On a fine and heated Saturday, BSV Members gathered in East Kew to develop their skills on deciduous trees. It was a very busy afternoon and significant progress was made in the various activities. See the gathering below.
Victor L. led another session on growing triple trunk Trident Maples. This session followed up plantings done last year, helped Members create new plantings and demonstrated the next stage in the process where the metal plate is removed and the triple trunk repotted. See photos below.
Photos below show plate removal steps.
Facilities were also available to assist Members in their repotting activity.
Mark L., Victor B. and Victor L. provided assistance to Members with developing and styling their trees. Photos of several examples are included below
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!!!!
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.
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.
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.
Evidence of a styling plan being applied.
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.
Expert advice is that this small elm is now ready for fine tuning and re-potting in a bonsai pot.
In the first meeting for 2018, Tien from Bonsai Sensation conducted a brief demonstration on growing figs for bonsai followed by a workshop for members to work on their figs and seek guidance if necessary. Over 40 BSV Members were very engaged in the demo and the workshop and there was a real buzz in the air as they got down to work. Below are a few photos of Tien demonstrating with figs. It was interesting to see how quickly Tien trimmed his trees.
Tien focussed his demonstration of developing fig bonsai with good nebari and taper. He covered repotting, trimming of roots and branches and defoliation. He reminded all those present that the tree doesn’t want to be a bonsai so we need to regularly trim the longer shoots.
The first Saturday Workshop for 2018 was very productive with much activity focussed on trimming, defoliating and revitalising developing and existing bonsai. We also had two visitors from Europe who are spending time in Melbourne and took the opportunity to join us. It was great to hear about their experiences in the European climate and we are sure they learnt a lot about the Melbourne climate and the tree species that do well here.
Photos of a selection of trees and the results of some of the days activities are included below.
Best Wishes to all for Christmas and the New Year. We look forward to seeing you in 2018; maybe with a new tree or two.
The December Workshop was the last one for 2017 and all tables were full as Members worked on a wide variety of trees. Restyling, trimming, defoliating and chin wagging about trees, life in general and plans for Christmas. Despite all the talk, great progress was made on many of the trees and examples are shown below. In some cases showing changes made during the day.
With the arrival of warmer weather, Members were very focussed on managing spring growth. A group of Members were being introduced to some of the basics of bonsai by Victor and Robert.
Air-layering is a great technique for improving your trees or quickly developing advanced trees. November/December is a time that suits air-layering on most varieties of trees and experts were on hand to guide members through the air-layering process. See examples below.
Other trees under development at the workshop are included below.
The BSV Monday meeting in July was a workshop aimed at fine tuning trees for the BSV Show in October. Many trees were subject to intensive activity to style and or fine tune. A few examples are included below.
Several Member’s trees were also on display including a few with flowers.
The Saturday workshop in July was bustling with activity. In addition to working on their trees, members could also participate in the Children’s Day activities or join the Grafting Masterclass.
The Bonsai Society of Victoria organised the Children’s Day activities to introduce and share our interest in bonsai by enabling our members to work with their children and grandchildren to create a bonsai together. Every child attending was shown how to make a bonsai with a plant and pot provided. The wonderful bonsai created were for the children to keep and enjoy for many years to come. Several examples of work in progress are included below.
Many thanks to Peter for running the Grafting Masterclass in Max’s absence. Peter took participants through the basics of grafting crab apples on to a different root stock. See examples below.