The Jerry & Karen Kral Garden

Valavanis Bonsai Blog


Each summer our Bonsai Society of Upstate New York Inc gathers and has tours to interesting gardens or nurseries in the greater Rochester, New York area.


This evening we had the privilege to visit the garden of Jerry & Karen Kral who have developed a common size city yard into a “horticultural Zoo.”


Jerry Kral was a high school science teacher for 30 years and seriously became interested in collecting plants in 1992. His garden has expanded twice by purchasing the home next door and also the house behind his home. He subdivided the properties, developed the garden areas and resold the original homes, with smaller yards. Their garden now has one acre full of beautiful plants and is the most visited private garden in the Rochester, New York area. A few years ago he hosted over 600 visitors to see his unique garden.


He loves and enjoys his plants…

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… 116 “Vídeo de Poda en un Acer Pre-Bonsai”


Si!, solo agregar un vídeo de prueba que hice para probar y conocer como es que se hace un vídeo lo más claro y explicativo, en este caso, de como podo mis árboles independiente del estado en que se encuentren.

Este Acer lo tengo desde semilla; ya han sido varios años los que paulatinamente le he ido seleccionando ramas, guiándolas y pinzando.

Inicialmente luego del segundo año de cultivo (1° siembre de la semilla, 2° año el primer estiramiento del tronco) lo modelé con alambres protegidos y lo trasplanté para eliminar la raíz pivotante y algunas raíces largas. Siempre se ha mantenido en una maceta y por lo mismo, luego de unos 10 años de cultivo, aún se ve muy delgado y de tronco sin triángularidad.

Cómo su tamaño no supera los 15 cms., y siempre ha estado muy sano y fuerte, su crecimiento más explosivo ha sido en la…

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… 118 Listos para Hibernar


Ya llegó Invierno y mis árboles ya se encuentran en camino directo al descanso para concentrar azúcares y tomar fuerzas para la primavera,…

1P2J7540 Acer palmatum entrenándolo desde 1998 – 1999.

1P2J7541 Pino mugho comprado en un vivero de Pucón el año 1998.

1P2J7592 Olmo chino (Ulmus parviflora) desde un simple esqueje de podas hechas a la colección de un amigo (Andreas La Rosé) en Puerto Varas el año 2009.

AA Lonicera, esquejes hechos por mis hijas desde el año 2011.

Acer Foto 1 Acer palmatun entrenándose desde el año 1996.

Coto Foto 1 Cotoneaster, material muy austero comprado en el ya no existente Jardín Pümpin de Valparaiso el año 1999.

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The Horticulture Centre of the Pacific.

Ronald's photo site

The garden is just twelve kilometres north of Downtown Victoria, British Columbia, here will find a public garden lovingly cared for sins it start in 1979. The garden was formerly known as Glendale Gardens, and it is showing different types of gardens and demonstrating landscaping techniques suitable to the Pacific Northwest.

One of the gardens on show is the Takata Japanese Garden, named after  the Takata family who owned and operated a Japanese garden in Esquimalt from 1907-1942. When they were forced to leave Victoria they gave many plants to their Gorge neighbours including 2 Japanese maple now over 100 years old that were transplanted to the garden in 2008 as a gift from one of those neighbours on the Gorge.

The garden is designed to recreate the unique components of traditional Japanese “stroll gardens” with the focus on understatement and simplicity.


Next to Japanese garden is the Bonsai Garden…

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In the Heat Of Summer – Think Tropical


Daytime temps here in Santa Clara are reaching upper 80s to mid 90s now. Work in the garden starts to slow down since most plants start shutting down in the 90s except for the tropical trees that begin to flourish as long as there is good humidity. Here in CA I have to create the humidity with trays of water under or near the trees. These trays of water help keep the shohin hydrated as well since it become impossible to keep them moist in the summer.

I have received several inquires about my gardenia, often referred to as an indoor bonsai by flower companies. So many have received them as gifts this year and need to know more about the care. I am posting the gardenia images from when it arrived to my collection from Brussel’s to where it is today. You will see a huge difference.

Gardenia fresh…

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The Forth of July


Projects consumed the morning on the 4th of July. Not feeling very festive for so many reasons that I will not discuss in my blog. On the docket this morning was a shohin Japanese Black Pine and a client Boxwood.

After participating in an on-line training session about shohin black pines last night I was inspire to change my young tree. I never liked the top and the trees was too “open”, to much negative space between the branches for this size of tree. I placed some structural wire on the trunk and used a new technique to compress the truck and lowered the entire top area of the tree. I did the needle pruning to set it up for the second flush of growth going into Fall. Shohin black pines are the last to be worked on in the season because we want small needles and short inter-nodes. The…

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