On our way to visit Ishii’s nursery last fall, Akio Kondo took Boon, Peter and myself to visit one of his customers – Mr. Kita. Kita has a small, but impressive, bonsai collection. Trees like the juniper below.
Impressive, yes, but was this the front? The other side, too, has great features.
The other side
Here are some more shots of the same tree – any ideas about the front?
I believe the second photo is the current front, but it’s clear that the tree has plenty of interest points.
What was amazing about Kita’s garden was the number of trees of comparable quality. On a nearby bench I noticed one of the first great junipers I saw on my 1999 visit to Japan – a Kokufu Prize winner. If you have the book from the 73rd Kokufu exhibit, check out page 21 – the tree looks quite different now. It had been unhealthy ahead of that exhibit but has since regained much of its health.
Kokufu Prize winning shimpaku
With very few exceptions, the trees in Kita’s garden were in great shape – visiting was like touring a small bonsai museum. Here are a few of the other junipers in the garden – I’ll share some of Kita’s other trees on Friday.
Boon and shimpaku
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Daniel Dolan says
Thanks for an insiders view of a unique Bonsai world…………..about the “unhealthy” Kokufu Winner…….how does that happen. You don’t lose any points for having an unhealthy tree? And can you explain the horticultural value of having what appears to be dead moss on the soil?
Jonas Dupuich says
Hi Daniel – the tree was displayed with healthy, green foliage, though it had lost branches sometime prior to the event. The dead moss helps retain moisture – it could be leftover from a previous exhibit.
Mark – thanks for catching a typo!
Jeremiah Lee says
Thanks for all the great pictures and the photo tour!