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Bonsai Banter is a companion newsletter to the Bonsai-Mary site.

Once a month, I send out bonsai news, comments, stories and ‘What’s New’ on my site. If you know someone who may enjoy this addition, please let them know.

If someone forwarded this to you and you like what you read, please subscribe by completing the subscription form on my Home Page.

What a Trip!

The Bonsai Societies of Florida convention was great fun.

The guest artist was Robert Steven - author of “Vision of My Soul” and “Mission of Transformation”.

Robert traveled 36 hours from Indonesia to attend!

He is a young, free spirited artist with a unique eye for tropicals.

Robert had his hands full. He critiqued the exhibit, judged the Club Night penjing competition and led several workshops and demonstrations!

I haven’t been to a bonsai convention in several years and had almost forgotten how enjoyable they are - and how much the camaraderie of old friends means.

In addition to the 'old timers', there were also many new (to me) participants. Martha Goff brought her granddaughter Zoe. You may think she was begging to go to Disney World. However, a little money to spend in the bonsai vendors area made her quite happy!


Zoe is ready for her workshop!


Elijah Jacober - 2010 Jr. Scholarship winner

Elijah came with his Dad, Thomas from St. John's, FL to receive the very deserved award.

It was great to see these youngsters working on their trees. The best part is, they’re both keeping bonsai alive!

Recognition

In 'Bonsai with Tropicals' I wrote, that for me, being called bonsai teacher is the greatest compliment of all.

At the Sunday night banquet, I was presented with the 2010 BSF Lifetime Achievement Award. In part it read: “The best teachers teach from the heart, they are the essence of beautiful bonsai”. Thank you to the Board and members of Bonsai Societies of Florida, I am honored.

There were numerous other awards. The Joe Samuels Award was presented to Dorothy Schmitz for her fabulous Casuarina. Dorothy said “it's still a work in progress”, but then aren’t they all? Joe would have loved it.

Mike Lane received the BSF Instructors Scholarship. His bonsai study for the coming year will be paid for and next year we will see him perform at the convention!

Rick Jeffrey won the President's Award for his bald cypress. He was beaming!

Photos of award winners will be on the Bonsai-Mary site soon.

After the Convention

Since I was sort of in the neighborhood, I visited D&L Nursery, in the Ocala National Forest. Along the way, I wondered if it really was in the forest? It is, and what a beautiful spot. I enjoyed my visit with David and Linda.

They have a great variety of starter bonsai, a nice display and little treasures everywhere. The quiet was wonderful and I was impressed with the lack of weeds!

Warning: GPS cannot find it! That’s another story. You know, the one where it takes three hours to make a one hour trip!



Beyond Bonsai

I have fallen in love with Central Florida … especially a little town called Mount Dora. Mt. Dora is special. After the convention, I spent a week in the area.

I zipped around the back roads and visited other small towns. Howey-in-the-Hills is beautiful and I was just in time for the 'Corn Fest' in Leesburg.

For forty years I've been living on flat land with beaches and palm trees. Who knew there were such steep hills and green valleys in Florida!

And beautiful lakes are everywhere!

Anyone want to purchase my 3/2 on an acre in Homestead, FL? (Seriously!)

What's New on my Site?

Now that I'm home, I'm refreshed and back to work on my site. The new juniper bonsai page is already getting attention. One reader sent a story with great progression photos (you will see them soon).

My first page about portulacaria “jade bonsai” trees encouraged an email from Dave Bogan about his cork bark jade. That was enough for me to add another page on portulacaria afra.

Comments? Ideas? Feedback?

Thanks to everyone who sends me notes, I do appreciate them.

June, July and August are a time for lots of bonsai work. Keep me posted on what you’re up to. I’d love to hear from you. Just ‘reply’ to this e-zine.

See you here next month.

Mary