Bonsai Saturday

Yesterday I managed to fit in some bonsai here in LA. I had the opportunity to visit Huntington Gardens for a few hours and gallop around the Chinese and Japanese Gardens, and of course take in the bonsai display. Well worth a visit. I only wish I’d have had time to give the whole place a look over.


Next stop was Fuji Bonsai, Roy Nagatoshi’s nursery, cram-packed with trees and a great welcome from the guys and gals who were there for the Saturday morning workshop.

I then popped over to see Robert Pressler at Kimura Bonsai as he’d got in touch and kindly invited me to visit. I have loads of photos from all these places, but hotel wi-fi doesn’t want to play, so you’ll have to wait until I get back home, or a get better connection for the full run down.


2017 Upstate New York 44th Exhibition Photos

Valavanis Bonsai Blog


The 2017 Upstate New York Bonsai Exhibition opened yesterday and there was a great crowd. But better, Melvyn Goldstein from Cleveland, Ohio, brought 13 masterpiece satsuki from his collection to share with us. A special area was designed for this display which everyone enjoyed and appreciated the amount of time necessary to create these bonsai, maintain them and also display them with distinction. A few days ago he suddenly realized that all the Azaleas would not fit into the van he rented to bring them five hours from Cleveland, Ohio! But he has a good friend, Aaron, who also drove another vehicle to bring all the blossoming Satsuki for us to enjoy, and our members appreciated Mel’s effort and artistry.
Our club, now in its 45th year has approximately 120 people and represents a wide range of members, from rank beginners to award winning experts and professionals. Therefore all members…

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2017 Alabama Bonsai Society Spring Show, part 3

Nebari Bonsai

Our show was judged in 3 categories, by experience; Novice (under 7 years), Intermediate (7-15 years), and Experienced (over 15 years).

In each experience group, a 1st and 2nd place was awarded by tree type: deciduous, evergreen, broadleaf evergreen, flowering/fruiting, and “other”.

Here are some of the winners from this year’s show, in the Experienced category.

Best in Show and best deciduous tree, Ume in a well-matched milky blue Japanese pot:

2nd place deciduous, Japanese Maple in a Yamaaki pot:

1st place evergreen, shimpaku juniper in Gyouzan pot:

2nd place evergreen, shimpaku juniper:

1st place flowering, azalea in Bunzan pot:

2nd place flowering, azalea in a Chinese container:

1st place, “other”; a 5-point shohin display, JBP in Shibakatsu, maple clump in Ikkou, Chinese Elm in Koyo, Shimpaku in Shinobu:

Honorable mention went to this very unusual bald cypress in a Japanese nailhead drum pot:

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A long trip, a smashed suitcase and a mental drive and I’m safety situated at my hotel in North Hollywood. 

What a stunning country this is, couldnt take my eyes away from the window on the plane crossing the snowtopped mountains. 

And So It Begins….

First stage of our trip, leaving a Wet Belfast on our connecting flight to London were we have a mad dash to another terminal for our flight to LA.  Bet the Sun is shining there.

Wish List

A visit to David Benevente’s Garden and a trip to Bonsai San, both on my wish list. Sadly, not this year.

A Visit To Seiji Morimae’s S-Cube & Uchiku-Tei Bonsai Garden

Valavanis Bonsai Blog


A few days ago our group visited Uchiku-Tei Bonsai Garden at S-Cube in Hanyu, north of Omiya. This is the headquarters of Seiji Morimae, a professional bonsai artist who specializes in high quality bonsai, suiseki, antiques and display.


A few hours earlier he returned home bringing six truck loads of bonsai, suiseki, display tables and more from the 8th World Bonsai Convention. By the time we arrived early on Monday morning everything was unloaded and all the bonsai were watered. Mr. Morimae is the chief director of the Nippon Suiseki Association and designed their display at the World Bonsai Convention.


He can trace his family back to 500 years of gardeners and horticulturists. His family and staff made us all feel welcome which delayed our next stop to Masahiko Kimura over one hour late. Our group always loves to shop at his garden because of the excellent quality of…

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Grand Tour of Ireland Day 5 

Final day of the tour is over. A quick jaunt from East Clare to West Clare saw me spending the day with Stephen working on some nice little Hawthorn and some other locally collected trees. A beautiful, peaceful location with many inspirational trees to see in the landscape. Thank you Stephen for an enjoyable day.

On the way home I swung by Paul’s place in Dublin for a coffee, a driving break and of course to talk bonsai. 

After a 750 mile round trip I’m now back home. A big thank you to all those in Leinster and Munster who supported the Grand Tour. See you all again soon. 

Grand Tour of Ireland Day 4

Day 4 completed with Ray in East Clare. So far thats the east coast in Dublin, south coast in Cork and now in the west. 

Time for a pint.

Big thank you to Ray and family of taking good care of me.

Great to see members of the Munster Bonsai Club going from strength to strength. 

Grand Tour of Ireland Day 3

Yesterday saw another day of my tour completed, a great day with Piotr near Millstreet working are way through a rapidly expanding collection! 

Pines, hinoki berberis, zelkova, we got through a lot of work in our day.

 A big thank you to Piotr and his family for having me.