2018 May Novice Training #3

A hugely successful Novice #3 beginners’ session has just been completed. Without doubt, the BSV Novice Program has to be the best value beginners’ program in Melbourne. Huge thanks to Mark Ludlow, owner of Master’s Apprentice Bonsai School and Nursery, for being our most patient and informative teacher. Also huge thanks to Victor Byrdy, BSV President, for having the vision to make such a fabulous learning opportunity available to bonsai novices.

The BSV Novice Program will be available again in three sessions during September, October and November later this year. Current cost for members is $60 per session ($80 per session for non-members). Participants receive detailed notes, two plants per session on which to apply their new found artistic skills and one on one support.

Tools and wire are available during the sessions so there is no need to rush out and buy gear. I thoroughly recommend completing this program if you are a novice. More information will be posted on this site, in due course, regarding the next program. Go forth and bonsai!!!!

Below are photos from the session.

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2018 May Monday – Pines Workshop

On a mild autumn evening, over 40 BSV members gathered to hear Scott talk about growing and maintaining Japanese Black Pines.  Scott briefly outlined the key aspects of growing Black Pines as bonsai and then proceeded to assist members with their own pines.

Scott talking about maintaining Japanese Black Pines
Scott talking about maintaining Japanese Black Pines

Some of the points made by Scott are listed below:

  • Autumn/Winter – bud selection, needle plucking, feeding, wiring and styling.
  • Spring – candle breaking and feeding.
  • Summer – decandling and energy balancing.
  • Many of these activities are focussed on balancing growth.  Scott promotes the “Goldilocks Approach” – not too strong and not too weak.
  • Needle plucking – best to work from top down and ensure plucking in the same direction of the needles to avoid damage to the branch.
  • Avoid spiking yourself by working up and under.
  • Black Pines need full sun and air movement.
  • Feed well in autumn and spring.
  • A significant time investment is required to properly maintained black pine bonsai.


Some examples of the workshop activity are included below.

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Trees on show are displayed below.

Continue reading 2018 May Monday – Pines Workshop

2018 May Saturday Program

Following the first blast of some real winter temperatures and rain, BSV Members met to work on their trees and get them ready for winter.  Heaters, hot drinks and a warm afternoon tea helped keep the cold at bay.

A selection of trees being worked on by members is included below.


Pine - unusual variety.
Pine – unusual variety.

Evidence of a styling plan being applied.

Desert Ash.
Desert Ash.
Pine clean up.
Pine clean up.
Kunzea variety.
Kunzea variety.

The strong growth on this  Kunzea is being trimmed.  Thought to be ericoides species but there is some doubt and further research is in hand.

Chinese Elm - "Seiju"
Chinese Elm – “Seiju”

Expert advice is that this small elm is now ready for fine tuning and re-potting in a bonsai pot.