A Visit To Omiya Bonsai Village

Valavanis Bonsai Blog

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Last week we visited several of the bonsai gardens in Omiya Bonsai Village. Our first stop was the garden of Masahiko Kimura. Of course there were magnificent masterpiece bonsai as always with heavy interesting trunks featuring sculptured dead wood and refined branching.

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However, I noticed something new, rock plantings, and lots of them. The first demonstration at the 8th World Bonsai Convention was presented by Mr. Kimura who showed how to create a clinging-to-a-rock bonsai. He used a rather tall rock he made and planted several Sargent junipers grown from airlayers. The trees were already trained and Mr. Kimura planted them in shallow crevasses he designed in the stone. During his visits to China he was very impressed with the tall narrow mountains and wanted to create a similar, but refined scene.

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His garden featured several size clinging-to-a-rock planting created using artificial stones he made planted with Sargent junipers…

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A couple of outstanding away days

Willowbog Chat

Mrs. Willowbog and myself have just enjoyed two really great days up in Scotland . The trip deserves a couple of posts and I will start with the visit that we made to Loch Leven close to Kinross in Perthshire.

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Our new set of wheels make driving a real pleasure now ! Here the Shogun is in the car park of the RSPB Vane Farm reserve.

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The Visitors Centre at Loch Leven. After many years of not getting round to it we joined the RSPB as a couple on this visit.

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This is a view from one of the hides set up to look out on the loch and accompanying wetland area in the foreground .

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The close proximity of the hides to the pools meant a reasonable photo could be got of this Grey heron with my ordinary camera and its ordinary telephoto lens.

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And of this Oystercatcher, of…

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A Visit To Seiji Morimae’s S-Cube & Uchiku-Tei Bonsai Garden

Valavanis Bonsai Blog

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A few days ago our group visited Uchiku-Tei Bonsai Garden at S-Cube in Hanyu, north of Omiya. This is the headquarters of Seiji Morimae, a professional bonsai artist who specializes in high quality bonsai, suiseki, antiques and display.

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A few hours earlier he returned home bringing six truck loads of bonsai, suiseki, display tables and more from the 8th World Bonsai Convention. By the time we arrived early on Monday morning everything was unloaded and all the bonsai were watered. Mr. Morimae is the chief director of the Nippon Suiseki Association and designed their display at the World Bonsai Convention.

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He can trace his family back to 500 years of gardeners and horticulturists. His family and staff made us all feel welcome which delayed our next stop to Masahiko Kimura over one hour late. Our group always loves to shop at his garden because of the excellent quality of…

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Grand Tour of Ireland Day 5 

Bonsai Eejit

Final day of the tour is over. A quick jaunt from East Clare to West Clare saw me spending the day with Stephen working on some nice little Hawthorn and some other locally collected trees. A beautiful, peaceful location with many inspirational trees to see in the landscape. Thank you Stephen for an enjoyable day.

On the way home I swung by Paul’s place in Dublin for a coffee, a driving break and of course to talk bonsai.


After a 750 mile round trip I’m now back home. A big thank you to all those in Leinster and Munster who supported the Grand Tour. See you all again soon.

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