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Bonsai Banter Issue # 57 New Bonsai Only Auction
December 01, 2014

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A New Bonsai Only Auction Site

(and Bonsai Related)

Expect quality items! Whether you want to buy or sell, read the rules! See the Bonsai Only Auction Facebook group page. One of the rules is "no mallsai!"

If you're selling, the site even shows you how to pack your trees. Sounds like a winner to me.

Please let me hear about your experience.

My Retirement (?)

Every once in a while, I get dragged out of retirement ... (if it's within 20 minutes of home!)

Left to right:

Edna Hindson, Laura Lee Southern (responsible for decorations), me, David and Linda VanBuskirk

In this case, it was 20 minutes from my daughter Angela's home. Edna Hindson, a bonsai friend from way back, asked me to do a program for the Oak Hammock Art League in Gainesville. I couldn't resist.

And what a greeting I received (note the Tori gate!)

My Annual Holiday Rant

Long time subscribers to Bonsai Banter will recognize this message. It's pretty much the same every year.

If you’re even thinking about bonsai trees as gifts for friends and family, don't!

If you insist, consider a “ house plant type,” introductory “indoor bonsai” and give simple houseplant instructions. If they have a green thumb, a nice Ficus variety or Chinese elm could be perfect.

Read more here: Bonsai Indoors

Otherwise, a “dwarf umbrella tree” or Norfolk Island pine may be your best bet. (Let them know it's not real, just for practice.)

Remember, it's the thought that counts. If the plant is still alive next year, perhaps your friend is ready for a real bonsai upgrade!

My favorite bonsai gift is still a picture book.

Unless the person really wants to know, forget the how-to-do-bonsai type. I highly recommend picture books from the Wayne Schoech collection at the Stone Lantern Book Gallery

More on Bonsai Competition

These were two of my favorite responses regarding the previous BonsaiBanter post about competition:

"On a personal level I have little to no interest in a bonsai exhibit being a competition. So who did what and when is moot.

How about submitting your tree or trees to a jury that chooses which trees will be accepted for the exhibit and then just putting them on display so all can enjoy the beauty of this art? Does everyone really need to be told that their tree is better than some other tree? Isn't the art sufficient unto itself?

If you're not sure if you've got a good tree and don't feel sufficiently knowledgable to judge your own work, then find someone who's opinion you respect and talk with them about your work. If your work doesn't fulfill you, then all the gold stars on your forehead aren't going to fill the void.
" - John Evans


Hi Mary, I have greatly enjoyed your articles over the short time I've been a subscriber.

In this last issue there was a piece on Bonsai Competition. I have been doing bonsai for quite a few years, but mainly for my own pleasure and have never really gotten involved in a local group or any type of competition; I still consider myself a novice. I understand the complexity and conflict in competitions of the owner/stylist vs just being an owner as I've seen it in other venues, such as in auto shows.

One method of dealing with this conflict that I've seen employed at auto shows is where the item entered into competition (car in this case) is entered in the appropriate category based on its merits and not who owns it or who worked on it. The card next to the item identifies both the owner and, in the case of bonsai, the stylist - even if they are one in the same person. This has the added benefit of serving as advertising for the stylist while recognizing as well that the item (car, tree, etc) has a significant value in which the owner has invested money or both money and time and expertise.

Hope that makes sense. Not being familiar with the bonsai competition world, I'm not sure if that would be of any benefit. Keep up the excellent work. I'm enjoying the learning. Thank you.
Tom Lawrence

Thanks to both John and Tom for the thoughtful input!

Maybe some some folks could take a lesson from Japan. Bonsai judging in Japan is a serious matter and in many cases, owners and growers are two different people.

And yes, sometimes those with the most money win.

That being said, look at the magnificent bonsai on display for our pleasure both in Japan and around the world due to competition!

Here's a Winner!

The "Joshua Roth New Talent Bonsai Competition" is an annual competition to recognize and promote new bonsai talent in North America.

First prize - $1,000 toward an exclusive course of instruction with an approved bonsai teacher.

This year's Joshua Roth winner is Ryan Nichols. Congratulations Ryan!

Back to the Roots site - Ryan Nichols


Enjoy this beautiful season of fun and family.

Watch the weather though, remember your bonsai need love too!

Time To Advertise

Don't forget, if you have a bonsai related business or are a bonsai speaker, I have very reasonable advertising prices (ok, so they're cheap) and excellent exposure.

Bonsai South's ad is a good example of how yours could look. See his live ad here: Yamadori Zach just updated his site, if you're looking for good starter trees, take a look.

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.


Mary Miller

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