2019 42nd Midwest Bonsai Exhibition- Part 2

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Additionally, there are two large courtyards full of vendors offering bonsai, pre-bonsai, supplies, suiseki, scrolls and many more items for sale. Vendors from a wide have brought some of their finest items for the public as well as bonsai hobbyists, many who do not have a readily available access to good material. 
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The vendors from both courtyards surround many of the Chicago Botanic Gardens Bonsai Collection which are well maintained by Chris Baker the curator.
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The exhibition continues on Saturday and Sunday with workshops and and the world premier of my newest lecture/demonstration “Bonsai Refinement, Evaluation & Display Preparations” on Saturday at 1pm. 
Come, join us on Saturday and Sunday to view beautiful bonsai, meet and make new friends as well as to learn from the workshops and demonstration. Also, you can add to your bonsai collection from supporting the vendors. The Chicago Botanic Garden is huge with many gardens, plant collections surrounding scenic ponds and vistas. It’s worth a visit alone to see horticultural beauty and perfection.
My two displays were for exhibit only.
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The exhibition is FREE to the public. If you want to park your car the Chicago Botanic Garden has a parking fee of $30 which is well worth what you will experience. Approximately 20,000 people will visit the gardens and bonsai exhibition this weekend and the many parking lots fill up quickly. So come early and stay late.
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The exhibition continues on Saturday and Sunday with workshops and and the world premier of my newest lecture/demonstration “Bonsai Refinement, Evaluation & Display Preparations” on Saturday at 1pm. 
 
Come, join us on Saturday and Sunday to view beautiful bonsai, meet and make new friends as well as to learn from the workshops and demonstration. Also, you can add to your bonsai collection from supporting the vendors. The Chicago Botanic Garden is huge with many gardens, plant collections surrounding scenic ponds and vistas. It’s worth a visit alone to see horticultural beauty and perfection.
 
The exhibition is FREE to the public. If you want to park your car the Chicago Botanic Garden has a parking fee of $30 which is well worth what you will experience. Approximately 20,000 people will visit the gardens and bonsai exhibition this weekend and the many parking lots fill up quickly. So come early and stay late.

2019 42nd Midwest Bonsai Exhibition- Part 1

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42ndMidwest Bonsai Exhibition is being held on August 16-19, 2019 at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois, hosted and organized by the Midwest Bonsai Society. Nearly 100 bonsai from across the Midwest and beyond are on display.

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Having attended 40 of these exhibitions I can state that this year’s bonsai are the best I’ve seen in the past four decades in this show. The trees continue to mature and become refined and are not crowded, allowing plenty of space to admire and learn from the beauty which has been created and shared.
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BEST OF SHOW
Rocky Mountain Juniper by Tim Priest
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FIRST PRIZE PROFESSIONAL DIVISION
Miyajima Japanese Five-needle Pine by Mark Fields
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SECOND PRIZE PROFESSIONAL DIVISION
Hatsuyuki Star Jasmine by Owen Rich
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THIRD PRIZE PROFESSIONAL DIVISION
Sargent Juniper by Tim Priest
I was honored to judge this year’s exhibition and conduct an educational critique after the show ended on Friday. Comments on each bonsai were written on each judging form to make suggestions on future improvement as well as highlight the good, as well as the poor elements of each presentation. After completing nearly 100 judging forms I had a difficult time to award the ribbons and trophy cups. It was interesting that each bonsai in the novice category deserved and was presented a ribbon.
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Experience Japanese Culture, Gardens & Bonsai In A Small Group

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Have you ever considered to visit the Japan bonsai community and to experience Japanese culture?

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Here is your opportunity to experience the Taikan Bonsai Exhibition, visit private bonsai collections and Kyoto gardens. A visit to Tokoname to purchase bonsai containers at discount pricing is also available too! We will able to return home in time to celebrate Thanksgiving with your family.

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In November Kora Dalager and I will be leading another one of our popular value-priced trips to Japan. Only a small number of members will be accepted for this tour so we will have ample time to fully appreciate the beauty and culture of Japan.

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Omiya Bonsai Village, the mecca of bonsai, will be experienced, where you will see the top bonsai gardens where many of the famous masterpiece bonsai have been created and are maintained. You will have the opportunity to meet the top bonsai artists and see their trees, both outdoors and in small indoor displays. The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, near the village will be on the tour where formal instructive displays, in English, can be seen as well as formal bonsai alcove displays. You can then stroll through a large outdoor garden with masterpieces displayed throughout. Directly across the street we will experience a delicious traditional Japanese luncheon.

