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From Weird to Wonderful, Amazing Collections & More
June 15, 2017

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What to Do With a Weird Shape

Sometimes you have a plant you feel has potential, but can't figure out what to do with it? Lean it, twist it and even turn it upside down! The results can be surprising.

Suthin Sukosolvisit discovered there was a great bonsai in this uniquely shaped specimen.

The following photo of the finished bonsai had a distracting background.

In my effort to remove the background, I'm not sure, but may have also removed an accent plant. (My apologies to Suthin, I'm still working on my photo fixes.)

2017 World Bonsai Convention

Without the pictures and stories from those who do attend, many of us would never see or be able to appreciate some of the wonders of conventions from distant cities all over the world.

Special kudos to Bill Valavanis and Jonas Dupuich for their reporting and the photos from the World Bonsai Convention in Japan, shown here.

"Several bonsai collectors had their own individual displays at the World Bonsai Convention.

These were not simply a few tables put together to feature their own personal collections of bonsai, suiseki and antique containers. But, rather full blown displays, which would make any bonsai club, show envious
. " - Bill Valavanis

Read More - Valavanis Blog

"You may have noticed ... the trees in this display were shown on simple, white blocks instead of on display stands.

This decision placed more emphasis on the trees and is a good alternative when display stands aren’t available, practical or desired.
" - Jonas Dupuich

Read More - Jonas Dupuich Blog

I can see where both of these ideas from the world convention, would work for clubs almost anywhere.

If you are fortunate enough to have an especially talented person or group in your club, invite them to create their own special display at your next convention exhibit.

The Japanese are known for their simplicity in design. The white boxes make perfect sense.

Many times a magnificent tree (large or small) may not have the stand it needs to show it off. Create a white box! Or as shown at this convention, make boxes part of the overall design.

Rain and Pine Needle Size

New post by Michael Hagedorn:
"Pine needles out of control? You may have noticed that some years we have much longer needles on our pines than other years. Why? We haven't done anything differently... but the weather has.

Those years have unseasonably high springtime rainfall. And what is water to a plant? Food.
(Water + CO2 + Light = Dinner) "

Read more: Pine Needle Article by M Hagedorn

Backyard Bonsai

I suspect there are very few bonsai hobbyest who haven't, at least once, had a "milk crate" or two in their backyard.

I used them, temporarily stacked, to raise plants up to a comfortable height for pruning. They are lightweight, sturdy and easy to handle.

This being said, I have to admit, I was a little surprised when I saw these plastic crates in a photo of a famous bonsai master's collection.

(Of course, they were not in a public display area!)

BonsaiMary Gets Mail

Last month's article encouraged
Anita L., Ft. Lauderdale, FL to write:

... just built an entire "table" using recycled cinder block (12) and topping it with 2 large colored slabs. It was very heavy work.

Using the pavers would allow me to add stands right where I need them taking up a lot less space while also giving me a change of heights, and I can spray paint them to any color I want.

Thank you, again, for such a simple solution to my bonsai tree and plant dilemma.

Until Next Month

Here comes one of the trickiest times of the bonsai year.

Summer means hot, hot means things dry out faster, drying out faster means more frequent watering.

Here's a simple technique to help with shohin.

Placing miniature bonsai in a bed of sand or small gravel keeps them moist and also keeps them from tipping over.

I used a tray, similar to the one here, for my smallest mame.

If you use this technique, it's important to pick up your miniatures from time to time, as roots will grow through the bottom of the pots, into the sand.


Mary Miller

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