A bonsai convention is usually a well planned event, but you never know what may happen along the way. Any time bonsai people get together, in addition to learning, there's always fun. This is one of those stories.
Any time bonsai people get together, in addition to learning, there's always fun. This is one of those stories. The 2010 Bonsai Societies of Florida meet was held in Orlando, Florida. (Because the state of Florida is so long, this is the most central location for everyone.)
Although there are registration fees, it can sometimes be difficult for the clubs then to meet all the expenses of hotel, speakers, plant material and supplies.
One of the ways societies help meet these expenses is to ask for bonsai related donations and then put them up for raffle drawings. Items such as trees, tools, books, bonsai pots and sometimes artwork provide additional income for the event.
Tables are often set up near the registration area, donations are placed with coffee cans next to them. You buy your tickets, place in the can by the item of your choice and hope for the best.
When this buttonwood bonsai arrived for the raffle, it received a lot of attention.
A big discussion ensued. Everyone knew what they were going to do with it, when they took it home!
Ed Trout recognized it as one he had donated to another convention years before.
The new owner was now re-donating it.
With permission, Ed couldn't resist showing the true value of this Conocarpus erectus as a bonsai. There were no extra meeting rooms available, so an impromptu demonstration was set up in the hotel hallway. Supplies appeared from everywhere.
It wasn't long before the tree was slightly re-positioned and leaves were dropping on the carpet. Without the leaves, it was much easier for Ed to see his plan. Meantime, the surprising free demo continued to draw a crowd.
It was difficult to get a good picture in the poorly lit hall. You can still see the result was impressive. There was no need to worry about what to do next. It was a beauty to be enjoyed and maintained.
As people continued to arrive, they were drawn to this buttonwood bonsai on the $5. raffle table. I don't know how much money BSF made, but I do know there were lots of tickets in the coffee can.
The winner was Mike Cartrett. The moral of this story? Don't miss a bonsai convention!