Workshop @ Bud

Last weekend I had the pleasure of delivering a workshop in partnership with Bud Garden Centre in Bunratty. A great day in good company. A massive thank you to Ray Egan at Bud for hosting us and his assistance during the day. Bud is fast becoming the gathering place for bonsai enthusiasts in the west of Ireland. Great to work with a mix of old faces and new and see such enthusiasm. Here’s some random pics taken today. I hardly got any myself. These are mostly stolen.


Bud-Ten Bunratty

From small acorns mighty oaks grow….

It was an absolute pleasure to be be involved with Ray Egan at Bud Garden Centre in Bunratty and watch the first (and not the last) Bud-ten exhibition come together.

Bud Garden Centre in the Shadow of Bunratty Castle

Ray is one of guys who works hard in the background to push bonsai forward in Ireland and do it in the right way. From a chat last year over a few beers when he talked about hosting a Japanese Gardening Weekend at Bud including bonsai, to what just transpired last weekend, it’s been a rollercoaster.

Ray hard at work

Bud is nestled away in a corner opposite the historic Bunratty Castle and although small, offers plants missing from most garden centres. Ray hosts monthly meetings for the Munster Bonsai Club of which he’s a founding member.

Ray asked if I’d help pull the bonsai side of things together and as things progressed I ended up down the rabbit hole 🙂

Ray invited me to judge the exhibition so he could award deserving trees and help encourage exhibitors to push the standard of their display. The exhibits are from various people at a wide range of levels but Ray encouraged many of his fellow club mates to exhibit for the first time for the experience. Here’s the exhibition and the winning trees.

Japanese White Pine Best in Show -Michael Guerin




Higa Siama Japanese Maple Best Broadleaf in Show – Michael Guerin 

Shohin Rack Best Display in Show -Stephen and Vanessa Dodds, Ben Follis, Ray Egan

Best Shohin -Itiogawa Juniper Stephen Dodds

Best Accent – Dodecatheon Paul Lynam 

Best Native Elm -Steven Short

Best Conifer Japanese White Pine- Mark Cashman

Best Tree Pot Combo K. Hornbeam on left in Beko pot – Dermot Woods

Best Mame Musk Maple on left – Kris Stoker

And a few other photos of exhibits



The accents from the show.


WE had some fun social evenings with bonsai enthusiasts from all three clubs in Ireland getting together with our partners for food and drink.

Dangerous putting these girls together!

On the bank holiday Monday, after the exhibition had ended, I delivered a Kusamono workshop for 11 people and afterwards gave a talk on beginning bonsai for the public.

Friends old and new being brought together all weekend.

A massive that you to all those who made the weekend such a success, Visitors, exhibitors, helpers but most importantly to the man below, without Ray’s drive and commitment this simply wouldn’t have happened.

Workshop: MBC In Bunratty

Had a great weekend in Bunratty with the folks in the ever growing Munster Bonsai Club. A great mix of existing and new members on the day with lots of interesting trees to play with. Here some photos, some from myself and some stolen from the MBC guys.

Tight squeeze

Some sales items

Ray, the Boss at work

Busy busy

Tut tut Mark Tut tut 🙂

Piotr, another boss at work

More sales, Magic Ceramics


Harry’s little Larch finished28040896854_f9f743dfdc_z

Kung fu fighting! Ninja Kieran


Finishing that Larch





How much for just the pot? 🙂








Mark’s Holm Oak finished


The gang minus Ilene who had to shoot off before the team photo. Thanks for supporting the workshop everyone, a very enjoyable and productive day.

DSC_0020 (2)


Bunratty Workshop with Munster Bonsai Club

bud bonsai workshop 2016

Bonsai In Bunratty

Just helping to spread the word. If you are out on the West of Ireland and you want a great day with some fantastic people with of course, bonsai, then you might want to check out Saturdays Bonsai Workshop in Bunratty with the folks in the Munster Bonsai Club. Check out Bud Garden Centre



Well, perhaps not new beginnings as the Munster Bonsai Club will reach it’s 2nd birthday in a few months time, but our visit to Bunratty and Bud Garden Centre was certainly the start of something good. Ray, the co-owner of the Garden Centre is one of the original Club members and has been a keen supporter of all their efforts to drive bonsai forward in Munster. We suggested that Bud Garden Centre, newly opened in March, might be a good location for a workshop, helping to spread the club over the whole Province so at not to become Cork-centric. Ray embraced the idea and Saturday saw us deliver a successful workshop in Bunratty not just to the regulars, but also three new faces. Great to see Steven, Lottie and Harry joining in for the first time. It was a busy session with lots of trees and we also had the public popping in to see what we were doing.

A big thank you to Ray and Andrew, Bud Owners, for making us so welcome, we look forward to another visit soon.

A few photos that capture the venue and the day. Not many of the trees sadly as I didn’t have much time to play with a camera on the day. First up some of the team, sorry to have missed out Lottie and Harry from this one, but it was taken at the end of the day. The others show the day and the amazing location in Bunratty.



















Workshop County Clare

In efforts to spread the bonsai word to all of Ireland, we now venture to Bunratty in County Clare. This time we add a new partnership to the mix with the newly opened Bud Garden Centre. The Munster Bonsai Club guys, as usual, are pushing to spread the art of bonsai and this time around we move from County Cork, right up to Clare. This gives a great opportunity to any bonsai interested folk in the west to take part. On the edge of Connaught, we open up a new portion of Ireland to wee trees. If you are reading this and are thinking of taking the plunge, be assured that none of us take ourselves to seriously, and that the main aim of the day will be to play with wee trees, make new friends and learn in an enjoyable friendly atmosphere. As a wise woman once said, “Go on, ya will, ya will, ya will” 😉

bud bonsai flyer


ScreenHunter_102 Apr. 24 14.38