Newsletter from Bonsai Society of Australia - April 2015
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Bonsai Society

Australia inc.

Newsletter - April 2015

Next meeting April 7th
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New Meeting Time
7.15 PM FOR 7.30 PM

Some members have suggested that our meetings are finishing a trifle late in the evenings which makes it difficult for those who need to work the next day or have other commitments.
As a consequence the committee has decided to trial a new starting time whereby the demonstration will commence promptly at 7.30 and our meeting will conclude at 9.30. However, you will still be welcome to remain for a chat after the conclusion of the formal part of the meeting.
Also, it would be greatly appreciated if some members could spare a little extra time before the beginning of the meeting to help set up so we can be sure of starting proceedings on time.
This Month's Demonstrator

Brenda inherited a passion for gardening from her mother and from that developed an obsession with bonsai. She has been practising the art of bonsai for over 30 years and is one of the most experienced demonstrators in Australia. She has been President of the Illawarra Bonsai Society since 1997, and is also President of Suiseki Australia, a position she has held from 2007, as well as being a registered AABC demonstrator and on the committee of the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia. She is one busy lady!
Brenda has a special interest in azaleas, but also figs and junipers not to mention suiseki and the display of bonsai and accent plants in a formal setting.
We are extremely lucky to have Brenda with us and at our meeting she will be discussing Kusamono, which are small plant arrangements that are displayed with other artistic works such as calligraphy, scrolls, suiseki and, of course, bonsai. Sometimes they are called accent plants or soes but they can be displayed as the main object in a Tokonoma.
Editors Ravings
The one big reward for having this job of mine is getting to have the opportunity to have my say. I should state here that the opinions expressed in this small editorial are the opinions of the editor and necessarily those of the membership at large. I believe that unless we get some more members our club will just fade away and that would be a very sad thing for me, and I think many of our membership. As will be seen later in this newsletter whenever we do a public display it is evident that there is a good deal of interest in our art form.

We need to find away to turn that interest into new members. Our esteemed Treasurer has made the suggestion that we could provide to the public at large a small pot and plant (whatever we can obtain a reasonable cost) and give them a basic lesson so that they can create their own Bonsai that they can take with them I think this would help to give them the wonderful joy that I experienced when I discovered Bonsai this was almost the exact way I was recruited to the BSS with Megumi at the Terry Hills bonsai nursery it was my first introduction to the art of Bonsai and the start of my love and journey with this art form.
President's Report
It is hard to believe we have reached April already.

This month Brenda Parker will introduce us to the art of Kusamono. It is always interesting to learn of other art forms associated with bonsai, it presents a wider picture and helps to take us in another direction. As an artist, I am always pleased to learn of new paths which will take me in another direction.

Brenda is also well known for her work with Azaleas, and I am sure at the end of her demo on Kusamono, she will be happy to take questions on these lovely flowering bonsai. So come along to learn something new and also increase your knowledge.

From this month we will give further tips and tricks from Mick Balzary. Mick has been associated with bonsai for a very long time and has acquired a vast knowledge in coniferous bonsai. He loves to share this knowledge with everyone and so has given us permission to use his written work.

As we have new members who are starting their bonsai journey, we will be featuring some articles which we hope will help them achieve good results.
Things to do this Month
The weather is still very warm, so you may continue fertilising until the end of April with a high potassium fertiliser for all bonsai except natives, as this will assist in preventing winter die back in flowering trees, maples and elms. If the weather suddenly turns cool you can reduce or even cease fertilising as a trees’ growth will naturally taper off.
Any deciduous trees should be exposed to more sun to ensure good autumn colour – although not if temperatures remain over 30⁰, otherwise you will end up with brown tips or whole leaves burnt instead of beautiful autumn colour. Don’t forget that the sun is the catalyst for plant health and vigor so now is the time to think about rearranging your benches to provide maximum exposure during winter. Make sure you rotate plants on a regular basis to expose all sides equally to the sun.

Repot natives during autumn and continue repotting evergreen trees whilst weather is warm. If it becomes cold just after repotting, just make sure the trees are placed somewhere warm at night for a couple of weeks.

Keep weeding! They take nutrients from the soil and may also encourage disease to attack your bonsai. Why do these pesky plants grow so well and in such profusion while we struggle to grow a tree?

As we move towards winter trees begin to lose their vigour and so now is a great time for wiring as the wire can be left on for longer periods without fear of damage to the trunk or branch by the wire cutting in.

You can begin to pluck out unwanted and older needles on pines to improve light and airflow to the branches. The same applies to conifers such as picea, cedar and junipers where foliage pads and needles can be thinned and brown needles removed.

For those of you who are entering the Bonsai Section of the Royal Easter Show, and hopefully there are many of you, best of luck!!

Autumn is a beautiful time of year, so enjoy your bonsai.
Moon Festival
At last month’s Moon Festival Celebrations, in North Rocks Don Moore Hall. Among the various displays and crafts on show was a magnificent Bonsai Display stocked and manned by: Georgina, Maureen and Colin.

Following are a couple of pictures of the display
It was during the festival that Maureen suggested to me the Idea of actually running a small teaching workshop. At this style of event and actually having members of the public creating a small Bonsai that they can take away with them. Once this idea was presented to me I had a real light bulb moment.

This could be a great way to generate interest and ultimately “New Members”

I will get together with the other members of the committee and hopefully we will have an action plan to present to the membership at large in the near future.
Some Teachings of MASTER HU HAN WAH, CHINA
Edited from an article by Mick Balzary
Chinese Philosophy is different to that of other countries and there is little doubt their teachings and practices are based on tried and tested methods. Chinese penjing or punsai is different in appearance to that of its Japanese neighbors.

