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Bonsai Banter Issue #62 A Rare Bonsai
April 28, 2015

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A Rare Bonsai Beauty

My daughter Angela recently moved to a five acre property in North Central Florida. Since I spent most of my life in the Miami area, I don't recognize many of the plants and trees there.

There is a real mix of sub tropicals and temperate varieties. One has been somewhat of a mystery. I didn't notice it when it had leaves and the winter silhouette didn't give any hints as to what was coming.

Angela contacted the previous homeowner and found it was called Grandfather Graybeard, Chionanthus virginicus. It is also kown as Flowering Ash, Old Man's Beard, Snowflower Tree and Fringe Tree. (Not to be confused with Loropetalum Chinensis.)

We were blown away when it went into full bloom! I'm now looking forward to the drupes which should appear soon.

I was anxious to see if anyone had discovered it for bonsai. My online search discovered the beauty shown above. It was displayed at the American Bonsai Association exhibit in Sacramento 2013.

If you are the owner, or if you're growing this tree as bonsai, I would love to hear from you. Grandfather Graybeard certainly belongs as a full page on my BonsaiMary website. I need more details and more photos.

I've also been thinking ... I wonder how Angela would feel about me cutting her tree down to size?

Repotting and Watering Tip

If you've just finished repotting some of your more mature bonsai. There are most likely clumps of old roots and then the new soil is tucked around them.

Bonsai artist Michael Hagedorn has this important reminder ... "only read the moisture level where there are roots to determine when to water."

repotting watering tip

What Makes You a Bonsai Freak?

A New Bonsai Facebook Group

"When you use your soil sieve to rinse the vegetables from your veggie garden ... I just wish I woulda thought of it before I chopped them up." - Lance Brown

A few more of the fun entries as to why you may be a bonsai freak:

"Your pockets are full of mesh, copper, aluminum wire pieces, lava, pumice and dirt."

"You maxed you credit card out buying bonsai, bonsai tools and now have to borrow from your mother for lunch money."

"You sit at work dreaming about applying raffia and wire to the new juniper you purchased.""

"When you use your only bandana to wrap an awesome cutting rather than to cover your bald head in the West Texas sun.

Bonsai Freak - Facebook

Bonsai Gardens

I'm always looking for bonsai gardens, exhibits and museums to add to the public exhibit pages on my website.

In a recent post from Morten Albek, I learned about an amazing bonsai academy, nursery and bonsai museum in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Dusseldorf Bonsai Museum

(Although the site is in German with no translation, there is an email contact for more information if you plan to visit.)

More photos can be found on this impressive page:

Walter Pall's visit to Dusseldorf, Germany

Collected Trees for Sale

For some of us, one of the best ways to have amazing trees is to buy them form others who dig them from the wild.

Unfortunately, some dealers are a little too anxious to sell these yamadori.

I've tried to warn bonsai newcomers not to buy collected trees before they are established.

So, it was good to see this Cypress for sale on the BonsaiSouth site with the caveat that it is not ready to ship.

However, Zack does accept deposits to reserve it until it is ready to ship.

PS - No guarantee this cypress is still available!

Bald Cypress for Sale

Searching for New Companion Plants?

This colorful columbine plant is called 'Little Lanterns' for obvious reasons.

William Valavanis' recent blog had a great tip on how to find such treasures to create a companion planting.

Valavanis blog re companion plants

BonsaiMary Gets Mail

Re: Contact Me

When you fill out the 'Contact Me' form on the BonsaiMary site, it's important to carefully review your email address before sending.

If Jerry M from Ohio is reading this, I have a full page response to your question and it was returned undeliverable.

Sorry, please try again.

BonsaiMary Advertising

Advertising on BonsaiMary literally cost pennies a day.

$50. will give you a large ad, with great exposure for three full months on 5 different pages! (A total of 15 ads.)

Even less per day when you purchase 5 pages for 6 months at $85. That is not a per month price ... it's a total for all 6 months on 5 of your choices of my most visited pages.

Advertising intro page

Until Next Time

Now that spring has sprung for most of us, there's plenty to do in the bonsai world. Watch for the exhibits, read the blogs for great tips and most of all don't put off the spring projects for your own bonsai trees!

Thanks for your input and for visiting my site.


Mary Miller

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