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.

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Last Session in Leinster….

…..For now.

Sunday was my last of 6 booked sessions with the Leinster Bonsai Club in Dublin.

It’s been fun working with a group with a varied level of knowledge and ability and trying to pitch each session with just the right balance of theory vs Practical. In the last two years I’ve completed 12 sessions with them and enjoyed every one. I just hope they have too 😂

Plans seem to be afoot for continuing the relationship but spread out more evenly over the calendar year.

A massive thank you to Tom and Paul for all the organisational work and of course to those taking part during the last six months. Also thanks to Max who always grabs some photos during the sessions which I never remember. Here are the ones I stole from yesterday’s session. A tree critique that turned into a practical session 😀

Repotting Theory & Practical

On Saturday I took a day out of one to one workshops to do a Theory and Practical Repotting Day with Munster Bonsai Club at Bruree in Limerick.

I had been asked to focus on this in a session to aid newer members in getting the fundamentals right and gain some new skills.

We had a run through of the why what when and how via PowerPoint and Q&A before a Practical session with club members repotting their own trees and helping others.

I think this was one of the best feel good club days I’ve ever experienced from the outside. A great club. A massive thank you to all those who yet again came out to support a club event. They have been coming thick and fast for a club pushing their learning hard.

Here’s some photos from the day some mine some stolen.

Busy Week on the Road

It’s been a busy week down in the South of Ireland doing some one to one sessions with friends from Cobh, Cork, to Limerick then Dublin. Some good times had and great trees played with. A little styling and refinement and, as you’d expect, some repotting.

Here’s some photos from the trip. snow on the way home as usual in Dublin. Thank you to all who supported the road trip. Back again images weeks for another round.

Shore Pine Rock Planting 2

Saturday’s study group also got to play with rock. Another Shore Pine being placed on a rock from Lough Corrib County Galway.

The tree previously styled.

Playing with options. We ended up changing plans yet again and grinding away rock to allow better placement.

The rock had a large hole in the middle which had to seal with mesh from underneath to allow for more substrate to be added.

The photo doesn’t do the rock justice. It has lots of character and I look forward to seeing this composition mature.

Shore Pine Rock Planting 1

I run a study group once a month for some friends who want to learn more. This has become two separate groups, one on a Friday evening, one on the Saturday morning.

This Weekend we were putting together some trees with rock.

First up was this shore Pine which had some initial work done by Peter Warren in 2017 and was recently rewired by myself.

The tree in September 2017 as raw material.

Afterwards.

prior to wiring 2019. after wiring.

The rock collected by a friend over 20 years ago at Blessington lake Dublin

The work. The original plan had to be changed after the heavy roots on the tree wouldn’t let us place the tree on the highest portion of the rock. We looked at other planting options and liked the drama of the option selected.

If you are reading this and are within travelling distance of Newtownards near Belfast feel free to join us once a month for sessions like this.

Hornbeam Work

I was asked to work on this Korean Hornbeam and on Wednesday I managed to grab a few hours to get it wired. As is common with hornbeam, many branches had crossed or where curling inward. This was a reset for the tree to get structure back on track.

Pauls Place

Tuesday was a first session with a new customer. Paul has been doing bonsai for a while but has decided to up him game. I spent the day helping him with a few projects and some repotting. Paul’s garden is pretty special too. Here’s some photos of the day.

Out Clubbing

I only wish I was young enough to go actual clubbing! This time it was a study group session with Leinster Bonsai Club in Dublin on Sunday.

We looked at repotting Theory, how, when and why we repot and what substrates to use. We then got hands on with a few trees to cover the practical side. A big thank to the LBC for supporting my endeavours in this the 5th of 6 sessions.

Peter Warren Weekend @ Munster Bonsai Club

Last weekend I was invited as a guest of Munster Bonsai Club to attend the Peter Warren two day workshop hosted by the Cuan Mhuire Garden Centre in Bruree. I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to watch and listen to Peter at work so popped down to road to Limerick to see the action. Peter flies under the radar in the bonsai world, a self confessed self deprecating personality with a unique but practical approach to bonsai cultivation and design, always putting the tree first over the owner. A true tree lover, you could almost call it Budan love 😉

We had two glorious days in the Limerick sunshine and even had to move outside to stop melting at one point. With 6-7 participants each day and a few added observers we had a pretty full house. It was great to meet up with a few people who to date I’d only texted with prior. More bonsai friendship in action, what it’s all about and makes for a fun weekend.

Congratulations to Munster Bonsai, especially Mark and Michael for organising and hosting the weekend. Your club continues to push bonsai learning and September marks 5 years from the point where we started this journey together in a Hurling Club in Cork. A long way in a short time.

Below is a gallery of some of the photos taken included before and after pics for the overly curious and many shots capturing the days activity. Some are a little out of order but you’ll figure it out.