The Bay Area Satsuki Aikokai held its 24th annual exhibit last weekend at the Lake Merritt Garden Center in Oakland, California. And thanks to the weather this spring, the timing of the exhibit was perfect for seeing azaleas in full bloom.
Sachi no Tsukasa
Many of the flowers were familiar, but an equal number – including the Sachi no Tsukasa above – were new to me so it was fun to see them in person.
The exhibit also provided some great demonstrations of the subtle differences between related flowers. Below are three versions of Korin, a popular, pink flowered variety.
Hi Korin – a reddish version of the flower
Hime Korin – a slightly smaller version of the flower
Many of the trees on display were so well maintained that I overheard visitors marvel that the bonsai were real and not fake. I don’t blame them – the trees were in great shape!
One fun thing about satsuki display is that owners have several options for showing their trees. One decision relates to how many flowers to show. It’s common practice to thin blossoms so the flowers don’t crowd each other. Another approach is to remove all but a handful of flowers so viewers can better appreciate the tree’s structure.
I was happy to see some trees with lots of color and others with fewer flowers as it made for a good mix. I also enjoy seeing azaleas that are just starting to open as the colors are often subtle and the shapes of emerging petals are interesting.
Emerging flowers – Nikko no Hoshi
Flowers beginning to open – Nikko
Lots of open flowers – Tensho
Visitors enjoying the show
Thanks to the Bay Area Satsuki Aikokai for putting on such a great exhibit!
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