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Bonsai artist Masahiko Kimura will be visited and here you can see many of the top evergreen bonsai in his small, intimate garden. He always has time for us and answers your questions as well.

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A visit to Seiji Morimai’s nearby S-Cube bonsai garden is always a highlight because of friendly hospitality while seeing thousands of bonsai and suiseki. He also accepts credit cards as well…. Bonsai containers, at great prices as well as display tables and art are always popular with our groups.

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Kiunio Kobayashi’s Shunka-en Bonsai Art Museum in Tokyo is a visit you will not forget. Here ten indoor formal bonsai displays will feature some of the finest, and most expensive bonsai in Japan. Outdoors a small koi pond is surrounded with other masterpieces. Having run out of room, another area has been constructed on top of the building holding antique containers and more suiseki. Truly a breathtaking experience!

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A bullet train ride will bring you nearby views of famed Mt. Fuji on our way to Kyoto the ancient capital of Japan. This is the highlight season for visiting Kyoto gardens with brilliant colorful maple foliate. Several of the famous gardens in the temple complexes will be experienced,

 

 

Of course, one of the main highlights of this special tour includes visits to the Taikan Bonsai Exhibition, one of the largest in Japan with nearly 300 bonsai formally displayed with scrolls, accessories and suiseki. The sales area is one of the largest in Japan.

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You can then extend your tour to visit Tokoname, an ancient pottery town. Although most famous for toilet bowls, they are now well known for high quality bonsai containers. You will meet some of the top bonsai potters and also have the opportunity to watch them hand build bonsai containers in their factories. All the containers are offered at special discounted prices for our tour.

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Join Kora Dalager and me for a special tour to experience Japanese culture and bonsai. Please contact Kora at dalagerkora@gmail.com for additional information. She can arrange special visits if you like.

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A tour flyer is available at:

http://www.internationalbonsai.com/files/1708315/uploaded/2019%20AUTUMN%20JAPAN%20TOUR.pdf

 

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I look forward to exploring the Japanese bonsai world with you!

 

 

Suiseki Collecting Trip

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The Suiseki Study Group of Upstate New York had the annual collecting trip today. Twelve members from the Greater Rochester, NY area along with members from Erie, PA and Ithaca, NY gathered at a favorite stream, which often has dark black stones. The secret stream is in “Upstate New York” and only participants were given directions.

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The weather was perfect; sunny, low 70sF, warm shallow water with a gentle breeze. But the best part were the friendly participants in a quiet beautiful location with a gentle running stream. And, I only tripped and fell into the water once, good thing my iPhone was in the car.

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Brian could have collected more stones, but had the wrong drink…. Sweet Tea is best!

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John Wiessinger collected a beautiful NATURAL Thatched Hut Stone with a flat bottom. He graciously gave it to me.

All twelve members collected some interesting stones and upon returning to the cars, displayed their new stones for others to see. Some will be on display at the upcoming 6thExhibit of the Upstate New York Study Group on September 7-8, 2019 at the Autumn Open House & Sale at the International Bonsai Arboretum. Members will conduct guided tours of the exhibit.

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In addition to the Suiseki Exhibit new bonsai creations and additional pre-bonsai will be available for purchase. Seven formal displays of classical bonsai art and six FREE lecture/demonstrations by award winning artists will be presented. And, that’s in addition to a 20% discount on most items.

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Come; join us to see new suiseki and bonsai while enjoying friendly bonsai fellowship.

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Late Summer Beauty In My Bonsai Garden

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This summer has been quite hot and sunny providing excellent growing weather. But, it’s soon coming to an end. Some of the maples are already beginning to show autumn color, many of the pines have big buds developing for next year’s growth and the fruit on the bonsai is continuing to enlarge and mature.

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My garden is a beautiful sea of different shades of green, with several different textures. Many of the bonsai tables have large leaf Boston Ivy growing on the ground, climbing up the concrete blocks. The bold green shapes provide a prominent contrast to the delicate maple leaves, plus they will soon be turning red and orange. The Boston Ivy hides the concrete blocks and also adds humidity to the area. Additionally, the vining trunks continue to get fat…. Someday they will be in pots.

