Busy Saturday

I had a busy but very enjoyable day yesterday here at my home as I hosted the first Club Bonsai School of 2015. We have been doing this for 4 years with Willowbog Bonsai but this year we are on our own. We are taking this as a challenge to shake things up and take a different approach. We will now be taking every opportunity to push on the learning of our keener members by setting them presentation tasks within each school. This combined with outside artists and our own in house talent will help us progress bonsai in Ireland.

Members have given us great support and we had a fantastic first Bonsai school of the year.

Here’s a few photos but for a full run down see the club blog HERE.






End of an Era…….

… well 4 years at any rate.

As part of the NI Bonsai Society programme for the last four years we have had the pleasure of delivering the ‘Bonsai School’ 3 times a year for the last 4 years. This has been in partnership with Willowbog Bonsai and in particular, Peter Snart.

I’ve known Peter for over 15 years and in that time we have become firm friends. As I host the school sessions at my home, I have had Peter as a house guest 12 times since 2011 and this doesn’t count many other times in previous years. The favour has been returned when I have visited Willowbog Bonsai to attend shows and take part in workshops with people such as Ryan Neil, Peter Warren and Marco Invernizzi.

Peter has now called time on the school in it’s current format, I think mainly due to the fact that he’s fed up packing that bloody van!! 🙂

Bonsai for me is as much about friendship as wee trees and I’m delighted to have both Peter and Jean as friends. The school may be over but the friendship continues. I’m pretty sure he’ll be back at some point and I’m definitely sure I’ll be at Willowbog in the years to come, but in the meantime, thank you Peter.

There, gushing over lol



Video of Bonsai School Weekend

Done this for the club to give a flavour of what we get up to at one of these things.


School’s Out for Summer

Well that’s the club’s Bonsai School over until after the Summer. I had a great weekend in the sun with a bunch of bonsai folk who also seem to have had a good time. Here’s a few snaps from the weekend.

Bonsai School

Just getting set up for the Willowbog Bonsai School this weekend 🙂



Well, that’s the long weekend over. Had a great time but am exhausted!

Bonsai School on Saturday, Workshop on Sunday and a Whirlwind Tour of Northern Ireland on Monday. I have heaps of photos to share and you’ll get drip fed over the next few days as I try and squeeze posts in around my real work and the fast approaching Phil and Suse Wedding.

To start, here are some general shots from Saturday’s Bonsai School.

Saturday’s Willowbog School

I’m only getting time now to have a look at what photos I have taken over the weekend. It’s been a hectic but rewarding last 5 days both in my bonsai life and in my work life, however a little sleep would be nice about now :-/

I have already reblogged a few related blogs from friends who were there, but now it’s my turn.

Peter arrived on Friday and it was good to have a catch up and a glass of vino before the hordes descended on the Saturday morning. We decided to leave unpacking the van until the morning. As we walked out the door at 7am to get started, the snow started to fall.Must be a Willowbog left over 🙂 It didn’t amount to much but I was glad we had made a few additions to the heating of the garage for this school.

We got the trees out in record time and Roy B was first to arrive for the pre-school browse. Others soon arrived and pots seemed to be in demand as expected.

The school got underway and and Peter talked though the events of the last months, namely the Noelanders Trophy and then the Ryan Neil weekend. During the day we covered topics such as wiring, Larch bonsai, seasonal tasks, a repotting recap, and much more besides.

The day was a great success, with the only problem being the lock on my back door breaking and everyone being locked out! Photos can be seen HERE on Michael’s blog.

School Set Up

It’s our Clubs first Bonsai School Session of 2013 this weekend and some preparation was required in my garage. Peter Snart of Willowbog Bonsai will be over to get 2013 off to a good start.

It’s to be cold but hopefully dry and we have taken a few steps tio make the garage a little warmer this time around. A new heater has been purchased. The roof space area has been closed off and we even managed to get a bit of carpet to help keep the wee feet warm 🙂 Should be a good weekend. We are expecting more than 5 but we still have to get the rest of the chairs 🙂

Fujikawa International School of Bonsai

I suppose this counts as advertising but some of the guys at Fujikawa have been very kind to me, commenting on my blog and sharing photos. I therefore have no qualms about sharing this with everyone.

I’ll be honest, the main reason I’m sharing it is the fact that’s it’s such a bloody good video 🙂 Love the music and the video speaks for itself about the atmosphere at the nursery. No need for any voice over promotion. I only wish I was in a position to go back to school myself!!!!

Back To School 2012

Just spent a few hours in the garage with the Bonsai Baker getting it sorted for this Weekends Bonsai School.

I can’t believe that it’s been a full year since our club started this event. Basically we bring Willowbog Bonsai to us three times a year. The Saturdays are a school based set up followed by a workshop on the Sunday. All the club members get to have a browse through Peter’s pots, tools, trees etc. This is no small thing for us as Northern Ireland doesn’t have anything even remotely approaching a Bonsai Dealer.

Anyway, here’s the garage after a little work, already to rock and roll.