Back to Back Issues Page
Clever Bonsai Marketing and Backyard Bonsai
May 17, 2017

Thank You for Subscribing

If someone sent you this issue of Bonsai Banter, it's a monthly newsletter. If you like what you see, please sign up!

Subscription Form in Right Column of Home Page

If you wish to remove your name, please see the link at the bottom of this page.

Clever Bonsai Marketing

When Michael Levin at Bonsai West in Littleton, MA announced new classes he posted this photo! It gets your attention and tells the story ...

Yes, there will be evening bonsai classes!

When looking at an empty bonsai pot, it's sometimes difficult to imagine how your tree may look in it.

Nathan Simmons has a very clever way of resolving that problem and showing off his pots.

These presentations make you want to buy! Those are pieces of artwork in the background!

Nathan sells bonsai pots on an online bonsai auction site.

Bonsai Backyards

Bonsai Garden of William Valavanis

We've all seen pictures of amazing bonsai gardens in Japan, professionally created public gardens around the world and special displays such as Bill's above. They are certainly inspirational!

Many bonsai folks have more practical gardens. 'Block and board' are still one of the most popular set-ups, and there are many variations.

I saw this photo of Richard Green's "backyard" on Facebook and wondered if he was in business. I also thought, it must take several people to maintain such a collection (over 200 plants.)

When I emailed Richard, he was quick to admit his deep passion for bonsai and was generous with his details.

" ...bonsai has always been a very serious hobby. My trees are kept in my small yard by me. I've never had any help ... I try not to think of them as having a financial value."

Richard is a member of a study group taught by Boon Manakitivipart and you can tell from the picture, his trees are healthy and well cared for.

"About 30 years ago I stopped buying trees grown by other people. So about 95% of all my trees were grown and styled by me from seed, cuttings, airlayer and young mail order bare root seedlings." Green told me that every year he "weeds through the collection to see which ones he can do without." (Many bonsai hobbyists could learn from this habit.)

"Every season brings on it's special flow of necessary daily tasks. Transplanting and watering are big one's. On a warm dry summer day it takes me 2.5 hours to water everything correctly. I water everything by hand. It allows me to look at each and every tree. Maybe that's why I don't have a insect problem.

As you can imagine this collection takes time and commitment! With organization and passion, it's amazing what one man can do!

Poles and Pedestals

In addition to benches, there are many types of poles and pedestals.

When I moved to the property in Homestead (where we eventually had The Bonsai Bench nursery,) we were blessed with many old telephone poles. Cut to different sizes, they made perfect display stands.

The most important thing to know about high stands is, your bonsai need to be tied down! Don't ever think your bonsai pot is heavy enough.

BonsaiMary Gets Mail

Bob Wertz - Oakland Park, FL

... I have found great material for bonsai stands. They are colored and textured concrete pavers that I have purchased from Home Depot on an as needed basis. The actual size is 11 1/2" square and 2 1/2" thick. I have stacked them anywhere from 2 high to 18 high depending on my personal desires.

I use a single stack for smaller plants, 2 wide for larger plants and 2 by 2 for an extra large tree. I choose to top most of mine with a 16" square x 1 1/4" travertine tile/paver, or a 16" x 24" for the double stacks. Although not necessary, it does add a little more aesthetic value. I also use them to support my shelves. They are a lot more decorative than the typical concrete masonry units.

This method may seem a little expensive, however they are extremely sturdy, storm proof, do not deteriorate as wood does and do not require concrete footings.

Bob sent several pictures, there were high, low and double stacks ... this was my favorite.

Nick Apostol - Ft. Lauderdale, FL

"Please include balconies in you Bonsai Backyards article. I am limited to a balcony and would like to see how others do with theirs.

You can see from Nick's photo, he definitely has very little space.

If you're successfully growing bonsai on a balcony, please send me photos!

Where There's a Will . . .

Nick, I'm not sure this is what you had in mind, but I had to share!

I found this Japanese balcony picture in my old photo file.

I can just imagine the owner saying to him/herself

"If I can only fit one, it's going to be a good one!"

Bonsai Convention
Orlando, Florida

A Final Reminder! May 25 – 29, 2017

'Florida Hotel' in Orlando, Florida

Presented by the American Bonsai Society and the Bonsai Societies of Florida Click on this link for more details. 'Moving American Bonsai Forward'

Until Next Month

Here comes the busiest bonsai time of the year. Don't skip your fertilizing! Know when and what to do with your tropicals.

Watch for the critters, in the US South the "lubbers" are terrible this year.


Mary Miller

Leave this issue of BonsaiBanter and go to Home Page

Back to Back Issues Page