Last week the Bonsai Society of San Francisco held their 55th annual exhibit as part of the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show held at the San Mateo Event Center. This was the first time I was able to attend the show in recent years, so I was excited to head down to San Mateo.
For those unfamiliar with the Garden Show, it’s a large event with over 200 exhibitors featuring all things garden-related, including sample display gardens, an ikebana exhibit and BSSF’s bonsai exhibit.
The Bonsai Society of San Francisco is among the older bonsai clubs in the Bay Area. It has a large membership and a strong beginners’ program featuring day-long courses suited to the current season (details at bssf.org).
One can also find great bonsai information on the club website. Club president Eric Schrader has been posting great how-to articles on the site for years. Many of these articles focus on creating bonsai material from scratch, and Eric’s posts about developing pine bonsai are as good as any I know of – I recommend you read them all. If that’s not enough, see more from Eric at phutu.com.
Like so many local clubs, the Bonsai Society of San Francisco includes members from a number of local bonsai organizations. As such, a number of the trees from this year’s exhibit will look familiar. What may not be familiar is how the trees look this time of year.
Here are selected highlights from the exhibit, starting with some of the larger trees on display, including the impressively vigorous black pine below.
Below is a twin-trunk coast redwood.
There are lots of examples of local bonsai improving over time, and BSSF is a good place to see this in action.
Without further interruption, here are more highlights from last week’s exhibit.
European hornbeam, cork bark black pine
Catlin elm, Shimpaku grafted on California juniper
Each of the trees in this display deserve a little more attention.
Catlin elm and accent
Cork bark black pine
Dwarf Asian pear
Korean hornbeam, black pine
Cotoneaster, Kingsville boxwood, olive, Washington hawthorn, Japanese grey bark elm
BSSF’s exhibit also included some very small bonsai – photos Friday.
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