Before heading east to the U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition, I put together a display for a Yaupon holly. I didn’t have a good second tree for the display so I borrowed a small shimpaku from Eric Schrader. Eric and I then tried dozens of combinations of stands and accents to see which we liked best.
Medium displays, also known as three-point displays, typically consist of two medium-sized trees and a companion plant. The idea is to use trees, pots, and stands that offer variety in color, texture, and size.
Rather than show all of the combinations we looked at, I’ll focus on the stands we tried for the holly. We started small with a low box stand.
Display 1 – low box stand
The stand for the holly was the right size for the tree but we didn’t like that both trees sat on low stands. We also tried a more ornate stand, but still didn’t like the low height.
Display 2 with an ornate low stand
The next stand we tried was taller but not tall enough.
Not only was the stand an awkward height, but it was the same shape as the stand for the juniper. We decided to try larger stands for both trees.
Display 4 on a tall stand
While we liked the larger stand for the juniper, the stand for the holly was too tall.
A slightly lower stand proved to be a good height for the composition, but we didn’t like the dark color and slender features for a tree with a large trunk and full silhouette.
We both liked the variety added by using a stand with slats. And although it’s not the ideal stand for the composition – slatted stands are a more conventional choice for deciduous species – it was the best we had on hand.
The ideal stand would have softer features. As potter Nao Tokutake pointed out at the exhibition, the tree is full and round with an undulating trunk but the pot and stand are composed of exclusively straight lines. A pot and stand with curved or rounded elements could complement the tree well.
I’ll share photos – and podcast episodes – from the exhibition in upcoming posts.
The short version is that akadama and Aoki Blend are on the way, but I don’t know when exactly they’ll arrive. If you’d like to receive notice when akadama and Aoki Blend are back in stock, you can sign up here.
Based on the shipper’s recent experience, the soil may be available on the online store within 1-2 months.
I don’t have an idea of when soil will be available for bulk or wholesale orders (orders of 50+ bags). The soil is on order but current shipping conditions make it hard to determine exact dates. I’ll post updates when more information is available. See the Wholesale Order page for details.
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