11th Winter Silhouette Bonsai Expo 2023

The highly regarded and anticipated Winter Silhouette Bonsai Expo was again held at the North Carolina Research Center in Kannapolis, outside Charlotte, NC, on December 2-3, 2023.

A well deserved thank you to Steve Zeisel for sponsoring another successful  Winter Silhouette Bonsai Expo. He was assisted by members of the Triangle Bonsai Society and Tyler Sherrod. Attached are my quick photos so you can see the expo now. Joe Noga professionally photrographed the show and his high quality images will be forthcoming,

The 12th Winter Silhouette Bonsai Expo will take place on December  7-8, 2024.

Thank you to all the exhibitors who brought their bonsai for display and to the North Carolina Research Center for hosting this important special National Exhibition.

Autumn 2023 Japan Bonsai Exploration- Part 8

World Heritage Kiyomizu Temple Bonsai Suiseki Exhibition, November 24-27, 2023 Kyoto, Japan.

Sponsored by Chinese Council General of Osaka, commemorating the 45th Anniversary of the signing of the peace treaty and friendship of China and Japan.

This special exhibit of bonsai and suiseki was organized and paid for by Kunio Kobayashi, (Shunka-en Bonsai Museum- Tokyo) took eight months of careful planning. Mr. Kobayashi brought six truckloads of bonsai and suiseki from his garden in Tokyo, plus a few client trees and a truckload of bonsai tables and folding screens. He brought a team of 12 apprentices to transport, set up, guard, load up and return everything back to Tokyo. Set up was required between 11pm and 4am. Mr. Kobayashi presented a demonstration at the opening ceremony and also free classes to the public conducted by his son-in-law, Minoru Akiyama.

It was very generous of Mr. Kobayashi to donate his time, funds and talents to help spread his passion and love of bonsai and suiseki to the world.

One of Mr. Kobayashi’s masterpiece Sargents Juniper was prominently featured at the opening ceremony in a special exhibit area and is valued at US $1,000,000. It has been estimated to be “approximately” 800 years old, and Mr. Kobayashi did not start it from seed…..

Autumn 2023 Beauty at the International Bonsai Arboretum- Part 2

In Part 1 of the Autumn 2023 Beauty blog I shared photos of my garden and bonsai as of October 25th. Part 2 has now been completed. I was waiting for two dozen bonsai which have not yet completed their autumn transformation to colorful foliage. 

On Monday my Senior Crew cleaned and moved most of the bonsai into the overwintering building (garage). It’s kind of full now and we still have many more to add. Each deciduous bonsai had all the leaves removed, then using a leaf blower, the surface was cleaned of leaves and old organic fertilizer balls. Moss growing up the trunks was carefully removed too. All the bonsai were carefully placed so they look good, kind of like a small bonsai display. Many will be moved, again, when the remaining bonsai are brought inside.

There are still a few bonsai not yet ready to photograph. After the bonsai were protected, the “bonsai in waiting” were brought to the front od the garden, for easier watering. Each tree was placed on a turntable and is turned daily for even coloring. It happens sometimes overnight, so they must be carefully watched and photographed at their peak beauty.

There are still a couple of Japanese maples and Dwarf contorted Bradford pears which have not yet completed their color change. There are two of these bonsai, sitting next to each other, one is turning red, the other yellow. As these remaining bonsai change color they will be photographed my one of my assistants, Alan Adair. Then they will be cleaned and he will have to put them away finding space. I’m leaving for Japan in a few hours so it’s up to Alan to carefully position each tree so it looks good, like an indoor exhibit. He knows me well and knows I’ll move most of them around when I return home.

All of the photos in Part 2 of this blog are different to show the wide range of beauty we are enjoying. Perhaps I’ll have a few more to share in a few weeks. Enjoy the beauty of autumn, it doe not last that long before the winter snows arrive…