Ed began the workshop by reminding us of the advantage we have in South Florida which has a year long growing season. We should always have a plan for each tree. If we follow our plan we could easily have a quality, show worthy tree in 5 years: water, fertilize, repot as necessary, and repeat..... Any interruption will delay development. To develop a pre-bonsai for show (whether a formal show or the one in your yard), put it in a bonsai pot so the roots will properly develop in the shallow confines of a bonsai sized pot. Everyone has a show: each of us should have a section of our yard where the trees are on display so we can take time each day to relax and enjoy them. When formatting a plan for a tree, first study the tree, think about how to make it more interesting, develop taper, and form a definitive apex. Know your material; know what will happen when you prune it, know the fertilizer needs and what is required for watering. When discussing a member's black pine, he warned us to be away of the summer dormancy period. When it's too hot, stop feeding it; tender growth can be damaged by both cold and heat.
On July 18th, Broward Bonsai members enjoyed a morning with Hiram Macias who critiqued our trees. It was an informative session where members found that some simple actions greatly improved the appearance of their bonsai. See pictures from the session here.
Some tips we learned from Hiram: watering trunk and foliage accelerates rotting in trees such as escambron and bougainvillea, micro-sprinklers or watering the bonsai soil only is preferred; the front of the tree is the priority but there are some bonsai communities that strive to make each branch and view a perfect bonsai; the sea grape he saw with the smallest leaves was never fertilized and minimally watered; recommends using expensive pots for show only and not daily use; be conscious of the apex direction negative space; direct growth where it is needed and not let growth concentrate where it is not needed; be mindful of the branch levels as you go up the tree trunk.
Guy Guidry during a Podocarpus Workshop.... see more pictures from the BSF 2015 Convention
Paul Pikel (below) photographing the trees from the convention exhibit.
On Saturday, April 25th, Heidi gave us a presentation on the 'Do's and Don'ts' of Shimpaku. It was very informative. More pictures from this presentation can be seen in our gallery. Broward Bonsai is represented at EPCOT®
The Chinese Elm belonging to our member Jesus was one among those chosen to be displayed at the Japanese pavilion at EPCOT® during their annual International Flower and Garden Festival. Trees will be on display for the duration of the festival, March 4-May 17, 2015. (photo courtesy of Louise Leister)
See pictures from a very informative and enjoyable workshop with Peter Tea on March 14th....
The following commentary is from "Bonsai News", a monthly publication of the Lake Charles Bonsai Society in Louisiana:
Peter’s presentation emphasized the need to focus on what needs development now vs. what needs development later. He noted that this tends to come down to issues of thickening and division. Peter pointed out that we often get ahead of ourselves and counterproductively work on aspects which will need to be removed because we put the cart before the horse. When we emphasize thickening to develop taper that is necessary to sell the story that this is an ancient tree, then we are on the right track. This involves letting branches grow out to develop good thickening near the trunk, and then pruning those branches back after the thickening has occurred in order to develop the ramification or division.
Peter also discoursed on the importance of the proper sun exposure for the type and developmental stage of the tree, proper soil to promote growth, repotting intervals, and fertilization. For example, a soil mix which is too wet will result in slow growth which retards the development of our taper and ramification. A dry mix with rapid draining tends to produce faster growth. This healthy environment helps to develop good rootage, both surface roots and feeder roots.
Peter’s approach is deceptively simple, and it is easy to think you understand it and then proceed to violate those principles as we fall back into old, bad habits with our bonsai training.
The Broward Bonsai Society had another great workshop with Ed Trout; see pictures here. Read "A Conversation with Ed Trout" in the summer 2014 edition of Florida Bonsai Magazine distributed on-line to BSF members.
Heidi attended FELAB 2014 in Puerto Rico and shared photos of the trees that were exhibited. FELAB 2014 pictures
A complementary plant from the Broward Bonsai Society workshop on August 23rd. We worked from a 'smorgasbord' of plants to make our designs. See other photos from the workshop here.
JOHN YOSHIO NAKA
John Yoshio Naka would have celebrated his 100th birthday on August 16, 2014. He was instrumental in supporting and encouraging interest in bonsai in the United States and set the standards for bonsai in both the US and the world. An extensive biography of Mr. Naka, compiled by Robert Baran, can be found at: Phoenix Bonsai.
(August 16, 1914 - May 19, 2004)
News & Notes 2014
PRESIDENT's NEWSLETTER AUGUST 2014
Broward Bonsai Society will have a workshop on accent plants on August 23, 2014 at the Flamingo Garden's classroom. The cost to participate will be $5 and includes a pot and plant material.
...read more (includes articles on and links to images of kusamono and complementary plants)
On July 12th, Mike Sullivan gave the Broward Bonsai Society a presentation on displaying bonsai. It was educational as well as fun. Mike set up a variety of combinations of trees, stands, companion plants, and stones-- some making a good display and some not; we learned much about display just seeing what worked and what didn't with Mike's expert commentary clearing up any questions. See pictures from the presentation here.
ART'S HOBBIT HOUSE:
The Bud Shafer Memorial Bench
at the Jim Smith Bonsai Gallery, Heathcote Botanical Gardens: Bench provided by donations from the Broward & Gold Coast Bonsai Societies.
A gem is not polished without rubbing, nor a person perfected without trials.