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Today I was preparing and photographing bonsai for my new program “Bonsai Refinement, Evaluation & Display Preparation.” The world premier of the new program will be at the 42nd Mid-America Bonsai Exhibit on Saturday, August 17th at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Some valuable tips and handy new information on the topics and an insight to bonsai evaluation in America, China and Japan will be presented before working on a large Dwarf Hinoki Cypress bonsai. The photos below were taken last week. I’ve already spent over 10 hours wiring and thinning out the tree. No need to sit through a boring wire demo for the audience. It looks quite a bit different now.

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Diane and a student were washing the fat trunks of my 3 gal. pot Tiger Bark Fig workshop trees. In addition to the professional Japanese pressure washer, Diane got a handy new tool, an electric toothbrush! She purchased it on sale for only $6 including two brush heads, of course I’ve spent considerably more for bonsai tools. The electric toothbrush is great for getting into small areas.

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2019 Midwest Bonsai Exhibition Coming Up Soon

 

 

img_1408.jpgThe 42ndMidwest Bonsai Exhibition will be held on August 16-19, 2019 at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois. Nearly 100 bonsai from across the Midwest and beyond will be on display.

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This is a judged show so the quality will be there to introduce the public as well as to help experienced hobbyists raise the level of their bonsai. Bonsai from the excellent and extensive permanent Chicago Botanic Garden Collection under the care of curator Chris Baker will be on display in the two outdoor courtyards.

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I’ll be presenting an educational lecture/demonstration on Saturday on Bonsai Refinement & Show Display.Information and techniques for improving the quality of your bonsai will be presented which can be applied to any tree. Next, preparing your bonsai for a club, regional or national exhibition will be discussed. Wiring bonsai for display will be demonstrated. Yes, there is such as technique as “show wiring.” Moss and ground cover application techniques will be shown as well as display tables and companion plantings. Finally, a trained Dwarf hinoki cypress will be transformed into a show ready bonsai using the information presented.

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Demo tree before refinement and display

 

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Also, I’ll be conducting two workshops, one on bring your own tree on Saturday morning and the second on Tiger Bark Fig bonsai on Sunday morning. The workshop trees are good size grown in 3 gal. pots. Trees will be pruned, wired and shaped with my assistance. These trees have been pruned for bonsai during their training and exhibit the characteristic striped bark and many are full of ripe red small figs. There will also be 15 other workshops for beginners to advance hobbyists.

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Workshop Tiger Bark Fig before wiring and shaping

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Tiger Bark Fig after initial shaping

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Additionally 23 vendors from across the country will be offering everything you could ever want for sale. I look forward to seeing you there!

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For additional information on the exhibition, workshops, vendors and more contact the Midwest Bonsai Society at: http://www.midwestbonsai.org/august-exhibition

Of course, a complete report with photos will be forthcoming after the exhibition.

 

2019 Open House: Sale, Bonsai & Suiseki Displays, Free Programs & More

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Everyone is invited to visit the Autumn Open House & Sale on Saturday-Sunday, September 7-8, 2019, at the International Bonsai Arboretum in Rochester, New York. In addition to seeing new bonsai creations and additional pre-bonsai we will have seven formal displays of classical bonsai art, that’s in addition to a 20% discount on most items and free programs.

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To make the event even more special, the Suiseki Study Group of Upstate New York will be holding their 6thExhibit. Suiseki and viewing stones from around the world in member’s collection will be displayed. Most classifications of suiseki will be displayed, both in daiza and water basins. Companion plantings will help to convey seasonality and to tell a story. Members will conduct guided tours of the exhibit.

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Two lectures on suiseki will be held daily at 10am. Ron Maggio, chair of the Suiseki Study Group of Upstate New York will present an introductory program on the fun of collecting and appreciating stones. Marc Arpag, president of the Bonsai Society of Upstate New York will continue on Sunday with topics of a deeper understanding to appreciate stones.

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Harvey Carapella, past president of the Bonsai Society of Upstate New York will be working on one of his prize bonsai, as will Marc Arpag at 11am daily. On both days at 2pm Wm. N. Valavanis will be presenting two advance demonstrations on his bonsai. All programs are free and the venue provides for easy conversations with the demonstrating artists. Questions are welcome for our award winning bonsai artists who will answer in depth.

 

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Join us for an enjoyable weekend of beautiful bonsai, suiseki and bonsai fellowship. Everyone will receive a free Japanese bonsai magazine, plus an issue of International BONSAI.