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Bonsai Banter is a companion newsletter to Once a month, I send out bonsai news, comments, stories and a little about ‘What’s New’ on my site.

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Climate Change

You may have heard about my recent move from Homestead, Florida (just south of Miami) to Mt. Dora, Florida. -- which is a mere 300 miles north, located in Lake County, Central Florida.

I had visited historic Mt. Dora many times, so I knew the difference in the overall landscape and types of plants that grow there.

I intellectually knew the difference, but the reality of living here is quite different. It is unusual for me to see trees I can't name, Cypress trees that look different and so many trees dropping leaves. The most unique thing is not being sure about bonsai care instructions!

Yes, I still know how to style the trees, but how hard can I prune this time of year? Is it too late for pruning? Too early for transplanting?

Many people think Florida is Florida. However, Florida is a long state and covers seven planting zones! Not all of them are tropical in nature.

California is another long state known for its varied mini-environments, some just a few short miles apart.

All which reminds me of bonsai books, with sections of specific instructions for times of year and types of plants. Before giving (or accepting) bonsai care instructions, learn more about where the bonsai will be living. Remember a few miles can often make a big difference.


This photo, by Bob Yahrling, shows me with my "Dancing Lady" elm.

During my recent bonsai auction someone suggested I was losing a lot of "treasures".

I didn't look at it that way.

The auction attendees were mostly experienced bonsai people. Those who bid and won, paid an 'adoption fee'.

I know my bonsai are in good hands and will be lovingly cared for.

I still have many other bonsai treasures ... great books, old photos, personal notes from John Naka and others. I would include the many friends I've met and continue to meet through bonsai among the most valued treasures of all.

I was looking forward to this Malpighia coccigera (holly leaf) maturing. I started it from a tiny cutting. I hope the adoptive parents will send me pictures!

Common Plant Names (again)

Last month in Bonsai Banter, I told a common name story about 'campeachy'. While packing to move, I came across an old nursery receipt for two plants: 1 Buganbilla and 1 Green Alan Ficus.

This is how some of the common names get started. Speaking of Green 'Island' Ficus, there is a bonsai book which refers to this plant as Long Island Ficus!

Do you have a plant name story you'd like to share?

What's New on BonsaiMary?

Truthfully, there are lots of exciting pages, but there's not much new. As soon as I unpack a few more boxes, tear down the kitchen cabinets, replace the bathroom vanity, paint the studio and get new carpet in the bedroom, I will be adding lots of new pages. (Seriously, it won't be that long.)

To make sure you receive copies of new pages as they appear, register for your favorite "RSS" ("Really Simple Syndication") on the BonsaiMary home page.

Comments? Ideas? Feedback?

Is there something you would like to see on the BonsaiMary site? Let me hear from you!

Thanks to everyone who sends me notes, I do appreciate hearing from you. I especially like to see your bonsai photos and stories added to the BonsaiMary site.

See you here next month.