Japanese Maple progression

Bonsai Kas: Bonsai, drawings, scale models and more

This little maple was bought in a gardening centre 4 years ago. As usual with Maples from gardening centres, or any plant you buy in one, it was not in good shape. The roots were knotted and went everywhere besides where the should go for a healthy specimen and the little fella was very sensitive. Since starting a Bonsai means making a few big cuts right from the start with untrained starter material the bad health of mall plants shows easily:

  • My experience with Maples from the mall; bought two, both got extremely sick, one (barely) survived, cost 30/40 euros a piece.
  • My experience with (young) Maples from a nursery; bought three, all survived, only one got mild mildew for a month or so, cost 3/4 euros a piece.

Needles to say, and this does not go for Maples alone, buying Bonsai material from a mall means taking a risk. They generally are…

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Our Visit to Mr. Kimura, Omiya Bonsai Village and Mr. Morimae

Valavanis Bonsai Blog


Our tour group was scheduled (with confirmed appointments) to visit Mr. Kimura, Omiya Bonsai Village and Mr. Morimae on Saturday. However on Thursday we  were informed that the gardens would be not be open because that’s the “switch out day” for the Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition and the people would be in Ueno with their bonsai. Actually, that’s why we scheduled our visit during the closed day, but the artists forgot about the switch out day. No problem, Mr. Kobyashi made a few phone calls to the gardens and we immediately changed our schedule to Friday rather than Saturday one day early when the gardens were open.

BUT, God must have been smiling on our group. He knows I hate snow and 3-5 inches of heavy wet snow was forecast for Saturday. Although a bit of snow looks pretty on some bonsai, we did not need to get stuck in heavy…

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Japan Satsuki Bonsai Tour– Part 2

Valavanis Bonsai Blog



Saitama City





Our first stop today was at the private garden of Masahiko Kimura where we saw magnificent, mostly large size bonsai. Nearly every tree was an evergreen, many with dead wood, but not all. Three were numerous famous masterpieces as well as Important Bonsai Masterpieces and award winning trees from the Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition.


Mr. Kimura was a gracious host and all of group were served tea and Japanese cookies. Of interest to most of our members was not a large size tree, nor evergreen, but rather a small tropical tree. A few knew the name was “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” but could not think of the botanical name. So, I took out my iPhone and searched and discovered the name is Brunfelsia pauciflora, a small plant native to Brazil. I’ve seen it in Florida and it’s beautiful with purple, white and pink flowers on the…

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Japan International Bonsai Tour Exploration– Autumn 2013, Part 1

Valavanis Bonsai Blog


After a two hour delay and airplane evacuation in Chicago due to tornadoes, we finally arrived in Japan for our semi annual bonsai tour led by Kora Dalager and me. This time we have a good small group of eleven people including two ladies from Australia.


Moving one of the February Kokufu bonsai ten exhibition prize winning trees to be loaded for display in the Taikan Bonsai Ten exhibition in Kyoto. This bonsai belongs to a client of Masahiko Kimura.


Beautyberry and Firethorn bonsai in the container room.

Tuesday we first visited Masahiko Kimura’s garden, near Omiya, by our private bus. As always, his bonsai are spectacular and although I’ve been visiting his garden for over 30 years, the trees looked the best this time. Our tour enjoyed glorious, warm sunny weather, and the bonsai took on a special glow, which reflected their unique beauty as well the tender loving…

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A Visit To Omiya Bonsai Village

Valavanis Bonsai Blog


We had a quiet morning visit to Omiya Bonsai Village. Most of the proprietors were at the Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition so there was not to much commotion nor visitors.


Most of the gardens had their Japanese flowering apricots on display because they were in full blossom, mostly fragrant too.

Fuyo-en Bonsai Garden– Hiroshi Takeyama



Kyuka-en Bonsai Garden– Isamu & Yukio Murata


Seiko-en Bonsai Garden– Tomio & Kaori Yamada


Mansei-en Bonsai Garden– Hatsuji & Haruhiko Kato


Keeping the roots warm on a Japanese flowering quince


Omiya Bonsai Art Museum

There were extensive renovations under way so our visit was not too long.


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Some Shohin Maples in Winter Image

Robert Nocher Shohin Bonsai

Here are a few recent pictures of some of my shohin maples in winter image. The first one is a trident maple in a Japanese pot by Eimei


Number 2 is an Acer Palmatum Deshojo in a yellow pot by Shibakatsu


The third is an Acer Shishigashira in a pot by Walsall Ceramics. The buds on this one are starting to swell, so it will soon be time to re-pot it.


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