Bay Area Satsuki Aikokai

Satsuki Azalea Bonsai Club

Category: Uncategorized

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.

 

Soh-Ju-En Bonsai

Bay Area Satsuki Aikokai (BASA) club members are a lucky bunch. We have beautiful Satsuki Azalea bonsai to display every year in May. The time that Satsuki Azaleas are in full bloom. But, we also have among our membership experienced teachers and bonsai artists. And on top of that, we have fine quality vendors. I would like to highlight the friendship and resources of Darren and Laura Wong in this post. They together started working on Satsuki Azalea bonsai in the spring of 2001. They completed a three-year course of instruction at El Dorado Bonsai, in Placerville, CA., that taught the Japanese ways of styling, cultivating, and maintaining healthy Satsuki azalea bonsai. In 2005, they were accepted as students by Mr. Sushio Nakayama in Japan. Both travel back to Japan two to three times a year to study with their sensei Nakayama.

Their main goal is to help spread the art and proper care of Satsuki Azalea bonsai here in the United States.

Darren and Laura import fine quality Satsuki Azalea bonsai and bonsai supplies from Japan. Their business name is Soh-Ju-En, meaning “twin trunk or husband/wife. Essentially, it connotates two working as one.”

Please check out their website at http://www.sohjuensatsukibonsai.com.

What variety!

Here’s a link from Auburn University’s website featuring photos of more than 125 varieties of Satsuki Azaleas.

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