Bay Area Satsuki Aikokai

Satsuki Azalea Bonsai Club

Fundraiser for the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt

The Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt has been raising funds for its Garden Revitalization Opportunity (GRO) Project. This project aims to upgrade the display benches and stands, watering system, pathways, and much more, in order to meet the challenges of caring for and maintaining the historic and legacy bonsai collection in a professional and museum quality manner.

As part of this, they have initiated a recognition brick fundraiser drive in which individuals, clubs and businesses can purchase a variety of state of the art engraved bricks, and the proceeds will go towards the GRO Project. GRO projects include laying cement pavers for all pathways within the Bonsai Garden, and the engraved bricks will line a special pathway.

For information http://www.gsbf-lakemerritt.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Bonsai-Garden-of-Lake-Merritt-Brick-Flyer-09-11-17.pdf

Update: Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt (BGLM) Garden Revitalization Opportunity (GRO)

Great news – the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt (BGLM) Garden Revitalization Opportunity (GRO) Project ended August 2017 by raising 45% towards its goal of $100,000. New vertical, straight grain red cedar benches and stands have been installed to replace the original bonsai display benches and stands. There have been more than two thirds of the new overhead water systems using the new micro cone sprayers installed to replace the old drip irrigation piping. Copper metal sculpture artwork has been added to the accent display site with its own water system. In October, plans call for the installment of cement pavers for all the pathways. This will eliminate muddy and dusty conditions and make it more accessible and safer for the public. Needless to say, exciting things are taking place at the BGLM. Look for new fundraising ideas coming this month. BGLM thanks everyone for their support.

Working with Darren Wong

Photo taken after thinning on July 15, 2017

On 15 July 2017, I took my “Kaho” Satsuki Azalea bonsai to Darren Wong of Soh-Ju-En, a family business specializing in Satsuki Azalea bonsai, to work on and perform summer maintenance. Darren wanted to thin out the pads which were very dense. We did not perform Mesuki, a technique for pruning to shape. The yearly growth should be trimmed; shoots grow in sets of five at the ends of branches and should be trimmed down to two. The rest of the shoots should be pruned to two sets of leaves. Prune secondary shoots in the middle of summer. However, in the case of my “Kaho” Darren chose to thin the leaves slightly. We removed dead leaves and tiny branches, mostly in the interior. The pads were very dense. Darren wanted it so when you put your hand under the pad you can see the hand clearly from above the pad. Some photographs were taken upon completion. Darren will send the photographs to his sensei Sushio Nakayama in Japan to show what progress has been made on the bonsai. Darren and sensei Sushio have selected a show pot for the “Kaho” which should arrive from Japan in time for the repotting season next year. For now the “Kaho” remains in a large training pot. I took some photographs  of the “Kaho” in May of this year. The ability to show the bonsai next year depends on many factors.

Photo taken by George Haas May 2017 showing partial flowering.

 

Up-Date: GSBF Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt (BGLM) Garden Revitalization Opportunity (GRO)

As of June 30, 2017, GSBF BGLM has raised 37% of its goal for the GRO Project. The goal of $100,000 is slowly and surely becoming a reality. GRO Project is the first major replacement and improvement undertaking by BGLM since it opened its gate to the public in 1999. Already, many of the display benches and stands have been built and installed. These display benches and stands are made of red cedar and constructed in traditional Japanese joinery. More than two thirds of the new water overhead and spot system has been put in place and is currently in operation. The GRO Project calls for cement pavers for all the pathways and new cul-de-sac. Fund raising has a ways to go. Donate now! Help spread the word among family, friends and others. Log on to the GSBF BGLM website http://www. gsbf-lakemerritt.org to contribute online. It takes only minutes to donate any amount of funds. Or mail a check to GSBF Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt, PO Box 16176, Oakland, CA 94610-6176, made payable to GSBF BGLM and note GRO Project in the memo section.

 

Bay Area Satsuki Aikokai (BASA) 22nd Annual Show

On 20 and 21 May 2017, at Lakeside Park Garden Center, Oakland, California, the Bay Area Satsuki Aikokai (BASA) held their 22nd Annual Satsuki Azalea Bonsai Show. Featuring Satsuki Azalea bonsai in full bloom. There were vendor and member sales, including imported from Japan Satsuki Azalea bonsai. Silent auctions and expert advise on hand made the show more exciting and informational. This year’s theme was “It’s all about the flowers in May.” Here are some photographs of the show bonsai.

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Satsuki Azalea Bonsai at 8th World Bonsai Convention

I attended the 8th World Bonsai Convention (WBC), April 27-30, 2017, at Saitama City, Japan. The exhibition and vendor Satsuki Azalea Bonsai were beautiful. Here are some photos of the exhibit and vendor trees. Excursions included the Omiya Bonsai Village, Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, and the Musashi Ichinomiya Hikawa Shrine. Something about the WBC. It’s held every four years. The 1st WBC was held in Japan 28 years ago. The next World Bonsai Convention will take place in the City of Perth, Australia in 2021.

Bonsai Display by Jonas Dupuich

BONSAI DISPLAY BY JONAS DUPUICH

Our Bay Area Satsuki Azalea club meeting at the Lake Merritt Garden Center in Oakland, on March 23, 2017 was especially interesting and well-attended. The guest speaker was Jonas Dupuich, who brought along a variety of trees and display stands and an extensive knowledge of the often subtle but decisive art of display. Jonas, a founding member of BASA, began his presentation by discussing the different ways azaleas are shown: as purely flower displays, as bonsai with or without some flowers, and as deciduous bare trees so that the development of the structure is paramount. He also provided an excellent handout itemizing how to prepare our trees for exhibit – many reminders that all of us can use at show time.

 The interactive presentation began with a discussion of the display stands which ranged from formal to informal, from light colored finishes to darker ones, and from tall or short to flat trays. Jonas explained the uses and placement of these and the other elements of a display, such as secondary trees, accent plants, and scrolls to create a harmonious presentation. Members of the club were called on to express opinions and preferences, and then the somewhat loose set of rules and conventions that govern the art of display were applied to the results to demonstrate how to optimize the final result.

It was of interest to note that many of the “rules” seemed to be principles that a person with an education in design, or one of great sensitivity and some experience, would probably choose to follow automatically. For example, large, strong trees were shown to look their best in the formal style of presentation: larger stands of darker finish, rectangular rather than square shapes, straighter lines, simpler design and uncomplicated appearance. Of course, the opposite was demonstrated to be true as well: more delicate trees looked best on stands of lighter colors, curved legs, oval or round or more square shapes.

 Once a tree was properly set, Jonas added accent plants and scrolls that harmonized in color, size and tone, and that accurately suggested the season and geographical area that the artist wished to depict.

 The presentation by Jonas was informative and well-paced, with handouts to read and plenty of trees and stands to demonstrate, and he also used the trees and pots and ideas that members brought in the process. This high quality of presentation and thorough approach can always be expected from him, and it was a pleasure to participate.

– Chris Ross

 

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