For those of you who weren’t able to visit REBS’ recent show, here’s a peak at some familiar trees from different angles.
Under the canopy of a white pine
White pine grafted on black pine
In addition to presenting great bonsai, the REBS show features a large vendor area, within which one can find a great variety of trees and supplies.
For the astute – or local – among you, you’ll recognize the vendor whose work and wares are featured here. And if not, a final clue:
Next up, a visit to his garden: Deer Meadow Bonsai.
After reviewing my photos of smaller trees and accents at Redwood Empire Bonsai Society’s 31st annual show, I’m reminded how easy it is to overlook smaller trees in a room full of large bonsai. These shohin and small-sized trees deserve as much attention as the large and medium sized bonsai they share tables with. Here they are with some of the more intriguing accent plants on display.
The prostrata juniper below came with a story:
I purchased this tree in Feb of 2012 at our annual Collection North fund raising auction. It was in a 21” pot and had long branches that extended out much further. I took it to a Ryan Neil workshop the following month and probably half of more of the branches were removed, and the remaining branches were wired and brought in for a more compact tree.
I later learned that the original owner, Burt Meyer of San Francisco had worked on it in a 1989 workshop with John Naka. He was kind enough to mail me the signed sketch by John.
Prostrata juniper – in training 25 years
Sketch by John Naka
The tree has come a long way since the 1989 workshop with John Naka. And considering the current silhouette, it’s clear that Ryan Neil has contributed greatly to the development of this bonsai.
While we’re on the subject of Ryan Neil, take a moment to look at his newly redesigned website, Bonsai Mirai. Ryan and Chelsea have done a fantastic job showing off the great work coming out of Mirai and the gallery in particular deserves special attention – be sure to take a look!
On with the exhibit:
Grape with tiny fruit
Japanese black pine
The Redwood Empire Bonsai Society’s annual show is big. The sheer size of the event provides ample opportunities to criss-cross the hall, appreciating the work that went into each of the trees on display.
Japanese five-needle pine
As always, I thought about the trees I most appreciated and which I’d like to work on – which that showed the season well and which conveyed great age.
Crabapple – nice fruit
I thought about the shapes and styles of the trees, the health and the vigor, the pots and the stands.
Japanese black pine
Some trees I appreciated for what they are. Others I appreciated for what they might become.
California juniper – in training 19 years
California juniper – 150+ years
Of course, I also walked around smiling a lot as I simply enjoy visiting bonsai exhibits and catching up with members and other attendees.
San Jose juniper – in training 25 years
Ever see much deadwood on Black pines in nature or in landscapes? Would you like to see more?
What about coast redwoods?
I don’t expect to see much of it on azaleas, but what about escallonia – or crape myrtle?
I enjoy seeing alternatives to pots as the compositions suggest nature in a very different way than trees do when planted in fired clay containers.
I often appreciate olives as they have great qualities for bonsai – good bark and small leaf size among them – and can be developed relatively quickly.
Up next – smaller trees and accents from the REBS’ show.
For the past couple years, Redwood Empire Bonsai Society has done a great job showing off their large trees. Often difficult to display on standard sized tables, the large trees at REBS’ recent show were set on extra-deep tables.
The extra space these tables offered provided breathing room between displays and helped visitors appreciate each on their own merit.
Cascade shimpaku – winner, National Bonsai Award at the 1st US National Bonsai Exhibit
(The 4th National Bonsai Exhibition is happening in two weeks – hope to see you there!)
I appreciated seeing large trees like the semi-cascade Sierra juniper below displayed high up as it provided good views from above, from below and from at least two sides.
The occasional suiseki provided a break between the trees – a nice touch.
A large ginkgo survives with just the outermost part of but half its trunk.
Trident maple and Sierra juniper (in training 4 years)
Screens added variety to selected displays.
Japanese black pine