2018 92nd Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition II– Part 1

Valavanis Bonsai Blog

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The 92nd Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition is being held in two parts again this year. The second part II runs from February 13-16, 2018 and here are a few photos of bonsai which captured my trained eye. Please remember that the bonsai are displayed in the exhibition are for live viewing, NOT for photographing. It is extremely difficult to get a good image of a tree because of different lighting and different backgrounds in each area. Plus the ceiling heights are also different and the exhibition is full of people trying to enjoy the beauty of the bonsai. Many of these photos were actually taken by my new iPhone X, not my Cannon DSLR. Then after trying to take a decent and acceptable image they must be adjusted for lighting, color balance, detail enhancement and the background seams must be removed, including their shadows on the display tables. Often the…

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Originally posted on BONSAIKO:
Just want to share these before and after photos of some the trees I have currently on display at the NW Flower and Garden Show in Seattle. Please click on the photos to see the caption…

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Munster Manoeuvres

A big thank you to all those in Munster stretching from Middleton to Ennis who allowed me to work on their trees last week. Some great craic and I was well looked after at every stop on the way.

Here’s a few photos snapped along the way some general some before and some after.

School day with Ian Young

A massive thank you to the Munster Bonsai Club for having me down for what was the first Bonsai School collaboration between myself and a very motivated club of enthusiasts. See you all soon.

Munster Bonsai Club

Very enjoyable day with Ian Young alias Bonsai Eejiet

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Bonsai school start this year.

Looking forward to a day with one of the most enthusiastic clubs I have even had the pleasure of working with.

Munster Bonsai Club

If you are interested in do not hesitate to contact us

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Iwasaki Japanese White Pine

I’ve been looking for a Japanese White Pine for a while, but something a little different than the usual shaped pines we see everywhere. Back at the start of the Winter I was offered one that fitted the criteria.

Peter Warren of Saruyama Bonsai had imported some JWP that had been part of the Daizo Iwasaki collection. I had the pleasure of wiring one of them back in January 2017 whilst studying at Saruyama Towers. I think this was the catalyst to my desire for one. Peter had sold one in the Autumn of 2016 but it just come back into his hands as part of a swap deal and I jumped at the chance of buying it.

This is it back in Japan where Peter first spotted it.

The tree arrived with me just before Christmas, along with Mr Warren 🙂 This is a few angles before we started work.

Getting down to work with the professional.

and afterwards……

I love this tree, a spreading multi apex image and out of the normal cookie cutter Pine image. A few branches are a little behind development wise, especially around the back were we brought up a back branch to make the highest part of the tree. A few branches will be removed within a year or two. The last video clip is probably the best way to view it. It helps give a view of it’d funky quirky style and shows the real age and character in the trunk and branches. I look forward to developing this tree further, it should be a fun journey.

Thanks as always to Peter Warren, the most genuine bonsai professional out there, and, as the music playing in the last video says, ‘Go your Own Way’. 🙂 Let’s not run with the herd.

 

Wellington Dam

Our last night of camping was at Wellington Dam, the shore of which was littered with the skeletal remains of trees long dead. The deadwood here was truly ancient and worthy of a few photos. The next morning we went to the Preston River, the outflow from the Dam, to a place called the Honeymoon Pool. My brother-in-law Keith and I were the only two game enough to go in for a swim. The water was super cold having come out from the very base of the deep dam. After a few minutes it was quite pleasant though and a refreshing experience after a long walk around the Dam itself.

Itook some video with my phone as well as the usual barrage of photos.

Goblin Swamp

One of the most unusual places we visited on our camping trip was the Goblin Swamp at Snottygobble Loop. Yeah, that’s what it’s called 🙂

Tucked away in a pretty hard to find spot, long kept secret by the locals, this swamp was small but packed with a low lying area full of old tangled, tortured looking melaleuca trees, better known as paperbarks. I was spellbound. The age of these trees is unknown but of all the Melaleuca I saw in Australia these topped the chart. Trunk movement to keep your head spinning for days. The swamp water was a red colour with the tannin leeching out of the trees. You can see why the swamp got it’s name. It could easily be used as a location in a Lord of the Ring movie. Aussie Orcs! I’d loved to have been there as the light faded for more photos but sadly we had to move on.

Here’s the gallery which also included a few snaps from along the 500m path from the campsite to the swamp.

Tingle Trees

Western Australia has a 6000 hectare area which has the only Tingle trees in the world. Also know as Eucalyptus Jacksonii, this species is one of the tallest species in the world and in many ways reminded me of the Coastal Redwoods in California. These shallow rooted, buttressing trees have also managed to survive the bush fires and in many cases have hollow trunks so common in Redwoods.

I had the pleasure of visiting the Valley of the Giants near Walpole and taking the tree top walk there. I also visited the ancient Tingle tree and other surrounding Red Tingles with amazing character. 2017 really was a year of tree inspiration for me.

Here’s a few video clips that help capture the size of these trees and a gallery of photos for the Red Tingles.