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Bonsai Banter Issue # 54 John Naka and More
August 29, 2014

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John Naka


This month the National Bonsai Foundation celebrated the legacy of John Naka (1914-2004.) Some of his bonsai trees surrounded his bust on display.

This North American Bonsai Master would have turned 100 years old on August 16.

For those of us "of a certain age," it's hard to believe John would have been 100.

(He was 89 when he passed away.)

I still remember him as an early bonsai teacher and a friend with a devilish sense of humor.


Some BonsaiMary Pages You May Have Missed

While looking through the statistics for pages on my web site, I found a couple that are not visited very often. Too bad, because they're full of tips and techniques. In case you missed them, I'm sharing them in this issue of Bonsai Banter.

On the Ten Steps to Good Bonsai page, I chose just one of the steps to show here:

Refine Your Collection - At least once a year, give your collection a serious critique. If you can’t be honest, hire someone to do it for you. Sort out any trees you no longer love and ones that have no future.

Best done around club auction time. Don’t worry about “getting your money back”. If they gave you pleasure and hopefully many lessons, you got your money’s worth.

Although it's still hot here in the northern hemisphere, soon you'll be thinking about winter care. Wouldn't it be nice not to have so many trees to move or worry about when the cold arrives? Yes, it will happen.

If you're like most bonsai hobbyists, give this tip some serious thought.

You will find, when you have fewer trees, the ones you do keep will get better care!

The Bonsai Tree Articles page is the other one I chose. It has over twenty articles listed and includes a brief description of each. Most are about bonsai, such as unique problems, personal stories, some by guest authors and assorted tips.

There is one article about lichen on trees in general (a particular fascination of mine.)

The article on taking bonsai tree pictures is basic but very helpful.

Tropical Bonsai Outdoors?

If you live in a less than tropical climate, do your tropical bonsai spend the warm weather outdoors? It's not too early to at least think about when they will go indoors, as the weather cools down.

This tip will make them happier about the entire experience:

Acclimate them to lower light outdoors first. Place them in some shade for two or three weeks. When you take them in, hopefully they will receive more light and be elated!

Come spring, reverse the procedure. Instead of burning them in full sun, try an outdoor low light location first and gradually move them in the the sun.

Bonsai Exhibits


Amateur or professional, bonsai exhibits can be impressive. The trees are, of course, the center of attention.

Have you ever studied the exhibit itself? An amazing amount of work goes into making them look like they do.

When I lived in Miami we put on quite a show. The Bonsai Society of Miami was one of the first to make a weekend event of our annual exhibit.

We made plans, hung panels, built structures, lined up speakers and hauled plants. It was a mini convention. None of it would have happened without volunteers!

This week in Bill Valavanis' blog he shared set-up photos of what's going on in preparation for the September 13, 2014 4th US National Bonsai Exhibition
If you ever have the opportunity to volunteer for one of these occasions, do it. First of all, extra help is always needed. Secondly, it will be a learning experience.

In Memoriam

Doris Froning, an early American specialist in shohin bonsai, passed away this month at 93 years of age. Many years ago she published the "Mame Bonsai Growers of America" newsletter.

I have fond memories of receiving her mimeographed sheets with hand drawn lessons. Doris was also a past president of the American Bonsai Society.

Her obituary noted she was "the first foreign woman to view the Japanese Emperor's bonsai collection."

A New BonsaiMary Page

Boxwood Bonsai

The Boxwood Bonsai page includes a photo of Yuji Yoshimura during a boxwood demonstration in 1973 and the tree as it looks today in the national collection, Washington D.C.

Although the Kingsville boxwood is currently very popular, this Buxus harlandii bark is why it has been favored for many years.

BonsaiMary.com Gets Mail

One of the Bonsai Banter subjects last month was my 'Bonsai with Tropicals' book.

This is just one of several notes I received:

Hi Mary, It is hard to believe your book was published that long ago. I still remember what a wonderful time we had that day in the beautiful mountains of Vermont and the surprise I had when I saw myself on the cover. The book contains great tips about bonsai that I still refer to and would help not only beginners, but all of us "along the way". Thanks again for making me part of the cover. Frank

Time To Advertise

Don't forget, if you have a bonsai related business or are a bonsai speaker, I have very reasonable advertising prices and excellent exposure.

BonsaiMary averaged over 1,000 visits a day again this month!

Your Advertising Info

Until next time, thanks for your input and for visiting my site.

Sincerely,

Mary Miller

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