When I was in Rochester, NY, for the 4th US National Bonsai Exhibition, I made sure to visit the best known bonsai garden in the area – the International Bonsai Arboretum, home of the Valavanis Bonsai Collection.
International Bonsai Arboretum
Within moments of stepping foot inside the Arboretum, several things become very clear. There are many beautiful trees here. The breadth of varieties is impressive. And Valavanis has been at this for a long time. The age and character of the trees in his garden reveal many years in the making – a testament to more than 50 years of hard work.
Euonymus – one of my favorite trees in the garden
As we toured the garden, Valavanis pointed out highlights and surprising facts. The corkbark maple landscape tree and the bonsai of the same variety growing beside it are the same age.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the garden or who want to learn more, I strongly recommend a copy of Valavanis’ Classical Bonsai Art – a study of the creation of 100 of his best trees. See a good review at The Bonsai Journal.
After walking through the garden for a while I reflected on how much effort must be required to keep so many trees in such good shape. I’m not sure how Valavanis does it, but I’m glad he finds the time for it.
On display in the tokonoma
Dwarf Alberta spruce
Japanese maple – kiyohime
More highlights from the Arboretum next week.
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