Last week we visited several of the bonsai gardens in Omiya Bonsai Village. Our first stop was the garden of Masahiko Kimura. Of course there were magnificent masterpiece bonsai as always with heavy interesting trunks featuring sculptured dead wood and refined branching.
However, I noticed something new, rock plantings, and lots of them. The first demonstration at the 8th World Bonsai Convention was presented by Mr. Kimura who showed how to create a clinging-to-a-rock bonsai. He used a rather tall rock he made and planted several Sargent junipers grown from airlayers. The trees were already trained and Mr. Kimura planted them in shallow crevasses he designed in the stone. During his visits to China he was very impressed with the tall narrow mountains and wanted to create a similar, but refined scene.
His garden featured several size clinging-to-a-rock planting created using artificial stones he made planted with Sargent junipers and Tsuyama hinoki cypress. They were quite impressive because of their great size and suggestive beauty. Most of them were not displayed in his garden a few months earlier. He must have been quite busy. Perhaps these creations are more affordable for customers to purchase than the old collected evergreen bonsai he is well known for.
I’m only photographed here for scale, even though I’m vertically challenged, the rocks are large and probably heavy too!
The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum was beautiful as always and featured numerous bonsai from prominent bonsai artists.
Mr. Kato’s Mansei-en Bonsai was full of large size bonsai, many of which were displayed a few days earlier at the convention.
Mr. Takeyama’s Fuyo-en Bonsai Garden took on a different color than which I’m most familiar with. The deciduous trees were bright green full of fresh new growth. Usually our tours visit Omiya when the bonsai are in full autumn colorings or in winter when the delicate twigs can be appreciated.
I noticed a well known famous Trident maple masterpiece with an unusually large wide surface root display. The bonsai looks like it was recently transplanted this spring and the widest ends of the surface roots were shaved back to fit into the container leaving a narrow edge of soil around the roots. There must be some surface area where water can easily reach the feeder roots. Bonsai with such a large surface root area must be carefully monitored for watering. Also, the surface root are of many bonsai with a prominent surface root displayed are protected with moist rags during the hottest summer days. Moist rags are simply draped over the surface root bark.