Some of the accents that caught my eye at the show.
I think I have another addiction 🙈
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.
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.
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.
Higa Siama Japanese Maple Best Broadleaf in Show – Michael Guerin
Best Accent – Dodecatheon Paul Lynam
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.
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.
I love this time of year, watching each plant and tree waking up. These two are showing signs. A Mukdemia Rossi and Muscari.
Sisyrinchium Rocky Point
When I was in County Clare on my travels I did a Kusamono workshop in partnership with Ray at Bud Garden Centre. Being a bit of a passion for me and also catching on fast with the folk down there we thought we’d give it a whirl with limited numbers due to space available. We even had sign ups from people outside of bonsai which was great. Here are a few photos of the planting created on the day.
This was A first Bud/Eejit collaboration and watch this space for future events in the Bunratty area.
After Crater Lake it would be hard to find anything in nature as inspiring on the rest of the trip. Therefore I switched to Bonsai for inspiration for the rest of the short time we had left :-). Leaving Klamath Falls we moved North West over the high desert and down into Portland. A chunk of this was done in the rain so we missed some mountain views along the way. It can’t always be perfect 🙂
My next stop was Michael Hagedorn’s place, Crataegus Bonsai. You should know who I’m talking about if you follow this blog. I reblog a lot of Michaels posts as they are always so informative and well timed for seasonal work. Michael also posts kusamono which as you know is also a major passion of mine. This was one spot I was really looking forward too. I had been emailing with Michael to plan my visit and although he had a class on, he was still keen for me to come.
The weather improved the closer we got and on arrival the sun was shining. We were met by Andrew Robson, Michael’s apprentice and shortly there after by Michael who was just finishing lunch with his students. One thing that stands out at every bonsai establishment I visited was the warm welcome, and here was no different. A very relaxed atmosphere and happy faces. This looks like a great environment to study. The Pacific Northwest is truly blessed with bonsai opportunities. Michael got the students to work and between times spent some time walking the garden with me. Andrew was also very helpful but I was pleased to be left to my own devices for a while and just study the trees.
And then a truly magical thing happened! My long suffering wife, who has had to deal with my addiction for 24 years, having hordes of people visit my house, catering for these visitors, etc etc. made a statement. ‘I get it’. Just three words, but I was floored. She explained that after Crater Lake and the amazing trees there, showing all the age and character that you could imagine, and then coming into a garden were the bonsai looked just like that, she got why I do this mad thing called bonsai. She swore me to secrecy and straight after I told Michael all about 🙂 I’ll get a stern look for posting this here too, but hey, live dangerously. So, if you have a spouse who doesn’t get it, take them to Crater Lake and then a tour of the bonsai spots in the Pacific Northwest. Real bucket list stuff.
I loved the variation in species at Crataegus and am fast falling in love with many of the American ones. Nice also to see Japanese Black Pines being developed from humble beginnings. I had a ball looking at the accents as well and Michael and I had a good chat about what plant types are used both there and back home. You’ll see from the photos that I didn’t miss many.
A massive thank you to Michael and Andrew for adding us to an already busy day.
The galleries just keep getting bigger! Apologies if there are any doubles but some are with the camera and some with the phone which causes me grief now I’m home. From here I moved on to Mirai, a little place in St Helens, you may have heard of it! I will be breaking it down into a few different post as the amount of photos I took was total greed!