The 2013, 36th Midwest Bonsai Show opened today at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Bjorn Bjorholm, originally from Knoxville, TN, now from the Fujikawa Koka-en Bonsai Garden in Osaka, Japan, was the judge.
RAF Dwarf Scots pine- First Prize in the Professional Division
The RAF Dwarf Scots pine which has now taken five days of preparation looked pretty good. So good that Bjorn awarded it the First Place in the Professional Division. Competition was tough this year, however. This makes my 13th Professional Award since they began judging several years ago.
The quality of bonsai has risen lately and also the number of bonsai displayed in the Professional division as well. However, it seemed to me that there the bonsai were not as crowded as in the past and the beauty of each tree could be more easily enjoyed than in past shows. The crowds were pretty good today and we enjoyed excellent warm weather.
Bonsai from the famous Chicago Botanic Garden Collection were on display in two open courtyards, each on a well designed table, complete with white background, lighting and invisible sensor to prevent theft.
Below are a few bonsai, mostly from the professional division. More photos tomorrow if I have time.