Exhibition By Bonsaigroep de Butuwe

I was delighted to receive these photos from my friend Harry showing bonsai in his clubs Bonsai exhibition in The Netherlands. He’s letting me share them here for all to see. Some great trees on display. This is a small group of only 10 members which makes their display all the more impressive.

For more info click HERE to visit their Facebook Page.

 

 

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Japanese Maple Autumn Colour

Grand Tour September 2017

It’s been full on lately with both bonsai and family and the blog has taken a back seat as a result. I’m now playing catch up and thought it only right to share some of the photos from my trip down to Munster to do a few one to one sessions with the folk in the Munster Bonsai Club. A more enthusiastic bunch I’ve yet to meet. I was also lucky to time my visit with their first ever exhibition which, for me, was the highlight of the week.

First up was Mark’s place. A shorter session than usual but we worked late and managed to wire the primary structure into two field grown trees. A first styling for a Japanese Red  and a Black Pine.

The lower branch was left to develope into a second trunk and also improve inverse taper. It can always be removed at a later date.

The next day was at Demot’s, again a first styling on a tall Scots Pine and some tweaking on a few Junipers.

He even gave me a tour of Cobh, the town where he lives and the world’s Second largest Natural Harbour.

Day 3 was Piotr’s place and yet another initial styling of a Pine, this time a Lodgepole.

Next was a little Hinoki Cypress that was in need of thinning and a little wiring.

A Japanese White Pine

and then whilst having a few beers… another pine!

Day 4 was with Michael and a change of species, a yew. Not many photos here as I had a limited time period and a lot to discuss as well as work to get done.

Day 5 was at Steve’s place and saw a fair bit of carving both by hand and with power tools. First was this Yew that had been carved previously but showed a lot of tools marks.

And after some work. Further refinement needed on the deadwood, but a step in the right direction.

 

Some initial carving on a new larch for Steve.

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Sadly no finished pics, it was too dark 🙂

Day 6 was the Exhibition and I was delighted to put on a shohin display along with the club members. We set up and had an hour before opening, so we did a critique of the displays with all the club members and exhibitors. I was given a tall Scot’s Pine to style in the demo.

Day 7 was spent with Ray. The main tree was a hinoki cypress that we’d done initial work on 2 years ago. It had grown free for 2 years and was now ready of a new look. We decided to go for a different look that breaks a few rules as far as multi trunk trees go but I feel we created a bonsai that looks like a tree, not a bonsai.

 

 

 

 

We also did a clearing out of a shohin Chinese Juniper. A nice start.

Day 8, my last day, was with Paul. A lover of Japanese Art and by the look of his garden and house, all things Japanese.

Room with a view. A truly inspiring place to stay.

Paul wanted some help with his niwaki style Pine in his garden. Starting at the top and working down 🙂

Afterwards we wired his Japanese White Pine making a few changes here and there to remove faults while keeping the original image that he liked when it was bought. A badly wire scarred apex had to be removed and replaced.

A massive thank you to all the guys who made this tour possible. I was looked after so well at every stop and the craic was mighty. The drive shown by this club is inspiring and this is only their 4th year. To deliver an exhibition to this standard, AND, there where trees there from 10 members, not all from a few with the higher level trees, shows what a fun club they are to be involved with. It was great to meet the newer members at the exhibition and get a chance to talk bonsai and share ideas for the future.

I look forward to seeing you all again soon and exploring new opportunities in 2018.

Munster Bonsai Club first show.

Munster Bonsai Club

Last Sunday we have the pleasure to put our own first show at Clare Garden Festival Autumn Fair in Ennis Showground. At first I would like to say thank you all attended to that show a specially Ray Egan who arranged the whole lot and Ian Young who give us hand to put all displays correctly in right order. Thank you NIBS, our mother club for support and table cloths. Thank you all for your support and preparing your trees.

The first step is always the hardest one, but we did it. Any next one should be essayer.

Thank you Ian Young for the time you spend with us. Your critics on our displays was like a first day in school but I’m sure we took that lesson and we will work harder to improve our displays.

now here we go some pictures from the days

Setting up benches

True…

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The Wild Atlantic Way

A few snaps taken on my Donegal trip.

 

Bonsai Inspirations at Lake Tahoe

BONSAIKO

Like a kid in a candy store I was drooling in awe of the scenery and especially the trees during this recent trip to Lake Tahoe California/Nevada.   I jokingly commented to my family that if I only had a shovel, I might be going home with one of these gnarly trees.  I didn’t get any laugh but rather dirty looks,  they know I’m crazy enough that I might do it.   But rest assured, I didn’t do that, instead, I took some photos.  The photos however will not do justice to translate the awesomeness of this place.  I saw many ponderosa pines, manzanitas, very old cedar (incense cedar), oak type of shrub with beautiful crackling bark.  There were trees that would have taken very little work to make them into a beautiful bonsai.   In fact, there is a place I will visit before leaving Tahoe, it’s called the “bonsai rock”.  I will include…

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40th Mid-America Bonsai Exhibi

Valavanis Bonsai Blog

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The Midwest Bonsai Society held their 40th annual exhibit on August 18-20, 2017 at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, IL. Having attended, exhibited and selling all 40 of the exhibits (except for two when our home burned down seven years ago) I can say the quality of the trees is improving, especially with the professional category in my opinion. There are many more companion plantings displayed with the bonsai and this year there are many more suiseki on display.
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Best of Show: Twisted trunk pomegranate by Dr. Gary Andes
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First Prize in the professional division: Kahima Japanese maple by Wm. N. Valavanis
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Second Prize in the professional division: Japanese black pine by Mark Fields
Kathy Shaner from California spent considerable time, all day on Friday, judging the bonsai and making comments for improvements for the exhibitors.
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The many parking lots were full on Saturday, but crowds visiting…

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Bonsai Club in Tyrone Anyone?

I’ll do whatever I can to help promote bonsai in Ireland, and have done so across the island in recent years, both locally here in Northern Ireland, and in Leinster and Munster. I’ve tried to get Tim up and running in Connaught but the rural nature of the area has made that hard work so far, but we won’t give up. Come on Galway!

So, over the last few months I’ve been chatting with Paul up in Omagh, County Tyrone and he’s keen to try and get a club or small study group off the ground. He’s just made a Facebook page to help garner interest and I said I’d give it a push from this end as well. I’ve committed to helping him get it off the ground with a few sessions and see how it goes. It will be based in Omagh town itself and will cater for those interested in bonsai on that side of Northern Ireland and indeed, Donegal as well.

If you follow this blog from the North West of Ireland and have always wanted a bonsai club in your area, this is your chance, don’t miss it. It takes someone with the motivation to get the ball rolling, and Paul is that man in that place right now!

This is a link to the Facebook Page, go and say hello and express an interest and we’ll keep you up to date with what’s happening as things progress.