 800 year old Buddhist Temple, oldest in Kyoto. The old buildings are beautiful and unique, as are the ancient paintings and other art. Seiji Morimae, S-Cube in Hanyu, is the prime organizer of the event, and, as usual, did a smashing job with the show.






There were three full wall formal tokonoma each displaying one susiseki and a grass planting companion. The other stones were displayed along the walls on dark blue felt runners. Several interesting grass plantings were used as accents. The display…

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Japan International Bonsai Tour Exploration– Autumn 2013, Part 4

Valavanis Bonsai Blog


Although beautiful, the Japanese maples in the garden temples are not quite at their peak of color yet. So, rather than share photos of colorful maples, I thought I’d share an interesting colorful character I saw in the sales area.


At first I noticed his hat and was wondering where he got those magnificent pins, then I looked closer and he freely posed for me.

Today was the opening day for the 33rd Taikan Bonsai Exhibition and I spent all day studying the bonsai. The exhibition was not quite as crowded as in the past, perhaps because its only Friday so I hope more visitors will come during the remaining weekend. There are quite a number foreigners at the exhibition, many from Europe.


I received a question about the last photo in Part 3 of a rather unusual display so today I got the information. The display is a “Horticultural…

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Roy’s Hazel

Roy C, a local bonsai enthusiast has shared a few photos of his trees with me, and I just love this Hazel. For me a change of pot would just set this tree off.

Picture 046


Bakers Bonsai

I was down at the Bonsai Bakers Place yesterday and snapped a few very quick photos.

His stunning Hornbeam in the winter look.


Best dressed Bonsai.


His maple raft with ramification improving year on year.