I personally believe that nothing is perfect and I see this belief reflected in Chinese bonsai (punsai) and penjing. Notwithstanding the traditional and modern Japanese bonsai is beautiful.

Master Hu said:
  1. “Observe nature, be better than nature” (but do not make a fool of it).
  2. Define the main trunk or feature, then the secondary trunk, etc.  There can be one manager only. (Please remember this applies to rock and tree settings also. The tree can be the main feature or the rock. The tree or the rock is the apical point of the setting – one or the other but not the two.)
  3. Introduce variation/s, do not repeat.
  4. Thick must be thick, sparse must be sparse.
  5. Provide balance.
  6. Make certain proportion is correct.
  7. There is no perfection, try for everlasting beauty. Seek inner beauty - that is beauty beyond what you see.
What to do when - a guide for beginners
Note: I am not trying to say that all our members are beginners. I have seen most of your trees and I stand in awe of the talented members in our society. However there are some new members and I hope that we will have many more in the future. For this reason I will be including some basic information in the newsletter from time to time when ever I have them available –Editor

When to repot bonsai:
Young plants  every year
Established plants 2/3 years
Old trees  every 5 years
Fast growing deciduous trees  every  year (if required)

When to root prune tree types:
Japanese black/red pines:  March/April (light root prune) or
July (heavy root prune if needed) or
Japanese Maples Winter after leaves fall
Trident Maples  Autumn/winter/spring
Junipers Autumn/spring
Figs October to February
Natives Autumn/winter/spring
Evergreens Late winter/early spring
Chinese Elms     Autumn/winter/spring
Flowering , fruiting and
deciduous trees  
June:  Repot cherry, mulberry, apricot, plum, quinces

July: pomegranate, manchurian pear, nyssa, hawthorn, crabapple, gingko, oaks, celtis, English elm, zelkova, crepe myrtle, taxodium, metasequoia, liquidambar. Maples
Conifers: July: two needle pines, cedars and spruce
Evergreens:  August:  olives, privet, pyracantha, corokia, cotoneaster, buxus

Each season is different from year to year. This is a general guide only – you must learn to “read” your bonsai. Trees will often tell you when the time is right.
Monthly Workshop
I cannot overstate the value that can be gained by all members, beginner and master alike, from our monthly workshops on the 3rd Tuesday of the month.

The beginner has the opportunity to observe others and ask questions. In a pleasant and easy going group, and receive first class instruction and ideas from bonsai experts and artists. The bonsai master gains ideas from others, and in many cases gains clarity of thought and perhaps a new frame of reference to advance his/her plan and concepts. An example from a recent workshop
Members at this workshop were treated to being able to observe the creative process. As we all watched as a tree, pot and power tools were used to great effect  as can be seen by the following pictures:
“The Artist At Work”
After The Master Class in The Use of Power Tools
“The Artist band her Creation”
Ex Libris  - From the Library
We now have the 6 volume set of The Best of Bonsai in Europe.  These volumes cover the Ginkgo Awards from 1997 to 2007.  The judging for the Ginkgo Award was held every 2 years and each volume has beautiful colour photos of the trees that were considered for the award.  The volumes are available for loan singly and I was ask that members limit their borrowing to a maximum of 2 copies each time.
DVD’s & VHS Tapes
The library also stocks a range of DVD’s and VHS tapes for loan.  Please feel free to browse – you might be surprised. 

Interesting Websites  - Lotus Bonsai Studios France
For those members who are techno savvy and use the internet, I would strongly suggest you have a look at this website.  The owner of Lotus Bonsai is Giang Nguyen, a Vietnamese refugee who settled in Bordeaux, France with his family.  He is a potter and makes very unique pots.  He also makes finely crafted mudmen and animal figurines.  He is not cheap and at this time I don’t know how much they are or what the shipping charges will be.   Some of his work is available on the etsy website  and the prices are in Australian dollars. 

Again not cheap.

The Lotus Bonsai website contains a lot of photos, blogs and inspiration.  It can be found here  
I recommend checking out his crane figurines. There’s no need to brush up on your high school French.  Giang is very fluent in English.
Well my dear readers that is the end of this month’s newsletter, as always please forgive me for any and all errors also any FFS faults (FFS = Fat Finger Syndrome).

Also click here for information and attendance form for the Bonsai By The Harbour. This looks like a great event and I understand well worth the effort to attend.

Good Bye for Now.

Office Bearers for 2014/2015

President Georgina Kretschmar   9636 4261
Vice President/Treasurer Maureen Andersen   9871 4162
Vice President Dorothy Koreshoff   4998 6083
Secretary Colin Hugo   9674 2675
Editor Bruce Von Wootten   0406 996 300
Committee Ingrid Bauer (Publicity)   9652 2811
  Joan Cam   9489 5129
  Orhan Guzel (Web Master)    
  Josie McNeilly   9871 4750
  Michele Toomey (Membership)   9872 5146
Librarian Paul Walshaw   9809 0026
Correspondence to The Secretary    
  PO Box 32    
  Pendle Hill NSW 2145.    
Membership Joining Fee   $12.00
  Annual Fee   $30.00
  Students   $20.00
  Family (At same address)   $35.00
Meetings First Tuesday of the month (except January)
  West Pennant Hills Community Centre
42 Hill Road, West Pennant Hills.
7.15 p.m. for 7.30p.m.
Workshops Third Tuesday of the month (except December)
  Normanhurst Public School
Cnr. Pennant Hills and Normanhurst Roads
7.30 p.m.
Copyright © 2015 Bonsai Society of Australia Inc, All rights reserved.

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