We continue to be a little potty!

I too had intended putting something on the web to expand on our last meeting but, like Olly, who has just put on pictures of our May meeting with a little article, I too have been overwhelmed with other matters that have prevented time being made available before now.  Bonsai maintenance can be added into this.  I can become totally absorbed with my trees and time just disappears.  Personally I find tending my little charges rather therapeutic and wish I had more time to do everything that needs doing with such an assorted collection.
However, back to our last Club meeting and yet another busy occasion.  Olly Olson was at last presented with the Club trophy for winning the most popular tree by public vote at the Market Bosworth Show last year.  We think the previous winner did not want to part with the Club’s new shield but no hard…

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April 2018 – Tree Critique with Brian MacKichan


A good meeting this month, where members brought along trees to gain opinions from Brian and the rest of the group as to where to take the material, be it in terms of styling, refinement or development. Also we were joined by Nigel and Alan from North Devon Bonsai Society, thanks for visiting gents! The more the merrier..

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Bonsai in the Park


Hosted by South Devon Bonsai Society who are holding their exhibition once again at the lovely Lupton House, a listed building in parkland, between Paignton and Brixham in South Devon. There are many places to stay in the area and early September is a lovely time of the year for a weekend break!

See South Devon Bonsai Society for further details either on their facebook page or website https://southdevonbonsaisociety.wordpress.com

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March 2018 – Yamadori dig and repotting workshop


So despite the weather not being the greatest we had a good turn out, with new (welcome John!) and old faces and after good couple of hours in the woods we left with a bundle of new material. Amongst the collected trees were beech, spruce, hemlock, turkey oak, silver birch and yew. Only Brian refrained from collecting anything, he claims to have enough trees! Nevertheless his experience along with that of Neil Hutchings of Devon Bonsai was invaluable for the newbies amongst us.
The following day we had our monthly meeting, a repotting workshop with the focus being on the collected trees and most of these photos are the results of that. In other business Brian brought along a few trees that have been donated to the club. Each tree brought with it some issues and they have been rehomed with various club members to improve their skills and…

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Daiymo Oak Update


Daimyo Oak 2018

The Daimyo Oak is the king of my collection. It has such a provenance. Seed carried from Japan by a club member and planted in 1960. Fifty-eight years ago this was an acorn. It was styled by that club member and then upon his passing, donated to the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt. It went up for action there when too many trees were in the collection and an older tree existed. It hardly had any branches when I bid for it and won it for an unbelievable price; I think people did not know its background. Over the years it has evolved and gone to show many times. Today, I present this 2018 version after re-potting. I took it to Sensei Kathy Shaner along the way and changed it direction completely. Today, it is my star tree with smaller leaves than ever before. The retrospective seen…

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A love letter to the river, part 2

The Flourishing Tree

As my days here in California dwindle, I’m trying to savor the things and places I’ll miss most. Last week’s post offered up the first part of a love letter to the river here. This week’s focuses on a more specific love I have for the river: the birds it attracts.

A Great Heron keeps a watchful eye from its nest.

Double-crested Cormorants line up along a wire across the river. I love their turquoise eyes.

White-tailed Kites perched in their tree before going on a hunt.

Perhaps it is the birds I will miss most about the river. Unexpected varieties of birds have became daily companions. I’ve searched for them on morning walks and brought friends to see them in pouring rainstorms.

The little Anna’s Hummingbird that perches in the same tree top each morning. The pair of White-tailed Kites who have their own tree to defend from interloping…

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Beating the summer heat

The Flourishing Tree

The unofficial start of summer kicks off with Memorial Day weekend, but where I live, we’ve already seen triple temperatures. Bleh. This no longer counts as springtime to me. Some of my friends love the hot weather. I do not. Though I was raised in a place of heat and humidity, summer is not my favorite season. It’s not even my second-favorite season. Life in California—with its cloudless days, searing heat, lack of shade, and rattlesnakes—has bumped summer down to my least favorite season.

As a runner, I find myself getting up earlier and earlier to dodge the baking sun and rising temps each morning. Yesterday, desperate to avoid a repeat of Monday’s too-hot, too-late-in-the-morning run, I found a handy tool that tells you when the sun will rise and set where you live. (Just for fun, I’ve set it to show times for Daphne, Alabama. You can type in your…

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Nature’s wild palette

The Flourishing Tree

I had a wonderful blessing two weeks ago when I got to accompany my husband on a trip to Southern California. He had to go there for work (far more scenic than some places he has to travel), and we were fortunate to tack on an extra day for a bit of rest and rejuvenation.

We started in Coronado and ended in Dana Point. As I loaded photos from the trip, the beautiful array of colors in the scenes, flora, and fauna struck me. What an amazing palette Nature has.

I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you today, with only a few words, so you can soak in the images and their colors.

Sunrise in Coronado

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Initial pruning

D.J. Garcia, Gentleman & Scholar

Here is the initial pruning I did on one of my trees, it’s a blue star juniper. Next month I’ll be able to put training wire on the branches, but for know I just need to keep the tree watered and fed. I managed to start a cutting on one of the branches I removed, hopefully I will be able to start on impressive pedigree.


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