Its only small, with a regular attendance of 8 members (some more, some less) at our workshops.
Every now and then we organise an outing....sometimes its to a nursery or to visit a bonsai collection. A couple of weeks ago it was time to go on a visit to Dunedin to see Joy and Colin Morton's large collection of bonsai trees. We certainly weren't disappointed!
Yes Colin we can see you!
Joys garden is full of bonsai in all different stages. Many she has grown and cared for over the last 30 odd years.
It was a time for old friends to catch up and the younger ones to see what could be made with a bit of time and patience.
We stopped every few metres for Joy to explain about some other bonsai and how it was grown and trained. Unfortunately the camera and sun didn't play ball and many pictures were too dark to be of any use.
A couple of her many trees. I was particularly fond of the Ginko which was in its brilliant yellow autumn colouring.
We found this group of rocks particulary interesting, until Joy informed us they were made of fired clay from pottery that she had done back in her younger years.
Then off we went to visit Russell and Leonie Taits garden and bonsai collection.
Russell and Leonie live on a steep slope and their bonsai were in little terraced sheltered areas hidden around the garden. It was obvious that Russel had a passion for growing bonsai as he explained his methods of growing and training his trees.
He had quite a variety of trees from maples to cedars.
Russell explained to us how he air layered the large maple in the background off a very large specimen tree in his garden. We were told that Russell likes to experiment with his trees and find new ways of doing things as shown by some of these examples. All great bonsai in the making.
Just as we were about to leave, Russell called some over and gave them some of his maple seeding's that he'd collected from underneath his large garden specimen trees. Thanks for you generosity Russell, as for some of the new beginners these would be their first introduction to maples.
My daughter was thrilled to bits when he have her these. Enough for her to make a couple of small group plantings.
That's what being a bonsai enthusiast is all about, being able and willing to share your knowledge and experience freely with others. Sometimes its not all about the plants, its about the people as well.